The role of co-workers in employee happiness continues to grow along with the need for increased transparency. Investors and efficient capital markets demand transparency and employees want the same from their leaders. An important part of transparency, is the communication and understanding of the company’s vision, mission, and values.As the workplace becomes increasingly flat and decentralised, this puts a premium on stronger employee-to-employee relationships. HR and team leaders must prioritise recruiting talent that is collaborative and team-oriented.
Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
To forge connections and relationships – the kinds of relationships that reap major, long-term rewards – you need to start by putting value into the system, not by asking, asking, and asking some more with the small hope that every now and then someone will say, "Yes." You can’t make withdrawals before you make meaningful deposits. Remember, the world doesn’t owe you anything. Never expect people to respond based on your needs. Everyone has needs. Other people may feel your pain but it is in no way their responsibility to help you. Thankfully, there are lots people that will anyways, because the world can be a wonderful place. So try this: Give when you aren’t asked. Offer a quid without expecting a pro quo. Pay it forward (as opposed to pay it back). Give, give, and give some more. When you’re sincerely generous, the system starts paying you back. Here are some things you can give: 1. Unexpected compliments. We all enjoy a gift on our birthday, but surprise gifts? We love those. We also love unexpected praise because, like a gift given "just because," unexpected praise is even more powerful and can make an even bigger impact. Take a look around. Maybe a coworker has done something awesome. Sure, it’s not your job to praise her… and that’s the perfect reason to do so. (She expects her manager to compliment her, but not you.) Or maybe you just finished a great book; send the author a quick note -- or better yet, leave an Amazon review. Or maybe you love a product or service; take a second and ask to personally thank the person who made or delivered that service. I promise he or she will be delighted by the interruption – and by the public praise for a job well done. Every day people around you do great things. Most of those people don't work for or with you; in fact, most of them have no relationship with you, professional or personal. Compliment them for something they would least expect. Just make it genuine and sincere. Expected feels good. Unexpected makes a huge and lasting impact. 2. Critical feedback on products or services. Praise is awesome, but sometimes what a person really needs is constructive feedback. (I enjoy when customers compliment HubSpot tools, but I love when they let me know specific ways we can improve those tools.) Just make sure your feedback is thoughtful and considered. “That was awful!” is descriptive but not particularly helpful. Just pretend you’re giving feedback to a friend: Be clear, be precise, be honest… but also be considerate. And don’t give feedback in hopes of a refund or some other consideration. Give input simply as a way to help others and not yourself. We all know what we know, but by definition it’s impossible to know what we don’t know. Taking the time and effort to give feedback for the sole purpose of helping another person know what they might not know can be an incredible unexpected gift. 3. Useful referrals. Many people ask for referrals. (Some ask moments after they first meet you, making you feel like nothing more than a stepping-stone.) Certainly respond to those requests that make sense, but go a step farther and actively think of helpful referrals you can make. You know a number of people with incredible talents. You know a number of people who don’t have access to the right resources. Simply put them together. They’ll both benefit. And they’ll likely return the favor for you. 4. Smart introductions. Just like we can all use more friends, we can all use more connections. Everyone, no matter how high up the entrepreneurial or professional food chain, can use more connections – but not just any old connections (most of us have too many of those); the right connections. How do you know when an introduction makes sense? You have to know the other person’s needs. Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t need an introduction to a great book agent; but an unknown business thinker with awesome things to say – but no formal publishing outlet to say it – could definitely use that introduction. Jason Calacanis doesn’t need an introduction to a savvy VC; a kid with an awesome idea but limited resources could definitely use that introduction. Think of it this way: To give a gift that is personal and thoughtful, you first have to know what the other person wants or needs. Introductions work the same way. Determine what the other person needs, and then make a smart introduction. (Tip: Get permission first if you can, and make sure the intro would be welcome). 5. Time. Many companies hold or sponsor charity and fundraising events. If you believe in the cause, offer to help. Just make sure you’re sincere; it’s incredibly easy to sniff out a person who wants something more than just the good feelings that result from helping a great cause. 6. The answer to the unasked question. Some people are hesitant. Some are insecure. Some are shy. Whatever the reason, some people will ask a different question than the one they really want answered. For example, when someone asks me what I think about venture capitalists -- often what they really want to know is whether their idea is likely to get funded -- and how to go about navigating that process. Behind many questions is the unasked question. Pay attention. Answer the question that is asked, but think about the question left unsaid, and answer that question, too. Why? That’s the answer the person asking the question doesn’t just want. That’s the answer he or sheneeds.
Via Linda Holroyd
The 8 elements required for a collaborative network to succeed: 1. A Common Pain is a shared problem that motivates different people/groups to work together in ways that could otherwise seem counterintuitive. Value alliances “exist at the intersection of self-interest and common interest.” We often become collaborators when we discover that we can solve a problem on our own. “Few people are willing to place themselves in a collaborative position of they have an alternative.” (As a side note, leaders, because of their position and the authority it brings them, usually have an alternative—my way or the highway. The best leaders collaborate anyway.) “ Collaborations require time, money, and people. The collaborative process is more complex, slower, and messier than independent decision making. To be willing to give up a degree of independence and control, a given leader must believe the problem poses a serious threat to the enterprise.”2. A Convener of Stature is a respected and influential presence who can bring people to the table and, when necessary, keep them there. “The inability to turn down an offer is one sign that you’re dealing with a convener of stature.” The book lays out the roles and responsibilities of the convener. 3. Representatives of Substance. The collaborative participants must bring the right mix of experience and expertise for legitimacy and have the authority to make decisions. Look for participants who possess at least one and ideally all three varieties of substance: authoritative, cognitive, and reputational. Sometimes it is wise to create additional layers of participants beyond the primary or core group. “Omitting people from the collaboration often guarantees that they’ll become external critics or even saboteurs.” 4. Committed Leaders are individuals who possess the skill, creativity, dedication and tenacity to move an alliance forward even when it hits the inevitable rough patches. Value alliances require committed leaders who fulfill many of these ten roles: organizer, diplomat, technician, teacher, counselor, matchmaker, salesperson, referee, judge, and disciplinarian. “If committed leaders can consistently achieve consensus, they will move the alliance forward. Finding consensus is an art form that alliance leaders must master.” 5. A Clearly Defined Purpose is a driving idea that keeps people on task rather than being sidetracked by complexity, ambiguity and other distractions. It is important to identify and deal with purpose creep—“an inexorable broadening of scope that eventually makes it impossible to relieve the common pain that drew the group together in the first place.” The authors provide a step-by-step guide to creating a purpose in a collaborative setting. They advise, “find a golden mean: big enough to matter and small enough to do.” And add, “As a committed leader, you need to develop a sixth sense for when people are setting goals that are too difficult to achieve or too wide-ranging; you also need to grasp when you’ve shrunk the purpose to the point that its achievement won’t have any real impact.” 6. A Formal Charter establishes rules that help resolve differences and avoid stalemates. The three crucial parts of a charter are: the Purpose section, the Principles section, and the Operating Procedures. 7. The Northbound Train is an intuitive confidence that an alliance will get to its destination, achieve something of unique value, and that those who aren’t on board will be disadvantaged. The idea is, “decisions that matter to me are going to be made and I need to be there. The train is headed north and I want a seat on it.” They explain why a northbound train slows and what to do about it. “The feeling generated by a northbound train is what carries the collaboration to its destination.” 8. Defining Common Ground. “Participants and leaders need to discuss the beliefs and ideas that they take for granted in their collaborative efforts.” A Common Information Base keeps everyone in the loop and avoids divisive secrets and opaqueness. “Defining common standards boils down to the capacity of collaborators to reach foundational agreements.” People are coming from all different places with different values and beliefs, but to get to the point where there is a recommendation or decision that everyone can buy into, and to hold the collaboration together until that point is reached, “Agreement about operating modes and information protocols is necessary.”
Via Linda Holroyd
Think you're a great leader? Make sure you aren't guilty of one of these three reality-distorting traits.
Every great leader possesses a degree of what Walter Isaacson (in his biography of Steve Jobs) describes as "an ability to distort reality."
What Isaacson meant is that Jobs forced his will on Apple, often pushing people to create things they never thought possible--a powerful asset in any leader.
But that reality distortion effect works both ways. It also means that every leader, to a greater or lesser degree, distorts the reality around themselves, leading to tensions, inconsistency, and bad decisions.
There are two reasons why leaders who live in a bubble become so dangerous to themselves and those they lead.
Two years ago, the World Management Survey on organizational leadership reported that firms led by family CEOs (managers related to the family owning the business) are often managed badly, particularly those where a first-born son has inherited the role of CEO from the previous leader.Now comes additional research showing that on average, family CEOs also work significantly fewer hours per week than other (nonfamily affiliated) CEOs. It's an important finding because longer working hours are associated with higher firm productivity and growth, says Raffaella Sadun, an assistant professor in the Strategy unit at Harvard Business School who studies the curious relationship between managerial incentives and motivation.
Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
When a group wants to generate ideas for a new product or to solve a problem, you will usually hear the clarion call, “Let’s brainstorm!” You assemble a group, spell out the basic ground rules for brainstorming (no criticism, wild ideas are welcome, focus on quantity, combine ideas to make better ideas) and then have people yell out ideas one at a time.Brainstorming is often the method of choice for ideation, but it is fraught with problems that range from participants’ fear of evaluation to the serial nature of the process — only one idea at a time. Brainwriting is an easy alternative or a complement to face-to-face brainstorming, and it often yields more ideas in less time than traditional group brainstorming.
Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
“ People are motivated for many different reasons- for their own success and security, or for the success and security of their family. In offices or in the workplace, there will be times when you fi...”
Via PCS Consultants, Inc.
“Leadership Development & Performance Management – The Search for Meaning Business 2 Community Research undertaken by the CIPD recently found that 72% of organisations reported a deficit in leadership and management skills, even though two-thirds of...”
ASSUMPTIONS OF SUCCESSFUL COACHING The Coachee is capable, resourceful, and already has the Answers – The coach fully trusts in the know-how, competencies and capabilities of the coachee. A coach may propose a course of action. Although the coachee himself will need to make decisons in the end. The Coach is not a Hand-holder. Instead she´s a Catalyst – Since the coach assumes that the coachee is resourceful, capable, and creative she´s a fan of the coachee. As a catalyst the coach is a main piece in the coaching process by assisting in speeding up the process of change. The Coachee is the one working and being accountable within the Coaching Process– The Coach lends a hand by creating a framework and process for the coachee. Like building a wooden frame for a painting. However, the coachee himself needs to take the brushes in his hands and needs to start drawing the picture he´d like to paint of himself and his life. The Coach enjoys assisting the Client in achieving his higher Purpose – The coach loves to live and to display passion, commitment, and sincere interest for the coachee. By doing so it´s not only a job for her, but a mission. The whole Coaching Process is built on Trust and Confidentiality – To hold all coaching conversations confidential certainly is a main criteria for successful coaching. Trust is also expanded by respectful, open-minded and honest exchanges among coach and coachee. Coaching is about what the Coachee creates – As such the coachee requires sufficient space for himself to think, feel, experiment, dream, visualize, and to be able to embrace different thinking patterns, models of the world, and perspectives to possibly come up with new ideas and/or solutions.
Via Linda Holroyd
Good article. Very relevant for managers seeking to become coaching-leaders
Rarely do I visit a Starbucks, as I don't drink coffee and i don't like their tea, and quite frankly, Caribou Coffee's atmosphere is just more appealing. However, I do visit this one particular Starbucks, for meeting space and when I NEED a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It's out of the way, and I pass two or three Starbucks to get here, but I do because of one of the baristas, Ed. He is an amazing
guy. I met him about three years ago when I came in to study one evening and I was wearing a CSU t-shirt. He told me that he graduated from Baldwin Wallace (circa 1960s), and so ensued a lengthy conversation about what brought us to Chicago.
Okay, getting to the point. Every time I come in, even if it's not been months since my last visit, Ed remembers my name, where I'm from and he always asks about school. As I sit here working, I see that Ed greets everybody with a loud hello and a smile, and he calls most people by name. He makes a person feel like they are the most valuable person in the world. His passion for people is infectious. As I sit here at the community table with three other people I do not know, we all look at each other and smile as we watch Ed do what he does. Love people.
I can't remember if Ed told me that he retired or that he lost his job, but I can only imagine that even if this job wasn't his ideal, he has found a way to find joy and spread it like crazy. Thanks Ed for doing what you do.