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The foundations to becoming a great leader – Business owner to Boss

A lot of my clients are fast growth businesses due to our time together which means the business owner needs to build a team around them to be able to increase profit and sustain growth. So the next step of our time together as we action the business growth is helping the business owner transition into a leader.

The skills to be a great boss are extensive and it’s not achieved overnight.

We take the time to understand what it takes to be a great leader, what their role is, what they bring to the organisation and the team. It’s surprising how many people find themselves as leader but have had no training on how to do the job exceptionally well.

It’s great to be able to go back to the foundations of the business and understand the boss, the organisation, the team, its’ customers and ambitions. By going through this coaching process nothing is left to chance. Every eventually is understood, change can be embraced, difficult conversations get easier and profit is more calculated and efficiently achieved.

Here are just some key things a leader needs to consider. Use this as a base point to then create a series of questions you ask yourself and your team regularly. Such as;

–              I.C.E.S – What issues could we have? What could the causes be? What are we exceptional at and what could the solutions be?

–              How often will you monitor these indictators?

Remember to dismiss no ideas and no questions – it is what we do i ncoaching to get to the real issues a company need to address to excel.

Boss

The you in the equation – you and your team need to sit down and define each aspect of the business – Boss, The organisation, The team, The Individual.

Vision, Mission, Values and Ambitions.

Clarity – Where are we heading – the business, the team, you and each individual?

Ability to see the big picture and how actions now impact on the future of your organisation.

What is your role in new business, growth and performance of the organisation?

What is your attitude to creative thinking and innovation?

Emotional Intelligence

Do you think in absolutes? Do you make assumptions? How do you monitor your mindset and its impact on your role, your management, communication, action and results?

Understanding and reducing transference so that you can empathise without being impacted upon.

Role model – what kind of role model are you? Excited, open, calm, tolerant, fun, open minded, fearless, resilient. Define how you wish to be perceived. How will you ensure this is the person people see? Who do you look at in the public eye that seems to be a great leader? What attributes do they  have? What skills? What behaviours? Actions? Believes?

How well do you step out of comfort zones?

Being aware of your hot buttons – what you are sensitive to? What triggers you personally and professionally? Time keeping, long emails, poor communication for instance. What responses do you naturally have and how to control/alter?

Transparency.

Honesty.

Empathy.

Empowering and motivational.

Appreciating what you excel at, what weaknesses you have – will you choose to outsource, employ or automate what you are weak at or gain the necessary training? Neither is wrong – it is what works for you.

Communication and boundaries

Respect

Decision maker and the confidence to say this is what we are going to do.

Great listener. Knowing when to listen and when to lead.

Confident in choice of action

Confident to say “I don’t know” and ask for ideas, support, advice.

Lead by example.

Boundaries – what are they and how are they communicated, honoured, and enforced?

Able to structure and host difficult conversations expecting a win win result that honours you, the team, the individual and organisation – accepting that sometimes it is about expressing this is the way rather than bending to the individual.

Team management and development

How do you enable your team to be resilient?

The ability to see things from the colleagues, customers point of view.

How do you enable your team to handle their time effectively, perform and meet targets/KPI’s?

Believing the best in people while being mindful of how this could impact on you, the organisation, the team and individual.

Training and development – you, the organisation, the team and the individual.

People skills. The ability to bring the best out in others, help people through personal challenges that may seem alien to you.

Structured – what is the right level of structure for you, the team, the organisation and the individual? How will you monitor this for review, risks and success?

Attitude and capability to delegate?

The organisation

Vision and mission – where are we going? Why? How?

What are our values? How do we communicate these? What impact do they have on you, the organisation, the team and the individual?

How do we plan? How do we implement the plan?

Monitoring results – how will we know we have achieved it? What parameters are we monitoring? How will we monitor risk/flaws/issues for Boss, Organisation, Team and Individuals?

Communication – what we stand for – our ideals – what our customers will always get from us.

How do we specify, communicate, and control the results of the big picture? Who is responsible for what and why?

Adversity, change and obstacles – what is our collective approach to be resilient, innovative and proactive thinking?

What is the culture of our organisation? What can new staff expect from us as a team? Organisation? You as a boss?

How will we monitor trends, risks, global change, industry change?

How do we ensure we are proactive rather than reactive?

How do we sustain and grow?

The team

How are the team organised?

Communication rules – what is our communication policy? What does it do for the organisation, individual, company and you? If you get this right, you can greatly reduce emails sent and received, gossip, hand holding and stress. You can increase natural innovative problem solving, performance, time management and profit.

Respect – how to ensure it?

Enable team to be decision makers – bring solutions and innovation confidently and if necessarily confidentially.

Enable team to be emotionally intelligent and aware of each other’s preferred style of thinking, acting, processing information and working.

Enable them to see if they make assumptions and their impact? How will they monitor their mindset and its impact on their role, communication, action and results?

Communication – knowing they are safe to communicate what they need to without judgement – this is where coaching is incredibly powerful – no one plays good cop bad cop. You do what you are good at and I coach you and your team to perform exceptionally well, learning how each person chooses to work, think, act and feel. One size does not fit all. This enables fast sustainable growth, lowered stress, better performance and time management and ultimately better profit.

Who is responsible for what actions? What is this based on? How is this monitored, improved and developed?

Team learning and development – how would they like to learn collectively?

How do we measure productivity, profitability and performance?

How do we reward excellence?

What polices enable us to communicate what is expected?

The  individual

Communication – what works for you as an individual? What works for your colleagues? How are our styles of learning and sharing information different? What risks could that open us up to? How will you overcome them?

How do we enable people to be resilient and handle stress and time sensitive projects/goals?
How do we monitor and ensure good mental and physical health?

Learning and development – self led? Mentor? Peers? External support?

How do we asses your personal and professional needs? And the implication to the team, organisation, and you?

How do we help you develop and progress?

Understanding and reducing transference so that you can empathise without being impacted upon – know how it impacts on yourself and your colleagues.

This is not the definitive guide to leadership however I hope I’ve stirred your critical thinking to think creatively about you, your team, your organisation and everyone as an individual. What questions will you ask today to enable better leadership and results?

I am more than happy to discuss your needs – feel free to email – mandie@mandieholgate or telephone (44) 079 899 35556

  • March 18, 2022

World Kindness Day – lessons for business (and life.)

World Kindness Day was invented in 1998. 23 years to appreciate the importance of kindness;

  • How it helps us break down divides and differences.
  • How it helps us to appreciate the world from someone else’s point of view.
  • How it connects and nurture us, our friends and family, our communities, our networks at work and in life and even our online worlds.
  • How it can help us be better leaders, managers and parents
  • How it can lead to better solutions for businesses and societies.

And yet according to Advance HE “Racial discrimination in higher education continues to exist. Despite the events of the past year and heightened focus on structural and institutionalised racism, we see growing tensions arising from differing cultural, ethnic and other identities, both on campus and in wider society.” * (1)

According to research by Lenovo there is a kindness gap in UK society with 82% of UK citizens placing value on living in a kind and empathic society but only 37% believe they live in a city that is like this. (2)

Further evidence that kindness is not riding high comes from the annual Report Harmful Content that says online hate speech increased by 225% last year!

Every area of our lives has seen the negative impact of a lack of kindness. As a mental health ambassador, I’ve been working with charities and organisations to raise awareness on mental health and wellbeing for 17 years and we still have the same issues that if we had a greater level of kindness in the world we could help lessen and eradicate. So what can we do about this?

This world kindness day, don’t just share a post and think “I’m doing my bit.” Up your game;

Here are 6 powerful ways you can make the next year a kinder one both personally and professionally;

1.         We all know someone that annoys us. Instead of continuing with this they annoy me, it does this to me, it has this impact on me, I then respond like this, it negatively impacts on me like this…. response. Look to understand what about this person annoys you? (If you’ve read my books or attended any sessions with me you will know strategy is from the Negative spiral.)

Understanding our own “Hot buttons” and our own way of thinking, acting and responding can help us bridge the gap between ourselves and people we don’t get on with. We won’t necessarily change them, but we will be able to change our response and see the world differently. This is great in business; enabling very different thinkers to work together powerfully to a common goal.

2. I read a great quote in a book on philosophy that asked, “what is the purpose of arguing?” I love reading bout ancient philosophers (who still have so much to teach us since us humans still have brains and minds) I learnt that an argument is an opportunity to learn, and not what most people think.

Alas what Aristotle said wasn’t so simple as, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” He actually said;

““It is right that we ask [people] to accept each of the things which are said in the same way: for it is the mark of an educated person to search for the same kind of clarity in each topic to the extent that the nature of the matter accepts it. For it is similar to expect a mathematician to speak persuasively or for an orator to furnish clear proofs!

Each person judges well what they know and is thus a good critic of those things. For each thing in specific, someone must be educated [to be a critic]; to [be a critic in general] one must be educated about everything.”

Okay so not as snappy but it teaches us a lot. If we can understand others, we can be kinder in our response. I’ve had thousands of coaching conversations with individuals and teams where this approach has led to eureka moment, so consider your response. You can’t possibly know everything so it’s a good reminder that your mind, your knowledge, your beliefs and view of the world will not match everyone’s. Accepting and honouring that can make you a kinder person and better in business and life.

3. Be real. This is not for everyone, however in a world that is becoming so polarising and causing so many divides the more honest, transparent and real you can be the better. That doesn’t mean you’ve got shout in the office “I ate the last cookie and hate Monday meetings; you all talk too much!” but it does mean that you respond to the world in a more honest way.

Bella Hadid (3) the international Instagram model with over 47 million followers shared her own very personal images of her crying and upset, talking about her own mental health. While I think this is good in some respects. It has its limitations. After posting this Bella probably has the funds to access confidential help and do what she needs to do to be mentally well and strong. Many don’t have this option and will have to battle on through because bills need to be paid and they don’t have millions of followers to say you can do it or the confidence to say what is really going on.

When I shared my frustration that a recovery company left me after being robbed in a city centre in the middle of the night for 2.5 hours most of the comments were constructive. (4) I’d aimed to highlight that to stay safe sometimes those that we trust aren’t doing what they should (I think I’ll probably move away from this organisation and not trust it to look after my children should they break down either) and I wanted to highlight this to my friends online and hopefully get the recovery agency to attend faster! I wasn’t expecting someone to accuse me of being a victim and looking for attention or being someone that fails to motivate and inspire people no matter what they face to achieve in life.

If you follow me on social media, you will know that my husband and I have faced a lot this year. As one of my mastermind groups and a lawyer put it “You’ve been through a fair bit this year.” Let’s just say so as not to bore you that if we wrote the last 18 months into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, they’d write it out straight away for being too unrealistic!

The Most Heartbreaking Moments on Grey's Anatomy so Far

I was just incredibly unlucky to have my car singled out from a line of cars and be robbed. I wasn’t expecting an attack on social media afterwards. I asked my mastermind group if I was boring people, over sharing and not as I have aimed through out the last year to showcase, we can overcome everything. That with the right mindset no matter what we face we can be happy, lessen our stress levels and still achieve great things.

As I said to my mastermind group, it is one thing after the trauma, accident, brain tumour, tsunami, mental health breakdown, obstacle to stand on a stage and inspire others when you have the evidence to say it all worked out fine, it is quite another level of resilience, determination, strategy and mindset to deliver this in the midst of the hell.

On reflection would I share again?
Yes, because I’m honest and real. If I cock up, I will be honest and look to learn, if you create a world that says yes to you and reinforces what you believe, then how can you grow and improve?

How will you know what works and what doesn’t?

To be kind consider the part you play in the global attitude to social media.

Do you make assumptions or share in a way that inspires motivates and supports others?

There’s a big difference between moaning and honesty and I think the line can be very blurred sometimes. Step back and ask how do I wish to be represented online? What is my message? My brand? It doesn’t matter who you are – student, retired teacher, business owner, leader or speaker. What are you projecting to the world?

And if your life is all perfection online ask yourself how you are impacting on others?

4. “I’m fine” a statement made so often. When I spoke to my husband’s oncologist about support, they advised that it is very common to see that cancer patients are alone in the world. In the early months patients are inundated with support both practical and emotional, but as the time passes people fade away. It gets harder for the patient and their community to connect and be kind to one another as their worlds are so different. The offers of traybakes and trips to the hospital diminish and the “How are you really?” conversations dry up as people move on with their lives.

A big way you can be kind is to ask if you are hearing what you want to hear or what they are saying? We often hear what we want to hear so that we can continue down the path we are taking. When I was working with a business team, the leader chose to hear that everyone was fine because that was what they had been told, however the profits, the absenteeism, the lack of growth and the length of meetings and inboxes told a different story. Choosing to hear what people were really thinking (but not confident to share) meant the company, the team and every individual felt honoured. And of course, happier too.

So, what do you really hear?

5. Helping others is a proven way to support yourself and make this world a better place. According to an AmeriCorps report, people who volunteer 100+ hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.

Studies have shown that helping others can;

  • reduce loneliness and stress.
  • make you happy.
  • make you feel connected to the world.
  • help you learn new skills and new knowledge.
  • gain a greater understanding of the world.
  • build communities.
  • reduce social and racial tension.
  • boost your self esteem.
  • improve your career prospects and earning potential.
  • increase your brain function.
  • AND make the world a better place.

I often talk in leadership and team coaching sessions about how the chemicals are bodies can create can be actively produced if we do the right things. It has been viewed as fluffy and emotional when I talk in corporate settings about the softer side of being human, but there’s nothing soft or fluffy about understanding what you think can actively change your performance, happiness, health and even how much money you make!

In my talk on controlling the uncontrollable that I’ve delivered for many organisations and businesses to help them migrate to 4 days weeks and navigate through the fast paced changes our personal and professional lives have to travel through, this slide has proven a big talking point;

To view the full slide show/article click here

How are you looking to set off positive chemical responses in others?

(These are obviously just a few examples, and none are essential!) however it does highlight how it is not rocket science to find ways to be kind and leads us nicely onto…

6. You. To be kind in this world, you have to start with you. If you’ve heard me speak, you know I ask you to tell me where you fit on the Importance ladder?

  • Down at the bottom, doing everyone’ bidding feeling completely downtrodden broken and unable to cope?
  • Or just as valuable and as important as everyone else acknowledging and honouring your own needs?

This not only supports you to do more for others it also ensures you are a great role model for those around you. Despite the endless hospital appointments, calls and surgeries I can hand on heart say that I’ve prioritised my needs as much as I have anyone else’s. And this has ensured that despite every challenge and obstacle I’ve not missed a single speaking gig, coaching session or training day and my business continues to grow.

Kindness, pays, so 23 years after International Kindness Day started isn’t it time, we all considered how powerful it could be and do something about it?

If you have enjoyed this article and aim to do something about it, then I’d love to hear more. You can connect on social media, email me or even pick up the phone!

Social media links are at the stop of the homepage.

Tel +44 (0) 798 935 556

Email – mandie@mandieholgate.co.uk

(1) https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/programmes-events/events/race-equality-colloquium-2022

(2) https://news.lenovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/New-Realities-Empathy-And-Technology-Report.pdf

(3) https://www.instagram.com/bellahadid

(4) shorturl.at/moIY4

  • November 13, 2021

£5 billion in avoidable sick days – 10 ways to avoid the true cost of burnout

According to Indeed (1) burnout is on the rise with 80% of those asked saying Covid had made burnout worse.

The cost to business is around £5 billion with 43% of all sick days in the UK alone due to burnout.

In business it is likely to cause;

  • Absenteeism.
  • Mistakes.
  • Disgruntled staff.
  • Poorly performing teams.
  • Reduced productivity and even damage profitability and innovation in business.

Here are 10 strategies to fight overwhelm, overload and overworking for you and your team. They are all taken from my unique style of coaching that can deliver results for teams within 3 hours. I’m happy to talk you through these strategies and share more – get in touch here.

1. Create a communications policy for your company

I’ve created over 40 communication policies this year for teams and each has been unique. They have included things like “No email to be sent after 1pm on a Friday” this stops the “get it off of my desk mentality” and improves communication and team relationships. Or having an agreed green, red, orange system for subject line – green – for your information no need to reply, orange – you may need to be involved, please review and reply as necessary, red – urgent please respond within 4 hours. Agree on a policy and then communicate it, ensuring you reflect and review 6 weeks later to see what is working and what needs to change. You will be surprised how many in your team do not know when it’s okay to walk into your office or to phone you because the conversation has never happened and they are worried they will be in your way, disturb you, ask something stupid or look like they can’t do their job. Fact.

2. Negative to positive.

It’s a lot harder to make improvements when you don’t know what is causing the issue. If you’ve read my book Fight the fear or Taking control of your mind you are not new to the negative spiral strategy. Everything you achieve (or not) is as a result of your feelings, emotions, actions and results. If you think of the negative spiral as the M25 (for my international readers this is a UK ring road around London; notorious for being congested, jammed and slowing down journeys. It can take you 2 hours to get to your destination or 5 hours!) Now imagine that ring road with no exits. The negative spiral is just that, a way of being trapped in a continual loop of negative feelings, emotions, actions and results. When you know the negative you can do something about it.

If you look at this short version you can see that one feeds the other. You don’t need to go in order of feeling, emotion, action and result. It could be in any order. What do you notice?

You can now look to create breaks between each bubble. When I do this with clients we see how bad the negative spiral can get, imagine what a positive version could look like and then come up with lots of ideas on what could break the pattern between each bubble. This is quite a complex strategy to do justice to so get in touch if you’d like more guidance (or re – read Fight the fear and/or taking control of your mind for reminders on how they work.)

3. It is what it is

This is a statement I’ve heard in practically every corporate team coaching session. Every single one. What’s wrong with that you ask?

Well if you believe that it is what it is then you aren’t looking for solutions or ways of making things better for you, your team or your business. It is a victim mentality that holds teams stuck in poor working practices, overloading communication practices and damaging ways to work. Challenge everything at work that this statement is levied at. What other statements are made that take away any opportunity to improve things?

And in every session I’ve heard this statement, by coaching the team through what they believe is possible we’ve helped them make better choices.

4. No

This tiny word gained a whole chapter in Fight the fear, because so many of us fear using it. The irony is that people that are good at saying no, rarely have to use the word.

  • Where and when do you constantly say yes?
  • Do you worry about not looking like a team player?
  • Do you worry you look like you can’t cope so you always say yes?

If you understand what inspires your instant yes’s you are able to work out what it does to you and your own list of jobs (remember the negative spiral from above?) and how to create a better way of communicating. When we’ve explored this word and it’s power in teams, I often see that the team are worrying about letting each other down. Causing everyone to over deliver and say yes that creates a culture of working that is unsustainable and damaging to all, so speaking up could literally save others too!

5. Listen to your body

I still hear people proudly exclaim that they got up at 5am, not had lunch and are powering through. After all we know about burnout and stress this is astonishing. If you won’t look after your body because you literally can’t survive without one consider looking after your body because it will work better and perform better if you do.

According to the HR Booth(2), dehydration alone can cause your employees to struggle with concentration, productivity and happiness.

It doesn’t take a genius to suss that if you don’t eat well then your body can’t perform well. This has many implications on burnout.

6. Really listen to your body

We’ve become attached to our computers thanks to the pandemic and as a result we aren’t moving as much as we used to. There is growing evidence to suggest that even a short walk can benefit your mental dexterity.

And just 10 minutes in nature can make you feel more emotionally strong and less stressed. Taking a break actually makes you think better and faster, it can even change your perception of time (see below).

I encourage clients to work on a task for 40 minutes then take a short break. It’s amazingly effective for problem solving and the ability to work for longer. As you step away while you think you aren’t working on the task you need to complete, your subconscious is processing everything you were doing and carries on doing this, so that when you return “magically” you’ve got new ideas to use.

7. Ditch or deal

When it comes to To do lists I often find these are the root of a lot of productivity issues and problems that exasperate burnout. A To do list with more than 5 things on is not likely to be achieved in a day. My clients only ever get a maximum of 5 actions towards any goal. Why? Because too many jobs on there and it becomes overwhelming. They then have back burner ideas – things they can work on after they’ve completed the first 5 tasks, this ensures they stay focused, stay motivated and achieve more.

If you’ve things on your to do list that have been there over a week, make the decision to ditch it or deal with it. Prioritise it. Heard the saying “kiss the frog”? My clients learn that the frog becomes a big warty, slimy toad getting bigger and bigger if they don’t get on with it. Deal or ditch.

8. Perception

One of the reasons we end up feeling overworked, overloaded and overwhelmed is because we don’t have the control we would like to have. It’s one of the reasons I can help a team work less hours and get more done with less stress in 3 hours because it’s about how we personally see the world.

I recently wrote about our perception of time. How time can speed up if we are feeling happy and slow down if we are frightened. If we are in awe it can make time seem a lot slower and when we are “on flow” as us coach’s like to say, time flies. By understanding how you see the world you can appreciate what impacts on that. As a coach my job is to help you understand what you believe to be true, what you feel matters, what experiences have shaped your view of the world and what values are important to you. Your experiences, beliefs and values greatly impact on your ability to stop burn out. Learn to recognise what beliefs, values and experiences are motivating and empower you and which ones are damaging.

9. Sacrifice

Lastly what will you sacrifice? To be more resilient and cope better no matter what you face at work means you have to know what you are prepared to sacrifice. For instance;

If you stay late at work you know you are sacrificing quality down time to return to work fully charged the next day.

If you agree to work through your lunch break you are agreeing to an energy slump mid afternoon and the implications that could have on your performance and productivity.

If you sacrifice checking your email you know you will finish that report.

When I look at people’s to do lists we often discover things that are “should’s.” For instance “I should really look at that report they wrote.” Tasks like this that you don’t deal with, you’ve got to ask “For what reason do I not sacrifice something else to achieve this?”

Ideally think in emotions and feelings as well as the physical implications, because ultimately they drive you forward or force procrastination. So if you are harbouring feelings of “It’s so boring, they waffle on and I don’t understand half of it.” Then what are you going to decide to do?

  • Always struggle with reports.
  • Learn new skills, jargon and knowledge to understand.
  • Always feel guilty and like you are failing because this task never gets completed.

Which ever you decide it’s a sacrifice for something you do over something you don’t want to do. Adjust your perception of the tasks and your actions and you will work out the right things to sacrifice so that you aren’t overloaded trying to people please and look like you know everything.

10. Time

Time is a wonderful commodity that we forget we can manipulate, as we’ve already touched upon. With the new ways of working hybrid between office and home it can be all too easy to lump your commute time into your working day. Every team I’ve worked with that were doing this told me it was so they worked less evenings and weekends. This doesn’t work, because they weren’t proactively choosing their use of time.

  • Are you reactive or proactive?
  • Do you start with what everyone else deems is urgent, ie email or do you start with your to do list – that I hope you wrote last night?
  • Do you split your gained commute hours between you and work? This is a great way to look after you and your career. Not by giving it all to the organisation.

Take a few minutes to sit down and work out what your ideal week would look like. Have you ever considered that you may not have to do 9 to 5 at all? Often it’s assumed what the management expect from their teams. I’ve heard so many in coaching sessions say “Well, I can hardly work at 6am and then stop for a few hours just to do the school run can I?” Only to hear the boss say “Actually, why can’t you? As long as I can get hold of you at some point in the day, I don’t care what hours you work, as long as you are looking after yourself and doing your job well.”

This requires open and honest conversations, and while most leaders think they do this every week, rarely do I see this happening. A few books on personal development, leadership and coaching does not make you a coach. And often there’s a risk of trying to establish this kind of relationship without having the knowledge on how to fulfil it.

I’ve hundreds of strategies to enable your team to feel resilient and work more productively thus reducing stress and improving performance. Please do feel free to get in touch. We often hear work smarter not harder, but still so many are failing to grasp how.

(1) https://www.indeed.com/lead/preventing-employee-burnout-report

(2) https://www.thehrbooth.co.uk/blog/the-hr-booth-updates/why-its-important-to-keep-your-employees-hydrated/

  • September 1, 2021

How to kill your team spirit

Over the last few years, I’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people looking to quit their “high Flying, this is what I’ve always wanted careers” for a different life. More and more people are becoming disenchanted and disengaged with working for large corporations and the joys and treasures that this can hold for them. I’m inundated with people looking to set up their own business and “escape” the city. It makes it sound like Alcatraz and for many perhaps it is. With a growing trend for down sizing, a rural lifestyle and a better work life balance how can a corporation compete with working around families and life styles, across a chatty family dinner table, a commute to the back garden in your slippers with a dog in tow and no one telling you what to do or how to do it?

If you look after a team and are seeing this trend what can you do to look after your team and show them that actually, it’s a great place to be and still reach your targets each month?

As well as the increase in highly successful people looking to run away that I’m coaching, I’m also seeing a trend for more people who wish to showcase to their staff that we genuinely do care, and we do want you to achieve and excel as much as we wish the organisation to. So how can you ensure your team are happy and what should you steer clear of to stop your team from proverbially running for the hills?

Here are my top tips for how to kill your team’s spirit and how to fix it;

Expect them to care as much as you do.

It’s likely you are highly dedicated, hard working person who gets what they want in life. And as such you find yourself looking after a large team of people. And one of the first things that many clients learn is that your interpretation of what matters and your definition of what is important may differ greatly from that of the people that work for you. You care about the end result because it’s your department, however, not everyone has that level of passion for their work. Take a step back and imagine that you are a member of your team. Do you feel that you strive for the bosses’ job? A seat on the board? Or do you feel that you may have other priorities in life? There is no right or wrong answer here. And by understanding the different drivers in peoples lives, you can tap into this to help people feel cared for and listened to on their own values and passions in life.

Don’t listen to them.

I actually once heard a person say “You’re not here to think you are here to work” And as incredible as that sounds and as far removed as this ethos is to most organisations that understand the need to get the most out of the people. Inherently it can still feel like this is the case to some. If you want your team to love working with you and your firm then you need to help people feel heard. And that’s easy to achieve at a review however not so easy when the deadline is looming and 3 people have called in sick. Learn phrases that feel natural to you that enable you to effectively say “I hear what you are saying and wish to address this let’s get this project completed and let’s book a date to discuss.” Or “This must feel incredibly (frustrating, disappointing, hurtful, disrespectful, etc) to you, and I want you to know that this concerns me, I would like to look at ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Showcasing that you wish to hear their views makes people feel valued. Which brings me on to….

Argue with them.

The minute someone argues with you, it get’s your back up. Try it with your partner, sibling or child and you will see that if you push against a person, they will push back. Arguing is never productive. A difference of opinion is different, and it’s about learning powerful ways to communicate that enables that person to hold on to their own views and hear yours too, without emotion, guilt or intention. Their view is their view, and you don’t have rights over that. Remember that person has got to this stage of their life with their beliefs, values and experiences. You will have a unique combination of those too that enable you to think, behave, act and achieve as you do. Helping someone to overcome their limitations and obstacles does not start with a conversation that says “You are wrong.”

Shut them out.

A quick way to see staff leave is to shut them out of the big picture. You can quickly turn your organisations next big plan for success into a war zone of gossip, and upset if you don’t help your team feel involved in the big picture. Organisations hit hard times and to shut people out so that they don’t panic, doesn’t work. If anything it can create “The conspiracy theory attitude” that says “We are all doomed!” Helping your team to appreciate what you as a team face and listening to concerns and ideas will help to make people feel like they matter and that you aren’t about to cut them loose. Batting down the hatches can scare people fast.

Moan about people.

It has been proved that by talking about a third party many people feel like they are part of the “in crowd”. It is often used as a way to make that person feel special and valued, because “I’m sharing this with you because I trust you” feelings. That’s great on one level, however subconsciously (even if not with awareness) if you are prepared to talk about someone else, how does that person not know you are going to talk about them too. Professionalism indicates that most people understand this, however what about with other companies, suppliers or departments? Speak as you wish to hear about yourself. Bambi’s mate Thumper had that one sussed “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” As many clients have learnt saying nothing can be a far more powerful way to get your message across on a negative.

Personalities.

On a planet with over 7 billion people, it’s not surprising that you may rub someone up the wrong way and they may dislike you. Your job is not to be Mr or Mrs Popularity your job is to help everyone work together effectively and powerfully as a team feeling like they matter and are well respected and valued as a member of that team. And that can get tricky when personalities clash. What you see as an insulting way of speaking is just another persons idea of a fun way of behaving. What you see as professional may seem cold hearted to some. Learning to see the world from other people’s view points can help. And learn to listen to people’s natural style of communication. If you have investigated this for yourself you may already know about the different styles of learning that people may favour. And this extends to their natural chosen way of communicating and learning about the world that surrounds them. If you are an auditory learner and you are speaking with a kinesthetic learner, you can alienate that person and make them feel like they are not being heard or understood if you don’t pick up on their verbal and visual clues. It’s a whole article on its own to look at the power of using other people’s natural styles of communication, so for now, start to consider;

Does this person use lots of body language?

Does this person use words like “I see what you mean” or “I hear what you are saying” or “I feel that this is the best approach”?  

Don’t say thank you.

It may seem so obvious and yet the amount of times I’ve had people tell me that they just got fed up with no one ever saying thank you. “It’s your job, what do I need to thank them for?” I’ve heard in retaliation. The fact is it takes a short amount of time to say thank you and gratitude is such a powerful tool in so many areas of our lives. These people weren’t marched in and made to work in your offices, they choose to. Okay, they may have mortgages and mouths to feed however ultimately they are making the decision to invest in working for your organisation to get them what they want in life. And that is not just about perks and salaries. Taking all the praise and forgetting to share the glory can kill their attitude to you and the organisation. Some people don’t need praise, they are just pleased to see the job done and go home at night, however, I’ve seen many a person light up when they’ve plucked up the courage to say to their boss “actually do you know you never say thank you?” and that person has appreciated this and started to say thank you more. That member of your team feels appreciated and respected and that is ultimately what we all strive for in life, not just the joys and treasures of a corporate career.

  • August 25, 2017