Author: Dr. Dana

Federal performance management for beginners : 4 tips you can’t do without

When you boil it all down, the primary job of all managers is performance management. Performance management consists of components such as developing, monitoring, and rewarding. If you’re new to management in the government, you may not realize there’s several tools you should be using to manage team performance. We’ll talk about 4 of them here. Performance management tip: Set the performance standard First and foremost, managers must take the time to set and communicate the performance standards to the employee via the performance appraisal tool. A performance standard will describe the expectations, requirements, and/or threshold needed for a...

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Hiring freeze: Keeping your team warm until the thaw

We are less than a week out from the announcement of Trump’s hiring freeze. As a hiring manager, supervisor, or team lead, you may be panicking about what to do to keep your team functioning until the thaw. These are entirely reasonable concerns. And, we’re here to help. We offer three suggestions of what to do until the hiring freeze is over. Three things to do while waiting out the hiring freeze Finish job analyses and position descriptions It seems like a futile task to keep moving forward with any job analyses or position descriptions that were active before the...

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Fake confidence looks like real confidence: Keep faking it

Imagine that you could make yourself feel confident whenever you wanted. Consider that confidence is just a few moments away by changing your posture. “Powerful people tend to be…more assertive and more confident, more optimistic…they also tend to be able to think more abstractly…Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation…configure your brain to cope the best in that situation…and it can significantly change the outcomes of your life” – Amy Cuddy   This TED Talk is one of my favorite. I use what I’ve learned from this TED Talk at least once a month. It’s not unusual...

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Worst advice on becoming SES I’ve ever heard

Depending on whom you listen to there’s either a huge gap in the leadership pipeline or a resurgence in Senior Executive Service (SES). My opinion is that it may be both. With the increased interest in senior leadership roles comes terrible advice on becoming a federal executive (i.e., SES). This bad advice is leading to a gap in the pipeline. Here’s a list of the worst advice on becoming SES I’ve heard: Go to one of the SES residential or year-long leadership programs. Many people who show up in my office want the agency to fund them to go...

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Missing business acumen is a career killer

Nearly any leadership class, book, or program you attend will focus on interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate, build trust, and engage employees are critical skills. However, they may not be the key to the top floor or becoming a federal executive. In fact, this TED Talk argues that there’s a missing skill that’s keeping most people from progressing.  That skill is business acumen. “This skill set has to do with understanding where the organization is going, what its strategy is, what financial targets it has in place, and understanding your role in moving the organization forward…it’s missing in...

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