We took a recent survey of 1,000 employees and compiled the top behaviors that hybrid managers can improve (and avoid) to keep their team engaged and productive. Today’s post is by Alyssa Mertes, Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products Managers face unique challenges leading hybrid teams across multiple work environments. The good news is that many hybrid managers appear to excel at it. A new Quality Logo Products survey on boss habits reveals that over half (51%) of hybrid employees think their bosses manage employees “very well.” On this measure, hybrid managers outperformed both their remote (45%) and on-site (39%) counterparts. In today’s challenging employment landscape, however, businesses need to do all they can to retain and engage quality employees. This often starts with improving relationships and satisfaction in the workplace. In fact, around 64% of employees surveyed said that their relationship with their boss is their most important one at work. In this article, we’ll discuss five managerial behaviors to improve and five to avoid to keep your hybrid team happy and productive. The Top 5 Managerial Behaviors to Improve Communicate well If you want to improve your workplace leadership in a hurry, your communication skills make a great place to start. While nearly half (48%) of employees say that hybrid bosses communicate “very well,” it’s hard to overestimate the importance of this skill. In fact, employees ranked interpersonal communication style as the second most important management quality in a boss. Your team members need useful information that helps them understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Good communication requires both clarity and transparency, whether that means explaining your expectations well, providing the necessary context for projects, or owning up to your own mistakes as a manager. Listen thoughtfully Good communication starts with careful listening. […]
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Our reader poll today asks: How often do you give family and friends professional or work advice? All the time 6.67% Sometimes when I think they need to hear it 25.08% Sometimes but only when they ask for it 51.12% Rarely — only if I see them making a big mistake 12.06% Never — I keep business and personal separate 5.07% Trying to help. Over 80% of respondents are willing to offer professional and work advice with more than 30% offering it whether it’s solicited or not. For the 51% of you offering advice upon request, ask yourself if you’re telling them what they want to hear or what they need to hear. Sometimes people are looking for confirmation of a decision they’ve already made and they might not be open to advice counter to that position. If that’s the case, you run the risk of shouldering the blame if things don’t work out for them even if they had already made the decision you tacitly approve. For those offering unsolicited advice, be sure you understand their wants and goals. Often we give advice based on what we want our futures to look like. As good as that advice might be for you, it could be exactly the wrong advice for them if they have different goals and aspirations. The bottom line is consider their wants and needs first before giving any advice. If your suggestions are consistent with helping them achieve their goals, it should help them drive the outcomes they desire. – 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 […]
Become a leader with executive presence by being vocal, stating ideas with conviction, being decisive, and radiating calm. Today’s post is by Joel Garfinkle, thoughtLEADERS instructor, executive coach, and author of Executive Presence: Step Into Your Power, Convey Confidence, and Lead with Conviction. (CLICK HERE to get your copy). If you want to advance to high levels in your career—and make the greatest possible impact—you need to become a leader with executive presence. Here are 4 areas of focus I urge you to begin with. You can easily begin making these changes in your next meeting, one-on-one, or virtual call. Be vocal, yet concise. No, this is not an oxymoron. Great leaders speak up often, participating actively in discussions—yet they don’t drone on endlessly. They make smart, incisive comments that spark discussion. They voice thoughts succinctly, so others grasp them immediately. They participate throughout every discussion, but they don’t dominate it. When they speak, others want to hear more, not less. Many people fall into the “I don’t have anything to say” trap. But I promise you, you do have plenty to contribute. Challenge yourself to bring a mental list of key points you want to make in a meeting. As you speak up more, you’ll get more comfortable thinking of things to say in the moment. But even then, it will be helpful to gather your thoughts about each agenda item, particularly those that pertain to your expertise. Every idea doesn’t need to be earth-shattering in order to advance the discussion in some way. For instance, you might make comments like these: Summarizing how the group feels about the issue at hand. Commending a colleague for her amazing work on a project being discussed, highlighting what might have gone unrecognized. Pointing out where two disagreeing colleagues have common ground. Speaking […]
Learn how leaders can get ahead of any age-related problems in their workplace and create a truly diverse and age-inclusive workforce. Today’s post is by Patti Temple Rocks, author of I’m STILL Not Done: It’s Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace (CLICK HERE to get your copy). If there is a common trait among all the great leaders that I have worked with throughout my 4-decade career it is that they have high standards – for themselves and those they lead. They are measured (rigorously) on their performance so if you bring them a problem, they will solve it quickly. Sales are down? Let’s mix up territories. Growth has stalled? Invest in the innovation pipeline. Recession headwinds getting stronger? Tighten spending. Wrongful dismissal due to age discrimination lawsuit? Call HR and write a settlement check. But there is another common trait I have observed among those leaders – at least the ones I admire and like the best – they genuinely and deeply care about their people. Those leaders would not just write the check to make the problem go away, they will understand that behind that litigation there is a much longer story and most likely an employee who is hurting. Here is how leaders can get ahead of any age-related problems in their workplace and create a truly diverse and age-inclusive workforce. Do Your Research. Assess Your Organization The first and not surprising task is data based and straight-forward. Do some Google searching, and it will take no time at all to confirm that ageism is rampant in the workplace. In May of 2021, an AARP reported that an astounding 78% of workers between 40 and 65 had either witnessed or experienced ageism on the job. That is the highest number they’ve ever reported and up […]
Before you make a big decision, make sure you pause and spend some time considering these questions. As you get ready to make an important decision and take action, there are some critical questions you need to ask yourself before you move forward. Take the time to think this stuff through. As you get ready to move forward, ask yourself, how big is this decision? Can I break this big decision into smaller ones to reduce the risk that I face? How irrevocable is this decision? Can you roll it back if you’re wrong or do you have to get it right on the first shot? You should know the difference. What’s the cost of being wrong, and what’s the value of being right? And is that an appropriate trade-off that you’re making? How long do you have to make the decision? Many times, we impose a deadline on ourselves which isn’t real. What’s the real deadline for making this call and moving forward? What’s the cost of waiting, and what’s the value of acting now? For example, I had a decision I had to make, and if we had acted sooner, we would have saved a lot more money. And if we waited, those savings were going to be gone. Understanding that trade-off of time is critical. What are my personal biases that might be affecting this decision? Perhaps you made a decision in the past and it didn’t go well, and this decision feels a lot like that last decision that didn’t go so well. You should know that you have a bias that might be affecting your decision to move forward. How do I mitigate the biases that I might have to make clearer decisions? Can you bring somebody in as a sounding board to help push […]
Strategic creativity is a secret superpower. It provides a handle on what people desire or need—even before people know they want it or need it. Today’s post is by Robin Landa, author of Strategic Creativity: A Business Field Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design. (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Strategic creativity is a secret superpower. The person who possesses strategic creativity is tactical, resourceful, ingenuous, and extremely attractive (perhaps I’m getting carried away). An infiltrator, influencer, and eavesdropper. Strategic creativity provides a handle on what people desire or need—even before people know they want it or need it. For you—sitting in the C-suite, a business owner, a CEO, or a business professional—to get what you need to launch a brand, organization, or individual, to move a brand forward, to grow business, or to raise funds, you need to understand how creative professionals work their magic to conceive and construct strategically creative solutions. You also need to know what will work and why it’s well-conceived, well-designed, and well-written; and why pedestrian ideas won’t get you anywhere except overlooked. Think of me as your personal “Alfred Pennyworth”—I’m your special creative forces wingman, who will supply all you need to commission and evaluate creative solutions. It’s Really About the Insight into the Target Audience A consumer insight is a realization—a real eye-opener—about the target audience’s need, behavior, or the true nature of how they think, feel, or behave—a human truth no one has yet noticed brought to light. That insight warrants a response—a change in the way you look at a behavior, situation, branded product, or service—and it should be the catalyst for strategically creative idea generation and brand storytelling. Insights into the audience are vital to breakthrough creative solutions. What does the audience need? Desire? Why does the audience do what […]
Our reader poll today asks: How willing are you to “blow up” to force overdue action to occur? Very: I’ll blow up whenever anything slows down unreasonably 4.04% Somewhat: I’ll blow up when something important gets bogged down 22.43% Not very: It takes an extreme situation to get me to blow up 49.77% Not at all: I don’t see any value in losing my temper 23.76% Keeping your cool. While 26% of you are willing to “blow up” when something is overdue, the other 74% report taking a calmer approach and avoiding blow-ups. While getting heated may feel good in the moment and can even prompt the right action, there are costs to doing so. Those explosions might damage relationships, negatively impact your personal brand, and can make you stress out more easily. Ask yourself if it’s really worth it to lose your cool. Most of the time the person who made the mistake knows they erred. Getting upset won’t necessarily change their behavior or performance. Consider walking away for a few moments then asking what needs to get done to rectify the situation and channel your energy in that direction. It seems like the vast majority of respondents to the poll take that approach. – 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!
All decision-making involves risk. Use these three strategies to reduce risk when making decisions. You face risk in all decision-making. A goal of yours should be to reduce that risk as much as is reasonable. There are three primary methods for reducing risk. First, involve more people in the decision-making process. They’re going to give you additional information and offer perspectives you may not have thought of. Additionally, by involving them early, you’re reducing execution risk on the back end. You’re getting people to buy into the decision now so when it comes time to execute, they’re onboard. The second way to reduce risk is take more time. Today, the future may be completely uncertain. A month from now, maybe you’ve resolved some of those sources of ambiguity. A year from now, you have even better information as to the environment you’re going to make your decision in. The third way to reduce decision-making risk is break big decisions into smaller decisions. If you’re trying to decide whether to relaunch the entire company website, perhaps you break that decision down and you make a smaller decision today of launching a pilot website, gather some additional information, and then make the bigger decision down the road. There’s a balance between gathering information and making a decision in a timely manner because gathering information takes time and money. And yes, you’re reducing uncertainty by doing so, but remember, there are always new sources of uncertainty entering the equation. So find that balance between having enough information to make your decision. As you look at ultimately reducing decision-making risk, remember to involve more people, take more time in making the decision, and break those bigger decisions into smaller ones. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Want to learn more about developing your decision-making strategies? How about taking an entire course on it? Check out the […]
Leaders sometimes mistake form for function without truly understanding and appreciating the impacts on their teams. Failure to do so can lead to major issues. You need to think through what you want your team to deliver versus focusing on how they’re delivering it. Today’s post is by Robbie Hardy, author of Upsetting the Table (CLICK HERE to get your copy). RED FLAG. This was the text I received from a woman I had been mentoring for a year or so. She had recently been promoted to a senior management position in the software division of a large technology company. We had developed our own language for when she had a serious professional problem. Texting RED FLAG was a call to action. We met that evening and she shared the reason for her text. Eighteen months ago, her division had adopted the Agile methodology, which is basically a set of principles for software development where requirements and solutions progress with collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. Agile introduces a new way of thinking, speaking, and acting with its own vocabulary. Her division had fully committed to it and they had experienced extraordinary results. Unfortunately, not everyone evaluated the results the same way. The chairman of the company had come to the last board meeting, very frustrated with her division explicitly. He told the CEO that there was a serious problem due to the lack of a solid roadmap for each customer. He proceeded to share a bound set of client and technology specifications, written in excruciating detail, from another company where he is a board member. His colleagues were impressed and so the board, determined to have their own set of bound, detailed product roadmaps, voted unanimously to make it happen. The RED FLAG text came after the senior management team […]
Our reader poll today asks: How do leaders in your organization view the world? They’re exceedingly, and sometimes dysfunctionally, optimistic 17.05% They’re reasonably optimistic 39.21% They balance optimism and pessimism 32.95% They’re somewhat pessimistic 7.95% They’re exceedingly pessimistic 2.84% Balanced optimism. While most of you reported your leaders skew optimistic, there’s a large group (17%) that believes the optimism is excessive. Being too optimistic can lead you to ignore risks, minimize obstacles, and not be as diligent as you need to be. Excessive optimism can also lead to lofty and soon to be missed expectations which can then cause a downward performance spiral. While optimism is important, if you find you’re too optimistic, find a skeptic in your organization who can help you find a more balanced view. Actively consider risks and challenges and accept some level of probability that they might occur. Balanced optimism can keep people engaged and motivated but not set them up for discouragement if things don’t play out as expected. – 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!
As a leader, you won’t always have someone to pick you up and dust you off when you fall. Develop a leadership maxim that motivates you to push through hard times. As leaders, we’re always going to go through difficult times. When we were more junior we had other people to pick us up when we fell down. As a kid it was a parent or a coach who would dust us off and say “Get back out there.” We’ve had bosses who have been helpful when we faced crises. But now, the higher you are in terms of leadership roles in your organization and the more people you’re leading, the fewer people there are to pick you up and dust you off. You need to be in a position where you can lead yourself out of those difficult situations. Your team is watching you to see how you behave when you face adversity. Having a leadership maxim to help you motivate yourself and lead yourself through that difficult situation to get to the other side can be a very powerful tool to have. I’d like to ask: when you fall down, how do you pick yourself back up? For me my leadership maxim is “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.” That quote is from Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. I read that book when I was in eighth grade. You’re not exactly the most cerebral kind of guy as a 15 or 16-year old boy but I remember reading those words “Man is not made for defeat.” To me, defeat is about giving up. It’s about surrendering. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” That maxim has served me very, very well through some very difficult […]
A great executive assistant is only half the equation. Learning how to work with him or her effectively is the real key to maximizing your productivity. Today’s post is by Jan Jones, author of The CEO’s Secret Weapon (CLICK HERE to get your copy). For my new book, The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness, I interviewed the world’s #1 leadership thinker, Marshall Goldsmith and management guru Ken Blanchard, who expressed a deep appreciation for the value executive assistants bring to the lives of time-constrained executives. Business leaders Richard Branson, Donald Trump and others echoed their sentiment. Yet, despite the ringing endorsements of assistant’s capabilities by these and other business luminaries, many executives don’t capitalize on this resource that can help smooth out their day and relieve them of untold minutiae. By not capitalizing on the advantage assistants bring to the table, executives are cheating themselves out of an abundance of talent. While a minority of executives do this because they just can’t let go, many executives are oblivious to the expertise of their assistants because they’ve never learned how to utilize an assistant, or experienced top quality support before. But you can have this support if you consciously recruit and develop an assistant who can take on a leadership role and serve as your “right arm.” To find your exceptional assistant, start with a candid analysis of yourself. What is your work style – big picture, or myopic? Do you prefer someone whose work habits mirror yours? Are you a micromanager? If so, you will be irritated with a self-starter who takes the ball and runs with it. If you don’t want to be bogged down with details, a self-starter will suit you just fine.