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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Teamwork DiSC“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  This simple statement from the classic movie Cool Hand Luke is truer in our workplace than we want to admit.

We live in a culture where employee engagement and productivity are rapidly decreasing, while business competition, customer expectations, and new technology are on the rise. While there is no quick-fix or easy-button to transform your company, have found that the simple solution is still the right one. A successful company or business team must have effective leadership. Now more than ever, being able to manage an effective team is vital to the success of an organization.

This post and the next will cover 5 simple tips to keep in mind when you are building and managing your team.  The first two tips contained here will be on culture and communication.  The final three tips will follow in the next post and they will be on trust, accountability, and recognition.

Tip #1 – Create a culture that celebrates individuality. Your job as a leader is to help identify each person’s unique skill set and how they can best utilize it to contribute to the success of the whole team.   The fastest way to demotivate your team is by trying to force them to fit in to an environment that does not allow them to operate in the manner most effective for them. Great leadership is not about bossing people around. It is about inspiring them and guiding them towards a common goal. You will pull leaders forward when you encourage them to believe in themselves and what they bring to the table.

Tip #2 – Communicate effectively. In order for your team to maintain a result oriented mindset, there must be an open dialogue for their ideas. People want to feel valued, heard and respected, not just prioritized.  As a leader you must be intentional with your words. If you want your team to be in alignment with your vision, you should adequately articulate information, priorities and long-term goals.  Do not shy away from the difficult conversations just because they are uncomfortable. Even when the content is unfavorable, people tend to be open and receptive when you create a safe space, speak with grace and ask for their input.

The golden rule, while well intended, does not apply to a cross cultural, cross gender, and cross generational workplace. Today it is about invoking the Platinum Rule:  Treat people and communicate with people the way they want to be communicated with.  We use Everything DiSC Workplace to change cultures. This generational tool helps bridge the gap between learning style, communication, and personality differences that can cause petty annoyances.

Please come back for tips three thru five next week.

 

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youngworkersBy 2025, millennials will account for over 75% of the global workplace.  With this fact in mind, many organizations allocate a significant amount of time and resources to finding ways to accommodate this group’s learning preferences and skill sets.  Many of us fear for the future when we think about placing all we have worked for in seemingly incapable hands of a generation whose thoughts, ideas and processes are so foreign to us. They want different things, are motivated by different incentives, and have drastically different values.

While there are clear benefits to examining trends, tactics, and behaviors in order to chart the best course of action; I suggest focusing on the many ways in which they are not so different from the rest of the workforce. The skills needed to manage a successful team have not and will not change. You may need to modify your approach a little bit but ultimately great management is individual. You just have to be willing to know and understand the members of your team on a personal basis.

Here are five simple things to remember as you master the art of effectively managing a team, even if they are millennials.

  1. Provide Feedback. You cannot avoid crucial conversations because you are too busy to provide positive feedback or to uncomfortable providing negative. Both are extremely necessary for success. Your team wants to look up to you and learn from you. According recent studies, millennials look to their direct manager as their number one source of development. However, 54% report feeling like their managers did not provide the developmental support they were looking for. People crave and respond well to thoughtful feedback. Do not shy away from an opportunity to invest in their individual success and the success of your team.
  2. Coach More Than You Manage. Be a leader who is worthy of being followed. People need to know that they are valued and that you recognize the strengths they bring to your team. While leadership and structure are necessary, people respond better when they feel you respect their ideas. The heavy hand of authority and the mindset of “command and control” are both outdated and completely ineffective. If you want your employee engagement to rise above the shockingly low 30% average, do not expect them to just silently comply with whatever directive you hand down. Encourage and inspire them. Give them permission to voice new ideas, and the freedom to solve new problems and challenges their own way.
  3. Build Relationships. I will continue to say this, because it will continue to be of the utmost importance. Building relationships and nurturing a sense of community are essential components in maintaining a successful team. Encourage socialization and group projects. This new generation of professionals enjoy preforming their tasks in a more relaxed, communal atmosphere. They thrive in settings where they are able to access and have close relationships with their superiors. Consider offering a mentoring session every few weeks as part of an incentive program.
  4. Give Them Something to Believe In. We exist in a culture where obligation has given way to choice. People search for inspiration in all aspects of their lives. The “why” matters more than the “what.” Include your team in your vision. Let them know their mission is tied to a bigger purpose and explain why their role fits intricately into the “big picture.” Passion is a much more compelling motivator than simply making a list of demands.
  5. Capitalize on Their Abilities. Preforming multiple tasks at one time is a way of life for the millennial. Talking on the phone, while composing an email and answering several instant messages is the “norm” for them. In fact, without this level of chaos, they are likely to become bored and disengaged. Instead of stifling these behaviors, encourage them to help improve networking and multitasking abilities across your organization.

To find a book suggestion for millennials entering the workforce, visit post Three Leadership Tips for Millennials and Boomers.

 

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PXT Select ReportsWhat are the ways companies try to predict success in their hiring?  From an applicant’s resume they may learn: career history, job experience, technical knowledge, and potential references.  From the interview process, they hope to understand the applicant’s: thinking style, extent of technical skills, true job knowledge, problem solving skills, and typical behavior traits.  Following this, they hope for a good selection process to match the right candidate to the correct job.

What is the company had a better way of doing interviews that could insure a better selection process?  In a previous post, you learned that PXT Select assessment could be required by each candidate for the job position.  Once multiple candidate assessments are complete, management and human resources gain access to a range of reports that can used for the selection process, as well as other purposes after the hiring is complete.  Below is a list of the PXT Select reports and what is contained in each.

 

PXT Select Position and Single Candidate Reports

Report Name Results Summary or Definition Performance Model Interview Questions or Ideal Candidate
Comprehensive Selection

 

Candidate’s Results from the assessment compared to the Performance Model Range of scores typical for success in the position, with scale and job fit interpretations Series of personalized Questions based on the candidate’s fit to the Performance Model
Performance Model (for position) Definition of each of the styles and traits Range of scores typical for success in the position Statement describing the Ideal Candidate for this position will appear for each style and trait

 

PXT Select Single Employee Reports

Report Name Definitions Feedback or Results
Individual’s Feedback Each of the styles, traits, and interests that were measured by the assessment will be defined Personalized Feedback based on results and how they should be interpreted
Individual’s Graph Each of the styles, traits, and interests that were measured by the assessment will be defined after Results Results will be summarized on scales for Thinking Style, continua for Behavioral Traits, and a ranked-order list for Interests

 

PXT Select – Multiple Placement Comparison Reports

Report Name Performance Models Candidate Fit Comparison or %Fit
Multiple Positions

(1 Candidate to Many)

Range of scores typical for success in each position Candidate’s results from the assessment compared to the Performance Models The candidate’s Overall Fit for each of the positions
Multiple Candidates

(Many to 1 Position)

Range of scores on each scale typical for success in the position Each candidate’s results from the assessment compared to the Performance Models Candidates  results for each scale are placed together for easy Comparison

 

PXT Select – Misc. Management Reports

Report Name Results Feedback Definitions, Reflection, or Action
Coaching

(1 to 1)

Assessment results are compared to the Performance Model, which show the range of score typical for success in the position Feedback personalized for the individual based on the results and how they should be interpreted Thinking Style and Behavioral Traits will be Defined following the results summary
Manager-Employee

(1 to 1)

Manager’s assessment results are compared to the employee’s on 9 different scales Personalized feedback based on how manager‘s results compare to employee’s Reflection includes quick review, questions to answer, and an action plan
Team Each team member’s assessment results placed together on 9 behavioral scales Feedback for each scale based on personal and team’s responses Team averages and personalized tips for Action planning

 

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When I facilitate a leadership or sales workshop, I am often asked for suggestions on books to read.  With that in mind, I placed on my website is a list of book suggestions on the different topic areas of training my company does.  Many of these books are classics and a few are new.

I was recently given the newest book by my friend and publisher, Tracey C. Jones.  It is called A Message to Millennials. Below are three key leadership tips taken directly from the text of this book.  Although the book is directed at millennials, smart leaders from the boomer generation have been doing these tips for some time.  If you are not sure what the difference between these two generations are, check out Parade Magazine article on Millennial Vs. Boomers: Habits and Characteristics.  At the bottom of this post, you can also find a video with more about the book and how it can impact business.

  • Expose yourself to the experiences of the great minds who have gone before. In other words, read great books. You don’t have enough time to make all the mistakes, profit from all the failures, and earn all the stripes on your own. Read profusely about how the greats of the past dealt with their individual challenges.”
  • “Create your own best leadership path. Don’t just seek to become rich; seek rather to enrich.”
  • “Truly, the most important part of management is managing yourself. This includes staying focused on people and books that will hone your sense of personal motivation. You need to do this every day for the rest of your life.”

 

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Three Great Sales BooksIf you want to get better at sales, you must keep educating yourself on being a better sales person and communicator.  An easy and enjoyable way to do this is to read books.  Reading a book helps you to go deeper into new concepts, review tried and true strategies, and engage your brain.

To Sell Is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink uses Dan’s study research in his “What We Do At Work” to validate what I have been preaching for years, “Everyone Sells”.  This book offers practical insight as to how to use the gift of communication to move people from A to B. That’s what selling is all about moving people, encouraging them to willing make a change, open up their mind to a new idea or persuading them to your way of thinking in a manner that is non combative. This is a book for every sales professional who wants to communicate better with customers!

Three Value Conversations: How to Create, Elevate, and Capture Customer Value at Every Stage of the Long-Lead Sale by Erick Peterson, Tim Riesterer, Conrad Smith, and Cheryl Geoffrion is filled with hidden gems.  This book delivers strategies on how to be engaging throughout the sales process. A key element of the book is about learning to build a buying vision and tell the story of how your product and services supports their vision. If you are looking to become a valued partner within your client organizations, this book is a must read on engagement!

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, with Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh, is a must read for sales representatives and management leaders everywhere! This book focuses on monitoring and measuring what matters and if you do what it takes, the score will follow.  There are lots of golden nuggets throughout this book to help every professional level within your company’s sales department.

For more sales success reading suggestions, visit the Peak Performance Solutions resources for a book list.

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leader1Below are 5 tips leaders may find helpful to increase their influence in the business world.

1.  Invoke The Platinum Rule versus the Golden Rule – Treat people as they want to be treated!

2.  Go the extra mile:

  • Do what you say you are going to do
  • Embrace the Cajun term Laniappe: “A little something extra”

3.  Do the right thing by:

  • Being consistent in your leadership and management approach
  • Recognizing you are the driver and the role is different than a passenger
  • Telling people what they need to hear versus what they want to hear

4.  Use words that invoke unity – “We” versus I or They.

5.  Practice sincerity in praise.

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leader1Here are a few tips for leaders to consider with giving statements of appreciation to employees and team members.

Understand there are 3 types of compliments:

  1. Directly given to the person
  2. Indirectly given about the person to someone else
  3. Sharing with the person through someone else

6 Tips to ensure the perception of sincerity:

  1. Don’t compliment or thank the obvious.
  2. Never compliment or thank the [what],unless you tell them the [why].
  3. Compliment and thank actions and accomplishments versus appearances.
  4. Compliment and thank everyone!
  5. Pass on compliments you hear about someone.
  6. Written compliments and thank you notes go a very long way!

 Take the Compliment Challenge! 

I agree to give ______ sincere compliments per day for _______ days. Of these, at least _____ per week will be written

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