I Coach Managers

Is There A Personal And Powerful message In Your Performance Appraisals?

simpleDo you know for sure that, as a manager, you didn’t lose your time going through the Performance Review process last year?

Here is an easy trick (a sort of barometer) to know if you’ve done a good job:

Choose one of your employees and ask:

  • What was your challenge for 2015? What did you have to accomplish? (develop or improve…)
  • What personal ability did you have to work on this year? (teamwork, listening skill…)
  • Did we have something to achieve as a team? Did we succeed?

If the person can’t answer, then your message lacked clarity, was diluted in a mountain of words and/or wasn’t personalized enough.

This exercise will allow you to do a better job this year.

When establishing objectives for 2016 for each employee, be specific about what you want and keep your communication simple.

Choose one target, whatever is urgent for reaching your short term goal as a team,  you can’t accomplish everything in a single year.

Take a second look at what you’ve done so far in regard to the Performance Review process. On a scale of 1 to 10, how simple is it?

Let me know in the comment section.



“007” Steps To Achieve Employee Engagement A La “James Bond”



Here is a concrete way to build engagement among employees.

I recently worked with a client to create a “MISSION” for each of his key employees. Here are the elements that made this challenge a success:

001 Give them a “personal” mission

The overall mission of James Bond is always to save England, what am I saying, the whole world, but it always starts with a precise target that allows him to focus on something specific. It’s important to have a goal for the team, but nothing is more energizing than to feel personally responsible for something.

(Give them a specific group of clients to WOW, a process to improve, an internal department to research and better understand, the task of networking to create new opportunities, the team spirit to improve…)

002 Make sure they can visualize the target

James Bond always takes on a mission with the picture of the enemy to conquer… Make sure to properly communicate what needs to be accomplished. (If the mission is a success, what will be different?)

003 Give them free rein – Action!

Our spy doesn’t choose the target, but he’s so free to choose his action plan, that he’s even “licensed to kill”! Once your employee understands what you want to accomplish, and why it’s important, let him use his creativity… He might surprise you!

004 Give them the tools

In the movies, I love the part where they present the new gadgets that are available to Bond in order to achieve his mission. Make sure you do the same with your employee…Give him the necessary time, a small budget, the technical assistance, the needed ressources…

005 Remind them that it’s also important to help others accomplish their mission

Like James, your employee will meet team members during his adventure, make sure that he will do everything in his power to assist them. Even if he’s on a personal mission, he must not forget that he’s still part of a team!

006 Errors are allowed

Even in movies nothing is perfect. There are always unexpected problems, unforeseen events and broken pieces. Your employee may try something that won’t work, if he takes full responsibility and that you both learn from the experience, it’s still a step forward.

007 The story always ends with the “Bond Girl”

We know how James celebrates his successes. What about your employees? How could you, specifically, celebrate your agent who completes his mission? It’s your turn to use your creativity!

Nothing could be more exhilarating than being on a MISSION!

Yes it requires some planning time, you need to figure out the best person for each different type of challenge, but you will be surprised by the results. It’s really something special to see your employees come to life.

If you need help in putting a similar program in place for your own team, don’t hesitate to sign up for a “Mission Development Coaching Session”.

What to you think of this idea? Let me know in the “Comments” section.


8 Questions To Help You Bring In Your Best Year

FullSizeRenderAs the year comes to an end, I invite you to take this opportunity to stop the “madness” and to take a “benevolent” look at your last twelve months. If you don’t, you’ll just repeat the same patterns, and you’ll end up at the exact same place next December. Here are my questions for you to ponder:


  1. What would be THE ONE goal you could set that would have the biggest impact in your personal and professional life?
  2. Name a change you could make that would give you more energy. What is missing for you to implement this new habit?
  3. Think of an event, that happened this year, that you would have been happy to avoid. What were you lacking, in order for you to be able to tackle this in a better fashion. How could you become better at this next year?
  4. Your attitude is a very important factor in your success. What aspect of your personality would you like to improve? What would the people around you be most surprised about the new you? What trait is currently the most detrimental to your relationships?


  1. To what extent do you believe that it’s possible to achieve each of your goals?
  2. Name the people that could influence you or help you in accomplishing your goals. How could you spend more time with them?


  1. What will happen if you change nothing? Describe your future.
  2. What excites you the most about the idea of achieving your goals?

You deserve to take the time to set your goals. It’s YOUR LIFE, it’s YOUR HAPPINESS!

Share your goals with us, in the Comments Section, who knows, I could be one of these people that will help you reach your objective!

Happy Holidays!  

The Happy, Glorious Time Of The Performance Review


happy employeesIt’s that time of the year again: The happy, glorious time of the performance review!

This is such a crucial period for you and your team, that I had to write to remind you to take this process very seriously.

I’ve written many posts about it over the years, describing how to prepare for it, how to conduct the meetings, and, my favorite one, because not much was written about it, how to make sure that you did it right:

However, even if you carefully follow the instructions, the only way to make sure that you were successful, is to courageously ask the following 3 questions, at the end of each meeting:

  1. How do you feel?
    • We’re aiming for: pumped-up, supported, enlightened, happy to see that my contribution didn’t go unnoticed, positive, excited about our new goals…
  2. Tell me, in a few words, what stands out for you?
    • With this question, you want to verify that you successfully communicated the essential. That what’s important wasn’t lost in a mountain of empty words.
  3. What will you do differently following our conversation? What’s your action plan?
    • If the employee doesn’t change anything, improves nothing, or doesn’t come out with new objectives, the investment wasn’t really profitable.

I also wrote: If you don’t stop dissatisfaction, incomprehension or negativity, BEFORE they leave your office, they will rapidly spread.

This year, I have often read that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not success that will make you happy, but rather it’s the fact that you’re happy in what you do that will lead you to success.

So, I invite you to add this goal for each person on your team: To Be Happier At Work! Don’t try to guess how each person could accomplish this goal, give them the responsibility of coming up with at least one way to increase their happiness level. Hopefully you’ll be able to help them make their wish come true.

A Happier Team Next Year, is what I wish for every manager!

Do you already have ideas on how you could make this happen? Let me know in the Comment Section.









Learning How To Open My Mind Has Changed My Life. Here’s the trick…

educated mindWhat would you reply to the following statement: “2+2=5”?

This was my favorite coaching lesson. I was told that if I really wanted to listen, learn and get to know a person better, when he or she says something like: 2+2=5, the appropriate answer isn’t: “No it’s 4!“, but rather: “How do you come up with that answer?

Since that day I try (not easy!) to keep this way of being totally open to the other person’s point of view, no matter what I think. In spite of my culture, my beliefs, my experiences, my preferences, my training…I listen carefully, trying to uncover HOW the other person’s idea has merit.

It’s an excellent way to remember… If I shouldn’t try to change the mind of the person telling me that 2+2=5, or try to convince him or her otherwise, I clearly shouldn’t judge any of the statements that I hear. So I just stay open minded and say: “Tell me more…”

It changes everything…

My friend was having a problem with her child. As I was listening to the story I just said: “Who knows why he’s reacting this way? Maybe he’s going through stuff we don’t know anything about!” Since I didn’t label what the child did as being terrible and inexcusable, I gave my friend the possibility to forgive, and maybe the idea that she should investigate further before judging.

So if an employee or a colleague comes up with a solution you don’t agree with at first (especially that you had a better one!), start be saying: “Tell me more…Tell me why your idea  is better than this other possibility?…What are the advantages?…” By being open to the possibility that the other person might have something good, different but valuable, to offer, you’ll listen looking for what makes sense, instead of what’s wrong with the proposition. In any case, by combining your ideas, you will probably end up with a better solution.

Don’t take my word for it…Just try it! In your professional life and in your personal discussions, this new habit is a game changer.

Trick: I often suggest to my clients to put up a sign on the wall, next to their desk, that says “2+2=5”. This way, they have a constant reminder to keep an open mind and to postpone their judgment.

People might think that you don’t know how to count, but your listening skill will be legendary!

How do you think improving this skill will help you in your day to day? Can you think of situations where you could have been more open minded? Let me know in the Comments section.











Your Emails Are Part Of Your Branding – What Are You Really Saying?

brandCan you read between the lines of your emails?

The same way the words you use when you speak are only a small part of how people receive your message, the way you choose to write your messages says a lot about you and how people will respond to you.

When you’re aware of how people FEEL when they read your words, it helps you to adjust and get better results.

Let’s look at it with the best scenario in mind, when they get an email from you (John), would most people think:

  1.  This must be important, John only writes when it’s impactful for my team or me.
    • Research shows that 80% of what companies communicate to their employees require no action (or reaction) and nothing would happen if they were never read. (What a waste of time!)
    • Make sure that you don’t label all of your messages as “URGENT”…When everything is urgent, nothing is!
  2. This could be good news, John loves writing to let me know when one of my employee has done an exceptional job.
    • If you only write to complain, chances are the person receiving your comments won’t be in a hurry to read what you have to say.
    • And if you do have to write to complain, make sure you always do it in a respectful way, keeping the focus on a solution and making sure you acknowledge your responsibility in a bad situation.
  3. This message could be read right now, even if I only have a few minutes, John really knows how to write in a concise manner.
    • If you do this right, the reader should be able to figure out at a glance what needs to be done.
  4. This message won’t be boring, let’s see what John has to say.
    • Make sure your short email is punctuated with a lot of bold characters and enough space between paragraphs.
    • And don’t forget your basic PLEASE and THANK YOU, they’re never out of style!
  5. This message could be exactly what I need to read right now, John has a way to introduce a positive twist to any situation.
    • Instead of complaining, try suggesting a better way, offering assistance and assuring the full collaboration of your team.
    • If you know that your colleague is going through a rough time, try offering your help or just invite him or her to lunch so you can help him or her see the situation from a different perspective. Just listen…what a gift!

As a leader, you set the tone! People will adjust according to your style!

If you want to receive concise, respectful and “to the point” emails, make sure that’s what YOU do. Since this is also part of your Personal Branding, it’s important that you take the time to make sure that WHAT you write, and HOW your write, reflects your values.

So what do you think people say when they receive an email from you? What could you improve? Let me know in the Comments section. We could all benefit from your ideas.

5 Tips To Better Sell Your Ideas As Managers

salesWe often forget that as managers we always have to sell. We aren’t classified as being salesmen, saleswomen, yet we have to communicate the mission to our employees with passion, announce our decisions to customers with tact, and persuade our colleagues to adhere to our ideas with conviction. That’s why I always pay attention to the latest sales techniques. Here are a few that will be useful to you.

Before you jump into an interaction that requires you to sell your ideas, make sure you reflect upon the following points:

  1. What exactly are you proposing? Can you state it in one sentence? Is it clear and simple to understand?
  2. Why should they say “YES” to your proposal? How will they benefit from it? What problems will they be solving? Why should they change “NOW”? Why would they be proud? Will they be happier? Are you able to accurately describe what their success will look like if they do what you’re telling them to do?
  3. Why should they believe you? Are you yourself convinced and excited about what you’re suggesting? What is it that makes YOU the right person to present this idea? What could you say to show your authenticity? Why should they trust you? What proofs to you have that it will work?
  4. Do they have everything they need to be able to accomplish what you’re asking from them? Are they trained properly? Do they have the necessary knowledge? The time it will take for every step? The detailed procedures?
  5. Are you prepared to adjust your proposition if needed? How will you react to new information or valid objections? Can you be flexible in order to keep your credibility?

Take the time you need to prepare your “Sales Pitch”, and never forget that a confused mind will say “NO” to your proposition.

Stay concise, enthusiastic and genuine.

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.” – Dale Carnegie

When was the last time you had to sell your idea? How did it go? Do you think that preparing yourself better would help you be a more effective manager/negotiator/vendor? Please leave me a reply in the comments section.

What If Becoming A Better Boss Instantly Made You A Better “Lover”?

coupleMany clients have told me that part of working to improve their Emotional Intelligence for work, has had unexpected benefits at home. By examining closely the objectives that these specific clients had chosen to work at, I’ve realized that, as a matter of fact, there is a strong correlation between a Good Manager and a Good Life Partner. Isn’t that a great motivational factor to invest some of your precious time to improve your competency as a boss?

Here are 7 specific skills that are transferable from your professional life to your personal one:

  1. Learn to be a good listener
    • Do you set aside time to listen?
    • Can you make the person talking to you, feel like he or she is the most important person in the world, at that moment in time?
    • Do you make sure that you totally understand what the other person is trying to communicate?
    • Are you able to not interrupt, stay open-minded and non-judgmental, to demonstrate your respect for the person you’re speaking with?
    • Who would want of a life partner that’s never available or that doesn’t respect the other?
  2. Develop your sense of humour and adventure
    • Do you often surprise people around you or are you very predictable?
    • Do we have fun working with you?
    • Are you able to show your appreciation in different fun ways?
    • Who would want of a boring relationship, with someone that takes himself or herself too seriously?
  3. Learn to share the power
    • Are you open to other people’s ideas?
    • Do you seek their opinion?
    • Do you easily choose their proposition?
    • Do you trust people?
    • Can they trust you?
    • How to you react to opposition?
    • Are you a good colleague? As a member of a couple or a family, you have to know the basic rules for a good working team.
    • Who would want of a life partner that takes all the decisions, without any consultation and without taking the other person’s preferences into consideration? 
  4. Be interested in others, learn more about them
    • Do you tend to respect the personality of others around you?
    • Do you know about the dreams and aspirations of the people you work with?
    • Do you know how you could assist them in achieving their goal?
    • Are you able to pick up on a change of mood in one of your peers?
    • Who want of a partner that couldn’t care less?
  5. Learn to better communicate
    • Can you calmly express what you feel?
    • Do you make sure that you were clear in doing so?
    • Who would want of a partner that keeps everything bottled up or that explodes without warning?
  6. Encourage people, see the potential
    • Can you easily identify the strengths in others, or are you better at noticing their flaws?
    • Is it normal for you to celebrate successes?
    • Are you a positive person to be around?
    • After a discussion with you, does a person come out being confident and full of energy?
    • Who would want to share their life with a negative person that can only see the possibility of failure?
  7. Have goals, be ambitious
    • Are you constantly trying to improve?
    • Do you have a plan for the next few years?
    • Who would want a lifeless partner, with no energy or enthusiasm?

Aren’t the similarities surprising? So you’re getting double the benefit from working with me! Great deal!

Which aspect should you work on first? One step at a time, with a lot practice, and with the support of a good coach, you’ll be surprised how you could improve your relationships. And no, you’re not too old to change!

What do you think? Would you add something to the list? Please let me know in the Comment section below.

Are You Missing One Of These 4 Ingredients To Achieve Your Goal ?

kiliAs I was listening to the story about a man and his successful adventure to the top of Kilimanjaro, I immediately recognized, in all the emotions he described, all the necessary feelings you need to have in order to keep going, push through the hurdles and succeed, whether you’re on a mountain or at the office

Before you keep reading, think of a specific objective that you have, personally or with your team, and see if the four following ingredients are part of your strategy.

  1. You know EXACTLY what success looks like
    • The person climbing Kilimanjaro dreams of touching the famous sign. What does YOUR sign look like? How will you know that you’re there? Having a visual is very powerful…Make one up…Use your imagination!
  2. You don’t even think of all the possible hurdles
    • When telling his story, the man specified that he didn’t know that every year 6 to 8 people never come back from that trip. Even knowing that this is usually only because these people are ill prepared for the adventure, he admitted that this knowledge could have very well stopped him from attempting this feat. Don’t focus on every thing that could go wrong, just begin, you might discover that some of the steps are easier than anticipated.
  3. You have a group of people counting on you to succeed
    • At several occasions our hero felt like turning around, but the group propelled him, he couldn’t let everybody down, he couldn’t be responsible for the failure of the mission. Who else knows about your goal? Surround yourself with people that believe in your success. If it’s a team goal, make sure that they have the proper support, that you constantly remind them how each individual contributes to the team and how crucial it is to succeed.
  4. You know exactly what succeeding means for you or your team
    • Our traveler brought back a souvenir from the mountain top. He keeps it in on display, to remind himself that he possesses everything needed to face every challenge that life could throw at him. What will happen if you reach your goal? What will be the impact? How will you celebrate your victory?

We all have different summits to reach, making sure that these 4 elements are in place before you start, will multiply your chances to get to the celebration part of your journey.

So which one is missing from your current plan? Do you know of another ingredient that could keep us from quitting? Let me know in the Comment section.


The Biggest Obstacle To Your Personal Development

mastery curve Did you know that, when trying to integrate something new, we all have this false belief, that often prevents us to be successful? After learning about this, it became easier for me to learn or to make changes in my life. Here’s what I’ve learned about this belief…

Research shows that the problem is simple: we lack perseverance. The sad part is that we often just needed a small additional effort to achieve a break trough.

Because we’re expecting to see immediate and constant progress, in proportion to the invested effort to develop a new skill, and that we don’t feel we’re improving right from the start, we get discouraged and we give up. But progress doesn’t show up like that. It doesn’t manifest in an ascending curve, it comes in regular stages (see picture above).

What we need to remember, is that progress comes at regular intervals…a few weeks of practice, without any apparent improvement, and then suddenly a big return on your investment…a few more weeks of practice,  without new noticeable improvement, and boom, suddenly big results…

Let’s say you want to improve your listening skill. It will be necessary  for you to apply the new acquired principles, consistently and for a long period of time before you can really feel a change. If you constantly  go back to your old ways, because it’s easier and more comfortable, you will probably fail to improve.

If you really want to integrate something new in your life, the recipe is simple: consistency, patience and perseverance.

Proof that this is true: 75% of people give up on their new year’s resolutions within the first 7 days of that new year!!!

Don’t give up to fast…You might be very close to an improvement peak!

What do you think? Are you giving up to fast? Do you have other ideas to help us stick to our resolutions? Please let me know in the Comment Section.