Leadership is about leading. Also, when you need to lead into change. Or is leadership nothing else than facilitating change? Whichever way you choose to look at leadership, leading change is one of your most challenging and, at the same time, essential tasks.
I often hear (about) leaders in organisations mumbling things like, “We need to get the dialogue going on the subject of . . .” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do we mean when we say dialogue? Is it just a hip way of saying we should talk to coworkers?
Picture this: as a leader, you’re a real go-getter. And then there’s that team member who always needs to analyze everything to death before finally getting into action. And the other one who is such a perfectionist that they never get the job finished. Why do these co-workers manage to get under your skin? And more importantly, how do you deal with your irritation?
As an organization, as a leader, sustainable performance is key to build and maintain an excellent organization. Sustainable performance means coworkers do excellent work without falling into the traps of burnout or workaholism. Sustainable performance means your organization efficiently and effectively provides quality products and services, is blessed with low absenteeism and low staff-turnover. All of this is good for the bottom line.
You have a problem. Coworkers come to work, aren’t really involved, and generally feel themselves unappreciated. The work environment is characterized by complaining (especially amongst one another), general negativity, high absenteeism, and a large brain-drain of valuable employees who seek better opportunities elsewhere. And because they’re interesting candidates, they’re the ones who’re easily snapped up by other organizations, leaving you with the leftovers. And this while your formidable organization is innovative, offers excellent salaries and the best perks! What the heck is going on??? Seems like you’re suffering from a neglected organization . . .
In a previous post, I explained why you should trust the competence of your colleagues. In this post, I go a step further and discuss stepped decision-making, or delegating responsibility for a certain task, role, or function to the lowest possible hierarchical level in the organization.
You don’t generally select new employees on obedience, but on what they’re competent at (or potentially capable of doing) together with their ability to collaborate. In this post, I delve deeper into encouraging trust in others’ competence, or allowing people to get on with what they were hired for.
Good performance is good for the organization; it promises quality results in the future. It’s about more than only the outcome: how the result was attained in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration is equally important. Performance feedback entails it all: information on how and how well a task has been executed. In this post I deal with how to let coworkers know their effort is meaningful, good, or excellent.
Colleagues need to feel free to tell each other what they observe and from their expertise make critical comments, without chopping heads off or having their own heads chopped off. Safety also lays the basis for positive relations with one another. So how do you create safety?
When you order a sandwich, is it about the two slices of bread or what’s on the sandwich? The sandwich technique for feedback is a way to package something unpleasant: First start with something positive, then the criticism and round off with something positive. The negative stuff is sandwiched between the good stuff. Sounds good, so why do I say: Never, ever use this technique.