The way you react to failure has a big impact on your team’s future performance and culture. Make sure you handle failures constructively. As much as we like to celebrate success, there are going to be failures. They’re not fun and they can derail a team if you don’t handle the failure well. When there is failure, the first thing to remember is to avoid blame. Turn it into a learning opportunity. This is not about the individual. This is not personal. This is about behaviors and about choices we made that didn’t work out well. Find the opportunity to turn those into lessons learned. Think through how future actions can be taken that will help you avoid these failures the next time around. Here are some principles for dealing with failure: Fail as a team First, fail as a team. Deconstruct the failure and understand what the root causes were. Identify all the places where the team could’ve improved. Maybe it was a process failure or a failure to provide information from one team member to another. Try to never make it about the individual. Instead, look at the processes that the team is following and where those broke down. Praise risk-takers Next, even when there’s failure, praise people for taking a risk. We’re always making risk/reward trade-offs and if you’re not encouraging people to take risks, you’re going to get a risk-averse culture where people are paralyzed and won’t make decisions. If they’re not making decisions, you’re not going to get that upside. So when you talk about failure, help people appreciate the risks the team took. Discuss what the team thought the odds of the risk were and what the final result was. If the risk didn’t work out, review what the actual odds were. Ask, “Next time […]
Our brains are under constant assault from stressors. To reduce the amount of stress you feel and to improve your resilience, move. Move around physically. Exercise. Walk while on conference calls. Move. Movement has huge benefits in terms of stress reduction and resilience. Today’s guest post is by Jon Wortmann, thoughtLEADERS principal and author of Hijacked by Your Brain. He’s our primary instructor for our Building Leadership Resilience course. A data breach impacting millions. A failure of your core systems due to too much volume leaving users stranded. Two key executives leaving without successors in place. If you are a leader, imagining each of the aforementioned, true, situations, is enough to double your heart rate. And it should. Thinking about attacks, major human errors, and poor planning triggers the region of your brain that causes stress. Your amygdala, which I call your alarm, is a tiny, almond shaped region in the middle, left, and right sides of your brain. Bears have alarms. So do iguanas. Our ancestors a thousand years ago did too. Animals and old-timers needed their alarms to stay safe. To avoid danger, they had to be able to run and hide from nastier creatures or avoid the wrong food or water. Our problem today is that too many moments in life feel like a Sabre-tooth tiger approaching, as we sit safely in our offices, drive comfortably in our cars, and have full fridges of healthy, nutritious food (in addition to cake, wine, and cheese). That’s why you and your execs are stressed. Their alarms are on all the time. The risk from hackers has never been higher. Our technology is more powerful and more complicated than ever, and only continues to become more so of each. Our teams are made of independent, smart colleagues who will […]
https://i1.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/20190130-Couple-Running.jpg?fit=1280%2C960&ssl=19601280Trevor Joneshttp://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngTrevor Jones2021-09-20 08:00:022021-09-20 03:41:03Is Your Executive Team Stressed? Then Move!
Our reader poll today asks: How do you react when someone is overly-critical of your work? I seek to fully understand any and all feedback I receive: 32.63% I look for major issues but tend to ignore smaller criticisms: 45.46% I tend to be dismissive of what feels like overly critical remarks: 17.64% I blow it off. I have work to do and don’t have time for excessive criticism: 4.27% Feedback matters. Whether you like the feedback or not, you’d do well to at least consider it. It’s challenging for people to provide feedback and the vast majority don’t unless it’s a major issue. So figure for each person providing feedback, there are five others who are too uncomfortable to offer the same thoughts. If an issue comes up, you’d do well to evaluate it and put it in the proper perspective. Don’t oversteer though – you don’t have to act on every piece of feedback you receive. Sometimes they’re just style or personality differences that lead to the feedback. Act on items of substance and file away other seemingly smaller feedback. But if you begin to see patterns in that smaller feedback over time, assess whether it’s a bigger trend you need to act on. Regardless of the situation, beware of dismissing feedback at your own risk. – 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 team’s culture by celebrating your team members’ successes. Be careful, though…one person’s reward is another person’s punishment. Success and failure are part of running a team day to day. You need to recognize and promote wins because it’s going to build momentum for the team and make them feel like they’re accomplishing great things. There are a lot of great ways to acknowledge success. You can give people bonuses, provide them visibility opportunities, do some public recognition, give people increased responsibilities, and even promotions. All of these are very effective ways to celebrate the success of your team members. But remember…just because you think something is valuable doesn’t mean the team member will. You need to understand what personally motivates them and then reward them accordingly. If you’re not thoughtful about it, something you think of as a reward is going to be horrible from that person’s perspective. For example, if you have somebody on your team who is very introverted and you decide that you’re going to take their success and celebrate it by putting that person on stage in front of a large audience, that introvert might really hate that situation and they’ll feel very uncomfortable. Even though you thought you were rewarding them and celebrating their success, you’ve turned it into a bad experience. Or, for example, you have somebody who’s very happy in their current role. They like their level of responsibilities because it allows them to have a proper work-life balance. Let’s say you decide they’re doing a great job and you want to celebrate that success by giving them a promotion with more responsibilities. Now they’re pulling their hair out and they’re very stressed out and unhappy because they really enjoyed their old role. This promotion isn’t a good way to celebrate their […]
If you have a challenging problem to solve, approaching it in a methodical and structured way can make you more efficient and effective in your search for a solution. Today’s post is by Mike Lynn, thoughtLEADERS Principal. Brazilians have a Portuguese idiom that we should have in English…”Descascar o abacaxi”, which literally means “to peel a pineapple.” It’s commonly used as a way to express “to tackle a big problem.” Too often, we get overwhelmed and daunted by tough, thorny problems put before us. Without a sharp tool and a proven approach, we see that pineapple and wonder how we will get at the fruit inside. If desperate, we might try to messily smash it open or scrape up our hands trying (and usually failing) to peel the rough, prickly skin. Good luck. Hint one: You need something sharp. Hint two: cutting (not peeling) a pineapple requires following a precise proven pineapple paring process – a let’s call it “5P.” Problem-solving is similar. The sharp instrument is your brain. Wise Brazilians and wise problem-solvers have to be able to take a step back from the mess and frustration of pineapple smashing or hand scraping to recognize that there has to be a better way. If you lack this problem-solving sharpness, you’ll repeatedly end up wasting lots of time, going down bad analytical paths, spinning your wheels, “boiling the ocean.” and never getting to any solutions. Sharpen your machete mind, and prepare to face that pineapple with the power of “5P” – five steps to problem solving.
Our reader poll today asks: How often do you overcommit yourself? All the time: I regularly take on more than I should: 32.88% Sometimes: I can get overly ambitious from time to time: 48.08% Not often: I generally do well to not take on too much: 16.10% Never: I always manage my commitments rigorously: 2.94% Biting off too much. 80% of you say you often bite off more than you can chew. It’s easy to add commitments only to find you have too many commitments. Each one seems like a small, marginal task that we can fit in given the other projects we’re working on. The problem is we forget all the other things that take up our time and energy (meetings, email, urgent issues, people development, etc.). In the grand scheme, those new projects don’t fit in easily. The best suggestion I have is to pause before replying and accepting new work. Go look at your task list and your calendar. Identify exactly where the new project fits in. If there’s not an obvious space to place it, consider passing on doing the work. Better to do a few things well than many things poorly! – 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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Some leaders are uncomfortable providing feedback to their team members. Follow this feedback model to make giving feedback easier. If we want people to improve, we have to give them feedback. Giving feedback can be really difficult because we feel like we might hurt someone’s feelings. We tend to shy away from uncomfortable conversations. We don’t want to tell somebody who we really like and respect that they’re falling short in some regard. So we avoid feedback, but that’s a huge mistake—especially as the leader of a high performing team. I’d like to offer an example of a feedback model that can remove the emotion from these conversations and help people focus on improving performance versus getting defensive. The model goes like this:
Every year, LinkedIn recognizes the 20 most popular eLearning courses on its platform by making them free. My Critical Thinking course is #9 on the list this year! Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS Managing Director, Mike Figliuolo. Have you always wanted to take the best courses on LinkedIn Learning without paying for them? Who doesn’t, right? Well, today is your lucky day. Starting today, LinkedIn is making its 20 most popular courses FREE. I’m very proud to announce that yours truly made the list this year! My Critical Thinking course is the 9th most popular course on the platform this past year (out of 16,000 courses). Thank you to everyone who has already taken the course and made this achievement possible. Get the Free Course You can now access Critical Thinking for free by clicking the picture above or the link here: Critical Thinking by Mike Figliuolo Critical Thinking Course Overview Have you ever solved one problem, only to realize you created a bigger one? Have you ever thought you solved a problem, but then discovered you only cured a symptom and didn’t fix the root cause? The reason these things happen is because you’re not thinking critically. Critical thinking is both a mindset and the application of some real, simple tools. I’ve been applying and teaching critical thinking methods for years. Across all different industries and business functions, I’ve found these critical thinking skills to be invaluable. In this course, I share critical thinking techniques like — Defining the Real Problem — The Five Whys — The Seven So Whats — The 80/20 Rule — How to Conduct Insightful Analysis I discuss how you can apply these techniques to your daily work and how you can build a culture of critical thinking within your team. I hope you enjoy the course! And if you do, you can take a look at the 29 […]
https://i2.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Course-badges_09_Critical-Thinking.jpg?fit=1259%2C1243&ssl=112431259Trevor Joneshttp://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngTrevor Jones2021-09-07 08:00:022021-09-07 05:51:27Here’s a Free eLearning Course! Celebrating Being #9 on LinkedIn Learning