Monday, July 31, 2006

Learning but not Comparing

A great phrase to keep in mind is "Learn from everyone, compare to no one".
Every person you work with has a talent, keep your eyes and ears open to observe people. Don't be insular and limit this to peers and can learn from everyone.
A great example is I learned so much from our cleaner/housekeeper on customer service in an old role...that lady made you feel special...anticipated your needs and always had a smile.
The key is not to compare....this is a big world there will always be someone who is better than you at something.....fact! Comparison is a negativity drain......learn and grow instead.
Look after yourself, achieve your objectives, work on your relationships.......if others want to compare great - your aim is that THEY compare to YOU!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Celebrate Success

We are quick to point out what has gone wrong. But don't forget to celebrate success. Success breeds success...getting on a roll and getting that winning feeling is an important part of building a high performance team. Here are some ideas, send in any to add to the list!
  1. Have a success board. Post memo's from customers - internal and external, articles about your team from the press, from the company magazine.
  2. Publish results and have a treat if you achieve the target. eg Ice creams, share a cake, let people leave 30 mins early
  3. Have a high fives session in the middle of your team when you get some good news.
  4. Treat the team to lunch for achieving a tough schedule.
  5. E-mail or publish on the intranet a well done to someone.
  6. Send a thank you card for work that goes that extra mile.
  7. Give the team a small budget for them to decide how to celebrate.

Come on every one of us likes success...bring it to the fore, make it part of the culture.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Clear Messages

When you want to know that your email has arrived, you can have receipt stamp. Interesting, in email people understand that it is important that the message is received. However, when we verbally give messages do we check with the same fervour?
One key thing is having a very clear objective about what you are trying to say, what effect do you want? Then once having said it, you need to check what the recipient has may be different to what your objective was! So ask them how they feel they will use the info, what action they will take, what implications it has for them, their team etc....

Verbally make sure that you receipt stamp!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Teams Need Trust

Trust is vital for strong effective teamwork. No question. Without it energy and creativity just drains without it. So what can you do to encourage trust to flourish, well here are some quick thoughts
  1. Look for common thinking, look for similarities within the group and reinforce this by taking about it.
  2. Deal with people who are working against the team. By ignoring their behaviour you are condoning it.
  3. Give individual objectives but also always have one that is based on the team results.
  4. Encourage interaction...create space for people to sit together, socialise. Hold lunch meetings....have break out areas etc
  5. Review team performance and look for reason why progress is slow and agree together how to remove the blocks.
  6. Listen, watch behaviour...... your eyes and your ears are great open as a leader for ideas.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

On the Engaging Brand there is a post about emotional connection which I 100% agree with....but one thing I would add is that as a manager you must make an emotional connection but never own the emotions of others. First, you have enough of your own! Secondly, to help people who are having issues you need to stay objective. Emotional connection is about fostering not about owning all the emotions that people my have....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Your Manager Makes a HUGE Difference

We all know people join the manager and leave the manager. A key part of personal happiness is making sure that you work for a leader that you respect, that you share the same values. If you don't, then you will constantly be frustrated or feeling stressed.
If you are in a position now where you don't "engage" with your boss, look for a project, look for a secondment. This is a postive move as you can cloak it around your development, the expansion of your is short, work hours are long, unemployment is carry the aces....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Managers Role

Question: Do you spend time on your business or in your business?

Look at your objectives, and compare them to your diary. Are you spending time - "being busy!" but not effective in creating the success of your team? You diary is a great source of information - it shows how you are spending your time...have a look and look for...
  1. Meetings that did not add value
  2. Meetings that people in your team could attend as part of their development.
  3. Lost time....what were you doing and why were you doing it?
  4. Time spent on day to day issues vs time spent on the future
  5. Email watching!

Busy is not necessarily effective. Ask yourself each time, how does this relate to my role and does it help me achieve my objectives? If the answer is normally no, then you are not being effective...get that mirror out, look in it and ask yourself the real reason why the avoidance?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Birds, worms and mice!

Heard the quote "The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese" Well for me this is a great view...and reminds me of a couple of thoughts
  1. Life is every moment...don't waste the day in bed, the early mornings are wonderful - and a great time to set those creative juices flowing and feel as though you are ahead for the rest of the day.
  2. Never neglect an idea because it doesn't work. Always watch for what others are doing and improve upon it.
  3. Just because you tried once does not mean it won't work.....all innovation needs pioneers but pioneers that will learn how to adapt to the traps along the way.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Who are you ignoring?

Strange question...but I bet they work hard, never complain, do a good job, good team player?
You see we spend loads of energy on the bottom 20% of employees in pep talks, disciplining, in managing....this is often to the neglect of the good old fashioned worker! Look round have you told them that you value them, have you told them that you appreciate their hard see thy DON'T MOAN, so they will rarely tell you when they are not happy they will just resign.
Don't allow those Invisible employees leave - they are very difficult to replace......tell them you care!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Understanding and Seeing the Whole Person

A quote from Ralph Hodgson "Some things have to be believed to be seen"

So true, too often we only use our ears and eyes to judge people with, but if you want to fully understand then what about your heart...sounds a bit strange I know!
But if you look for the good in people, if you look for the good in ideas, if you look for the person not just the employee that sits in front of may well see the potential that is inside everyone.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Values and Goal Alignment

One key thing I believe, is that you need to work for a company that shares your values. If you are not aligned then you will just become frustrated and that frustration will lead to stress.
Values are inside us, and are integral to us all, and we have a basic need to have them "satisfied". If, for example, you believe in the power of people and your company says it is, but in fact it is saying it without believing it, then think about whether you really can commit and gain personal satisfaction from working there. The world is full of companies who are looking for people, who have this value, don't frustrate yourself trying to change a corporate culture......find that company that will help you fulfil that basic need.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Emotional Connection

To motivate, to inspire you need to find a way of connecting with each individual. This connection can be emotional or intellectual.
Recognise that people are different and it is up to you to find that connection.
The only way you can do this is by talkbeing with people, and during the conversation make sure 80% of your time is LISTENING, listening to find that connection. People love to talk about themselves! People feel valued, feel needed by others listening.

Listen to make that connection

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Information Sharing

People need to understand more about how their job adds value to the business. Ways that you can help this
  1. Use a feed reeder to trawl the web for articles of interest on your competitors, your market, your products. Then e-mail them round and discuss at your team meetings how the news affect you.
  2. Use a blog! Then you can personalise the information for your team.
  3. Use a Wiki for sharing terminlogy, project info etc
  4. Tailor the corporate information and translate it for how it affects your team.
  5. Email a fact of the day
  6. Hold lunch and learn sessions to look at trends etc

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Be Transparent

As a leader of a team it is important that people understand that you are human, and that you have objectives to meet. So be open...share your development needs, share your objectives...and give progress updates. Why?
  1. It encourages openess...allows dialogue within your team.
  2. It builds the community and the feeling that each of you are working towards the same goal.
  3. It shows that you know you are not perfect, and that you too have development areas. By sharing it shows the importance of understanding your areas of development and growing.
  4. Makes you human, showing both humility and confidence - you are not worried about showing your improvement areas.
  5. Helps give you a sense of it is public you will have to do something about it!