Facilitating employee learning should be a non-negotiable competency.
Brian Martin's insight:
Great leaders are committed to the development of their team. It's a major factor to enhance employee engagement, retention and achievement of company goals. People work for people, and having a reputation as a talent developer is not only personally rewarding, it will ensure a long line of top talent want to work with you.
I have found that regularly asking questions is an agile and lightweight way of keeping up with what’s really going on. Answers become conversations about what is most essential and meaningful for the team and the company, and those conversations transform into action.
The first place to start is by asking the right questions. Here are some of the best I’ve found:
1. What’s going well in your role? Any wins (big or small) this week?
This is a great place to start. Employees get to celebrate and even brag a little about all the positive stuff that happened that week by simply answering that question.
Career experts say that even though you can’t flip the advancement switch yourself – no matter how much you may deserve it – you can take certain actions to improve your chances of moving up the corporate ladder.
First, understand that your managers and possibly your human resources team hold the key to your advancement, depending on your organization’s structure. Promotions are usually subject to your team’s needs and workload, your boss’s short-term and long-term goals, and your company’s overall strategic plan.
When Harvard Business School Associate Professor Francesca Gino invites high-powered business leaders to address her class, she often observes an interesting phenomenon. The guest speakers announce that they are just as interested in learning from the students as teaching them, and encourage them to ask questions and make comments. In reality, however, the speakers often do the opposite—dominating the time and not allowing for much discussion at all.
"As professors we do this too," admits Gino. "It's very difficult when think you have the right answer not to put it out there." At the same time, she has observed, by hogging the discussion, these leaders not only limited their own learning but also made the class less productive as a whole.
Gino wondered if the same dynamic could be occurring in business, with dominating leaders stifling creative ideas that might otherwise emerge from group discussions and making the teams less productive.
In today’s high-tech, high-speed, high-stress world, communication is more important then ever, yet we seem to devote less and less time to really listening to one another. Genuine listening has become a rare gift—the gift of time. It helps build relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding, resolve conflicts, and improve accuracy. At work, effective listening means fewer errors and less wasted time. At home, it helps develop resourceful, self-reliant kids who can solve their own problems. Listening builds friendships and careers. It saves money and marriages.
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.
What do you get when you cross your grandmother’s advice with the latest research in neuroscience?
According to Eric J. McNulty, this unlikely intersection holds the key to being a good leader. As the director of research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, McNulty is often asked to recommend the latest and greatest reads on leadership. What he’s discovered is that books on brain science serve up sage insights more often than the traditional title penned from the corner office. He’s also observed that scientific research on the brain reveals what his grandma knew all along.
Balancing the say/do ratio combined with listening, offering help, and building trust are fundamental to broadening influence skills. Often what stands in the way of a mid-level leader moving into a senior leadership role is their influence (and impact) capability.
Extroverts are outgoing and introverts are shy, right? Not necessarily.
Extroversion and introversion describe where people focus and find their energy—outside themselves or inwardly.
Extroverts (or those who have extroverted tendencies) gain energy by being around other people. They recharge in social situations. Often, the more people that are around, the more energised extroverts feel.
On the other hand, introverts often lose energy in social situations and need time alone to recharge their batteries.
Are you CEO of your career? ifa (blog) If you're coaching and mentoring your team, ask them to think about their own career journey and what attributes and qualities they need to be CEO of their own career.
Brian Martin's insight:
This article provides a great perspective on what Leaders must do (and become) to manage their careers. So many people I hear from are feeling disengaged in their current roles ... becoming the CEO of Your Career is a great place to start.