Trust

Too Little Too Late…

3 Minute Read

Recently, a client had a key employee resign unexpectedly, and they were left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. They had big plans for this employee in the future.  In fact, they had discussed this during many of our leadership team group sessions.  When the employee put in his resignation, it felt a bit like a punch in the gut. The leadership team felt that they had invested so much time into this employee. They asked us to conduct an exit interview in hopes of learning from the situation, so they don’t repeat the same mistakes.

During the exit interview, the employee reported that he felt like he had plateaued in his current role. And he wasn’t sure what career path the company had in mind for him. It made our hearts sink a little because we heard the leaders of the organization discuss the plans for his future. But they quickly discovered that they never clearly laid out that plan to the most important person: THE EMPLOYEE!

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Organizational Culture: The Alka-Seltzer Method

3 Minute Read

More and more companies today have come to understand that employees are demanding that the company they work for fit their values and beliefs about how employees and coworkers should treat each other. They look at a company’s philosophy about customers and their beliefs about social causes. And most importantly, they look at organizational culture. And if the company doesn’t fit the mold, the employees go elsewhere.

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Leading with Compassion: A Requirement of Leaders Today

4 Minute Read

The word compassion holds many meanings, and it’s hard to define. Here’s what we know. Compassion consists of three main elements: recognizing or noticing when others are struggling, understanding and feeling for the person that is struggling, and responding or having the motivation to act and help relieve the struggle. Compassion takes empathy one step further with that final element: having the motivation to act.

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Transforming the Employee Evaluation

3 Minute Read

As a supervisor, giving an employee evaluation can be dreadful. You start by staring at yet another blank form. You go through each performance category, carefully marking your choice of below average, average, or above average. And when done, you recheck your responses, making sure that the report is “balanced.” Too many low marks, and your employee might be upset. Too many high and there is nowhere to aspire. What is the answer? Rank the employee in the middle…the sweet spot! Not hanging back, not showing off. The solution is average.

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How to hold people accountable without ruining relationships.

4 Minute Read

Picture this scenario: People at work are unengaged. You can feel your direct reports whispering about you around the water cooler. Sometimes you feel walked on. And your team thinks that they can get away with anything…because you won’t do anything about it. Does any of this sound familiar?


Having crucial conversations with your team is hard. We know our employees have good intentions. But sometimes, they make mistakes, or we need to correct performance issues. And holding them accountable for missing the mark can be extremely uncomfortable. You don’t want to hurt feelings and you don’t want to create a combative environment. But issues arise when we, as managers, are scared to ask our teams to take responsibility for their actions. Here are some quick dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

DO: Foster communication.

Before you even try to hold people accountable for their actions and goals, you need to create an environment that encourages communication. Find out something about your team members: their hobbies, their interests, their family, their values. Create a base level of trust.

  • DON’T: Be their best friend. We get it. It is fun to have friends at work! And it shows that you care about your team. But there is a line. It becomes difficult when you must go from friend to manager and actually hold your team accountable.

 

DO: Set clear expectations.

The first step is to ensure that your employees know exactly what success looks like. What is the outcome you’re expecting? How should it be accomplished? How will we know that it was accomplished? Work to create alignment and focus within the team.

  • DON’T: Expect your team to know everything. Let your team know that it is okay to ask questions. And sometimes people don’t have questions until they get into the weeds of the project.

 

DO: Make it measurable.

In order to set a clear goal, it must be measurable. If it isn’t measurable, how will you ever know it is finished? Think about these questions: How Much? How Many? Who is involved? How long will it take? What is the desired outcome?

  • DON’T: Be vague. Or create goals that require interpretation. Your opinion or perspective might be different from your employee’s.

 

DO: Explain the potential consequences.

If the job doesn’t get done correctly or on time, how does that impact your clients? Your team? Your company as a whole? What does that mean for the person or people who didn’t get the job done correctly? Set the precedent upfront that you are fully expecting to hold people accountable.

  • DON’T: Make accountability taboo. Why is it even taboo anyway? Start the conversation, create a discussion, respond to concerns, and know when to draw the hard line.

 

DO: Train, coach, and be available.

You can’t just give your team a project and then cross your fingers and hope that it gets done correctly and on time. You need to ask the questions to see if your team has the skills to get the job done. And if not, you need to train them. You will also need to coach your team and encourage problem-solving. Start by asking questions like: “What have you tried so far?”, “What has or hasn’t worked?”, “What could you do to fix that?” Be available when they need you, but don’t provide all the answers.

  • DON’T: Micromanage. Is there anything worse than your boss standing over your shoulder watching your every move? You feel stuck, like you’re doing something wrong and second-guessing yourself at every turn. Do you think your employees feel any different? It is okay to let them make mistakes because mistakes lead to coaching moments, which leads to a more independent workforce.

 

DO: Give consistent feedback.

Be specific and give feedback in multiple avenues. Consistent feedback sounds scary. Who has time for that?! You do. Feedback does not need to be a formalized “sit–down” anymore. Stop by their desk, send a text or email, have a video conference or give them a quick call. Be specific in your feedback. What was done correctly?  What wasn’t what you were expecting? And how can they get back on track?

  • DON’T: Only focus on the negative. When we do this, we start keeping score. And we become that manager that no one wants to hear from.

 

By remembering these simple actions, you can create a relationship with your team that allows them to know that you are there for them; that you want them to succeed; that you will give them the tools to do so; and how uncorrected poor performance will impact the team and the organization. At the end of the day, “I tried” isn’t always the best business model. Results must still be achieved. And everybody wants to be a part of those results. How can you set the stage for your team to be successful?

Watch this video on accountability to find out how to hold people accountable!

You’re not my boss!

3 Minute Read

How to deal with your micromanaging coworker.

Every company has one. The micromanaging coworker. You know who we’re talking about. The one employee that has his hands in everything. He’s the go-to for all the questions you have. But also a bit of a control freak. Things that aren’t his job easily become his job, because he can’t let go. He checks up on your work and he’s always questioning what you’re doing. Sometimes, you might even start to wonder how he has time to do his own job when he’s spending so much time trying to do yours.

And here’s the worst part…You don’t even report to him!

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It’s All a Matter of Perspective

3 Minute Read

Consider this all-too-familiar scenario: You’re driving to work behind an SUV that abruptly stops before an intersection. No turn signal, no warning. Just stops in the middle of the street. How inconsiderate! You could have wrecked! So you lay on the horn, angry and flustered, yelling a few choice words.

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Confessions Of A Recovering Micromanager

2 Minute Read

Why do we micromanage? It may not always be intentional, but for some of us, it just seems to happen.

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We’re Leaves On A Vine

2 Minute Read

Think of the leaves on a vine as they grow up the side of a building. They’re beautiful. They blossom, they grow, and eventually, your entire building is covered with them. As the autumn season approaches, one by one, they start to turn colors. Some yellow, some red, some brown. So many leaves to admire, and every time we look at them, we think of the beauty they bring. Then they start to fall off. Until only a few are left. What will replace them? Naturally, new leaves blossom and grow in their place. They start out small and then repeat the cycle.

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Building Relationships

2 Minute Read

We’ve all been busy…really busy. And many times we get so caught up in saving a minute here, or an hour there, that we lose many of the qualities that make life worth living — particularly the quality and joy that others can bring to our lives.

Success in business or in your personal life can become meaningless if there is no one available to share the fruits of that success. Therefore, setting aside time for building relationships with others is very important.

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