Who doesn’t love to lead – or be on – a winning team? Everyone does. Winning makes all the teamwork worth the effort. But there’s a problem with teams. They don’t work as well as they used to. And quite honestly, the bar was low before the biggest disruption ever – a pandemic. Nearly 75% […]
“Just be honest with me.”
Have you caught yourself in one of these conversations with an employee?
Whenever a manager feels the need to cajole an employee into being honest, there’s a larger problem at hand aside from guilty fibs or little white lies.
It might be that members of your team are afraid to be totally honest with you. Why? The hidden reason could be coming from your company culture – or even directly from you!
Some leaders don’t want to hear honest-to-goodness assessments because they might also have to hear some bad news. In some cases, opening themselves up to honest assessments from employees is as welcome as a root canal.
And employees almost always pick up on the sense that the unfiltered truth may be less than welcome with certain bosses, managers or other colleagues, especially when there are critical decisions on the line.
They create a “don’t go there!” rule in their minds and self-censor when being honest means a critical or negative response.
Hiring is expensive, but hiring the wrong person costs a whole lot more.
How much more? Try an additional $14,900.
And the really bad news? Nearly three in four managers (74%) say they’ve hired the wrong man or woman for the job.
That’s the latest from the folks at CareerBuilder.
And it snowballs.
“I feel like I’m not getting through to them.”
“Don’t they hear what I’m saying?”
“They just don’t listen to me!”
Any time we try to teach and can’t get employees to catch on, it’s frustrating.
We pride ourselves on being good coaches. So, when we can’t seem to get employees on the same page, it saps even the most patient manager.
But before pinning the blame on the employee, consider that the problem could be coming from you.
A crucial part of coaching is to play to the person’s strengths.
It’s useless to coach a 350-pound lineman to be a fleet-footed wide receiver. It helps to think of your employees the same way.
“Coach employees to their strongest abilities and the lessons will pay off,” says David Lee, founder of HumanNature@work.
Ask any employment lawyer the first rule of thumb for workplace documentation and she or he will tell you:
“If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. Period.”
OK, that may not be totally true, but it’s a good guideline.
Yes, it’s a chore and many of us aren’t certain what to do when documenting employee behavior.
Hint: It ain’t just the bad stuff.
Be honest, how many managers at your company are great? I mean really great at their jobs?
Go ahead and count yourself as one of them.
Is your list long or short?
If you’re 100% honest, it’s probably short. According to a Gallup report, “only 10% of working people possess the talent to be a great manager.”
Now make a list of managers who aren’t so good at their jobs.
You know the people I’m talking about. They yell a lot and strut around the office like they’re the best thing since sliced bread.
But there are a lot of other things that set bad managers apart from great ones. Here’s a list of 13 to get you started:
To light a fire under employees – and keep it burning – be an inspiration.
Employees with inspirational bosses are engaged, productive, reliable and loyal, a Gallup poll found.
Almost all of those who don’t have an encouraging boss are actively disengaged.
How can you inspire employees? Do what inspirational bosses have in common:
Chemistry, synergy, in-synch, call it what you will: The most critical ingredient every team needs to consistently turn out good results is balance.
So how can you tell if your team is out of sorts?
Teamwork balance is hard to define, but once you lose it, you’ll know. When a team is out of balance, it affects everyone’s performance levels, even when they’re working on their own.
Team imbalance can sneak up on even the most careful and observant managers. To work well together, team members need to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and must trust each other to do his or her job and do it well.
It’s up to managers to pay attention to how employees adapt and work with others on the team, especially if you’ve had an influx of new hires or changes among your veterans.
Experts say team-building exercises can be very successful when done right. They foster trust, promote communication and increase collaboration among employees.
Problem is, they’re seldom done right. And they become team-breaking exercises.
Just the mere mention of those three little words – team-building exercises – can make some people cringe and call out sick.
Can’t blame them. Too often the activities are humiliating or just downright stupid.
Don’t believe me?
Check out these examples of team-breaking, er, team-building exercises gone wrong:
Let’s set the record straight.
Everyone who is a great leader isn’t necessarily a great manager. And great managers aren’t necessarily great leaders.
So when it comes to the Leaders vs. Managers debate, where do you land?
Here’s a list of 17 traits that separate leadership and management. Go down the list and check off which ones match you. Most of us have some qualities of each. For example, do you have 10 Leader traits and 7 Manager traits? Or the reverse? Are you happy with the answer?