Mismatched Signals One reason why might you feel uncomfortable, at a gut level, with one of your employees is because of mismatched signals. That gut feeling is driven by various factors and how each of us reacts to those. For example, when someone makes a warm personal disclosure, it often increases the feeling of trust—at least for some people. There are many, many such indicators; here’s a list of some of the most common:
• Personal disclosure. A warm sharing of personal feelings and experiences. • Vulnerability. A willingness to share mistakes, doubts, fears. • Loyalty. Demonstrating commitment to the organization and individual people. • Inclusive. Including others for input or decision-making. • Appreciative. Willing to acknowledge and praise other’s contributions. • Open. Easily exploring new ideas and new approaches. • Affinity. Having a good bit in common with someone else, sharing similar experiences and interests.
The problem is that the indicators that matter to one person may not matter to someone else. If one of your direct reports shows vulnerability in an attempt to built your trust it might work or it might leave you wondering why they have so many doubts and fears. They are trying to build trust but achieving the opposite. Equally, being inclusive by soliciting opinions can be seen by some as building trust, but for others it signals a lack of ideas or a lack of confidence.
It becomes hard to trust your team when the signals being sent are not the ones that matter to you. And of course the reverse holds—you will have a hard time getting the team to trust you if you send the wrong signals for them.
The story of leadership is often told through the lens of a single leader and a singular act -- Martin Luther King rallying crowds at the Lincoln Memorial; Eleanor Roosevelt leading the creation of the declaration on human rights; Henry Kissinger setting foot in Beijing.
The versatility of system maps is a boon to problem solvers. But it demands careful reflection about the purpose a map is intended to serve and what that means for how it should look. Look before you leap! System maps...
Rob Duke's insight:
See Kingdon's system for simplifying simple policy problems. Analyze:
2. Policy (the ideas that exist to potentially solve the problem); and
3. Politics (the context of the problem, players, related opportunties, etc.)
Kingdon, John W., Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, Longman, NY, 2010.
Labor Day, 2015, offers Americans something to celebrate for the first time in years. All around the country, movements are growing to raise the minimum wage significantly. The current target is $15/hour, more than twice the federal minimum, and legislation to create such a minimum is being passed in city after city. As this effort to move full-time workers above the poverty line gathers steam, there is reason to believe that in the not-to-distant future, all employees will be guaranteed a livin
The Proximity Principle: Leaders tend to serve people they see, touch, and spend time with. Leaders who huddle rather than mingle grow inward and serve each other. Distance allows detachment. Detached leaders falsely believe the work of others is easier than theirs. Detachment turns into a bubble of perceived simplicity. Proximity bursts the bubble. People who aren't seen…
Business 2 Community compiled an infographic of depressing facts about performance reviews, and as you may have guessed, they are bleak. 20% of employees think their boss arrives wholly unprepared. Nearly half of people surveyed think their supervisor isn’t telling the truth. One-third of the time, performance reviews can actually lead to a decrease in performance.
The good news — yes, hope exists — is that managers can help fix these issues. For example, the same infographic points out how regular feedback increases employees’ scores and decreases turnover.
Researchers now call it “telepressure,” and define it as, “an urge to quickly respond to emails, texts and voicemails – regardless of whatever else is happening or whether one is even ‘at work.’” And such always-on cultures actually sabotage productivity. The research has shown that more downtime correlates to more benefits. Overworked, stressed-out, fearful employees will not be a good source of creative ideas. In this summary of studies for Innovation Management, a Swedish consultancy company, Gaia Grant, author of Who Killed Creativity…and How Can We Get it Back?, writes, “Creative thinking requires a relaxed state, the ability to think through options at a slow pace and the openness to explore different alternatives without fear.” And according to Jen Spencer, founder of The Creative Executive, “play” is an important component in creativity, and if all people do is work, they’re crowding out “play times” that are important to generating innovative ideas. “When we balance work with play, it’s like cross-training our minds and our soul. Play is about enjoyment, relaxation, and recreation, which gives our minds the ability to replenish the resources we need to be strategic, make new connections, and innovate.”
Take counsel from your fears. Fear is normal. If you aren’t scared you shouldn’t be trusted with fire. You’ve got two options for dealing with those jitters — you can cover for them or connect with them. Faking confidence doesn’t work. If you’re worried about failure or criticism, that’s normal. Authenticity — first with yourself and then with others — is the path to legitimate serenity.
There are no perfect leaders — except for Jesus. For the rest of us, we each have room for improvement. Most of us live with flaws in our leadership and the more we mature the more aware we become of them. Good leaders learn to surround themselves with people who can supplement their weaknesses. There …
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