Just Ask...

Have you ever wondered what is motivating to your people?

It's important to know, because as leaders, we need to tailor everything we do based on our team members' preferences and priorities.

I was in a team building workshop last week, and one of my participants asked, "...but how do we know what motivates our team members?"

I simply replied, "Just ask."

Here are some questions you might ask your team members and co-workers to better understand their needs and aspirations.

1. What two or three aspects of your work do you enjoy most?

What Stifles Conflict in Your Organization?

Healthy conflict. Dialogue. Debate. Too often teams avoid it.

Why?

Here are three reasons.

Making Recognition Work for You: Part 4

This is the fourth post in a 4-Part series. To get the scoop in why recognition is important, see Part 1. To understand some of the myths about recognition, see Part 2. To learn about the 4-level framework for a recognition program, see Part 3.

Making Recognition Work for You: Part 3

In Part 1 of this series we talked about the "case" for recognition. In Part 2, we have debunked some of the myths around recognition, the next steps are to put a framework in place for an effective recognition program.

In The Carrot Principle, the authors outline a four-level approach to recognition that is straight forward and easy to implement.

Making Recognition Work for You: Part 2

The Manager who approached me in Part 1 of this series had used his original question of 'Sal, why do I have to give people recognition for doing their job?' to set me up.

He was persistent and continued, "I don't give people recognition for just doing their jobs. That's what they get paid for."

The conversation went on, and he justified his position of not giving people recognition by saying that he had high standards. Hmmm. High standards, I thought. What does that have to do with it?

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 4

The last three posts have been focused on overcoming challenges encountered on remote teams. Part 1 was focused on getting your virtual team aligned, Part 2 on building cohesion, and Part 3 on creating disciplined team processes.

Today's post is focused on remote team leadership.

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 3

In my last two posts, we tackled a few challenges that remote teams face. Part 1 was focused on getting your remote team aligned. Part 2 on building cohesion.

In this post we'll focus on process.

For remote teams to maximize their effectiveness, they need to have disciplined processes in place. Here are some ideas you might consider:

Orienting New Team Members

One of the fastest ways to get a new team member "up to speed" is to make the process intentional.

In many companies, HR plays a key role in "onboarding" new employees. But more must be done at the team level (from senior leadership teams to functional teams) to help new team members get acclimated to the culture and its unwritten rules (that aren't documented in employee handbooks), and to truly understand roles and accountabilities (that aren't usually accurately captured in a position description).

When teams formally spend time orienting new team members it...

Growth and Culture

With the economy recovering and business picking up, I have been asked the following question several times by clients and potential clients in the past few weeks...

"How do we keep growing and maintain our culture at the same time?"

That is a great question.

Align Your Team in 2011: Part 3

Things seemed to be changing quickly. In just a matter of three months, Ben was unexpectedly promoted from Consultant to Manager, Angela was hired and then quit, and now Henry was coming on board.

“So, how’s it going?” Ben's Manager Steve asked.

“Swamped,” Ben replied. “Henry’s started as of last Tuesday and so far seems to be working out pretty well.”

“Great,” Steve responded without knowing that Ben was about to continue.

“It’s nice having another resource around.”

“What?” Steve asked as he looked sharply back at Ben.

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