For many years I have been at the research and development of materials on Personal Improvement. My first articles were produced in 1964 for the Ford Mexico internal bulletin. Then a very successful series of over 2000 radio talk shows in Radio 6-20 in Mexico City, and today the wonderful Internet which gives us so many opportunities to go around the globe helping people advance and improve.
Frustration if Our Accomplishments are not Measured
The biggest frustration we suffer is when after so much effort, our results are not thoroughly satisfactory. When this happens, it is because probably the effort was not focused on the correct objective. Life does not pay you proportionally with your effort, but your Contribution! Not always our effort is producing the necessary contribution. That is the root of the problem.
Our Score Card and Key Performance Indicators
An adequate method to establish a measurement of our contribution as we have mentioned in previous publications, is the “Score Card”. In reality most of the time we do not give ourselves the time to think and detect those Key Factors. This causes us to divert the energy into something we like to do but perhaps is not as convenient for our Promotion (Pro-Motion = Moving Forward).
Some Key Performance Indicators - KPIs are quite evident and easy to count or measure: Dollars sold, % profit, customers interviewed, hours worked, etc. Others though can be tricky and hard to measure if we do not keep good track: Successful calls per number of initiated calls; Time used to fill out a sales order form, time to resolve a complaint from a customer, and many others.
How to Assess Our Contribution Through our
Key Performance Indicators
We need to put some attention and make sure we start keeping the proper data so we can “grade” ourselves. Remember: What you don’t measure, you can’t improve! There are many activities not exactly productive but which we need to do anyway within our responsibility. One example: I always had difficulty to type as fast as I can think. Even being aware of this I would still think that words per minute was a measure “only for people who live off of typing” – WRONG – only if I can do this right I can do many other productive activities. The faster I can write, the sooner I can go devote time to promote my business, and actually I am promoting it by writing too. When I write something that people find interesting or useful, they pay me back by visiting our advertisers in the little Google ads when they finish visiting my sites. That way we all are happy.
Sometimes we have not found the right units and factors we need to measure so the Score Card (sample follows) can be of very good help. We can actually establish a competition with ourselves and start performing better all the time…
Sample of Score Card
KPI - Key Performance Indicators
Time to fill out a Sales Order
Number of emailed prospective customers
Time to answer Customer question
As we work at defining the key measurements we need to set in the first column of our Score Card, it may be necessary to talk to our customers, (the people who needs that particular service to do their job). It is unbelievable how much that talk can ease and improve our job. It can be one of our peers, our leader, (I dislike calling anyone "Boss"), or may be an external customer. Ask what is the best way you can do your job to comply with their expectations. Also find opportunities to give people the necessary feedback so they can comply with your needs and expectations.
Communication skills are like a muscle, they will develop and improve as we exercise them.
Work on your Score Card and take advantage of this technique to get a better use of your time and effort.
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