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9 Simple tips for Employee Motivation

15 August 2011

Employee motivation is an absolute essential when it comes to creating long term successful companies. While there are no magic bullets out there, here are 9 simple yet effective tips that we’ve seen work over the years that can help any manager improve the motivation of the people working for him or her.

Click here to download

We hope that you find them of value.

For more ideas on how to lead and motivate your staff click here

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How to handle difficult conversations

11 August 2011

There’s a lot written about difficult conversations – what to say and how to prepare for saying it. Some consultants advise you to write a script – and, tape recorder in hand, repeat it until you sound sincere and your tone will put the other person at ease.
Yet all that is about making the event as easy for yourself as possible, and it misses the real starting point of preparation: deciding whether you want to deliver a message and hope it’s over quickly – a bit like gearing up for the dentist - or whether you aim to preserve a relationship and even strengthen it by holding a difficult conversation. 
Here are 10 great tips from Bruce Patton, Harvard Business School Professor and author of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.    
So there you have it. Next time you have to hold a difficult conversation with a colleague we hope these tips will help you make the experience a positive one.
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How to keep your audiences attention.

21 July 2011

On the Powerful Business Presentations Programme we talk at length about how to grab your audience's attention with a great opening.

Having achieved that how do you keep their attention?

You probably assume you'll keep their attention because you're the boss, their boss had told them to listen to you, or you think your subject matter's riveting.

But unless they are really, really, really interested in what you're going to say, or there's an incredible Compelling Audience Benefit (C.A.B.), you will lose some of your audience for most of presentation and most of them for some of it. Why? Because that's just the way it is. Listening to someone deliver a monologue for 15/20/30 minutes is not a natural thing to do.

Here are 5 proven ways in which you can keep your audience engaged with you and your message.

For more details about the Powerful Business Presentations Programme click here...

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Great feedback for Leadership and Personal Excellence Programme

12 July 2011

We recently completed our latest Leadership and Personal Excellence Programme in back in June.

Once agin the feedback was amazing.

Click here to see the results.

It really is a pleasure to play a part in making these kind of results happen.

For more information on the Leadership and Personal Excellence Programme click here..


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Top 25 ways to get the best out of an argument

30 June 2011


Disagreements are a part of everyday life. The only way to get the best out of an argument is not to argue in the first place!

However when tempers do fray and emotions come to the fore here are 25 great tips to help you reach a positive outcome.

Don’t focus on winning or losing; focus on achieving objectives. Interrupting to make your point is pointless. Be smart not right. You aren’t finding the right answer; you’re searching for the better alternative. Focus on progress rather than perfect solutions. Trying to solve the past is futile; you can, however, move in better directions.

Here's how you do it!



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10 Common Time Management Mistakes

11 May 2011

Avoid these mistakes if you want to be highly-productive.

How well do you manage your time? If you're like many people, your answer may not be completely positive!

Perhaps you feel overloaded, and you often have to work late to hit your deadlines. Or maybe your days seem to go from one crisis to another, and this is stressful and demoralising.

Many of us know that we could be managing our time more effectively; but it can be difficult to identify the mistakes that we're making, and to know how we could improve.

When we do manage our time well, however, we're exceptionally productive at work, and our stress levels drop. We can devote time to the interesting, high-reward projects that can make a real difference to a career. In short, we're happier!

In this article, we're looking at ten of the most common time management mistakes, as well as identifying strategies and tips that you can use to overcome them. These ten mistakes are:


Mistake 1. Failing to Keep a To-Do List

Do you ever have that nagging feeling that you've forgotten to do an important piece of work? If so, you probably don't use a To-Do List to keep on top of things. (Or, if you do, you might not be using it effectively!)

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A - F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). Alternatively, you can simplify this by using A through D, or by using numbers.

If you have large projects on your list, then, unless you're careful, the entries for these can be vague and ineffective. For instance, you may have written down "Start on budget proposal." But what does this entail? The lack of specifics here might cause you to procrastinate, or miss key steps. So make sure that you break large tasks or projects down into specific, actionable steps - then you won't overlook something important.


Mistake 2. Not Setting Personal Goals

Do you know where you'd like to be in six months? What about this time next year, or even 10 years from now? If not, it's time to set some personal goals!

Personal goal setting is essential to managing your time well, because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.

To learn how to set SMART, effective goals, read up on Locke's Goal Setting Theory. Here, you'll learn how to set clearly defined goals that will keep you motivated.


Mistake 3. Not Prioritising

Your assistant has just walked in with a crisis that she needs you to deal with right now, but you're in the middle of brainstorming ideas for a new client. You're sure that you've almost come up with a brilliant idea for their marketing campaign, but now you risk losing the thread of your thinking because of this "emergency."

Sometimes, it's hard to know how to prioritize, especially when you're facing a flood of seemingly-urgent tasks. However, it's essential to learn how to prioritise tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

One tool that will help you prioritize effectively is the Urgent/Important Matrix. This helps you understand the difference between urgent activities, and important activities. You'll also learn how to overcome the tendency to focus on the urgent.

The Action Priority Matrix is another useful tool, which will help you determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.


Mistake 4. Failing to Manage Distractions

Do you know that some of us can lose as much as two hours a day to distractions? Think how much you could get done if you had that time back!

Whether they come from emails, IM chats, colleagues in a crisis, or phone calls from clients, distractions prevent us from achieving flow, which is the satisfying and seemingly effortless work that we do when we're 100 percent engaged in a task.

If you want to gain control of your day and do your best work, it's vital to know how to minimize distractions and manage interruptions effectively. For instance, turn off your IM chat when you need to focus, and let people know if they're distracting you too often. You should also learn how to improve your concentration, even when you're faced with distractions.


Mistake 5. Procrastination

Procrastination occurs when you put off tasks that you should be focusing on right now. When you procrastinate, you feel guilty that you haven't started; you come to dread doing the task; and, eventually, everything catches up with you when you fail to complete the work on time.

For instance, one useful strategy is to tell yourself that you're only going to start on a project for ten minutes. Often, procrastinators feel that they have to complete a task from start to finish, and this high expectation makes them feel overwhelmed and anxious. Instead, focus on devoting a small amount of time to starting. That's all!

You might also find it helpful to use Action Plans. These help you break large projects down into manageable steps, so that it's easy to see everything that you need to get done, and so that you can complete small chunks at a time. Doing this can stop you from feeling overwhelmed at the start of a new project.


Mistake 6. Taking on too Much

Are you a person who has a hard time saying "no" to people? If so, you probably have far too many projects and commitments on your plate. This can lead to poor performance, stress, and low morale.

Or, you might be a micromanager: someone who insists on controlling or doing all of the work themselves, because they can't trust anyone else to do it correctly. (This can be a problem for everyone - not just managers!)

Either way, taking on too much is a poor use of your time, and it can get you a reputation for producing rushed, sloppy work.

To stop this, learn the subtle art of saying "yes" to the person, but "no" to the task. This skill helps you assert yourself, while still maintaining good feelings within the group. If the other person starts leaning on you to say "yes" to their request, learn how to think on your feet, and stay cool under pressure.


Mistake 7. Thriving on "Busy"

Some people get a rush from being busy. The narrowly-met deadlines, the endless emails, the piles of files needing attention on the desk, the frantic race to the meeting... What an adrenaline buzz!

The problem is that an "addiction to busyness" rarely means that you're effective, and it can lead to stress.

Instead, try to slow down, and learn to manage your time better.


 Mistake 8. Multitasking

To get on top of her workload, Linda regularly writes emails while she chats on the phone to her clients. However, while Linda thinks that this is a good use of her time, the truth is that it can take 20-40 percent more time to finish a list of jobs when you multitask, compared with completing the same list of tasks in sequence. The result is also that she does both tasks poorly - her emails are full of errors, and her clients are frustrated by her lack of concentration.

So, the best thing is to forget about multitasking, and, instead, focus on one task at a time. That way, you'll produce higher quality work


Mistake 9. Not Taking Breaks

It's nice to think that you can work for 8-10 hours straight, especially when you're working to a deadline. But it's impossible for anyone to focus and produce really high-quality work without giving their brains some time to rest and recharge.

So, don't dismiss breaks as "wasting time." They provide valuable down-time, which will enable you to think creatively and work effectively.

If it's hard for you to stop working, then schedule breaks for yourself, or set an alarm as a reminder. Go for a quick walk, grab a cup of coffee, or just sit and meditate at your desk. Try to take a five minute break every hour or two. And make sure that you give yourself ample time for lunch - you won't produce top quality work if you're hungry!


Mistake 10. Ineffectively Scheduling Tasks

Are you a morning person? Or do you find your energy picking up once the sun begins to set in the evening? All of us have different rhythms, that is, different times of day when we feel most productive and energetic.

You can make best use of your time by scheduling high-value work during your peak time, and low-energy work (like returning phone calls and checking email), during your "down" time.


Key Points

One of the most effective ways of improving your productivity is to recognise and rectify time management mistakes.

When you take the time to overcome these mistakes, it will make a huge difference in your productivity - and you'll also be happier, and experience less stress!

For more ideas about developing you management and leadership effectiveness click here.

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How to tell someones not telling the truth!

20 April 2011

Heres a great article that emphasises the impact of your bodylanguage and in particular your 'ankles' in determining how you come across to others.

Studies have shown that one way to tell when someone is holding back is to look at the position of their ankles.  The locking of ankles in an interview or conversation can be the equivalent of someone covering their mouth in order to avoid saying anything.  When a person is into the flow of the conversation, they vote with their feet.  When there is free flowing conversation the ankles are unlocked.  When the ankles are locked, that may be an indication of uncertainty and anxiety.
A study conducted by Allen Pease found that 88 percent of patients who sat in the dentist chair immediately locked their ankles.  If the patient was only there for a checkup, only 66% locked their ankles.  When the dentist was to administer an injection, 98% of all patients locked their ankles.

So next time you see someone cross their ankles in the hotseat you should begin to ask yourself are they telling you the truth or trying to hide something?

Hope you like the article.

Please feel free to forward it to people you feel may find it of interest.

For details of the Powerful Business Presentations Programme click on

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Please help make a difference to a worthy cause

12 April 2011
How would you, a colleague or even your partner at home like to take part in an outstanding leadership and personal development programme and at the same time help our local charity Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale along the way?
We are offering two places on our Leadership and Personal Excellence Programme commencing on Tuesday 3rd May to the two highest bidders by email at 12noon on Thursday 21st April.
Here are details about this powerful programme.

All money raised by the successful bidding organisations will be donated to Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale.

The face value of the programme is £1295+vat each, so bid as little or as much as you like to secure your place on the programme remembering that whatever is bid will go to a very worthy charity.
How to bid?
Please email your bid in pounds to with the headline Charity Bid.
The closing date for entries is 12noon on Thursday 21st April.
The winners will be notified later that day.
Competition terms.
The highest two bidders when the competition closes will secure their places on the programme commencing Tuesday 3rd May for 7 consecutive Tuesday mornings 9am-1pm. Please ensure that you are able to make the dates highlighted.
Only one place per bidding company allowed.
For the winning bidders please make your cheques payable to Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale immediately on conclusion of the competition.
I do hope that you will be able to help such a worth cause and wish you every success in your bid.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
Michael Barker

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Reel wisdom! 40 lessons in life that you must see!

25 March 2011

Heres a brilliant video that has so many of lifes important lessons.

Click here to start the video.

Sit back, relax and enjoy!



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'What are the Presentations Secrets of Steve Jobs?'

10 March 2011
Here's a brilliant article that shares the storytelling secrets of how to deliver a 'WOW' presentation from one of the business worlds greatest communicators.

The Apple music event of Sept. 9, 2009, marked the return of the world's greatest corporate storyteller. For more than three decades, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs has raised product launches to an art form.

This article reveals the techniques that Jobs uses to create and deliver mind-blowing keynote presentations.

Click here to link to the article

Steve Jobs does not sell computers; he sells an experience. The same holds true for his presentations that are meant to inform, educate, and entertain.

An Apple presentation has all the elements of a great theatrical production—a great script, heroes and villains, stage props, breathtaking visuals, and one moment that makes the price of admission well worth it.

Here are the five elements of every Steve Jobs presentation. Incorporate these elements into your own presentations to sell your product or ideas the Steve Jobs way.

Hope you enjoy it.

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Page: Previous  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next

12 Ways to Spot Ineffective Leadership
6 Ways to deal with your most irritating colleague
How To Give Negative Feedback Respectfully
9 Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money
7 Great Questions You Need to Ask Your Team Every Month.
What are the 10 Traits of Lousy Leaders?
10 Questions Managers Are Asking During One-on-One Meetings
16 Leadership Competencies Guaranteed to Deliver Results
How to avoid the 10 most Common Leadership Blind Spots
8 Essential Qualities of Inspirational Leaders
Top 10 Tips for Becoming More Influential
Top 10 tips for empowering your team
How to Delelop a Powerful LinkedIn Presence
How to Build a High Performance Team Culture
What to do when your team won't take responsibilty
12 Habits That Set Ultra-Successful People Apart

Page: 2 3 4 5 6 Next

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