Team leaders

Team leaders

Tineke Keesmaat shares a podcast that explains how leaders can gain better insight into their team.

In this episode of LeaderLab, we are joined by Dave MacLeod, CEO and co-founder of ThoughtExchange, to explore the importance of conversations in organizations. Based on his research and insights shared in his new book, Scaling conversations: How leaders access the full potential of people, he offers strategies leaders can use to engage in more meaningful, inclusive and productive conversations across teams.

Dave shares the following insights:

There’s never been a more important time to include as many voices in the conversation: “There are a lot of problems to solve [in our organizations] and a lot of pressure to do it. There’s a lot of change to our life and a lot of recognition of systemic racism and the recognition of power to drive our business, and there’s never been a more important time to hear from everybody who’s impacted by these things.”

We’re at an exciting moment where leaders feel they can admit they have bias and enter the right conversations that will move things in the right direction. “That’s maybe a really exciting moment right now… that people can say, ‘Yeah, I agree. I admit I have bias. So now what?’”

When dealing with polarizing topics, search for the common ground. “There’s ways to solve problems for two people who think very differently about how to make their business run faster and the same mechanism actually works when you have people who disagree strong – you have to find the common ground between them.”

Use technology and tools to eliminate our bias from conversations. “The idea of getting people to share ideas and listen to each other without knowing exactly who said them will get us to really think deeply about and empathize with each other’s points of view.

Access the full podcast, How to Really Hear What’s on Your Team’s MInd, on Tiltco.ca.

Jesse Jacoby shares key steps for leaders to help their team accept and manage change.

In your role as a leader, you will likely encounter resistance to change at some point from one or more of your own team members. Resistance may come from a variety of sources:

An individual with a difficult personality

Someone anxious about impending change

A person who disagrees with your vision

Resistance is usually demonstrated in one of four ways, each with the potential to create roadblocks for you:

Lack of Communication – Leaving you out of the loop in terms of key information or not discussing issues openly

Lack of Support – Foot-dragging on key initiatives you try to implement

Counterproductive Criticism – Being overly critical of you and your ideas

Passive Aggressive Behavior – Agreeing to do something, but then not doing anything

Overt & Covert Resistance Action Steps

Resistance may be expressed directly (overt) or indirectly (covert). Overt resisters may be quite open with you or others about their discontent. Covert resisters, on the other hand, may behave in a passive-aggressive manner, agreeing with you verbally but participating half-heartedly or ineffectively with no real commitment. Although overt and covert resistance each present unique challenges, the best way to tackle either is to be prepared to encounter them. Be curious about their causes and direct in identifying them to the resister.

Here are a few practical steps you can take as a leader to address change resistance within your team:

Be alert to signs of resistance, and meet with the resister if it begins to create problems. Use active listening to gather information and gain an understanding of the employee’s perspective. Listening and showing that you understand a point of view do not mean you agree with a given behavior. Act as a “mirror” to the person, and point out your observations.

Without criticizing, identify the roadblocks you have observed.

Seek the individual’s perceptions of the situation.

Invite the resister to share any concerns. What would he or she like to see done differently?

Share your perspective and provide the individual with descriptive feedback about the impact of the behavior on the team and on you.

Define the positive behaviors you want to see, and be clear about your expectations.

Let the individual know that you want him/her to be part of the team and that you will value his/her contributions.

 

Key points include:

  • Signs of resistance
  • Defining positive behaviors
  • Understanding Resistance & Planning Your Response

Read the full article, How Leaders Can Manage Team Member Change Resistance, on EmergentConsultants.com.

 

Amanda Setili offers a concise post to help team leaders provide feedback that motivates their team.

It amazes me how motivating I’ve found the feedback from the sensor I use while kiteboarding, which tells me how high I jump and how my jumps compare to other kiters around the world. That got me thinking about how when I change my technique or equipment, I can immediately see the impact on my results.

How, I wondered, can we make feedback at work this helpful, and energizing?

That thought led me to create six principles that can transform feedback from annoying to amazing: 

1) Feedback should come from the work itself: The best feedback comes from the work itself, rather than from an employee’s supervisor. Make it easy for employees to see the results of their work, every day. For example, funnel customer comments directly back to the employees involved.

2) Feedback should be close to constant: Employees need frequent feedback, so that people can see how they’re doing and so they can adjust course as conditions change. Think daily… rather than weekly, monthly or annually. That’s one reason you should design the work so that feedback comes directly from the work itself, with no intermediary (point #1, above) — as a manager, you won’t have the time to personally give feedback to every team member every day.

 

Key points include:

  • Frequency
  • Guidance towards goals
  • Going beyond results

 

Read the full post, Six Ways to Use Feedback to Energize Your Team, on LinkedIn.