How to Be a Great Manager If You’re Introverted and You Have An Extroverted Team

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-33-39-pm

Did you stop by last week and think “I have the opposite situation! I’m introverted and have an extroverted team!”?

This week we’ve got Coach Peter Pintus here with some tips on how to most successfully manage your extroverted team, while staying true to you.

Take it away Peter!

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-32-52-am

“Managing a high impact team successfully is critical for any organizational project. This can be a challenge when a manager’s personality type is introverted and the personality type of his/her team members is extroverted.

 Why is this a challenge? Because introverts and extroverts tend to process information and approach tasks differently. Eric, an introverted team manager, prefers to process ideas internally while his extroverted team members prefer to process ideas by dialoging and openly interacting with others. Sara, another introverted team manager, prefers to spend time deeply thinking about and developing strategy and then implementing that strategy, while her extroverted team members prefer to think in broad terms, put a strategy in to place now (whether it is clearly defined or not) and then take the necessary time to critically evaluate that strategy. These two scenarios illustrate potential challenges for any introverted manager.

 How can an introverted team manager with an extroverted team go from being a good manager to a great manager in these types of situations?

 Following are six techniques that can help you manage your team toward success!

  1. Be willing to model your role as leader by releasing your way of doing things so that your team can function optimally. The important thing is that the end goal is reached. By allowing team members to work in their extroverted way, you encourage engagement, collaboration, and accountability, rather than stifle it.
  2. Make sure that the team task (e.g. deliverables and time frames) is clear and agreed to by team members. This will minimize confusion regarding your expectations and allow you to redirect the process if it goes off course.
  3. Establish team rules. Make sure everyone has a chance to contribute, listen actively to others, and agrees to time frames and goals. Establishing agreed upon rules in advance circumvents potential issues associated with differences in the way an introvert and an extrovert approaches a task.
  4. Allow sufficient time for team members to process externally through verbal interactions.
  5. Create engaging team process activities such as visual strategic flowcharts and plans that provide team members opportunities to use their gifts and talents in an outward-focused way.
  6. Request that team members provide you with pertinent information before any meetings so that you have the chance to review the material beforehand. This will help you feel more prepared when engaging in dialog with your team members.

 The mark of a great manager is one who is willing to adjust their style so that their team members can successfully apply their uniqueness and strengths to achieving team goals!”

Thank you, Peter!

How to Be a Great Manager if You’re Extroverted and you have an Introverted Team

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-25-43-pm

So, your extroverted. You love to be around your team and to talk out all our ideas and plans.

You get energized by having some alone time and you despise small talk.

And, your team? We’ll they despise small talk and need thinking time (alone!) to come up with their best ideas.

It can feel like a challenge when you want to hear their ideas on the spot.

This week we have Coach Judy Laws with us to share some thoughts on how to most successfully manage your introverted team, while staying true to you.

Take it away Judy!

 screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-29-38-pm“A great manager appreciates the difference between extroversion and introversion and finds ways to adapt and leverage these differences. To do this, they first need to understand the extroversion and introversion preferences.

Extroversion and introversion is about the direction in which we focus our attention and energy. Extroverts focus their energy and attention outwards; they are attracted to the outer world of people and events. Extroverts are more likely to: Speak-think-speak, speak out easily and often at meetings, favor an energetic atmosphere, find too little interaction stressful, and desire an action-oriented leader.

Introverts, on the other hand, focus their energy and attention inward; they are attracted to the inner world of thoughts and reflections. Introverts are more likely to: think-speak-think, be quiet in meetings and seem uninvolved, favor a calm atmosphere, find too much interaction stressful, and desire a contemplative leader.

As an extroverted manager, here are some things you can do if you have an introverted team.

Manage your Extroversion

  • In conversation or in a team meeting, pay attention to how much you are talking. Ask yourself, A.I.T. – Why am I talking? If the answer is I am doing most of the talking, stop and let the other person speak.
  • Moderate your approach at times, in order not to overwhelm introverts. Practice silence i.e. Stop, Look, Listen first.

Allow Introverts Time and Space to Think and Speak

  • Extroverts (including Introverts conditioned in an extroverted world) need to develop sensitivity to the impact of their behaviour on introverts, particularly with respect to leaving “silences” to encourage introverts to take their share of the air in discussions.
  • Allow introverts the space that they need to produce their best work, which will be on their own or with a couple of their team members, in a quiet space.

 When Working as a Team

  • Send out team meeting information ahead of time to allow introverts time to think about the topic, agenda items, etc.
  • Use Meeting Guidelines / Ground Rules, established by the team, to manage team dynamics.
  • Create opportunities for small group interaction.
  • Ensure that airtime is shared amongst the team. For example, “I noticed that we have heard from many of the same people and want to open the discussion to others who haven’t had a chance to share their thoughts.”
  • Devise methods for including everyone in a discussion, e.g. silent brainstorming, round robin allowing individuals to pass, surveying the team before the meeting, sharing the group’s input and then discussing it, etc.
  • Before proceeding with a decision or action, allow time for team members to think about it before proceeding.
  • Coach your introverted team members to let their peers (and you!) know when they are thinking and/or need time to think.

 Finally, it is important to treat each team member as an individual, recognizing that individuals show up differently on the extroversion-introversion scale. Observe and learn more about each team member so that you can leverage their strengths and adapt your management style accordingly.”

 Thank you, Judy!

Let us know how these tips work for you! And, if you’re an introverted Manager be sure to stop by next week for some tips for you!

Creativity at Work: Coloring Outside the Lines While Thinking Inside the Box

creativityatwork-01

Imagine this: you are sitting on your normal Monday morning conference call being grilled about hitting the weekly benchmarks—sales, profits, team expansions. You have implemented all of the suggested tactics, but the old solutions just. aren’t. working. anymore.

You have new strategies to try, but they fall on deaf ears. Sound familiar?

You aren’t going crazy. There is a barrier against creativity in the workplace – even if we don’t mean to have one! According to research from Cornell University, this creativity bias is a subconscious reaction to avoiding risk and minimizing uncertainty in the face of the unfamiliar. Even if your boss wants (and emphatically states a desire for) new, creative ideas, this creativity bias actually prevents novel suggestions from being recognized, encouraged, and accepted.

So, what can you do to convince your boss that your creative solutions are viable, while toeing the company line?

  • If your company is devoted to developing innovative ideas, try tying innovation to embracing a certain amount of uncertainty. After all, being new, different, or improved requires changing the status quo. Cite exciting, risk-taking thinkers. Think Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Sergey Brin.
  • What if your company has an aversion to all things new? Try reducing the uncertainty and risk for your boss and decision-makers. Are there studies that support your suggestions to improve efficiency, morale, or productivity? Present them as evidence that your suggestions are proven and effective.

Either way, you can color outside the lines while thinking about what’s inside the box.

How have you exercised creativity at work? Share your comments below.

Interviewing: Tips to nail it

Interviewing: Tips to nail it

To be honest – the past couple months at your job have been R.O.U.G.H.

You know that you want more out of your work- and where you are working just isn’t cutting it right now.

You started applying for some jobs that looked interesting, and much to your delight you’ve got an interview set up!

All those nerves are starting to come back about how you “make sure” to impress them and hopefully walk away with a job offer in the next few days.

This week, we’ve got out top tips on how to nail your next interview.

Stay authentic!

People can tell when you are being yourself and when you are just trying to say, “what they want to hear”. As hard as it is, try to prepare yourself to not give “the RIGHT answer”. Just be true to who you are!

Be prepared for the “trick” question

This can be “what do you see your biggest challenge with the job being” or “what is your biggest weakness”? Think about the intent of the question- why is it being asked in the first place?

Usually, people want to see how you are continuing to grow and change. Think about a way you can talk about your weaknesses or challenges while also highlighting how you are growing from them.

Here’s an example: “One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I tend to assume the best in people. I trust they will get the job done and I tend to struggle in following up on accomplished tasks. I’ve learned to become more consistent in follow-ups. I set calendar reminders for myself the day before something is due. This gives me the accountability structure to help me be the most successful”

Come with your OWN questions

 …And not the “why is this a great place to work” question!

Think about the aspects that are actually important to you in the job and/or company. A few questions to consider:

  • Are you passionate about working for a company with great culture?
  • Do you want a job where the role is extremely defined or one where you are getting a new project each week?
  • Do you feel that regular 1×1’s with your boss are key to your success in your role?

Center your questions around the things that are important to you. This shows that you really care and also give you some information you may need to make sure you are making the best decision for you!

The Art of Influencing: Executives

The Art of Influencing: Executives

This week, we have one of our Coaches, Terry Hildebrandt, PhD, with us to share some tips on how to influence executives (or those above your Boss!)

Take it away Terry:

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.14.22 PM
“One of the most common topics that comes up when I am coaching mid-level to senior leaders is giving presentations to executives. Having observed executive presentations for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that 90% of what you need to cover can be outlined in five questions. These include:

  1. What have you done lately?
  2. What should I be worried about?
  3. What are you going to do to address the risks/issues?
  4. What do you need from me?
  5. What other creative ideas do you have?

Let’s go a little bit deeper into each of these questions.

  1. What have you done lately?

This first question gives you the opportunity to update senior leaders on your accomplishments and your lessons learned. This should always include celebration of successes, even if there have been significant problems. Your lessons learned from the challenges or issues should also be included. Many organizational cultures value learning from failures as much as learning from successes.

  1. What should I be worried about?

The second question is about elaborating on risks and providing updates on problems. Risk management includes not only identifying potential problems but also analyzing harmfulness and likelihood of each risk occurring. You should also be prepared to discuss issues and roadblocks.

  1. What are you going to do to address the risks/issues?

This question should address your plans to mitigate risks and to address problems. This may include contingency planning and preventative actions to prevent certain risks from occurring. You should also address the likelihood of successfully addressing the concerns and what management can expect to see during the next review in terms of progress.

  1. What do you need from me?

This question allows you to ask for additional resources, changes in scope, or approval of modified timelines. Also consider asking for political or relationship capital support in driving changes within the organization, especially with departments where you may have no direct oversight to drive action.

  1. What other creative ideas do you have?

This last question is often overlooked; however, it has the potential for breakthroughs in innovation and creativity. Allowing time in your agenda to explore new approaches and brainstorm possible solutions enables executives to consider alternate strategies and enables you to exhibit your brilliance.

Before going into any executive update, make sure you fully consider the answers to each of these five core questions. I highly recommend you structure your slide deck and agenda to address these five questions any time you are providing updates to senior leaders.”

Thank you, Terry!!

Interns: Setting Up For Future Success

Interns: Setting Up For Future Success

So, you’ve got an intern.

You and I know that most interns are hoping that all their hard work isn’t just for nothing. Interns are hoping that when they work their butt off this summer that it provides a job opportunity (or connection) in the future.

But – you may or may not have the opportunity to bring on a new staff member next spring.

Realistically, it’s too far in advance to tell, and you don’t know if your current intern would fit the role you need to fill.

But, your intern has been curious, hard- working, and you see some real potential!

Jodi Gilckman, from Harvard Business Review, has 4 tips on How to Help your Intern get a Full Time Job.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Are there introductions you can make for your Intern?
  • Could you write a great recommendation?
  • Would you have time to talk with them once a month as a mentor, over the next 9 months?
  • Be transparent – talk about what you may be able to provide and communicate what next steps would be!

And, be sure to share with us on your best practices with interns.

Interns: What to do With Them?

Interns: What to do With Them?

About 4 weeks ago you had a new team member added to your staff.

You could have sworn they were in high school, but this intern is a junior in college and hoping to make some connections before “all gets real” next year.

As these 4 weeks have passed, it’s been nice to have the extra help but you are noticing that you intern is seeming… well – bored?

You can tell they had hopes of what their internship would be and because May (and June) were so crazy this year, you know you could have planned a little better for their arrival.

So, now what?

Here are some tips on how to re-engage with your intern:

1. Start the relationship over – take them to lunch!

  • Get to know them! Where do they want their career to start? What is their dream job? If they could work for any company/ industry, what would it be?

2. Take the time to set the context for upcoming projects

  • Sometimes tasks given to interns seem like the “projects that no one wants”. Make it feel special (in an authentic way!)
  • Take some time to share about why those projects REALLY matter or choose a project that would benefit your team and speak to your interns interests!

3. Have some new resources available

  • You’ve got two goals here: You want your intern to be successful with the new project you’ve given and you want to show thoughtfulness (that you’ve prepared for giving this new project)

4. Offer and ask for feedback – and not too late, either!

  • Give your intern actionable feedback with real examples – it help them to be successful in the future! Make sure to give some positive feedback too
  • Ask them for feedback on what you’ve done well and what else they would have appreciated

Try out these tips and let us know your best strategies for engaging with interns!

Stand For Something

Stand For Something

To all our American friends, Happy 4th of July weekend!

It’s so easy on weekends like this to just enjoy the sales and extra day off work.

And, let’s face it, all the decisions the Founding Fathers made feel removed from our everyday life.

What is amazing about this group of people is that they chose to stand for something they believed in.

Against all odds, they thought it better for the United States to declare its independence from Britain, and then did something about it.

Though we are living over 200 years later, we have the opportunity to stand up for something we believe in.

This could be the next time you notice one of your peers making a decision that doesn’t align with your companies values to choose to say “Hey, I noticed that you’re doing X and I am wondering…”

Or, you’re on a product development team and your most recent development was shot down but you believe this direction is the one to go towards. Instead of choosing to let it go you can research and go back to your boss about why this should be considered.

We are all faced with those moment at work when something “just doesn’t sit right” with us.

Next time that happens, instead of just brushing that feeling off, think about what is it you have the opportunity to stand up for.

Making Time for You

Making Time for You

Last week we talked about setting priorities at work but what about your personal priorities?

The busyness of life has a way of creeping in – it’s not just that there’s so much to do at work, but there’s just so much to do in GENERAL!

Just like taking the time to set priorities at work is hugely important to your job, setting priorities for you, personally, is hugely important to the quality of life that you experience.

We all have “that thing” that we would “love to change” if we could.

Here are a couple starters we’d love to:

  • Eat healthier
  • Read a new book or two
  • Work out more often
  • Be less stressed out
  • Travel to Europe
  • Become more meditative

It is great to have that “thing” you’d love to do!

So, now what? Just like we had some tips for setting priorities for your work, we’ve got some for your personal priorities as well!

Tip 1: Start small

It is so great that you want to work out more but don’t feel like you’ve got to run your first 10k in 6 weeks!

Take it slow. Set a realistic goal. Maybe you can commit to finding a 5-minute workout routine on Pinterest to do twice a week.

Set your goal to be something you know you can do so that you feel empowered to keep going and not discouraged!

 Tip 2: Find a friend!

I know, this title is slightly reminiscent to the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire’s” phone a friend, but in all seriousness, find someone who you can do this with!

Maybe it is someone who has wanted to read more and you can read the same book together or someone who you share meals with often and you both can go on a healthier- kick!

Just don’t go at this change alone!

Tip 3: Create a reward for yourself

This is really exiting that you are taking the time to do something for you!

What can you do as a “great job!” once you accomplish it?

Maybe you’ll buy a fun bottle of wine to celebrate 30 days of healthier eating or have a new meal planned after you’ve taken 15 minutes of meditation for 10 days.

Choose something to honor all the hard work you’ve done – you deserve it!

Developing You

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.45.34 AM

If you could have more of one thing in life, what would it be?

…………

Did you answer with time or money? If so, you are right up there with about 85% of Americans.

We are all. so. busy.

And now, we are suggesting that you take more time out of your day to develop you. If you haven’t been with us the last few weeks we’d encourage to check out our past two posts on why to spend the time and where to start.

This week, we’ve got the VERY exciting chance to talk about WHEN to actually do this.

Some days it can be so hard to find the time to make a pit stop in the bathroom, let alone take a class or work with a Coach!

But, if you just continue to do what you have been, chances are you won’t continue to grow in the ways you hope to. (I know… this post is getting all serious!)

The best way to find the time to develop you is to set aside the time and don’t let anything get in the way.

I can almost feel the eye rolls happening and hear the “But….”

Maybe you need to schedule yourself to “leave” work an hour early once a month but instead of going home, stop by the library to work on your class.

Or maybe instead of hanging out in the break room for lunch, go down by the park and read.

LITTLE tweaks can make a really big difference.

Whatever it is you’ve chosen to do, it is time to make the choice that you continuing to grow is just as important as you getting your job done.

So.

Take out your calendar and choose a time- block it off.

Then, go talk to whoever you need to help keep you accountable to that (maybe it’s your team so that they know they really can’t bother you during that time or your boss or your spouse or trusted friend).

But, tell someone what you are committing to.

We are excited for you to continue to grow and we’d love to hear about what you’ve committed to!