Imagine a manager (let’s call him Bob) coming out of the monthly performance review meeting, his head bowed. He had just been ‘shredded’ by his superiors. As soon as he got back to his office, he called his staff and shredded them with more venom. Fear gripped the whole office but at the end of the following month, targets were met. Our manager ‘Bob’ was commended. Would you say that Bob’s approach (including those who reviewed Bob) was effective?
One of the greatest challenges for leaders is how to communicate to motivate; to help people become the best they are capable of becoming. Understandably, the pressure to satisfy all stakeholders is immense. Most Boards and Shareholders are not interested in the challenges the CEO or senior management may be facing. “If competition can make that profit, then you can.” They invariably cascade the pressure. A number of CEOs may not bother to ask certain questions. Are our people developing the capacity to grow the company? What types of profits are they making and by what means? How sustainable is the performance using the means? What are the dangers of ‘financial engineering’ to declare shallow profits? Are we building a company or an institution?
We have learned a few lessons we would like to share with you:
1. Understand You – Take a few minutes every day to think about how you view your job and relate to others. Are you operating ‘under fear’ and ‘with fear’? Do you lose control because of passion for results or fear of shredding? Do you see others as always difficult? Do you understand the individuals in your team? Are you the difficult one? Think of how you react or respond in different situations. Seek to be part of solutions to corporate challenges and not focus on a personal empire. Develop the part of you that brings out the best in others. Remember – in the moment of truth, you communicate the way you think.
2. Understand The Situation – Different organizations have unique challenges. You can’t use the same style in communicating to motivate. No one would expect the style in Apple to be similar to Microsoft or Google or Facebook. But the principles can be similar. Define and stick to the corporate values. Yours may be; respect without timidity, dignify without patronizing, care without manipulation, penalize without favor, and push for results with reward.
3. Understand Your Work Group – Your boss does not necessarily have all the answers or emotional maturity to handle all situations. He is human. Help him. Your employees may also have major periodic challenges that can affect performance. Help them. You also may need help! You don’t have to be an emotional Doctor but you need to apply emotional intelligence to know what to say and how to express yourself in different situations. People often respond to empathy rather than castigation, decisive action rather than a ‘longer rope’, praise rather than silence and correction rather than flattery.
4. Appreciate People And Results – Any asset you ‘depreciate’ cannot perform at optimal level. Even if you push it, in the medium to long term, the maintenance cost will be abnormally high. You need to use and maintain the asset, reasonably. There may be periodic need to stretch the asset and forget about other issues. Yes do it. People are the greatest assets. ‘Maintain’ their minds. Appreciate them and then focus their minds on results and not politics. They will appreciate your results.
5. Use Time To Build Minds – Most of us like to hear ourselves at meetings, conferences, performance review sessions and so on. We do not listen to what is said. We do not listen to what is not said. We do not ask for feedback. If we spend a few minutes to sincerely ask our colleagues for suggestions on how we and they can perform better to build more loyal customers, we will open the floodgates of trapped wisdom. Encourage them to come to meetings with ideas and not be note takers. People do not need to be afraid of you.
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374