Most leaders struggle with how to give team members feedback. Use this model to provide feedback in a way that will engender team member commitment.
In my last post I wrote about "The Big Why" - the importance for leaders to communicate the rationale behind their decisions. After all, who wants to be told what to do? And emotional commitment only comes when people understand why.
When was the last time someone told you what to do without explaining the reason behind their directive? What was your reaction? Did you unquestionably cooperate?
Today’s global business environment requires leaders to navigate geographical and cultural differences that team members and constituents bring to the business. Perhaps it’s remote employees based in China, India, or the Philippines. Maybe it’s the sales relationship with customers in different regions of the country.
I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, Leadership is a Conversation, by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind. As of June 2012 Boris and Michael had spoken to over 150 people in 100 companies where research participants consistently mentioned their efforts of "having a conversation" or "advancing the conversation" in their organizations.
I agree that Leadership, in part, really is a conversation. And I have also found that leaders who struggle most fail to engage people through conversation. Often times they:
The challenge in many organizations is not just that there are too many meetings, but that there are too many poorly run meetings. As a result people waste time and energy instead of getting "real work" done.
Here is a checklist I use in my strategic team building and team development programs as I observe and provide real time coaching.
Check it out and see how your team is doing.
A challenge in too many organizations is that teams and leaders often seek agreement instead of commitment.
You probably know what I'm talking about.
Agreement happens when people sit in meetings, nod their heads, and then afterwards either fail to take action or deliver on time.
Commitment, on the other hand, occurs when people take responsibility and then follow through to completion.
Agreement results in head nods. Commitment results in action.
Is your team stuck in seeking agreement instead of commitment?
In Part 1 of this post I mentioned that collaboration trumps time management...every time.
In others words, if you want to do things faster and better, instead of looking toward time management techniques to make 5% or 10% improvements, figure out how to work more effectively with others - on your team, across departments, and within the broader organization.
For collaboration to work, relationships must be focused on open communication. How do you create open communication?
When people don't communicate what they need, it results in a lose-lose for themselves and others around them.
I recently experienced this in my personal life. I'd been traveling (mostly for fun and personal time off) several weeks in a row and my wife and I were invited on an out-of-town trip to the mountains with friends. I immediately said yes, because spending time with friends and family is one of my core guiding principles.
Another common and costly leader mistake that can result in a loss of credibility and trust.
MISTAKE: Leading with answers instead of questions.
Jim Collins said it best in Good to Great: