performance reviews

Performance Reviews: From Transactional to Transformational

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership, Productivity, Stress

As a leader, how do you usually feel when the time for performance reviews rolls around? Let’s be honest. Most leaders don’t enjoy the performance review process for several reasons. Usually, they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of meetings they have to hold in a short period of time. Often these conversations are also tied to employees’ compensation. With many companies making budget cuts these meetings can be tough when you don’t feel like you have much to offer beyond praise. The result is that many leaders end up viewing the performance review process as tedious and time consuming (and it shows). Employees, on the other hand, can fall on both sides of the fence when it comes to performance reviews. Mostly, employees just want a chance to sit down and chat with you, offer up some ideas, and walk away feeling like it’s worth getting up each morning. …

leadership autopilot

Are You on Leadership Autopilot?

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Productivity

How much of your day do you actually spend engaged in leading others? Most leaders say things like, “I give 110%,” or “I can’t work any harder than I already do,” and even, “I put out fires all day. Then I do my work.” Sound about right? When you think back to your first leadership role what did leadership mean to you? What did you envision for yourself and the people you’d be leading? What kind of impact did you imagine your leadership would have on not just the individuals you lead, but the entire organizational culture? Actually, many people haven’t put much thought into these types of philosophical questions about leadership.  For most workers, assuming a leadership role (or management/supervisory if you must) is just the next logical step in their career; a reward for their hard work and success. Perhaps you imagined having people who could help do all the work; a team that …

Monday

How to be Super Productive (Even on a Monday)

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

It’s Monday—the day that many of us begin our workweek—and I’m already tired. I don’t know about you, but my days off are often just as packed with activity my workdays, which can leave me feeling sluggish at the start of the week. Don’t get me wrong: I love days off just as much as the next guy (maybe more). But a weekend full of soccer games, outdoor play, cooking, cleaning, and late night movies can lead to diminished concentration and motivation when Monday morning rolls around. If this sounds familiar, it’s no wonder you’re dreading the alarm clock that signals the start of another hectic day ahead! The typical work environment can be best described in one word: REACTIVE. With so many distractions pulling your attention in different directions, it can be difficult to focus and be productive. This is the “norm” in most work environments, so it is …

Why Multitasking is a Myth

Jen Roberts Productivity

Think you’re good at multitasking? Think again! Most people feel that they have so much to accomplish there simply never seems to be enough time in the day. So, how do we typically handle that? Trying to do 8 things at once (AKA Multitasking). I’ve heard many leaders tell me how great they are at multitasking. They’re convinced that this is the only way to accomplish all their myriad demands in the span of the workday. The thing is, I coach leaders on this type of behavior all the time. I’ve even heard job applicants brag that one of their strengths is multitasking. The reality is, we don’t multitask very well. Research on divided attention shows that it’s not technically possible to do more than one thing at a time and get great results but we continue to try. Here’s an example conversation that might sound like some of yours. …

meaningful work

3 Key Ingredients For Meaningful Work

Jen Roberts Engagement, Productivity

Nothing feels worse than getting to the end of a crazy day and wondering, “What did I actually accomplish?” My clients often need coaching to deal with the stress and overwhelm of their jobs. People seem to run on a never-ending hamster wheel yet often feel as though they have nothing to show for all their hard work. We all want to feel as if our work is meaningful and serves a purpose—typically to help our companies succeed. Yet many of my executive clients report not even having their official goals for one quarter at the beginning of the next. If you have no structure to your work, you might be in for a frustrating experience. Let’s fix that! First, a mindset shift may be in order: Working harder or longer hours does not necessarily create better outcomes. Working on purpose does. “Success takes intention, clarity, and commitment to proactively create …

busy

Think You’re Too Busy? 5 Ways to Break Free

Jen Roberts Leadership

I’m probably going to upset a few readers with this confession: One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me how busy they are. These days, when you ask anyone how they’re doing you’ll likely hear things like, “Oh, I’m sooo busy,” or “It’s been crazy!” I don’t even think they realize what they’re saying; it’s just a habit. Being “busy” has become a badge of honor in our society. Somehow, we have come to believe that if we aren’t constantly doing something (or telling others everything we’re up to) that we’ll be viewed as lazy. (Related: Are You Promoting a Workaholic Culture?) The work/life balance dilemma that’s affecting our society may be less about busy-ness and more about effectiveness (or ineffectiveness, as the case may be). I help leaders like you take back control of your time and energy and view time in a completely different way. Being busy is an …

Less Reactive Work Environment

[VIDEO] 3 Tips to Create a Less Reactive Work Environment

Jen Roberts Productivity

Do you feel stuck in a cycle of reactivity and panic at work? Most leaders want to feel more in control of their days and to create a less hectic work environment for their employees but don’t know how to make real changes. Watch my quick video for 3 practical tips to break through the chaos and enjoy work more!

engaged leader

Are You an Engaged Leader?

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

This  post will be short and sweet. Why? Because if you’re like most people, your attention span is pretty short (so I included a video). After all, you have a lot going on! We all have our own unique way of viewing the world. Everything you experience passes through this filter, and your perceptions shape how you think and feel about, and behave in response to situations. We tend to attract into our lives what we focus on and pay attention to. You’ve probably heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy: If you expect something to happen and focus your energy on it, you’re more likely to get the experience you expected (whether positive or negative).  We also have a tendency to selectively look for data that supports our belief systems–this is called a confirmation bias. That’s the reason that we choose to pay the most attention to the things we care about and are …

Boost productivity

[VIDEO] Want to Boost Productivity? Put Down That Cell Phone!

Jen Roberts Productivity, Stress

How many hours per day do you spend on your cell phone?  If you’re like most people, it’s probably a lot more than you think! In this week’s featured video, I share tips on how to scale back cell phone usage to improve productivity and lower your stress levels. Interested in taking a closer look at how you’re spending your time and energy? Click here to schedule a complimentary discovery call with me.  I help leaders and teams get better results with less stress!

workaholic culture

Are You Promoting a Workaholic Culture?

Jen Roberts Leadership, Productivity

Do you consider yourself a workaholic? How many hours do you typically work each day? Each week? Be honest with yourself. Don’t exclude the time you spend in conversation during your commute, or reading and answering emails on evenings and weekends, or working while on vacation. When you look at that number how does it make you feel? If you’re like many corporate leaders, your answer might be “exhausted” or “stressed-out” or “overwhelmed.” These descriptors are commonplace and have become the norm, but are they necessary? Some research shows that we’re working harder than ever, and there’s a cost to be paid in the way of productivity and engagement. Did you know that there are Workaholics Anonymous groups popping up everywhere?! On a recent coaching call, my client mentioned that a co-worker proudly told her he worked upwards of 14 hours per day. Some people believe that if they are …

productivity

Organized Chaos? 3 Office Improvements for Productivity and Focus

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

Removing clutter and creating a better space can help you improve your focus and productivity. I know this first hand. We all have our own little rituals or quirky behaviors when it comes to what makes us feel in control. Mine is cleaning. When I feel anxious, angry, or otherwise like I’m not as in control as I’d like to be I find solace in Clorox wipes or clearing out a closet. Sometimes I can’t even think or concentrate when I’m distracted by my physical surroundings. While it might sound weird, it actually makes some sense from an energy perspective. Everyone has good days and bad days, energetically speaking. Some days you’re on fire and feel unstoppable and others you might find yourself completely distracted and unable to be productive at all. There is science behind your energetic engagement as you approach any role, goal, or task. Your physical environment …

advice

The High Cost of “Good” Advice

Jen Roberts Balance, Leadership, Management

Think back to your early days in leadership when well-meaning bosses, mentors and co-workers shared their personal opinions and advice to help you quickly advance up the corporate ladder. While I learned many valuable lessons from seasoned corporate leaders, I got a few really bad tips as well. The worst piece of advice I ever received sounded something like this: “If you want to be successful—be seen as ambitious; someone who really cares about the company and your career—you need to be the first one in the office in the morning and the last one out.” The idea, of course, was that if I demonstrated my undying commitment to my job that I’d be rewarded in the future. And, being an eager young career woman, I wanted to do whatever it took to be viewed as a committed and competent employee. In those formative years, I tried to follow this …

workplace innovation

The Phrase That Kills Workplace Innovation

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Productivity

The pace of business today requires leaders to readily adapt and willingly embrace change. Yet for many successful leaders, resisting change is one of the biggest obstacles to advancing their own careers and driving their companies forward. Because companies and the leaders within them are often successful, that success can make it difficult to even want to change. After all, leaders usually attribute their success to what they’ve done in the past; their behaviors and choices have worked to get them where they are. The most damaging phrase you’ll hear in your workplace when it comes to embracing change and fostering innovation is, “That’s the way it’s always been done.” My point is this: Just because that is the way it’s always been done, does that mean it’s the right way to approach things today? When was the last time you really questioned the strategies you’ve been taught or have …

strengthen your team

Predictable Success: Creating Routine to Strengthen Your Team

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Productivity

Would you describe yourself as a consistent leader? For many of us, one of the most difficult parts of leadership is learning to become immune to the ups and downs of a typical workweek. Especially when our natural reaction when tensions run high is to succumb to reactivity and panic. As someone who leads others, it is important that you behave consistently in all types of situations. Consistency is the key to establishing and maintaining trust with your team. If your reactions are unpredictable or if you give conflicting directions, employees might be unwilling or even afraid to approach you. Unpredictable leaders create feelings of fear and nervousness in the people they lead. While you might think it’s motivating to keep the people around you on their toes, creating a work environment full of anxiety is one of the best ways to crush your team’s ability to innovate and create …

Boredom

Boredom Is Actually Good For You

Jen Roberts Leadership, Productivity

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Click here to read the full story. Leadership can include periods of nearly overwhelming activity followed by gulfs of quiet, where you can catch up on paperwork and plan your next move. Sometimes, though, those periods of quiet last a touch long, and boredom sets in, leaving your mind to wander. Saying we’re bored is our unimaginative way of labeling a lack of stimulation. The pace of our world today is astounding, and we’ve gotten addicted to being entertained or busy 24/7 year-round. “Boredom” allows time to quiet the mind and body, and replenish our energy stores. Click here for all Seven Ways Boredom is Actually Good For You, by members of the Forbes Coaches Council. — Want to learn more about managing your energy at work? Click here to schedule a Discovery Call.