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3 Steps for Dealing with an Upset Team Member

Posted on May 2, 2016 | 1 Comment
Categories: Books, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Upset Baby Being Consoled by Another BabyWhen a team member is upset, there are three steps you can take to quickly help them work through their issue and feel better again.

Today’s post is by Marc Robertson, author of Working With Millennials (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

Whether you are leading a small team or a large company, eventually you are going to have either a colleague or report that is emotionally upset. We all are human and we all loose it now and then.  Your task as a leader is to get that person “Un-upset” and back on track so they feel supported and become productive once again. After having coached many leaders facing this issue over the years I determined there were three basic steps to dealing with an upset employee.

STEP 1

Acknowledge that they are upset with the simple phrase “I hear you.” This doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with why they are upset – the why isn’t important at first – the fact that they are upset is! A common mistake is to say “oh don’t worry about that it will work out.” We think we are making them feel better by saying that, however we are actually making matters worse, by making it seem that their being upset isn’t valid. “I hear you” says I respect you, and I’m paying attention to you right now. Many times this alone will calm someone down. However, let’s assume it’s more serious and you are going to have to keep going.

STEP 2

The second step is two tell them you know how they feel; you’ve been there yourself. Again you may not have faced the specific issues they are dealing with, but you definitely know what it feels like to be upset, so you DO have something in common with their plight. Now they know you are listening to them, and you can identify with what they are feeling. Whatever is causing them to be upset, there are multiple benefits to following this process. Read More…

What are the most important “services” you provide your team?

Posted on April 28, 2016 | No Comments
Categories: Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue LineOur reader poll today asks: What are the most important “services” you provide your team?

– Directing — setting direction, priorities and coordinating efforts: 29%
– Doing — making decisions, clearing obstacles and getting things done: 26%
– Delivering — ensuring quality and managing change: 5%
– Developing — training, coaching and growing your team: 39%

Point and Build. 70% of you spend your time either pointing your team in a direction or building that team. Clearly worthwhile pursuits because the stronger you make your team, the more effective they’ll be in meeting their goals. Don’t overlook delivery though. You’re the last stop in terms of quality. As for managing change, you play a critical role in moving the organization through the inertia that slows all change. If you can maintain a balance of services you provide to your team, they’ll perform well and always get what they need from you.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Improve Your Culture, Buy a Chicken!

Posted on April 25, 2016 | 1 Comment
Categories: Books, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

ChickenBuilding a remarkable organization is all about building the right culture. By focusing on values, living them every day, and remembering how your people create value for you and you for them, you can create the distinctive culture you seek.

Today’s post is by Dr. Randy Ross, author of Remarkable! (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

I was having lunch with a friend who told me about an interaction that he had with one of his team members. Apparently, he caught wind that a young lady who reported directly to him was at her desk, crying inconsolably. After inviting her into his office, he began to inquire about what had upset her so. Being a newlywed, she was experiencing difficulty adjusting to married life and a number of challenges had come their way, compounding the stress. But, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was that her favorite chicken had died suddenly from an unknown cause.

When she shared the news of her departed fowl friend, he wasn’t sure how to react to the non-cackling conundrum. Not living in a rural area, he was in a quandary imagining how, or even why, she would have chickens. But holding his intense curiosity at bay, he expressed great empathy and comforted her to the best of his ability.

When she left his office, he knew exactly what to do. He needed to buy a chicken. But buying a chicken turned out to be far more complicated than looking for little cluckers on Craig’s List. Evidently, purchasing live poultry is highly regulated. After doing a little research, he located a hatchery several states away that eagerly schooled him on purchasing her preferred egg producers.

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How well do reorganizations go in your organization?

Posted on April 21, 2016 | 2 Comments
Categories: Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue LineOur reader poll today asks: How well do reorganizations go in your organization?

– They’re great — smooth with no issues: 5%
– They’re OK — we get through them with one or two issues: 42%
– They’re bad — we really struggle with them: 33%
– They’re horrible — our reorgs are typically a disaster: 21%

Change is Painful. 55% of you say your reorgs go much worse than planned. People dislike change. That’s a given. One of the biggest reasons reorgs fail is because we don’t think about the human component of them. We move a box on an org chart, change some responsibilities, and keep on truckin’. Unfortunately if you don’t account for the personalities, aspirations, and skills of your people, you could be precipitating a mass exodus from the organization. Spend some time thinking through the implications of the changes you’re making. It could make all the difference in the world.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Upcoming Event: Change Management Conference

Posted on April 20, 2016 | No Comments
Categories: Business Toolkit, Career, Leadership, Project Management, Training, Upcoming Events

ACMP Change Management 2016

Change management and project management professionals face obstacles between the planning and execution process ranging from lack of consensus, lack of resources, poor communication, poor management support and employee resistance. Because all of these can factor into the success of your initiative, these challenges can lower both the program’s success rate and the manager’s motivation.

At ACMP’s Change Management 2016, you can get the tools required to take your change management skills to the next level. Taking place May 15-18, 2016 at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas, this 3-day conference focuses on providing solutions and best practices in a collaborative environment. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the challenges in change management, this conference will provide you with insights to break through these barriers to successful results.

There are five key reasons for attending Change Management 2016:

Update Your Toolkit – Whether you’re just starting out in change management or are a seasoned professional, there is always room for improvement. Stay up-to-date in this ever-changing industry with educational opportunities that add to your skillset. Earn professional development credits while doing it.

Network with Your Peers – Make connections that will advance your career. When you meet with your peers, you have a chance to collaborate and hear new ideas that may inspire you to implement something similar or validate your perspectives. The program has built-in networking events. View the various networking opportunities here.

Meet with New Vendors and Suppliers – The exhibitors are industry experts. Vendors in the exhibit hall can help you learn more about the future of change management. If you’re interested in becoming a vendor or sponsor, learn more here.

Hear From the Experts Read More…

Transparency is a Leader’s Best Friend

Posted on April 18, 2016 | 6 Comments
Categories: Books, Career, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Transparent ManA leader’s ability to communicate and be completely transparent is a key to forming a cohesive team that’s built upon trust. While it may be scary to share everything, the benefits of doing so are undeniable.

Today’s post is by Steve Goldstein, author of Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? which will be available in September.

As I was walking back from the gym one morning just before 7AM, I passed by the local boutique food store and noticed the manager standing in the middle of a circle, with all of her staff around her. It looked like every employee was present. I had noticed her doing this several times before at this time. Curious, I waited for them to open and went in to talk to her. I said, “I see you every day having these meetings before you open, what’s that all about?”

She said, “Look, we have about twenty-five people working here, and we’re open fourteen hours a day. There is always something going on, good, bad, or otherwise. I need them to know everything I know—what’s new, what’s missing, what specials are we offering, and so on. I then ask them what they think, or about anything that happened yesterday that we need to know. It’s just a quick session so that everyone is on the same page. It takes under ten minutes, and I could not imagine running this place without it.”

This is a great example of a leader being open, letting everyone know what they need to know in order to be successful—that day. Who’s out sick and who has to cover? Why is it the croissants will arrive thirty minutes late? What special soup has the chef prepared for the day? What in the inventory is running low and what should the staff tell customers if they run out? No secrets, and everyone informed with the latest, best information possible to enable them do their jobs well. How empowering is that?

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Would you rather be seen as being a fair leader or a just one?

Posted on April 14, 2016 | No Comments
Categories: Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: Would you rather be seen as being a fair leader or a just one?

– I’d rather be seen as being fair: 44%

– I’d rather be seen as being just: 56%

Justice Beats Fairness. Life’s not fair. Not everyone will be happy with the decisions you make and there will always be complaints about fair treatment. Being just is a difficult task. It requires leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time (not everyone will get the same access), how they discipline, hand out promotions and assignments, and ultimately treat people. If you’re ever feeling “fairness pangs” where you have to make a tough call that isn’t necessarily fair, at least ensure justice is on your side.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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6 Steps for Success When You Get Layered at Work

Posted on April 13, 2016 | 2 Comments
Categories: Career, Leadership

Italian Rainbow Cookie and EspressoGetting “layered” at work is stressful and frustrating. Having a new boss inserted above you between you and your existing boss changes all relationship dynamics. Fortunately there are 6 key steps you can take to successfully navigate a “layering.”

Things are awesome at work until that dreadful day your boss (with whom you have an awesome relationship) tells you “Hey, I’ve hired a new person who will be reporting to me and you’ll now report to that person.”  You’ve officially been layered and we all know getting layered is only good if we’re talking about cake.

You sit there wondering why this happened.  “Does the boss not like me anymore?  Why didn’t the boss put me in that role instead of bringing in someone new?  Are they bringing in the new person to replace me and the next step is I’m getting fired?  My team is going to lose respect for me and I’ll lose influence in the organization.”

We have a tendency to go to negative and neurotic places.  I know that – I’ve been layered before as have many of my friends and colleagues.  And I know many of you dread it based on the recent SmartBrief on Leadership Pulse Survey I conducted.  42% of respondents said getting layered was more awkward than a peer becoming your boss or you becoming the boss of your peers.

Getting layered (or, if you’re the boss, layering members of your team) isn’t what’s important.  What’s important is how we handle getting layered or layering our team.  Do it wrong and your new boss will resent you, your old boss (now another layer above you) will be disappointed and frustrated, and your team will lose respect for you.  If you’re the boss, if you handle layering members of your team wrong you’ll alienate them, frustrate them, and lead them to look for new job opportunities where they’ll feel appreciated (plus you’re setting up your shiny new hire up for failure).  So how should you handle these situations?  Allow me to offer some thoughts.

You Just Got Layered

Your boss introduces you to your new boss.  You’ve fallen back a rung on the corporate ladder and you’re upset (somewhat justifiably so).  If you don’t handle this transition gracefully, your new boss will likely see you as a threat especially because you have a good relationship with the big boss.  Take a breath and try the following:

Read More…

10 Tips for Emerging Business Leaders

Posted on April 11, 2016 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Career, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Number 10Every great leader is constantly looking for ways to improve their performance. Everyone has the basics of leadership – the true differentiators are the unconventional ideas like getting involved in the arts. Here are 10 great tips that all emerging leaders should pay heed to.

Today’s post is by Ritch Eich, Ph.D., author of Truth, Trust + Tenacity: How Ordinary People Become Extraordinary Leaders (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

As a future leader, it’s essential that you develop your own unique style while mastering some essential principles of leadership—most of these principles involve common sense, and all revolve around the tenets of truth, trust and tenacity. These principles are based on my thirty-plus years of working with or for chief executive officers in hospitals, agriculture, insurance, and higher education—as well as my time as a naval officer:

1. Never Stop Learning. Knowledge is power. Earn an advanced degree, work on a new certificate program, or join a professional association to learn more and become an engaged member of the organization. Many colleges and universities have online programs tailored specifically for those who work full-time. Take advantage of any tuition assistance offered by your company, or programs that reimburse employees for attaining a degree online from a specific university.

 2. Take Care of Your Team. Have conviction in your team and let them shine but also be prepared to accept responsibility when things don’t go as planned. Never blame others but instead help resolve problems and move on. Delegating isn’t a license to pass the buck—your team wants to know they can take risks but that you’ll have their backs if they fall. Take care of your employees by helping them advance their careers. Respect them as individuals, and always remember that you have to continuously earn it from those around you.

3. Never be afraid to Compromise, and Always Be Civil. Lots of people think that if you compromise, you are weak. In fact, the ability to compromise is a sign of strength and confidence. Leaders who compromise come across as caring, mature leaders who are able to put others before themselves and who go out of their way to spend time understanding a differing point of view, even if they don’t act on it. Adopt a “no tolerance” rule for rudeness, bullying, backbiting, and discrimination—and enforce it by terminating those who violate the rule. Few actions impede productivity and profits faster than incivility.

Read More…

How do you handle someone who’s a “squeaky wheel”?

Posted on April 7, 2016 | 1 Comment
Categories: Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: How do you handle someone who’s a “squeaky wheel”?

– I always meet their needs and answer their questions: 7%
– I ask them to generate solutions before coming to me: 90%
– I direct them to go to someone else for help: 2%
– I refuse to meet with them until they have something for review: 1%

Make them Self-Sufficient. “Squeaky Wheels” can consume a great deal of your time if you’re not careful. For the vast majority of you, the push toward making them self-sufficient is clear. For those who aren’t taking this approach, I encourage you to look at how you can wean them from the amount of support you provide. If you use basic self-sufficiency building approaches, you should be able to reclaim that time to invest it elsewhere.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

Read More…

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