High performance leaders spend much of their time coaching their people. We coach so that our team members can learn to generate the energy and effort they need to do their best work. We coach so that our team members will light up. But, sometimes, the light within our team members wanes. Sometimes, they need a boost. Sometimes they need us to light the way for them.
Bring the light. Light the way. Keep them on track. Then, watch them shine.
Since I travel a lot, I occasionally see a building with stairs that appear to lead nowhere, at least no where safe. Access is only semi-blocked, so the danger exists even if the destination is sketchy.
Does your team have a destination? Have you updated your team's mission this year? Things are changing so quickly that what may have seemed important as recently as a year ago could be out of date now (or soon.) Is your team up to date? Do you have a vision for a vital future?
Avoid those stairs to nowhere. Plan a vital, energized, noble future for your team. Get them involved. Show them how a high performance leader leads.
How often do you share your problems with other people? There was a time in my life when I kept everything to myself, considering it too personal and figuring that no-one had time to help me with my problems. But, you know what? Sometimes we share problems even when we don't share. People can tell. Problems effect performance. Problems effect service, Problems rob us of happiness and sap us of our energy. We need to solve our problems, not hide them.
You might not solve that problem by talking about it, but what if you did?
Centered problem solvers create dialogue. They listen and share in order to reach mutual understanding. The first step to mutual agreement on the solution to a problem is to understand the problem AND each other.
Assumptions are short cuts. Assumptions are lazy paths to uncertain places. Assumptions get us lost more often than they get us found.
You know about assumptions: don't make them.
Like many simple concepts, that's easier said than done and yet completely necessary. I'm so good at making assumptions and making things up that I have to constantly remind myself not to do it. The best habit to prevent assumptions is to ask questions. Clarify, clarify, clarify. Get the real facts. Discover the honest feelings. Clarify, confirm, test those assumptions!
Assuming you know means that you don't. Communicate better by asking.
Team building is great and can be a true morale booster -- if your team is ready for it. If the team morale is already low, though, a team building event might be the last thing you need. How do you know?
Before scheduling a team building event, check to see how each team member would feel about it. That means spending time with each of them, one on one, to discover how things are going. How are the dynamics? Does everyone enjoy working on the team? What are the challenges and the issues?
You could even introduce some low risk team building activities into your regular meetings. You don't need a zip line or trust falls in the wilderness to get closer as a team. Sometimes, just a warm-up question before a meeting is enough to start the bonding. Questions like "if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?" and "if money were no object, what would you do?" and "if you could make one fundamental, game-changing change to our business,…
Supervisors are asked to make more moves each day than a complicated game of chess. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you end up in what feels like a stalemate. But you keep on pushing, you keep on growing, and you keep on growing.
Making the right moves, what I'd call the Royal Moves, requires training, experience, and an open mind. You need the open mind when the moves don't go exactly as you planned.
Are you making the royal moves?
Are your people growing, thriving, excelling, and delighting their customers?
Are you making the royal moves?
Is your own career developing in ways that challenge you and still bring a smile to your face? The royal moves keep you growing. It's deciding to plan more carefully so that the unexpected is not quite so unexpected. It's building the relationships that help you resolve inevitable disagreements. It's taking the time to coach your team members every day instead of letting administrative details pull you away. Th…