THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Are you a problem child or a superstar?

Get 360Spotting potential and developing yourself or those in your teams take a certain degree of judgment and a whole lot of effort! To avoid developmental activity is to contribute to raising problem children.  There is absolutely no reason why everyone, with developmental help and an atuned sense of professional self awareness, cannot all be rising stars for the organisation’s they work for.  Aresko can help, in all sorts of ways.  The first step is usually a vitally important 360° feedback exercise.  This exercise can help to spot where on the matrix below you might be now, and it can give us some developmental ideas on the way to affect the shift into “Superstar” status.  So what are you waiting for?

Here are a few tips for managing your team now:


High performance, low potential. Give recognition for good work, use to coach others, do they really have no potential? (Use Aresko for development purposes)


Low performance, low potential. Could contain potential stars and backbones.  Counsel, establish trust, agree aims, and take action to help, including outplacement if best. (Contact Aresko for strategies to improvement)


High performance, high potential. Agree challenging work to stretch them.  Coach and mentor (Aresko supplies both services!).  Agree projects and career development.


Low performance, high potential.  Counsel (boredom or low challenge?)  Inspire, motivate, encourage and reach potential. (Contact Aresko for improvement strategies and assistance).

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So were are YOU on this grid?  Where would you put your TEAM MEMBERS?  Is it where they see themselves?

The gap that this final question will inevitably reveal is where a 360 exercise can really help. The result will be inevitable improvement – for both of you 🙂


THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Do you keep a reflection diary?

Self-improvement is grounded in honest reflection.  Unless you can be honest with yourself, about your own performance/behaviour/attitude/actions, then you will always be fighting a losing battle on achieving the sort of professional self-improvement, which others will see and be appreciative of.

Try this snakes and ladder approach to keeping a reflection diary.  Keep it simple, don’t overdo the compilation or you will avoid doing it again, and then print them out and store them for future review.  What gets written down,  will maintain your future attention, and this way you will have a true portfolio for all your appraisal conversations in the future.

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  • Each stage is optional – seek feedback as often as possible
  • Write only what you want, and when you want
  • Date each entry – you will need to review over time
  • Use this “root” template for each issue/event – it should become routine
  • Keep in a ring binder for ease of review, and revisit it at least twice a year

If, like many, you prefer a spreadsheet workbook approach to this, I’ve put together a template for you here:  THURSDAY THOUGHTS! (3) WORKBOOK.  Whatever floats your boat is useful, but most of all, do compile one and let me know how useful you found this simple technique.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Are you an equal with your male peers?

WomenomicsAfter a lovely Easter week off, it’s time to get back in the swing of things with our weekly look at a poignant self-development topic.  This week has proven easy to pick a topic, with the news full of the fact that the only woman Prime Minister the UK has ever had, has died.  Love her or hate her – and passions are high on both those axis – the fact remains that she made it to the top in what was, and still is, considered very much a man’s world. A product of her time, or have times changed in terms of female leadership?  Womenomics: say the Hot Chilli company, is very much alive and well.

Margaret Thatcher was one of the toughest leaders of her time – but a leader she definitely was. So today, are women held back by factors like unequal pay and workplace sexism? Or are we opting out because we don’t apply, think we aren’t qualified, fear rejection, or concern for our family?

That’s the debate we are having this week. The current picture shows that the few who manage to penetrate the higher corporate levels must still be as hard as nails, sometimes even outdoing our male peers when it comes to aggressiveness. Do we really have to be more masculine than a man to make it to the top of our respective trees?

When the message conveyed to women is that to succeed in our careers we must adopt characteristics perceived as male and marked by men as “good”, while shedding characteristics identified as female and perceived as “not good” – do we internalise the idea that our psychological structure is less suitable for leadership and management?  Feelings of inferiority can be very heavy weights to bear when climbing upward.

As long as this is the situation, the distance to true equality between men and women will still remain great.

Where do you see yourself in this debate?  Do you consciously suppress female strengths to succeed or do you make a feature of them in the workplace?  What results are you achieving by doing so?

Mentorship & Me – Part 6 – Alison Crawford – Success!

Coaching and MentoringSometimes life can get in the way of career aspirations, but with a Mentor on board I felt that I had a little extra support to get back into the swing of things.  Having applied for a couple of jobs and not heard anything for a long time I assumed that I hadn’t been shortlisted, but then out of the blue two interviews appeared.  Time to put my game face on and get ready.  Mentor session booked, job specs circulated.  I arranged for a colleague to do a mock interview and my (very supportive) boss gave me the inside skinny on the interview structure this organisation was using.

My mentor session wasn’t quite what I expected.  Expecting lots of tips on delivering a good interview, instead I was told to ‘knock ‘em dead’ and asked how I will be choosing which job to accept.  Reflecting, this was just what I needed.  I knew how to do a good interview, the reminder of this was timely, but at this point in time I needed confidence more than anything else, and this is precisely what I got from my session. We talked about my favourite of the two possible roles and how this matched my career aspirations more fully, and we explored my passion for this potential line of work.

The moral of the story (if such a thing exists) is that the external perspective can be very useful.  I thought I needed more knowledge or strategies to succeed at interview and would have spent evenings and weekends researching endlessly.  In reality, I had this already, I just needed to be reminded of that and then to sell it, and to believe in myself that I was up to the jobs on offer.

And my mentor was right.  I was offered both jobs.

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