How to create a performance culture. An interview with DianeIngramThis week I had the opportunity to catch up with a wonde...
You and your colleagues show up each day eager and ready to get started on the next phase of completing theexciting, innov...
Diane: The challenge is not just the company’s problem— No matter where you are in the chain of leadership:executive, mana...
Tai: Yes.Diane: Are you able to deliver your work with passion? Are you using the skills, talents and abilities that you e...
The first step is maybe the most difficult for some and that is to Step Out of ones self. Next is taking thatempowered act...
Tai: Your book really maps out the ways and means to, as you say: Shine at Work, Be Seen, Heard and Appreciated.You also c...
Gently and slowly bring your attention to your heart. Allow your breath to gently massage and soothe your heart.Envision a...
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How to create a performance culture. An interview with Diane Ingram

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This week I had the opportunity to catch up with a wonderfully talented coach, teacher and author, Diane Ingram. Diane uses her background in psychology, human development and life coaching to successfully help employers, senior management and employees on best ways to tap into their talents and create a performance culture.

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How to create a performance culture. An interview with Diane Ingram

  1. 1. How to create a performance culture. An interview with DianeIngramThis week I had the opportunity to catch up with a wonderfully talented coach, teacher andauthor, Diane Ingram. Diane uses her background in psychology, human development and lifecoaching to successfully help employers, senior management and employees on best ways totap into their talents and create a performance culture.Her human approach has helped many individuals look at themselves and change their qualityof life. Diane has written two books. Listen to Your Heart and a new book coming out sooncalled: Shine at Work. Be Seen, Heard and Appreciated. You will enjoy this very interesting andinformative conversation!Tai: Hi Diane its good to talk with you today.Diane: My pleasure.Tai: Having looked through some of the manuscript of your new book, you talk a lot about how the employee canself engage and thus effect their workforce environment.Diane: Certainly in a working environment, management has a great deal of influence in improving overallperformance. There are numerous engagement, recognition and incentive approaches. Its vital in todays world thata company have an effective comunication network for everyone. But the employee can also empower themself.This will improve their quality of work and life.Tai: In your book you lay out an interesting scenario and suggest us to imagine. Im reading from your introduction."Imagine bounding out of bed, refreshed from a good night’s sleep, eager to head off to work, to shine with the lightof who you are and fully engage with your fellow employees to create, initiate and innovate from a place ofempowered purpose and passion, using your talents, skills and abilities to grow the company and yourself at thesame time, confident of the support and recognition you get from the company, feeling a healthy sense of balancebetween your work and your life.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  2. 2. You and your colleagues show up each day eager and ready to get started on the next phase of completing theexciting, innovative project underway, interacting with the team in an inspired, synergistic way that spurs new ideasfor greater growth, profits and exposure as leaders in the industry."Tai: Then you write about what is generally the reality. I think a reality true of much of management and todaysemployee. You write:"Then the alarm goes off…you drag yourself out of bed, wishing you could just phone in your day’s work, wishingthere was a better way to make a living."Diane: This is true of many today. And all the cash bonuses and trinkets wont change that kind of attitude. But acooperation between employees and management does change hearts and minds. Then your recognition, rewardsbased incentive programs will be enormously effective.Tai: How do you see the landscape?Diane: On one hand, employees are the biggest challenge the employer must face: how to have passionatelyengaged employees, inspired and motivated to give their best to their work each and every day. Employees on theother hand can do somethings to uplift and improve themselves, making their work experience joyful and good forall.Tai: The research does point to a cost liability for US employers at around 300 billion for an un-engaged workforce.Diane: In lost productivity, lower profits, employee retention, customer service, sales, safety records and exchangeof innovative ideas. Research firms from Gallup Poll to Towers Perrin agree that around 70% of American employeesare somewhere on the spectrum from mildly disengaged to totally disengaged--emotionally disconnected--fromtheir work.Tai: Do employers have to do more?Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  3. 3. Diane: The challenge is not just the company’s problem— No matter where you are in the chain of leadership:executive, manager or frontline employee, you can and must take personal responsibility for your level ofengagement in your company, not only for the success of the company but for your own well-being. Your state ofhealth is literally on the line. Employers especially, as we all know, have a stake in wellness.Tai: What should an employee look at?Diane: Going to work at a job you hate, takes its toll on your health as stress, burnout, depression, high bloodpressure, anxiety, absenteeism, a focus on problems instead of solutions and general unhappiness.Tai: The balance point?Diane: A way to look at it is the company shares half of the responsibility in solving this issue by creating anenvironment that is clear in purpose, mission and values and communicates them clearly and regularly to theiremployees. Their role is to value and appreciate the contribution their employees make, to provide coaching andsupport, while fostering growth and learning, recognizing where employee’s talents lie and to give those talents aplace to thrive.It is also up those in leadership positions to set realistic expectations and acknowledge the contribution eachindividual makes to the overall success of the company. There is much to be done from a company standpoint toincrease employee engagement.But it is not just for the company to paternalistically solve this problem by convincing and coercing their employeesto be engaged through offering carrot-type rewards and threatening with stick-like punishment. In fact most studiesprove that those solutions don’t work anymore, if they ever did. In today’s business world, employees respond tosupport, encouragement and opportunity, not threat of punishment.The other half of the solution lives with the employee—bringing their most inspired self to work because they workin a place that is in alignment with their own sense of purpose, their vision of what their ideal job looks like and thevalues that they hold sacred that give meaning to their life. Only then can they truly shine in their work andexperience the fulfillment and satisfaction that is possible.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  4. 4. Tai: Yes.Diane: Are you able to deliver your work with passion? Are you using the skills, talents and abilities that you enjoyusing? Are you finding some pleasure in pursuing, being willing to offer extra effort when needed to get the projectdone because you really want to and care?Are you inspired to take action to bring in your best, creative ideas and initiate projects that are innovative, knowingyou will learn and grow in executing those ideas and projects? Are you interested in contributing in a way that makesa difference to the company and ultimately in the lives of the people the company impacts through it’s products andservices?This is what is required for full engagement at work—to bring your best self to work, not only for the health of thecompany, but for your own health, well-being and ability to thrive. Then everybody benefits, everybody wins.Engagement at work is also, in large measure, an inside job.And being fully engaged at work brings with it a deep-rooted sense of commitment, pride and loyalty that can onlycome when you, the employee feels good about what you do and where you do it, knowing you are making acontribution that matters and recognized by youself and others.My intention is to make this book a roadmap that provides the insight, inspiration and specific tools to have this kindof experience in the workplace. The principles are organized in three easy to remember parts: Tuning In, Turning Onand Stepping Out, and includes wisdom and insight from some of my favorite inspirational leaders.Tai: Of course this brings up the question. Can we really change our experience of the work we do?Diane: Yes absolutely. As I mentioned before, whether you are a business owner, senior management or anemployee in your organization, you have within yourselves the power to raise your quality of experience in manyways.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  5. 5. The first step is maybe the most difficult for some and that is to Step Out of ones self. Next is taking thatempowered action to initiate, finding opportunities to learn, grow and contribute. Cultivating the belief in yourunique gifts and talents, while overcoming fear and finding courage to step out of your comfort zone and headtowards your potential; to share the best you have to give in a way that leaves a legacy and makes a difference inyourself which will effect your world.Tai: For some of us this sounds like a huge task.Diane: Not really. As an employee you could ask yourself, Can I think of a better way to spend my time at work? Andoh by the way, when you are acting from a purposeful, passionate core, you become like a magnet, attractingopportunities, recognition and appreciation. And if that doesn’t happen in your workplace maybe it is time to moveon.Tai: You also mention Abraham Maslow and his work in your new book. Where do you see the connection?Diane: Maslow spoke of living one’s potential in a purposeful, passionate way as Self-Actualization. He describe it asintrinsic needs we all share. To illustrate this, he created a pyramidal structure starting with survival, then safety,belonging, self-esteem, and arriving at self actualization at the top. The top of the mountain. The full expression ofwho you are. • Esteem Needs • Self Respect and Confidence • Competence, Appreciation, Recognition • Social, Love and Belonging Needs • Acceptance, Affection, Friendship, Affiliation • Safety and Security Needs • Security, Physical and Psychological Safety, Protection, Trust. • Physiological Needs • Food, Water, Shelter, Air Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  6. 6. Tai: Your book really maps out the ways and means to, as you say: Shine at Work, Be Seen, Heard and Appreciated.You also cover some great business tips and ways we can all Tap our talents. I had the opportunity to sit in on a veryinteresting workshop you conducted here in New York with business people and employees. A video of thisworkshop is on-line. What fascinated me is how you were able to level the playing field and reach everyone more ashuman beings and not just hierarchy. The response was amazing with a lot of thank yous!Diane: Yes I was really gratified by the response. Being a human myself (Tai laughs), I learn new things about peopleevery time I conduct a workshop.Tai: So when is your new book coming out?Diane: We are doing some final editing and expect the first edition out by summer.Tai: So I got a sneak peek eh?Diane: That you did.Tai: In closing I wanted to ask you if you could share one of your relaxation exercises for us as maybe a starter point.Diane: OK. Something anyone can do at anytime of day. Its very effective. Find yourself in a comfortable sitting orlying position. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose and sigh it out through your mouth. Again,inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth with a sigh. Repeat this breathing pattern several times asyou allow yourself to come more and more into the present moment and relax deeper and deeper.Scan your body for any tension, starting at the top of your head and slowly working down to the soles of your feet.Notice wherever your muscles are holding on—breathe into those areas and release.As you let go, allow your body and breath to peacefully settle in. Know that you are in a safe place, supported by thesurface your body is resting on, and that it is safe to let go and relax.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.
  7. 7. Gently and slowly bring your attention to your heart. Allow your breath to gently massage and soothe your heart.Envision a jewel in the center of your heart—a glistening, sparkling jewel with many facets. What is the shape of thisjewel? Notice the color. Allow it to be whatever it is. Open your eyes.Tai: Thank you again Diane.Share This Taico® :: 67 Patterson Village Ct., Bldg F :: Patterson, NY 12563 :: 845-228-GIFT (4438) :: fax: 845-228-5136 :: info@taico.com © 2012 Taico® Incentive Services Inc.

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