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Time to Get Real with Performance Management and Rewards

Posted By Editor, Thursday, February 13, 2020
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2020

If you’re one of the 70 percent stuck in the old world of traditional performance management and rewards, fear not, because there is a path forward. I’m going to arm you with a few ideas and proven approaches that may help you break the log jam.

By Tamra Chandler, Partner, EY

HR West 2020 Speaker

The old ways that are rooted deeply in our organizational habits, patterns, and ethos have amazing staying power, even when science, research, and visible realities tell us they don’t serve our intent or purpose. Nowhere do I see this play out more plainly than in the realm of performance management and rewards.

Read Tamra's article on Next Concept HR Magazine.

    HR West 2020

  1. Learn more about HR West

  2. Register for HR West 2020

    March 9-11
    Oakland Convention Center
    Oakland California 

Tags:  employee performance management  employee retention  HR Management Skills  HR Management training  HR West 2020  HR West Speaker 

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Thank God It's Monday!

Posted By Next Concept HR Magazine Editor, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Contributed by Judy Dang, HR West 2019 Speaker

How many of us can't wait for the weekend?  When we can finally be freed from the shackles so we can do what we really want! Relax, go out, enjoy hobbies. Work is something unpleasant we have to do before we have fun, right?

Maybe not.

Finding Flow by renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi questions that paradigm and offers strategies for turning that around. This book is a guide to finding joy through complete engagement with whatever we're doing.

What is Flow?

Csikszentmihalyi coined the term "flow" as a result of his research on optimal experience.

It describes the feeling of being fully alive, completely immersed in what we're doing. Athletes call it "being in the zone."

The Paradox of Work

Work is something most of us are glad to avoid if we can. We've been taught that work is something (usually unpleasant) we all have to do.

Yet Csikszentmihalyi's research found that: "the moments when a person is in a high-challenge, high-skill situation, accompanied by feelings of concentration, creativity, and satisfaction, were reported more often at work..." Work is where flow is likeliest to occur.

He cites a study that found 77% of American women and 84% of men say they would continue to work even if they inherited enough money to make work unnecessary.

At work we have clear aims and rules. It gives us immediate feedback through a job well done. Yet we've been trained to not enjoy it.

Strategies for More Flow at Work

You have more potential for feeling fully alive at work. How can you increase that potential?

Based on Csikszentmihalyi's concepts, here are three ways to increase flow at work:

  1. Get clear on what success means to you.
    For me, this means setting lots of small and big goals.
    For example, I set goals before going to networking events: Have 2-3 meaningful conversations. If I make those connections, the event was a success.
    The bonus is that having meaningful conversations is also a flow experience for me.

  2. Get relevant feedback.
    If you work for yourself, this can be especially challenging.
    Without coworkers, how do you process ideas with someone who can give you constructive feedback?
    We are social animals; we need and thrive on interactions with others.

    I've been fortunate to have an accountability buddy for the past 7 months.
    We talk by phone each Thursday for 30 minutes about anything and everything.
    We offer each other support, tough love, and a nonjudgmental place to test out wild ideas.
    Each Thursday is TGIT because I get to give and receive with someone who understands me and inspires me to do my best.

  3. Take on challenges that stretch your skills just a tad.
    "Flow tends to occur when a person's skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable."
    This means picking a challenge that is doable but not so easy that you get bored. Or too hard that you give up.

    A few years ago I took a graphic design class. I already knew a few concepts, so had enough basics to not feel totally lost.
    But the class was interesting enough that I found it fresh and exciting.
    We might not achieve flow experiences 100% of the time, but if there are more of them than not, we have a better chance of enjoying work every day.

    Check out Finding Flow for ways to change your relationship to work.

About Judy Dang
Based in San Francisco, Judy T. Dang is a productivity expert who works with clients to tackle physical and mental clutter so they can achieve their most meaningful goals.

Clients go from feeling stuck to moving forward. Find out why she enjoys being an introvert here!

Judy will present at HR West 2019.  March 11-13, 2019 in Oakland California.
To find out more and register for this important annual HR Industry Conference go to:
Please stay tuned for further details about Judy's session and HR West! 


HR West 2019

Tags:  HR leadership  HR Management Skills  HR West 2019  HR West Speaker  Judy Dang  Workplace  Workplace Flow 

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HR’s Critical Role: Not Necessarily What You Think It Is!

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2018

Contribued by Bruce Calvin, Calvin Associates, Inc **

 HR professionals play multiple roles in business. To operate more effectively, they need partnerships with other departments and must realize an important truth: they cannot be all things to all people.

Critical for HR is the realization that although HR provides a large variety of services none of those services are wholly owned by HR. Whether the work environment is domestic or international, responsibility is shared with other departments, which can lead to conflict should HR not understand the dynamics at play. Those who have been successful in HR know and practice the art of developing, nurturing and driving Partnerships with their peers, counterparts and executives. Strong Partnerships drives mutual respect, trust and inclusion. It doesn’t work the other way around.

Understanding and accepting something so simple in itself provides clarity as to why so many things may appear, at times, to be an issue, when it doesn’t have to be. If HR doesn’t own it, then what is HR’s true role? Is it facilitator, administrator, coordinator or fact finder, or a combination? Experience has shown it depends on the role each HR individual performs along with size and type of industry they are in at the time. It is fluid.

The secret is really no secret, it’s been here all the time just staring at those in HR. Keeping it simple, without a partnership, no one wants anyone playing in their sandbox. The reality is HR, by the nature of what HR does, is in everyone’s sand box. If that’s true then how does HR resolve this? First, understand it is HR’s responsibility in partnership development and second, it is HR’s responsibility to drive and sustain each partnership. Is it achievable, yes, is it obtainable, yes, and what are the steps required to make such a paradigm shift?

Human resource veteran Bruce L. Calvin, J.D., argues in his book, H.R.’s Partnership Challenge: Mastering the Art of Not Being Everything to Everyone, that the job’s fluidity makes it difficult to operate successfully without developing and nurturing partnerships with peers, counterparts, and executives. Trying to be everything to everyone is an impossible task.

Bruce lays out the major challenges for human resource professionals and offers practical, actionable solutions designed to help HR build mutual respect, trust and yes, inclusion. He reveals a simple but profound truth: by its very nature, the human resources department plays an essential role in all other departments. That role can be met with suspicion without partnerships or it can be welcomed if human resource professionals must make the time to build strong, healthy partnerships across departmental lines.

HR can’t fulfill every role demanded of HR every day. With the help of interdepartmental partnerships, HR won’t have to.


About the Author

Bruce Calvin has a B.S. from Troy University, a J.D. from John F. Kennedy University and is licensed by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (#21406). As well, Calvin Associates, Inc.  is certified as a Small Veteran Owned Business.


Tags:  HR Management Skills 

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Do you have an effective executive presence?

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contributed by Patrick Reilly, Resources in Action

Speaker session: 
Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand

At the higher level of organizations and especially with Boards, executive presence is an essential success factor. Several years ago, I kept hearing from clients, who would say things like, “He needs to show up better. She does not have enough executive presence.”  When I would ask them what that looked like, I got a brief stare and then a “I don’t know, but I ‘ll know it when I see it!”

Business leaders need targets and goals to hit them.

Since most leaders are not able to define the issue of executive presence, I decided to research the question so I could build a model that leaders could follow and learn from. I wanted them to be aware of their executive presence strengths and challenges.

If you, as a leader, are required to have an executive presence, you need to know what that really means.

Executive presence is comprised of three core elements: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication) and how you look (appearance.) It can also be described as the skillful application of emotional intelligence and the effective presentation of your professional skills.  Sylvia Ann Hewitt’s research suggests that 67% of executive presence is comprised of your gravitas, 28% depends on the quality of your communication and 5% on your appearance.

My model, with its core components, is comprised of:


  1. Confidence – Can I share my point of view well?

  2. Competence Am I competent in my domain of technical expertise and able to communicate it effectively, especially to those who are not as expert in this area

  3. Courage Do I have the courage to take a stand for the things I believe in? Take well informed risks and drive change?

  4. Calmness under Pressure Can I project a sense of calm and poise regardless of the circumstances?

  5. Credibility (Balance) Do I have a balanced approach that includes being both assertive and results oriented while being compassionate and having empathy for others?

  6. Reliably deliver results Do I provide quality results in a timely fashion?


  1. Clarity and Crispness Is my communication in speaking and writing clear, crisp and succinct?  Do I have the tone and timbre in my voice that makes others want to listen?

  2. Connection Do I have strong relationships with people at all levels of the Organization? Do others see me as an effective listener, authentic, and approachable?


  1. Do I fit in with my peers and those who are one level up?

  2. Do I dress professionally for my company and in line with today’s standards?

  3. Do I exhibit good manners, use appropriate language and employ good grammar? Why is this section in italics? I guess it is to make it parallel with the first two. Is that right?

Once you have attained clarity about your strengths and challenges you need to learn how to put your ideas into action.

To be a credible leader you must have followers (Kouzes and Posner), but how do you demonstrate those qualities convincingly so that they become more compelling over time? Some question if these skills are trainable and learnable, but one must also begin to learn some non-traditional business skills to become a leader. These skills require you to access the energy in your body and to learn to convey your passion to others with fire (in a way that works for you and is in concert with your true self). Actors are trained this way. They learn how to step into a role and convey to others what might be possible, while also communicating about how we might achieve an end-result or final goal.

Your leadership presence becomes more visible when you can convey a set of messages (about your organization) that:

  1. Will get the attention of your people,

  2. Support them to listen more carefully, and

  3. Ignite their drive to support you to reach the goals of the company as well as the future you have described and set forth.

If you need guidance around finding or creating a stronger executive presence, please visit my website, You can also contact me directly at or 510-524-4934. 

Are you going to HR West next week? My session, Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand, will cover more about how to cultivate a new or better executive presence.


About Patrick Reilly

President of Resources in Action, Reilly’s coaching career (25 years) began when a client asked him if he would provide some leadership coaching. He soon realized that he was adept and well suited to help leaders leverage their strengths to become more powerful. His business background in operations, technology and R&D informs his work as an executive coach. Reilly’s work focuses on supporting leaders in developing their executive presence and managing up. Clients describe him as approachable and compassionate while being focused, organized and results driven. He has two grown children who, he says, “trained him to work well with others.”

Tags:  effective communication skills  effective leadership  Executive Coaching  HR management skills  HR West 2017  leadership  leadership development 

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HR Communication Tip: Say What You Want… Not What You Don’t Want.

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, June 22, 2016

By Paul Endresscoach, speaker, and founder of Maximum Advantage International. 

Endress will present Adapting Your Communication Style to Get Results at HR West Seattle on July 15, 2015. Go to for more information and to register for the conference.

This article was recently published on:

The Mind Can’t Directly Process A Negative
So Say What You Want… Not What You Don’t Want

In this post, I’m going to give you a tip that you can use to instantly improve your communication, and it comes from something that happened to me recently.  So here’s what happened.

My wife and I went out to dinner at the Harvest Café.  It’s a great place we love to go there.  Sometimes it’s a little slow for us because I’m usually in a hurry, but we went there and then we just were sitting down to enjoy it.  Then I saw this sign that they had up in there and (upon reading it) I thought, what better way is there to do this? Because it’s going to reveal a good communication truth that you can put to use right away.  The sign said, “Don’t forget to vote for 2016 Simply the Best.”

This local magazine, here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has a contest where people submit votes for the best restaurant and then once a year they publish a special issue, then the restaurant can use that in their advertising. -- i.e. “Yes, we are the best restaurant in Harrisburg.” So they’re putting up a sign that says, “Don’t forget to vote.”

This is a great example of the effective communication principle that says: the mind cannot directly process a negative.The Mind Cant Processs A Negative - Small

There’s a famous story about Fran Tarkenton, who was a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. They’re in the championship game with two minutes left, and he goes to the sidelines. The game is within reach. They’re six points back, they’ve got to score a touchdown — two minutes.  Which if you don’t know football, that’s plenty of time to score the touchdown if you’re playing well!

Fran says to the coach, “What should I do?”  And the coach says, “Fran, no matter what you do don’t throw an interception.”  An interception is where he accidentally throws it to the other team and that’s exactly what happened when he went back on the field because what had the coach put in his mind?  “Don’t throw an interception.”

The interception might have happened for other reasons, but one of them is that the mind can’t directly process a negative word like “don’t.”  So when something says, “Don’t forget to vote,” the words that we really get are: “Forget to vote.”

“Don’t throw an interception” becomes “throw an interception.”

What could they have done differently? Change it to say, “Remember to vote.”  Which is the positive version of what they want you to do instead of the negative version!

Changing the wording from a negative to a positive greatly increases the chances that people are going to remember to vote for them instead of forget to vote for them.

Putting It To Use

The next time you need to get somebody to do something, and you need to give an instruction, give it instruction in a positive way.  Tell them what you do want... not what you don’t want.

Ask yourself this question: In what situation do you express yourself in terms of what you don’t want --- how can you flip that around and turn it into a positive so you say what you do want instead of what you don’t want?

Just flip it around, express it as a positive.

And whenever you think about this, just think about:  “Remember to vote” versus “Don’t forget to vote.” 

Small change, big difference, great results.

You can also listen to/"watch" Paul discuss his communication style tip on YouTube.*

About the Author

Paul Endress is an in-demand coach, speaker, and founder of Maximum Advantage International, a company that gives organizations and individuals the skills necessary to communicate effectively in an increasingly difficult business environment.

An inspiring speaker, Endress is the author of Dealing With Difficult People and has helped thousands of individuals and business executives from companies such as Shell and Mitusbushi through his seminars, speeches, and products.

His latest project is the Communication Styles 2.0 model and software, which is based upon eight years of research and solves communication problems by creating visual models of interactions between group members.

*Adapting Your Communication Style to Get Results 
HR West Seattle - July 15 • 03:05 PM - 04:05 PM


Tags:  business communication skills  effective communication skills  Executive Coaching  HR  HR coaching  HR Management Skills  HR West 2016  HR West Seattle  Paul Endress 

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