I found this an unusually brief (!) and insightful commentary on the current demands upon leaders to be effective in today’s world.
A very brief article today based on this question: “Is it possible to over-encourage people?”
Yes, you need to have the confidence to confront poor behaviour and manager under-performance through clear communication and constructive conversations. Let’s take that as ‘sorted’.
Without that accountability it’s certainly possible to create a culture that is falsely positive, where poor attitudes and slack work habits go unchallenged.
But, assuming that’s in place because you have well-trained managers (if you don’t, give me a call and let’s get them well-trained!), is it possible to over-encourage or is it the case that the more praise, encouragement and generally positive inputs to the work environment, the better?
What do you reckon? And what will you stop doing, start doing and continue doing as a result?
I’m genuinely really interested to hear your thoughts.
This week’s Friday Five looks at your personal learning & development.
I work a lot with L&D departments – committed teams focused on providing the very best growth opportunities for staff across their business. In many ways though, it’s a thankless, hopeless task.
Individual attitudes to learning.
No matter how good the L&D programme and support structures, the single biggest factor in the success of any investment of this type will always be the attitude of those engaged in the process.
Positive, self-motivated people with great attitudes will learn and develop themselves regardless of what the organisation does or does not provide. Here are five things to consider in the context of your own personal growth:
1. Master growth list – write down everything you can think of where learning new skills or developing a character quality would be beneficial to you in your work (& life more generally). Keep this as a master list. Add to it whenever you can.
2. Create & maintain your own PDP – lots of organisations encourage a personal development plan. In my experience, it’s the exception rather than the rule if these are current, active and influencing someone’s behaviour. Regardless of the degree to which your company helps with this, take responsibility for your own development. Own your PDP! Take the most important two or three things from your master list and make those your current growth priorities. If this is done in collaboration with your manager or coach, so much the better.
3. Set a goal – turn those priority areas into goals. Very specifically, what are you going to do and how much of it and by when exactly? Make it visual. Put it somewhere you are continually reminded of it. Best way I know to do this is the LMI Goal Planning System (if you don’t have a great system for planning & tracking your goals, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to share it with you).
4. Take systemised action – I would say ‘take action’, but it’s such a common story that we learn something (we go on a course…read a book…do some online learning etc), go away and do something as a result, which is great, but then fail to build the infrastructure around that action so that it keeps on being done. For example, a manager learns about how to have an effective one-to-one with their team members, goes away and does nine brilliant one-to-ones in month 1….and it never happens again! Systemised action means booking those meetings into the calendar as recurring appointments for the next 12 months! Learnt something new on Excel? Set a reminder every day at 9.27am to review and practice that action for as long as it takes to never forget it!
5. Review & share – the very best way that any learning and development is cemented is when you review and share it with others. Simple stuff. Rarely done.
“How was that course / book / webinar?
“That’s good. See ya.”
“Could we grab a coffee and take 15 minutes to review what I learned on that course, what I’m planning to do differently as a result and how best I might be able to share that with the rest of the team?”
I hope that’s prompted some useful reflection about your own learning & development. Have a great end to the week and if you have any suggestions for topics in this #fridayfive series, I’d love to hear them.
Five quick and easy things to digest on a Friday!
This week it’s five things I hear most often that people want from their manager.
1. Consistency – this includes handling problems and mistakes, treatment of different team members & general mood. We like to know that our leaders uphold consistent standards and to feel that we are treated fairly and with respect.
2. Communication – in a nutshell, nearly every conversation I have on this subject contains the sentiment, “I want my manager to communicate more.”
3. Clarity – I read a survey a while back that suggested one of the greatest causes of stress at work was unclear boundaries. We like to know what’s expected. We like to know what success looks like & to have something concrete to aim for. We like to know our roles & responsibilities, & those of our teammates. Strive for clarity wherever possible.
4. Involvement – On a recent day of staff interviews in preparation for designing a line-manager development programme for a company, the appreciation for managers who were present, visible, approachable and who understood what their team actually did day-to-day was huge. NB. This does not mean micro-management!
5. Feedback – for goodness sake, let us know how we’re doing! Are we on track? Are we doing great? What needs changing? Few things stir unrest like the negative annual appraisal that comes out of the blue. Make feedback regular and routine. Both positive and negative.
That’s your Friday Five for this week. Do you agree? Anything else that you’d have in your top five?
We often define change that we’d like to see, even implement change in a positive way. But how many times do things waver or even completely disintegrate so that 2 years, 2 months, even 2 weeks later, the initial enthusiasm and adherence of the new way has evaporated and things are back the way there were before.
In this video, taken from the Foundations of Success Workshop, I share one of LMI’s foundational concepts – the critical importance of securing lasting change through spaced repetition.
Leadership and Management are big subjects. Important subjects.
Learning essential skills in these areas can be complex and take years to master. There are, however, some simple concepts & really practical ideas which underpin great leadership and management and which everyone who is seeking to lead and manage well can benefit from. That’s what this is all about.
Every fortnight I will be hosting a 30 minute live webinar / workshop focusing on just one leadership & management keyword. This way you’ll know what to expect by way of subject matter and can come ready with your questions, thoughts and ideas to share.
The first half will be presentation. The second half discussion and action. 15 minutes of each and then back to work.
This means you won’t be in ‘sit back and listen’ mode for any more than 15 minutes. The goal is your engagement, participation, learning and action. Every session will include one activity or template that you can take away and use straightaway.
The focus is on the practical ideas and actions relating to these subjects that will help people currently in leadership and management roles do their job better.
Here is the latest list of live dates, with the leadership and management keywords we’ll be exploring:
Thursday 30th June – Vision
Wednesday 13th July – Alignment
Thursday 28th July – Engagement
We use Skype for Business to host these live meetings which you can access via PC, Mac and on just about every kind of mobile device. You will receive the meeting link in your registration confirmation email.
REGISTER HERE – join as many or as few sessions as you like.
Suggestions for subject keywords that you’d like covered welcomed.
Following on from the last post about the need for the large Tube map and the single line plan, here’s my ‘Alignment Triangle’ diagram which illustrates an effective process for keeping today’s activity aligned with the’Big Picture’ aims of the organisation. Every company knows they should be doing this, but I’ve come across very few that are systematically implementing this on a continual basis. That’s why a simple model to follow can really help.
The Big Picture – start with defining the Mission, Purpose, Vision and Values (this is no twenty minute exercise – take time to do this well).
Create a Master Goals List – this is the place to record every significant goal that will help move your organisation towards the defined and agreed Big Picture.
Monthly Goals & Priorities – a refined and repeatable format to clarify the goals and priorities for Dec 2014 or Jan 2015 is essential. The Master Goals List will have far too much on it to be able to focus effectively. We suggest a 2 – 3 hour monthly planning process to set each month up so everyone knows exactly what they are shooting for in that 30 day period.
Daily Organising – it’s only when the above steps are done really well that organising your daily activity can be super-effective. Again, a repeatable format for planning your day in line with the monthly goals is essential for optimising performance.