Author, Coach, Educator, & Realtor

Posts tagged ‘human resources’

The Nay-sayers; Don’t listen

A few encounters recently lead me to reflect on how I react when others are negative about an idea or plan I have developed.

A friend of mine Jackie Dishner first pointed out the word “Nay-sayer” in a presentation she gave to a group of business women. (I would highly recommend her as a motivational speaker.) It was the way she said it with so much disdain combined with laughter that first caught my attention.

A Nay-sayer is anyone who does not believe. They don’t believe in you, your ideas, your abilities and most likely don’t believe in change or creativity.

When I encounter a Nay-sayer my first reaction is usually doubt in myself. It takes a lot of work and self-esteem to just let it roll off your back and proceed straight ahead.

I have worked very hard at letting this occur and I have found that each time I regroup, revisit, clarify my goal and plow ahead I come out even more determined to reach my desired outcome.  

Then I share my plan or aspiration with more people and dismiss the Nay-sayers until eventually I find someone willing to give encouragement. The moment I have been waiting for – someone who believes.

Right after the first believer my enthusiasm and determination begin to ascend. I add to my plan. I can envision the outcome. I can get more people to believe and they in turn share their belief – and so the ball starts to roll.

Eventually the ball becomes so big that it takes everyone involved to carry it up the hill to the top of the mountain – where we can all see clearly the final outcome or result. And as a group who have supported and encouraged each other we are very proud of our accomplishment and the result we’ve attained.

This pride both individually and collectively ironically was part of the original plan. Pride in our contributions. Pride in our determination. Pride in our ability to change, to grow and to help each other along the way.

And so the journey begins again. We develop a sustainability plan. We develop the next growth plan. We look around for what we can improve or what gives us more joy and satisfaction.

Then we dismiss the Nay-sayers and find our new group that will help us on our next journey just as we will help them.

I’ll see you along the way in the valley and meet you at the top of the next mountain.


Kate Rakoci

Reference:  Jackie Dishner

Recommended reading: “Our Iceberg Is Melting” by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber


Employee Evaluations: Stop Asking Why and Just Do It

People in Business expect to be evaluated as they compare themselves daily with their peers.  Evaluations are a necessary part of being a manager.  There are  numerous reasons but we will focus on the best reason —- motivation and productivity.

The trap is that if you only evaluate your direct reports annually or even quarterly, their expectation is increased compensation at review time.  The employee assumes if their performance is adequate that an annual raise including merit and cost of living is a part of their entitlement.

In recent years this may not have been the case due to widespread salary cuts and layoffs.  However you need to start planning ahead today for what will surely come tomorrow.

When Company Profits return your employees will believe (as they should) that they “got you through the hard times”.

You will need to start “fair and balanced” employee measurement now if you haven’t put a plan into place.

There are only 3 steps:

1) Set a time weekly to meet with each of your direct reports — no more than 15-30 minutes a week.

2) Develop a written format for the meeting   (to be filled out by them) including:

  •  The coming weeks goals for this person
  •  Their quarterly goals
  •  Their yearly goals
  •  What they need from you to accomplish these goals
  •  What obstacles they see and how you can both overcome these obstacles
  •  (Anything else relevant to this person that will help them accomplish their goals)

3)  The employee brings this list to next week’s meeting filled out along with the future week’s “report” —- You cover both past and future with instant feedback. Don’t forget the positive recognition along with any productive suggestions.

The cycle is weekly.  The measurement is weekly.  They see their own progress or lack of progress.  Problems and challenges are addressed early  —- and the yearly review is merely a compilation of all their individual reports.

Additional Compensation is reserved for becoming more productive, well trained, highly motivated and taking more responsibility.

IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME ! I’M TOO BUSY !  So I ask is it better to move continually forward or continually put out fires?

I’d be glad to set up a one page form with you for any positions you may be having difficulty with measuring goals — so no excuses.

Please write and let me know your most pressing challenges and I’d be glad to turn them into a topic I can blog about.

How to Change Conflict into Teamwork: 5 Causes and Solutions

 What causes conflict in the workplace ?


Today’s employees are fearful of their positions. They know companies are not making the necessary returns to expand and possibly can not maintain current levels of employment. Fear lends itself to conflict. ” Why are you more valuable than me?”  Competing for attention rather than teamwork may be a result.


Some employees need more recognition than others. If someone in particular gets more than the rest of the team because they are more apt to tout the teams results and take them as their own resentment and conflict build.


Other employees simply do not understand the goals and as a result miss the mark no matter how hard they work. They do not understand why others are more successful and become agitated. They are not as likely to work with others and become critical of leadership.


Yet  other employees have never been a member of a team. They do not have the experience that provides the desire to be part of a team. They are used to working alone and do not see the value of combined results. They become outsiders which can result in conflict.


Employees who are self-absorbed can usually not be a member of a team. They create conflict by not seeing the needs of others personally or professionally. These are the people who “stir the pot” in an organization and everyone knows who they are. They criticize anything and everything that does not focus on them. Nothing you do will change their attitude. If you feel you need their expertise they need to report directly to the leader with no interaction with others; better yet as independent contractors. Most likely the only way to resolve the conflict and tension they bring to an organization is to let them become self-employed.

How do you resolve these conflicts ?

Eliminate the FEAR. Do not sit behind closed doors and decide the future of the company. Do not keep financial information proprietary to the extent no one knows anything but you — what people imagine is always worse than what is real.

Do ask employees to assist in your success and expansion. Ask them what the Company does best and how that can be capitalized on. Ask them where they think the challenges lie and what the solution would be.

Train employees on financial information.

What does our product or service cost ? Sales price minus cost is Gross Profit. What does Gross Profit pay for?  What is Overhead?  Gross Profit minus Overhead is Net Profit. What does Net Profit pay for (reinvestment in resources, growth, profit-sharing, etc.)?

Knowing how to help the Company financially creates an appreciation for all the members working together for the “profit” of all.

RECOGNITION is really very simple but very, very important. Recognize everyone regularly for their individual work and their team efforts. We all know recognition and job satisfaction are the keys to happy employees. But it must be done for every employee in every position and relevent to their work performance.

Positive Memo’s; Announcements; Rewards big and little are the keys to a cohesive workforce.

Clearly COMMUNICATE the short-term and long terms goals and vision of the Organization. Easy to say and hard to do. I would always think I was “clear” but there are telltale signs if you are not. If you are not immediately getting the results desired you were not “clear”. Time for a do over. Ask the employees what they heard you say. Ask them for examples of what the result would look like. Give them examples of the desired result and give them a means of measuring it daily. Employees need to hear the vision over and over you can not just say it and think it has made it so —- Repeat —- Repeat — Repeat.

Also actions speak louder than words. Employees must see that the leader is making decisions based on the goals and objectives that have been set and in line with the Vision.

TEAM ATTITUDE can be trained. Start slow — team the employee with one other person for a specific assignment and hopefully let them experience a better result than they may have had on their own —- “two heads are better than one.”  As they get more comfortable include them in larger groups with broader goals.

Ideally in any Company the ultimate success is that each individual understands they are an integral part of the team as a whole and conflict is replaced with constructive problem solving with the best possible results.


Next post we will discuss the dreaded employee evaluation.