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Dear Suzanne: 4 Steps to Impactful Feedback & Personal Effectiveness


Dear Suzanne, 

Employee Development Systems, Inc.I work for a large, corporate publisher, where I was a production manager for almost a decade, and now I’m starting my second year as a director. Ever since my first day of management over a 10 years ago, I have faced the same problems in my career.

A colleague of mine suggested I reach out to you and see if my issue could go in one of your “Dear Suzanne” posts. I’ve got increasingly more pressure to increase productivity in my department, so I hope you can help me out.

When I give feedback to my team, I usually experience resentment and even an effort by the employee to slow play the changes. -At least that’s how it feels on my end. What am I doing wrong? As the manager, it’s up to me to give direction, but I have a gaggle of unruly geese to control, and it’s not working. 


Rest assured, you are not alone, and I receive a couple of emails every week with some version of this problem. Basically, “How can I manage performance when no one will accept my feedback?”

Employee Development Systems, Inc.Here is a simple, practical way to give feedback that will be well-received and solve your productivity (and teamwork!) problems. 

  1. Position the discussion by making an I-Statement that lest the person know of your concern and introduces what the discussion will be about. This helps you get right to the point. 
  2. Acknowledge intentions by letting your team member know that you recognize they have good intentions. This is the best way to disarm an otherwise defensive situation. 
  3. Describe the behavior or result in specific terms. This lets the employee know exactly what it is that you are concerned about. 
  4. Describe the impact (consequences) of their the behavior. This helps create a sense of responsibility. Let them know that their work makes a difference and that it has an impact on the work of others or on the business as a whole. This gives them  motivation to correct the problem. 

 Please write back and let us know how your next feedback opportunity turns out! 

Suzanne Updegraff

Stop Asking How to Increase Personal Effectiveness!


Increase Personal EffectivenessIt's time that we all start asking a different question than "How can I improve personal effectiveness?" If you are familiar with EDSI, you may think it's hard to believe those words are coming from us. If you aren't very familiar with us and our programs, then thank you for taking the time to read this post. 

At Employee Development Systems, Inc. Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Our most popular programs are Professional Presence in a Casual World, Increasing Personal Effectiveness and Communicating to Manage Performance

So how can we be telling people to stop asking how to increast personal effectiveness? 

Here's how. Concentrating on the behaviors that are going to get you there will have the impact you are looking for. If we take the pressure off the gas pedal on increasing personal effectiveness and shift our focus to the habits that will get us there, we're more likely to have long-term success. Here are the practical ways you can do start to live the life of an increasingly effective person. Before you know it, you'll realize that you've already arrived at the personal and professional level you have been working toward for years. 

personal effectiveness, professional presence1. Use checklists. Research has proven that checklists are an effective way to organize, stay focused, and accomplish your goals. In the words of author, Atul Gawande, "Good checklists are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything--a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps--the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical." 

The most successful leaders use checklists to make sure their brains are not overwhelmed with the details and projects that they are working on. Empty your bucket every day to so you hvae the mental bandwidth you need, to be the most effective leader you can be. 

2. Learn the huge impact of changing tiny habits. Researcher, BJ Fogg, has found that successful habit changes occur at the intersection of these three things: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. We all may have motivation to complete our projects more efficiently or reply to the emails that have been waiting in our inbox. We also have the ability to do it. So what's missing? Why are you stuck in a personal and professional development rut? Because you don't have a trigger. Try this experiment to see why. Start a new habit AFTER another habit has completed.

For example, let's take that boring project that has been on the back burner, and never gets done. You know what it is. We all have them. It may be brought up at monthly meetings, and you always defer to how busy you are, the unexpected problems in your current projects, or other reasons. Yes, those reasons are valid, but you can still get that lagging project completed by tacking on one component of that project every time you work on the most exciting project in your current work load.

So remember, AFTER you click "Save" on your favorite project, that's the TRIGGER for doing ONE THING that will help you reach completion on that lagging project. Just do one thing. If you do one thing many times, that project will be finished, and you'll be the hero on your team, and the star player that others come to, when they really want to get something done. 

personal effectiveness3. Decide when. Here's the bottom line. If you don't put something in your schedule, it's not getting done. Why isn't it on the schedule? When it's not on your calendar, you will spend much more time being bogged down mentally by your efforts at putting it off and dreading it. Give yourself back that energy by putting on your calendar, and sticking to your plans. Havev you tried this and it still never gets done? Then take if off your calendar and off your plans, entirely. It means that you don't really plan to get it done. You may as well let the other people involved know that it isn't a high enough priority for you rght now, and politely get get your name off of the project team list. You'll be relieved, and you also will see your personal effectiveness and professional presence increase in other parts of your job, becuase you aren't weighed down anymore.

Increase your personal effectiveness and professional presence by putting all of your thoughts and tasks on a checklist, instilling tiny habits with the all-important TRIGGER, and deciding WHEN something will be completed or else scratching it from your career or life entirely.

Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us. 

7 Ways to Keep High Performers Increasing Personal Effectiveness


Employee Development Systems, Inc. It’s the good swimmers who are most likely to jump ship, and this holds true in the workplace. How do you keep the best swimmers from doing the backstroke into the sunset?

Make your workplace great.

Some basic, but often overlooked qualities have the potential to make lousy or even good workplaces into great ones. For example, how do you typically set the stage for new ideas and innovation in your organization? Do employees trust their managers and leaders? If not, how can you shift their perception? Research proves that organizations which are considered “great places to work” are also more profitable than other companies, so learning to make your workplace great should be a priority for you and the other leaders in your organization. 

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!

“Happy employees produce more than unhappy ones over the long term. They routinely show up at work, they’re less likely to quit, they go above and beyond the call of duty, and they attract people who are just as committed to the job. Moreover, they’re not sprinters; they’re more like marathon runners, in it for the long haul.” – Harvard Business Review

Learn about the impact of personalities and behavioral traits.

We all react to the world with particular behavioral habits and motivators. Awareness of these gives us the understanding to take our own and careers to the next level, but even more importantly, it helps us understand our team members, and gives them the tools they need to understand and work more effectively with each other. If you don’t leverage knowledge of behavioral styles in your organization yet, consider the knowledge gained from a personality test an untapped resource that could result in higher functioning teams. 

Inspire courage by modeling courageous behavior.

“To be a leader requires rendering bold decisions that some people will disagree with. Leadership takes courage. To be an innovator requires ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas. Innovation requires courage. To be a great sales person you have to knock on hundreds of doors over and over in the face of rejection. Sales requires courage. If you get the courage right at the outset, so many other things become effortless.”  Author, Bill Treasurer

Dedicate yourself to being a courageous leader, and you’ll find that your employees will start to develop their own authentic, courageous voices. The result? More productivity, increased effectiveness and the fortitude to let go of worn out processes that waste organizational resources.

Build accountability into your culture.

This may sound like it only speaks to managerial objectives, but the truth is that a culture of accountability serves the employees just as much, or even more. With accountability in place, you have a vehicle for personal rewards and recognition. 2012 is the year to show those Olympic swimmers on your team why they will want to pull even harder for your organization. Consider accountability the antidote to a workplace of disengaged employees. 

Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc.“The best possible performance for everyone, no matter what their level, is grounded in the ability of managers to reinforce & redirect, create a positive climate of accountability, and set clear goals & expectations for themselves and every employee. Managers are accountable for the results attained through the performance of employees.”

– Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI)

Impact Performance Now

Set Goals & Expectations

Launch performance by communicating clearly about plans and management style. Establishing expectations creates ownership and personal accountability. This allows your employees to comprehend the essential style of working with you.

Reinforce & Redirect

Regular, consistent, and detailed communication align with goals and expectations to build a high-performing team. Reinforcing behavior that is effective and redirecting behavior that is inappropriate will establish and punctuate your expectations.

Create Climate

Every manager fosters a climate, either intentionally or unintentionally. Consciously create a comm that helps everyone feel valued or motivated  to take risks, find solutions, and become personally accountable for results.  

Take Charge of Difficult Situations & Impact Your Effectiveness


Employee Development Systems, Inc. Conflict Personality TypesWe all have communication tools and tactics that we use when trying to navigate a difficult situation that is fraught with a variety pack of personalities. Take a minute to consider the communication tactics you typically use. Do you shut down and wait for others to start offering solutions? Or do you jump in and start looking for blame? Whatever your typical behaviors are, do they include careful consideration of the personality styles of everyone involved? If you haven’t tried it before, communicating with personality styles in mind will offer a new alternative to tired patterns that don’t usually work. 

Difficult Situations and Personality Types

Mastering gracious communication in the face of a difficult situation is an important part of your overall professional presence. If members of your group receive communication in a personal way, feel bad, or get emotional, you have already lost the opportunity to row the boat together as a group. Make sure that your message is received well and offers a springboard for solutions by learning to anticipate and prepare for your counterparts’ reactions.  

Here are keys to working with each personality type, while in the throes of conflict or a difficult situation:

Dominance: places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence

Influence: places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships

Steadiness: Places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability 

Conscientiousness: Places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency

The foundation of personal and professional success and conflict resolution lies in understanding yourself, understanding others, and realizing the impact of personal behavior on others. For nearly 30 years, the Personal Profile System® has unlocked the door to productive communication and relationships for over 40 million people through its DiSC® Dimensions of Behavior learning approach.  An extremely powerful and comprehensive course which utilizes DiSC is Increasing Personal Effectiveness.

The Personal Profile System® helps people assess how much they use each dimension of behavior in a particular situation. The instrument that provides feedback designed to help people in your organization:

Here is a sample report that shows the practical results from assessing ones personality style. 

IPE Video Increasing Personal Effectiveness

Here is a video that shows how you can crack the code of communicating with your coworkers and anyone else you come in contact with, by understanding their personality type and your own, and how those two interact with each other.

Constructive Feedback vs. Criticism

It’s easy to assume that the only difference between constructive feedback and criticism is that we’ve all started using a new term to make criticism go over more smoothly with its recipient. Not so. Constructive feedback is focused solely on desired outcomes. So the next time you need to call in a staff member because of something they’ve been doing wrong or a behavior that must be changed, don’t bother pointing out where they’ve gone wrong. Go right to letting them know what they should do that will replace the unwanted behavior or habit. 

What to Do When You Make a Mistake

Mistakes happen. How do you typically face them? First, explain what happened. Next, make sure that you don’t put it off. This only exacerbates the problem. Then, take responsibility for the mistake, and remember that excuses typically negate apologies! Enjoy an excerpt from Personality Styles at Work to learn more style strengths and shortcomings, how to flex your style, and communicate effectively for each personality type. 

Boost Personal Effectiveness

"Conflicts and mistakes shouldn't be hidden or minimized. Instead, use them as a catalyst for practicing flexing communication for different personality types and welcoming change from employees." Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years.

Manage Your Energy (Not Your Time) for Increased Effectiveness!


EDSI Productivity“We grow the aspects of our lives that we feed – with energy and engagement – and choke off those we deprive of fuel. Your life is what you agree to attend to.” -Jim Loehr, author, The Power of Engagement

It’s difficult to fit your entire to-do list into the workday, isn’t it? That’s why many of you who are reading this left the office last night and spent some (or all) of your evening finishing up tasks that you didn’t have time for during the day. This is typical, especially of Americans, who are working so many more hours each week that it adds up to an average of 4 weeks longer per year than they worked 30 years ago. Are you included in that group?

If you had more time, you could get it all done, right? Not likely. In the words of Jim Loehr, author of The Power of Engagement, “The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quality and quantity of energy available to us is not.” The lesson here is that time is just one of the components in your goal to increase personal effectiveness and improve your personal presence. 

Loehr’s message for us fits nicely with EDSI’s personal effectiveness and professional presence mission. Consider how busy everyone is. As they say, “Busy is the new fine.” Isn’t that sad? What we need is less busy, more intention and focus on where we are going, and if our current plan and the professional culture we are working in is taking us there. If there is a gap between you and the professional culture of your organization, how can you close it? Are the activities you’re doing now helping to prepare you for where you want to go, both personally and professionally? Think about how powerful it would be for your professional (and personal) life to know that your personal and career goals are aligned with your company?

Time Isn’t the Only Factor

Consider time, energy, and attention as the trifecta of personal effectiveness and, as a result, professional presence

Have you ever sat at your desk at the end of the day, staring at the same document you’ve been working on all afternoon, and it seems that productivity stopped hours ago, with the rest of the afternoon being spent occasionally making progress and the other time hopping between Facebook and email? I think we all know that more time working does NOT equal more work done. 

Get out of  your “there’s not enough time” rut by answering these questions, courtesy of author, Charlie Gilkey:

  • On gaining time: What are you doing that you could either stop doing or do more efficiently so that there’s less time seepage?
  • On using time: What would you do with any additional time that you gain? Is the juice worth the squeeze? 
  • On gaining energy: What could you do to increase your available physical, emotional, social, mental, and physical energy?
  • On losing energy: What are the sources of energy drain in your life? Is there something you can do to address those sources? It’ll probably take more energy to deal with the cause than the symptom, but continually applying band-aids has a cost, too.
  • On gaining attention: What really engages you? What are naturally drawn to do?
  • On losing attention (being distracted): What’s distracting you or causing you to continually shift focus? Is there a way to alter your environment so you’re less prone to be distracted by them?

Your time, energy and attention are precious. Think about what you could do if you release the power of all three. Would you like to learn more? Here is one of our most downloaded white papers. It’s short, practical, and cuts to the chase on personal effectiveness and professional presence.

Boost Personal Effectiveness

Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.

6 Short Cuts to Career Success & Professional Presence


Professional Presence, Employee Development Systems, Inc.While finding information used to be a challenge. These days we have an information deluge, and distilling what is out there has become the top priority. -So we're distilling these top career-related posts.  Here are 6 ways to help your career and improve your professional presence. 

The 1 Habit to Improve Career Success and Professional Presence

Believe it or not, table manners are one of the best ways for employers to test your trustworthiness. Regardless of what your position is, table manners say a lot about how you function in a formal or tense situation. 

Is Professional Presence Really that Valuable? 

Professional presence is a cornerstone of career and personal effectiveness. Although I think most people agree that dress codes can be a sensitive subject in the current cross-generational workforce, does it really merit an entire course? 

What Skill Is Key to Presidential Behavior? 

You may not be a US President, but the qualities that belie their success and effectiveness embody the characteristics that EDSI includes in it programs and materials related to our core programs of professional presencepersonal effectiveness and communicating to manage performance. And there is one characteristic on the list that without it, ensures the complete ineffectiveness of a presidency. Here is what makes our presidents effective (and ineffective)  

Professionalism Across the Generations

Just as understanding your company’s culture helps you to communicate and navigate within that framework, being self-aware and learning to understand others' perspectives will make you more effective at work, regardless of what generation you represent.

3 Reasons Employee Development Takes a Back Seat 

You make a good point, but the easy solution is right in front of us. Employers hesitate to invest in employees who may already have one foot out the door, and employees who lack career direction, mentoring and training leave at a higher rate. It is certainly a vicious circle.  Here are some reasons training sometimes takes a back seat:  

 3 Simple Steps to Moving Ahead in Your Career (& Life)

Let's face it.  None of us are irreplaceable.  This is even more true in a job market where the employer has the upper hand.  People are often laid off or downright fired for reasons that are totally beyond their control.  

So let's look at what we actually can control.  

Boost Personal Effectiveness

Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.


Think Beyond Productivity for Increasing Personal Effectiveness


Productivity. We hear and read about it every day. We all ask ourselves how to improve it, but how to get more out of every day, what productive people do before breakfast, and more. Instead of asking the same questions, let's take a step back and look at more achievable, answerable questions that, by default, will lead to higher productivity.   

  1. Employee Development Systems, Inc. ProductivityAre you working at the right time for the right projects? Timing makes all the difference. Do the right things at the right time and each project will move along more quickly.
  2. What’s the next step that needs to happen to move a key project forward? Focus on the high value activities that will give you the biggest returns on your time investment.
  3. Are you trying to be more effective, i.e. doing the right things or more efficient, i.e. doing things right? Note: it makes no sense to get better at doing the wrong things.
  4. What project, if completed, would likely have the most impact? Use the pareto principle here, and concentrate on the top 20% of activities for 80% of the impact. 
  5. What could you do to get momentum on your oldest active project? Find a way to see the project in a new light, or get some new input to reboot your energy. 
  6. Does the project actually need to be done or is it something you committed to in the past? Maybe you are holding on to a project that will never really be completed. It could be time to scratch it off your list entirely. 
  7. What frogs are on your list and which would feel the best to have done? (Haven't heard of this term before? It is derived directly from Brian Tracy's famous book, Eat the Frog. The frog is the hardest challenge of your day that you are likely to put off. It's best to eat the frogs first thing in the day.)
  8. What are the specific obstacles keeping you from completing the work you have in front of you? It's time to identify and overcome them. 
  9. What’s on the list that feels least like work? 
  10. If you’re being interrupted, is there something you can do to prevent the interruptions? Even more, are you distracted by shiny objects that come in the form of internet distractions? Commit to large blocks of time when you do not check email or go on the internet. You'll be amazed at the increase in your productivity.Is there something you can do today to prepare yourself for a more productive work session in the future?
  11. What’s nagging at you and is there any way to actually address it? If not, it might be time to let the project to entirely or at least pass it off to someone else. 
  12. Why are you wanting to do with the time you gain? You may have been busy for so long that you don't really know what you would do with extra time. Be honest with yourself. 
  13. How much is it costing you to not do an item on the list, and are you willing to accept that cost? Thinking of your languishing to-do list as a cost will help you clarify how important the items are. 
  14. What completed project would move you closer to a promotion or the next level in your profession? If the activities you are doing don't help you get closer to your professional goals, then it doesn't matter how productive you are.
  15. What could you get done in the next 30 minutes that would set you up for a productive morning tomorrow? 

        Hopefully these questions will help you shake loose and get practical about productivity.  

        Boost Personal Effectiveness

        Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.

        4 Ways to Open Career Doors with Culture Fit & Personal Effectiveness


        Employee Development Systems, Inc.Learning and understanding professional culture is critical to personal effectiveness in the workplace and professional presence. It’s also the smoothest way to forge your professional credibility. 

        “Most organizations define their cultural values by a strategic imperative. If the initiative is to focus on clients, the behaviors and actions must reflect that. If building market share is valued, the alignment must be on challenging the status quo.” 

        ~Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc. 

        Organizational culture is the DNA of a company. Just like individuals, every firm is unique. On the top layer, it includes things like dress code, and flex time policies.  Under those initial policies? That is where you find the even more important cultural morays of an organization. Think about your current workplace. What behaviors are recognized and rewarded? How are people managed, motivated and developed? Think about how employees succeed or fail, regardless of their ability. If not ability, then what is determining those outcomes? Asking those questions will reveal the heart of your corporate culture. 

        1. Gain an awareness of what’s important to you, personally.

        What do you want to accomplish in your career and more importantly, in your life? Compare the ideas that surface to the culture markers you have already identified. Are they easily aligned? If not, that may be why your career feels stalled, or at least the key to keeping it moving forward. If you're concentrating on developing your skills in an area that is not valued by your organization or the company uses incentives you don't relate to, then its time to work on aligning these two parts of your life.

        2. As a leader, are you crystal clear about your corporate culture?

        On the other end of the spectrum, as a leader who is in the position of making hiring decisions, do you make your culture completely clear to candidates and new hires? It’s far better to screen out people in an initial interview, only to learn six months later that they aren’t comfortable with your values and work style. 

        3. See beyond skills.

        According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, "...Multiple candidates interview for various open jobs at the same time. We observe candidates undertaking unique and often quirky challenges, and interacting with each other. Candidates act out scenarios that show us whether or not they exhibit our core values — open and courageous communication, risk-taking, speed, quality, teamwork, and thriving in change. To test for risk-taking, for example, candidates role-play how they would deal with a situation in which one colleague has been called out of town and needs a less-experienced coworker to take his or her place in an important presentation...from these exercises, we’re able to quickly learn which candidates exhibit leadership and teamwork qualities, which ones perform well in unusual situations, and which have done their background research on the company.”

        Essentially, we used to hire for skills. Now we hire for culture. Skills can be taught, but let's face it, values are difficult to change.

        4. Prioritize professional competence. 

        The next logical step to working on aligning yourself with the professional culture is to build teh most important competencies for the future. Identify the alignment between your personal competencies and your organization's mission and vision. What are some steps you can start to take now that will strengthen that tie? 

        Break your personal competencies down into the following three areas and take an honest look at how you are doing in each one:

        Personal Competencies: Personal Accountabiliy, Presentation Skills, Interpersonal Communication

        Business Competencies: Technological Innovation & Literacy, Leadership Skills, Strategic Imperatives

        Strategic Competencies: Global Applicatoin, Collaborating as One, Problem Solving

        Competencies that work for you today might need ot be re-addressed for future growth and development. Where do you stand in each of these areas? Our Professional Presence in a Casual World program explores and develops these important skills for the new workplace.  

        Boost Personal Effectiveness

        Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have. 

        Learn the 3 Keys to Millennial Professional Presence & Effectiveness


        Employee Development Systems, Inc. MillennialIn the past few years, there has been much talk in the employee development arena about how to foster a greater sense of commitment among Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995 and currently under 33 years of age). Will it will be necessary to transform the core dynamics of the workplace, or will they learn to fit in to the current world of business? 

        An exhaustive study conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the University of Southern California and the London Business School, captured the
        various forces at play that are influencing the experience of Millennial or “Generation
        Y” employees, through over 40,000 responses from Millennials and non-Millennials. 

        These include: workplace culture, communication and work styles, compensation and career structure, career development and opportunities and work/life balance. The study revealed that work/life balance is one of the most significant drivers of employee retention and a primary reason this generation of employees may choose a non- traditional professional career track. According to the study authors, “Just as notable as the influencing forces, are the widespread similarities between Millennial employees and their non-Millennial counterparts, all of whom aspire to a new workplace paradigm that places a higher priority on work/life balance and workplace flexibility. The research shatters commonly held myths about Millennials in the workplace, uncovering attitudes and behavior that largely mirror those of their more senior colleagues. The findings both confirm and dispel stereotypes about Millennials and provide compelling guidance as to how organizations must adapt their companies to fit the demands of both Millennial and non-Millennial employees.”

        Are you surprised? Essentially, Millenials are different in some ways, as we have always suspected, but the other generations in the workforce are adapting some of the same priorities as the Millennials, which makes it even more imperative that leaders learn what those priorities are, and how to foster them in their own organizations. 

        1. What Makes Millennials Stay? 

        Millennials count on being supported and appreciated more than their predecessors in the workplace. Fostering a team atmosphere and giving them flexibility in where and how they work also will give have a greater expectation to be supported and appreciated in return for their contributions, and to be part of a cohesive team. Flexibility in where they work and how much they work also will boost retention and productivity. What happened to prioritizing pay level and job title? Those are non-Millennial attributes.

        2.  Throw Stereotypes Out the Window

        Despite their reputation, Millennials do care deeply about their jobs. They are committed and hard working. Moreover, they have grown up not expecting their organizations to meet all of their needs, including job security. They live with a freelancer mentality, which was borne out of necessity. Since they joined the workforce, jobs have become unstable, and they have learned to always be on the lookout for what is coming next. Think of it as a necessary career survival mode.

        3. Millennials vs. Excessive Work Demands 

        While Millennials are generally focused and committed to their work, the world that they have grown up in has shown them that only chumps bend over backwards with excessive demands and professional stress. Non-Millennial workers are more likely to embrace sacrifice for the promise of future rewards. Promises of future possible compensation seems doubtful to them, so rewards and incentives should be short-term and practical, so they can continue to foster the critical work/life balance that the require, in order to have the most impact, the highest level of personal effectiveness, and increased professional presence in the workplace.  

        Boost Personal Effectiveness

        Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have. 

        Your Most Productive Time of Day for Impacting Personal Effectiveness


        Employee Development Systems, Inc. Time ProductivityEveryone has a productivity rhythm. The sooner you determine yours, you can take advantage of the natural cycle that will release the next level of efficiency for you. Do you feel most productive first thing in the morning? Or maybe you don’t get really up to speed until early afternoon or late at night. Once you get a handle on your own peak productivity time, you can match your own productivity to your peak cycle. 

        Use Your Circadian Rhythm

        The human body operates in cycles, predicting high and low functions throughout 24-hour periods. circadian rhythms are influenced by daylight, darkness, external noise, quiet, eating, or fasting. At the same time, you have certain times of day that when your mental energy is at its peak. These times don’t necessarily coincide with each other. 

        Take Advantage of the Morning Hours

        Early morning is the best time to send emails you want to be read; 6 a.m. messages are most likely to beat the morning rush.

        Employee Development Systems, Inc. Morning hours are typically the most alert times, when you should do cognitive work. You may find that morning, especially early morning is the best time for solving analytical problems, getting ahead on reading projects, or setting strategic plans. Body temperature rises from just before the time you wake up through midday, which improves working memory, concentration and alertness. Early morning hours can be a sanctuary for many leaders, because they are free of daily distractions and meetings.

        Mid-Day Productivity

        The time between noon and 2 p.m. may be the best time for meetings, sales calls and tackling tough problems in the workplace. The body is still in a sustained state of productivity. The sun is also brightest at this time, and it tends to be the noisiest time of day. These outside stimuli reinforce the natural cycle.

        Afternoon Sluggishness

        Afternoons at the office can be difficult to keep productivity flowing, right? The office becomes quiet, you may experience lapses in concentration, and start to feel drowsy. This is a good time to stand up and take a brisk walk or jog. 

        While every individual is different, according to research, there are times of day that are generally best for certain activities.

        Heat Map Your Productivity

        Employee Development Systems, Time ManagementDespite typical circadian rhythms and external work structures often taking control of our productivity, this is a simple, effective way to determine your most productive hours in each 24-hour period. 

        Red is your most productive time of day, followed by orange (still productive, but not your peak), then yellow (when you are starting to feel sluggish and have to concentrate to continue working), and green, when you may as well hang it up and take a break, because you are wasting time trying to maintain productivity during these periods. Give it a try for 24 hours, modify your priorities according to what you learn, and watch your productivity skyrocket! 

        Final Advice

        1. Listen to your own body. Try to find ways to adapt to your work productivity to your natural rhythms, whether that’s tackling big projects early in the day when you’re most alert or hitting the gym during your lunch break for a pick-me-up.

        2. Get creative. If you are trying to figure out a complex problem at work, test out your late-night creative thinking skills. Spend 15 minutes before you go to bed brainstorming ideas in a notebook, then sleep on it and revisit your thoughts the next day.

        3. Be kind to body and mind. Burning the candle at both ends is a surefire way to make you sluggish, irritable and unfocused at work. Get a full night’s sleep, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to stay sharp and working at full capacity.

        What time of day is your personal effectiveness at its peak?

        Boost Personal Effectiveness

        Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have. 

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