Do you work for someone? Do you work for yourself? Boss is a common word in our society that is ascribed many meanings.
What do you think a boss should be? Hierarchical? Kind? Motivating? Encouraging? Tough? Collaborative? Distant? Connected? Smart? Expert?
If you work for a boss or are one yourself, it won’t hurt to think about what the role of a boss should be. Bosses have a huge impact on their workers. Alignment of purpose and style with their team is a win-win.
photo: Robert_z_Ziemi, pixabay.com
As a society, we have done a lot of work on developing and improving how we work in teams. What if we add to the definition of a good team, minimizing the drama? We have come far in recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence and collaboration. There is still work to be done to lessen the stress and dissonance resulting from interpersonal conflict.
The drama experienced in teams often derives from individuals’ emotional makeup and perspectives. Root causes are not usually pursued. Rather, we attribute conflict to superficial causes and stop there.
We do not have the luxury of bringing group therapy into our team activities, but we can do some things to minimize drama and conflict. When a team is formed, why not recognize the potential for drama and set some guidelines to minimize it? Examples may be: emphasizing the importance of each member’s emotional intelligence, having structures to immediately deal with and resolve interpersonal conflicts or establishing zero tolerance of bullies, unrestricted anger, psychological games or unhealthy competition.
Drama has always been present in teams. Let’s bring it out in the open and deal with it. We will see positive results quickly, leading to happy and productive team members.
photo: skeeze, pixabay.com
Wouldn’t it be great if your workplace were composed of kindred spirits? Sometimes you get lucky and your co-workers are compatible with your values and ways of working. Other times, kindred spirits are few and far between. When that is the case, the stage is set for dysfunction, judgment, conflict and dissatisfaction. It doesn’t have to be that way. Difference, variety and opposition can all make for a creative and high-performing organization. The key is to create an environment where each person can communicate and thrive.
What are the elements of such a workplace? Here are some. I’m sure you can identify others. Just think of what you need to communicate and thrive.
• Demonstrated respect for each person and their views
• Established methods for effective communication when there are disagreements or differences of opinion
• Acceptance and valuing of diversity
• Enough space for each person to contribute their best work
• Understanding that people need different environments, acknowledgement and resources to thrive
So, if you are leading or part of a team that is not composed of kindred spirits, celebrate the opportunities before you and create a workplace that encourages high performance and work satisfaction.
photo: ErikaMuth, pixabay.com
Collaboration is not the easiest means of managing and decision-making. However, it is the most effective. The best collaborations give all members a full seat at the table. Each person’s voice is heard and respected, disagreements are fully aired and considered and when decisions are made, they are made for the betterment of the collaboration, not just of one or more individuals.
This model can work. People, generally, are reasonable and rational and know that not every decision can go in their favor. It may take a bit more time and patience, but it is worth it. Trouble comes in when organizations go hierarchical and dictatorial in their decision-making. Or, when a sub-group, such as younger people, is disregarded. Some feel that because young people do not have the years of experience that older members have, they do not need to be listened to. They should have a full seat at the table and be valued for the unique insight, fresh ideas and enthusiasm they bring to a group.
Next time you are collaborating, give each team member a full seat at the table. You will reap the benefits of better decision-making, happier team members and creative and long-lasting results.
photo: bluemorphos, pixabay.com
As a coach and writer, a major part of my focus is on building a “platform” – an audience for my work. I build my platform through this blog, my newsletter, having a social media presence, speaking, workshops, writing and coaching. Without a platform, I will not succeed.
Whatever your profession, you have a platform, too. In business, your platform is built by how you function in the work world and may look out on your managers, team, customers or professional network. They are your audience. Your success and effectiveness are reliant on how you interact with them.
It is worthwhile to take a look at and cultivate your platform. If others are watching and can impact your success and effectiveness, best to pay attention to them. How strong is your platform these days?
photo: Radek Grzybowski, stocksnap.io
Last week The New York Times published an article, What Google Learned From Its Quest To Build The Perfect Team. Traditional team research has looked at the patterns relating to the people in a team. However, Google could not find any patterns relating to the people or personalities involved in its most effective teams – the “who” part did not seem to matter. Instead, group norms (behavioral standards and unwritten rules of the teams) did matter.
The article references a study published last month in The Harvard Business Review that time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more – how well you and your organization work in teams matters.
What do you think are the behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern your teams? Which ones are effective and which ones are destructive? It’s not a bad idea to pay attention to the intended or unintended group norms of your teams. By doing so, you can establish the ones that work best and let go of those that hinder your collaborations.
Grace is a powerful word with many meanings. Is grace something you can have in your workplace? If you define grace as simple elegance or refinement of movement, I think you can.
How can you bring grace into your work? Here are some ways: cultivate calmness, be aware of yourself and of what is happening around you, treat people with attention and fairness, stay fully present in the moment, acknowledge when you make mistakes that negatively affect others, practice a level of detachment in order to manage your emotions and keep things simple when you can.
Cultivating a bearing of grace can increase your skills as a manager, your ability to work with others and assist you in getting things done.
photo: Alexas_Fotos, pixabay.com
Your awareness of the strength of emotions, personal demands and impact of the holidays is a starting point for managing through them. The holidays are not business as usual.
How are your colleagues, team and you yourself doing during the holidays? Are people keeping their focus, maintaining productivity and collaborating well? Or, are you noticing changes, gaps or problems caused by the holidays? The holidays call for adjusting the way you manage yourself and others. Best to realistically assess what can get done during the holidays as well as what must get done and plan accordingly. Doing so will serve you and your team well and let you begin 2016 on top of your game.
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A bridge is a structure that goes across something or connects things. Figuratively speaking, you are creating bridges every day – among people, projects and ideas.
What is involved in creating bridges? To do this successfully you need insight, people skills, emotional intelligence, clear intent and goals, strategy and the ability to overcome obstacles. In my coaching, I often create bridges by getting to know clients and asking questions or offering insights that help them change their perspective in positive ways.
What bridges have you built this week? What would you say are your best bridge-building skills? What skills have you yet to develop? Creating bridges keeps you and your projects moving. Put some focus on your role as a bridge-builder and see what happens.
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Sometimes things just don’t go right. When this occurs, do you push on, ignoring what’s not working or do you stop and reassess? Sometimes, the best approach is to start over. Yes, it is a drag to erase all the time and effort you have already spent, but continuing may take more time and effort, with no results.
Starting over can apply to projects, members of your team or your own performance. How do you decide when it is time to start over? Some things to consider in your decision are: whether further action, on the same course, will make any difference, what results you have seen so far, what obstacles you are facing and whether they are surmountable, if there is a better way to accomplish your goal and what may happen if you do not start over.
There is nothing wrong with starting over. What matters is getting things done and if starting over will get you where you want to be, go for it.