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?

No Agenda? Seriously?

Are you tired of showing up at meetings and not knowing why you are there to begin with?

That seems to be the norm in most organizations.

The problem is that when there isn't a clear purpose and agenda for a meeting, people waste time and  energy endlessly talking around each other - never closing on decisions and moving actions forward.

Do you know what the Number 1 excuse is for not having an agenda?

"We don't have enough time."

People are too busy, overwhelmed, and overloaded.

What Stifles Conflict in Your Organization?

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


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 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 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:

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed some of the challenges of working on remote teams and ideas for getting your remote team aligned. But, to truly be effective, your remote team has to find a way to build cohesion. After all, only when people are working together on the right things can we gain efficiencies.

Here are a few ideas:

Overcoming Challenges on Remote Teams: Part 1

Working on teams where some or all team members are remote is becoming the norm rather than the exception. And frankly, having remote team members adds complexity that often times accelerates and amplifies communication breakdowns.

For example,

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.