How to Be a Great Manager if You Tend to See the Glass Half Empty but Want to Inspire Your Team

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-7-41-39-am

Thank goodness it is FRIDAY!

Everything that could have gone wrong this week – did!

But, let’s face it, right now – this feels like every week. Things keep going wrong. Deadlines keep getting missed. And your team, OH YOUR TEAM.

You know they’re trying – and that they need some inspiration but… when you keep seeing everything that is going wrong it is a challenge to give your team what they need!

This week we have Coach Keith Edmunds with us to share how to inspire your team when you are seeing the glass half empty.

Take it away, Keith!screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-7-36-00-am

There are many approaches to inspiring a team when your leadership tendency is to see the glass half empty. Often, inspiration will come with:

 

  1. action
  2. transparency and sharing the challenge together
  3. fun!

One of the best ways to make this real is in the form of an activity. Try to facilitate the meeting (not lead it!), where your team self-identifies the “half empties” and the “half fulls”. There, you can openly discuss the attributes, challenges, and possible outcomes of each style.

This is a great place to inspire your team not only to understand, but also to experience transparency through sharing the challenge together!

How do you add the fun in? Maybe expand the exercise by coming up with fun ways to “call it out” when negative or “half full” statements come out from anyone in the team, not just you. Practice this throughout the day, week, and month to continue the awareness journey.

Another approach is to notice the language you use. As you deliver the “glass half empty” messages, try to substitute words that are more inspirational – for example: “our poor performance “ with our “challenge” or “opportunities.”

Thank you, Keith!

Let us know what works for you or some of your best tips!

Falling Into September

Falling Into September

The leaves are (almost) thinking about changing colors – and your comfy, fall clothes are starting to look mighty tempting.

With school back in full swing and the changing of the seasons at our doorstep , there’s an inherent excitement in the air.

How can you use that excitement to your advantage?

Fall is a GREAT time to build your team’s team-y-ness! Maybe have a fantasy football league and draft, or set up a time for you all to head out one Monday or Thursday and watch a game together!

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is coming back (thank goodness!) – take your team out for a surprise coffee run.

How about a team pie bake-off? Or just going outside for one of your team meetings – the fresh air always makes people more creative.

Think about ways that you can bring together what your team members would already be doing to keep them even more engaged at work and excited about what is to come.

The fall is the perfect time to bring everyone together!

Let us know what you love about fall- the boots, the flannel, the leather, the weather… we’d love to hear from you!

And, be sure to think about how you are going to re-engage your team this fall!

The Battle for Focus

The Battle for Focus

We’re on week two with your chatty team! Did you have a chance to reflect on some of the questions Trish asked last week?

We hope those gave you a place to start. This week we’ve got Coach Sue Oliver based out of Texas on how to leverage the camaraderie of your team to get things done.

Take it away, Sue!

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 5.51.41 AM
“The ‘battle for focus’ is one we all wage daily.

We want to motivate and inspire our teams to operate at their best; yet, there are so many opportunities for distractions.

We all know a team in conflict can easily lose focus. A team that gets along well socially and has positive chemistry can also be impacted.

How? The camaraderie and enjoyment of being part of a team that gets along well together can pose a challenge in getting things done.

So, how do you harness the best of what a good team with positive chemistry can achieve without falling victim to unproductive distractions?

One tip is to draw on the positive chemistry of the team to involve them as solution owners.

What does this actually look like?

  • Begin by gathering the team together and laying out the situation transparently
  • Let them know you see the team’s camaraderie as a strength, except when it poses challenges to getting things done
  • Share with the team what the lack of focus looks like
  • Let the team know that you want them to have a stake in the solution
  • Challenge the team to identify the top 1-3 ways they can more clearly focus on achieving their performance goals while preserving the positive spirit and camaraderie of the team

At the end of the meeting or deadline set for team ideas, decide on the top few things the team can do to heighten their focus while preserving the positive atmosphere among the team.

This inclusive process will enable your team to be problem solvers and owners in the solution. You will have solved a problem through motivation and engagement – yielding a much more sustainable solution.”

Thank you, Sue!

By considering the questions from Trish last week and some of Sue’s suggestions this week, we know you’ll start to see some different results soon!

Motivating the Chatty Ones

Motivating the Chatty Ones

You’ve finally decided to connect with your team members on Facebook.

And now, you get new notifications of your team members tagging each other in photos every Friday and Saturday night.

You knew that they were chatty at work but you didn’t realize that all their socializing was encouraged by them hanging out together outside of work too.

Sometimes, the chemistry of your team can seem to take away from their productivity. You don’t want to kill the camaraderie but your team has got to get the work done. Over the coming weeks we’ll hear from two Coaches on some strategies on how to work with your sociable team.

This week we have Coach Trish Brooks from Ottawa, Canada with some suggestions and questions to motivate your team so that socializing doesn’t get in the way of results.

Let’s check out what Trish has to say!

“This is a multi-faceted problem, and there may be several interventions that the manager must make. Today let’s look at one important one – is the team fully engaged with their job. Research has shown that the social part of the job is not a significant reason people come to a company, or stay with a company – it’s not a ‘motivator’. Employees typically leave companies (even though they have great social connections) because the work is not stimulating and they are not developing. If employees are not ‘getting things done’ it means they are likely not motivated to do the work.

So, the first question to ask is ‘are my employees motivated in their jobs?’

  • Is the job aligned with what is important to them?
  • Is their work interesting and are they learning and growing in their job?
  • Are they being recognized, and feel valued? Are they feeling a sense of accomplishment day-to-day?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of the above, then it is unlikely that socializing is getting in the way of the work. If employees are bored with the work and are not growing, then socializing will be what they do instead of work.

The best way for a leader to determine whether or not their employees are motivated is to have a discussion that asks questions like:

  • What are a couple of recent accomplishments you feel especially good about?
  • What part of your work interests or challenges you the most and least?
  • What’s important to you and what do you value at work? Is there a good match between what is important to you and what this organization provides?
  • Do you feel valued and recognized for what you accomplish here?

The manager can then determine what the next step is. For example, the manager could:

  • Modify the job objectives so there is more challenge/accomplishment/growth for the employee or help the employee move to a job that is better aligned to their interests
  • Ensure that people are not hired that are overqualified for the job (because they will likely get bored within the first year)
  • Recognize the accomplishments of employees
  • Hold employees accountable, and provide feedback, so they know what is expected (and know what accomplishment looks like)
  • Move people before they get bored in a job. Typically people need a new challenge every three years.

If employees are energized about their jobs, they will still socialize, but it will be aligned with the goals of the group. People get energized, and have fun, when they have common goals that they accomplish together.”

Thanks, Trish! Let’s try these tactics out this week and see what we uncover. And, make sure to come back next week for some more tips!

Beginning Collaboration

Beginning Collaboration

You’ve just received a multi-layered and pretty complex project from management. *deep breath*

You know that if you break up the work each team member can get the job done but you’ve really been wanting to encourage your team to work together more.

This week we have Coach Mike Lim with us on one tip he would recommend to start bringing that change!

Take it away, Mike!

Mike“Great individuals need an inspiring leader to garner them together. First things first, you need to be the ‘beacon’ to get them excited about the project.

One tip is to share the benefit of how this project can help the team members build visibility in their work and as a team. Hence, you need to be able to articulate purpose and benefit statements such as:

  • This is a critical project that requires the team to …
  • When this project succeeds, this creates more visibility to the work that we …

As this may not be a high performance team just yet, you will have to ensure that you communicate the outcome and set clear guidelines on roles and responsibilities. You may need to have an open discussion to know each individual skills-set and what they can bring to the table in this project team.

It is certainly useful for you to understand the Tuckman’s team model. Teams go through the stages of Forming, Storming, Norming before Performing.  Keep an eye open to how the group interacts and ascertain the stage(s) they are in throughout the project timeline. This being said, you will have to steer the team through the ‘waters’ to become a high-performing team.”

Thanks, Mike!

This week, try sharing with your team why working together will be beneficial to their career! And, let us know how sharing this encourages the mood of the team!

One encouragement, what you are hoping to do is change the culture of your team and this will take some time. Stick with it!

As Yoda would say… “Great manager, you are! And, more collaboration in your future.”

Your Ever-Changing Team

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 10.43.13 AM

Whether you’ve been a manager for 2 weeks or 20 years, I think we can all agree that building teams that work well together is an art.

Teams are always changing – even if you’ve had the same people working for you for a significant amount of time, the individuals are continuing to change and grow, and in turn, your team changes and grows.

Over the next couple of weeks, a few of our great Coaches will share suggestions on how to promote more collaboration and encourage efficiency with chatty members.

Before we dive into how to grow as a team, spend 10 or 15 minutes this week thinking about your team.

  • How would you (or others!) currently describe your team?
  • What do you want your team to be known for?
  • How do you want your team to grow over the next year?

Thinking about where you want to lead your people to is the first step in getting there!

Your Team is Great… How Do You Let Them Know?

I Appreciate you!

Pressure. Deadlines. Meetings. More meetings. New ideas. Client calls. The list goes on.

Your team works so hard, pushes through all of it with a smile (well, most of the time!), and continues to perform fabulously.

In the craziness of the business, it’s hard to find the time to tell your team more than “great work!”. We have Coach Kathryn Haber with us this week, giving some tips on how to show your team you appreciate them.

Here what Kathryn has to say:

Kathryn HaberI show appreciation for my team by getting to know each person on my team as people. I know their styles – perhaps their Myers Briggs (tag site) and their Top 5 Strengths from the StrengthFinder (tag site) – and leverage this information in working with them.  

 

I know how they prefer to communicate and try to adjust my style accordingly. I celebrate our [my team’s] successes and am understanding of mistakes – we are all human.

 

We will learn from our mistakes and do better next time. 

 

I make sure we have frequent team meetings and 1:1 meetings and set clear expectations. I ask about their aspirations and provide them with opportunities to be successful. I remove roadblocks for them. 

 

We get together quarterly for team building and work session meetings. We get together out of the office quarterly, too. 

 

I give my team members the benefit of the doubt because I know them as people and know their intentions. I advocate for my team in other parts of the organization. 

 

Lastly, I tell them frequently that I appreciate them, individually and as a team.  I give them specific, concrete examples of their success and the impact they have had on the team and the business.  In addition, I ensure that our team members have the opportunity to share feedback with one another.  We all have development plans in place to help us be better professionals and team members.  As a result, we all improve our effectiveness and this ultimately betters the business.

Wow, Kathryn! I feel inspired just by hearing what you do! Don’t you?

We’d suggest you choose one of these things to start with!

So, what are you going to do this week to inspire your team?