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Introduction to the Skillful Leader Tony Signoret Director, Certificated Human Resources Palm Springs Unified School District Friday April 5 th, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Skillful Leader Tony Signoret Director, Certificated Human Resources Palm Springs Unified School District Friday April 5 th, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the Skillful Leader Tony Signoret Director, Certificated Human Resources Palm Springs Unified School District Friday April 5 th, 2013

2 Skillful Leader …Classified Confronting Mediocre Performance “If the employee is performing poorly, I can better deal with that than I can deal with an employee who is just doing their job.” (modified - Confronting Mediocre Teaching - pg.7)

3 Skillful Focus  Introduce Skillful Concepts  Identify Mediocre Employees  Complete Skillful Reflection  Complete Skillful Roadmap  Workshop Modules - Collaborative Skillful Analysis and Support (Professional Learning Community)

4 Skillful Terms  Leniency Effect & Halo Error  Tentative and/or Mixed Messages  Evaluator Impressions  Evidenced Based Narratives “More information, means more credibility” (p. 72)

5 Skillful Leader Concepts  Mediocre Employee  Debilitating Beliefs  Unpromising Practices  Confront Institutional Mediocrity

6 Identify the Mediocre Employee  Excellent employees & Incompetent employees share one quality - They are easy to identify Rate Employees - Handout 1 (Part One)

7 Identify the Mediocre Employee  They have satisfactory attendance and are pleasant to others  But they are very unorganized and miss deadlines  They assist with school or department activities outside of their job duties (Sports, Parent Activities, Staff Events, etc.)  But they spend too much time socializing during work hours  They possess necessary job knowledge to complete tasks  But they are not accountable, and will blame others when they cannot meet a deadline Common Characteristics

8 Identify the Mediocre Employee  They appear to care for students  But they show favoritism to certain students  They possess excellent technical skills  But they can be rude to others  They demonstrate initiative while completing tasks  But they do not practice the proper rules of safety Common Characteristics

9 Identify the Mediocre Employee  Mediocre Performance (defined): Of moderate or low quality, value, ability or performance. The inability to provide reliable, high quality work on a consistent basis. Skillful Profiles Get in groups of 4 – 5 Read the Skillful Profiles Discuss the characteristics of the Mediocre Employee Rate Employees - Handout 1 (Part Two)

10 Identify the Mediocre Employee Individual Employee Performance Problems Do not point fingers: All of us must own the problem of Mediocre Employees

11 Skillful Leader …Classified A skillful leader is good at pointing fingers. When things aren’t going well, he/she will point their finger at himself/herself first. When things are going well, he/she will first point their finger to others.

12 Debilitating Beliefs  “What can you expect? She’s been like that for 20 years.”  “He’s just a couple of years away from retirement, we’ll just ride it out.”  “They all like her, there’s no way the union and staff will back me if I make her change now.” Debilitating Belief #1 - Diminished Expectations

13 Debilitating Beliefs  “Remember we’re just a support department and our jobs don’t pay much. We can’t attract high quality employees...”  “If I could just clone ‘Mrs. Jones’! She’s one of a kind, you can’t expect everyone to be at her level.” Debilitating Belief #2 - Diminished Aspirations for Achievement and Opportunity

14 Debilitating Beliefs  Deciding there is only one way to solve a problem - and that one way is too difficult to do  “I wish I could fire them all, but I can’t”  Firing is an inappropriate and unrealistic first response to dealing with mediocre performance: Debilitating Belief #3 - Inappropriate Problem Definition and Goal Setting Instead think: “What are the different ways in which we can make it clear that every employee must perform.”

15 Debilitating Beliefs  Supervisor’s fear of fracturing relationships and endangering collegiality - leads to ‘backing off’ or ‘looking the other way’  Fear of staff being ‘devastated’ or ‘destroyed’ if presented with information indicating areas of need for improvement  Afraid of the potential loss of long-time social and professional friendships because recipients will be angry  Fear that staff members will respond with anger, thus disrupting the positive climate of the department or school Debilitating Belief #4 - Negative Assumptions About Costs and Benefits

16 Debilitating Beliefs Help Promote Mediocrity Think of a Debilitating Belief that has affected you. Share your experience.  Diminished Expectations  Diminished Aspirations for Achievement and Opportunity  Inappropriate Problem Definition and Goal Setting  Negative assumptions about Costs and Benefits

17 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 1: Transferring Problems  Tailoring Job Duties - hand picking duties based upon the employee’s weaknesses or another employee’s strengths  Transferring Staff - moving the ‘weak links’ to different desk, area or department

18 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 1: Results? Short-term solutions carry Long-term consequences  Tailoring job duties places the burden on the remaining staff  Transferring staff temporarily minimizes damage, yet mediocre performance continues

19 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 2: Basing Evaluations on Limited Data  Evaluating based on 1 or 2 events or observations all year  Using general/interchangeable feedback terms from one evaluation to the other: “Mrs. Smith creates a comfortable working environment.” “Mr. Jones enhances the library experience.” “Mrs. Gomez is a real veteran security officer.”

20 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 2: Results? - Promotes Mediocrity due to vague, tentative and ‘insecure’ writing  Avoid Evaluator Impressions - ‘Nutshell Summaries’ based on limited to nonexistent data or facts; hearsay or assumptions  Utilize Evidence-Based Narratives - Provide clear narratives of the observation supported by evidence; follow with examples or models of the kind of practices you’d like to see.  More information means more competence & credibility

21 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 3: Assigning Inappropriate Weight to Unrelated Duties  Socially Active: Friendly; Collaborative; Brings doughnuts; Distributes Birthday Cards; Coaching; etc.  Accessible: Always available to provide help with tasks that are unrelated to the position.

22 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 4: Allowing written evaluations that contain Mixed Messages and/or Inflated Performance Ratings “The Officer’s warm rapport and quickness to respond makes for a safe environment. While students love the attention, it would seem that they are reluctant to assist when they are called upon as witnesses to skirmishes. You might want to try to a different approach. This will add to the delightful way in which you motivate youngsters.”

23 Unpromising Practices Unpromising Practice 4: Results?  Mediocrity is protected by poor, tentative writing and mixed messages!  Inflated performance ratings communicate that everyone is “excellent”  Be directive and establish clear benchmarks for improvement

24 Confronting Mediocrity 1. Conviction  Institutional belief that EVERY employee must be held accountable for their performance  Adopt the norm of excellence  Taking steps to improve employee performance will make a difference Eliminate Debilitating Beliefs & Unpromising Practices with: The Three C’s

25 Confronting Mediocrity 2. Competence  Determination to develop supervisory competence (invest the time in professional learning communities)  Ask hard questions  Avoid fluff - Use Evidence Based Narratives

26 Confronting Mediocrity 3. Control  Create adequate structures, processes and resources to support evaluators who are charged with confronting mediocre performance The Three C’s: Conviction, Competence & Control

27 Skillful Reflection & Road Map  Skillful Reflection - Handout 2  Select one Mediocre employee from your list of employees (handout 1)  Complete handout 2  The Skillful Road Map - Handout 3  Develop your Skillful Road Map to Confront Mediocrity

28 Review: Skillful Terms Review: Skillful Terms  Evidenced Based Narratives Structured feedback based on clearly stated narratives supported by evidence; followed with examples/models for improvement  Leniency Effect & Halo Error Something unrelated to the essential job function that encourages the evaluator to boost the overall appraisal

29 Review: Skillful Terms Review: Skillful Terms  Tentative and/or Mixed Messages Poorly written feedback that lacks clear directives, examples and benchmarks for improvement; ‘warm fuzzies’  Evaluator Impressions ‘Nutshell Summaries’ based on limited or nonexistent data/facts  More information Means More Credibility Collecting & using evidence drawn from a variety of resources or incidents increases an evaluator’s competence & credibility

30 Be A Skillful Leader It is an immutable law that words are words, explanations are explanations, and promises are promises. But only performance is reality.


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