- People are clear on the strategic direction of their organisation and what they are expected to deliver and the way in which to deliver it (Role Clarity)
- People understand how their job contributes to the success of his/her department and organisation (Task Identity)
- People understand the positive impact their work has on others within or outside the organization (Task significance)
- People are trusted, empowered and given the right level of autonomy to perform their role (Autonomy)
- People are given enough on the job learning and growth opportunities to improve themselves and achieve their potential (Mastery)
- People receive on-going constructive feedback on performance from customers, colleagues and the manager for development
Can your organisation’s leadership opt out?If so, do they run the risk of their organisation becoming less and less attractive to employees and shareholders? Becoming irrelevant?
What do you think? Would love to hear your views on this blog as well as your thoughts on things / initiatives that can enable the creation of a high performance culture.1“Why Good Strategies Fail: Lessons for the C-Suite,” Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013, http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Publications/WhyGoodStrategiesFail_Report_EIU_PMI.ashx
Working with managers at different levels and in many industries, I consistently get asked various questions on how to manage better. One that surfaces most often, especially in large organisations is “ How can I trust my team to do the job in the way it needs to be done?”.
Source: www.telosity.netOf course the answer is always “it depends” after all there are many variables at play. To better answer the question, perhaps it is more valuable to understand what the question implies. This question assumes that there is a right way and a wrong way to do the job. The question also assumes that everyone in the team has the same level of skills and experience. If we dig deep, the question also assumes that everyone in the team has the same level of confidence in performing the job. When managers ask this question, they are in truth trying to look for someone to execute the task with the same competence and confidence they have in performing it.
Trust is fundamentally about dependability and predictability. Can I rely on my employee to do this job the way I would?The consequences of this attitude causes managers to consistently rely on the same people to perform the critical tasks again and again and by doing so they find themselves subject to a number of by-products.
Source: www.business2community.comThe usual suspect generally becomes overwhelmed and overworked but also becomes very capable and experienced and often finds the confidence to get promoted away from the team or leave to seek better employment conditions elsewhere. Those that are seldom trusted with critical tasks become disengaged, demotivated and even loose confidence to a point they might not even take the risk to look for a job elsewhere. Ultimately, these managers find themselves having to perform all the critical task themselves, don’t have time to develop new people and become frustrated with having to deal with poor performers. The solution to this dilemma has been around for a long time and many experts have developed several models to explain how to manage people development effectively. The late Peter Drucker’s definition of the role of managing is “Achieving results through people” this means that people are the critical resource to get things done. People are the most important tool a manager must use to execute a plan and deliver high performance results.
Of course for a tool to be effective, it is important to know what it does, how to use it and more importantly how to maintain it in good working order. So if we make this analogy to manage people effectively in the pursuit of high performance a manager has 3 critical jobs to perform:1. The first job of an effective manager should be to get to know the people in their teams, their strengths and abilities, their passions and motivators, their attitude and preferences. This first step will help a manager understand who in the team is best suited to perform which task. 2. The second most important job of an effective manager should be to facilitate the people in the team to know each other and recognise the strengths and abilities each individual brings to the team. In this way everyone in the team knows who to rely on for help and support to resolve problems and collaborate effectively. 3. The third most important job of an effective manager should be to formulate a plan that place the relevant talent and skills to work on the tasks and roles that will deliver the required outcomes. While doing so it is also important for a manager to set the appropriate level of expectations that stretch an individual's abilities without straining them. In doing so, a manager should also provide each individual with the opportunity to develop and grow at an appropriate pace.
Things don’t get done if people don’t do them. The best way to develop trust in the people you manage is to help them develop their strengths, confidence and motivation, along the way they will also grow to trust you.
- Communicating: explicit vs. implicit
- Evaluating: direct criticism vs. indirect criticism
- Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
- Deciding: consensual vs. top down
- Trusting: task vs. relationship
- Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoidance
- Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time
- Persuading: applications-first vs. principles-first
Relationships of Trust Delivers Liberating Results in Coaching
We can transcend culture by exquisite listening and empathy.
I returned from Rwanda in the past week where I found myself coaching a senior Kepler (Kigali) University staff member. The trip left me wondering about culture and its impact on coaching – it did not seem to interfere.
Later I learnt that the woman’s husband was killed in the 1994 genocide, an all too common story in the region, and yet her daughter is now a director of the university, a demonstration that leaders can be nurtured from any culture, even one is such a state of flux.
I do believe that culture is important, particularly as we can easily make assumptions. For example, I coached another woman who was going for interview on her pitch for the job, to make it more succinct and impactful. But Rwandans do not prioritise such succinctness and I only came to realise that later as my understanding of the culture deepened.
However, that which is most personal is most general. We can transcend culture by exquisite listening and empathy.
This requires more than active listening. It requires listening for thoughts with respect, listening for feelings with empathy and most of all listening for intentionality. What is behind this narrative. What is the structure of the experience. At this level all men are created psychologically equal. We all need to be heard, understood and witnessed. We all want to feel that we matter. I care and you matter. To listen like this we need to pay enormous attention. Nothing can distract. We have to train our brain to maintain a single point of focus.
The brain does not like to be tied to one point, it wants to wander. So we need to practise mindful meditation to develop the focusing part of the brain.
To witness the concern for excellence of the Rwandan widow, and her resilience in the face of unspeakable suffering was a privilege. The profundity of her experience transcends culture. The coach needs to tread softly and gently in the precious interior of peoples’ lives.
It is a privilege not accorded to many and many coachees will talk to coaches about subjects that they have never spoken of before.
There is a great relief in having an understanding other listening carefully to us. The effect can be as powerful as the best pharmaceuticals and neurobiology experts are now starting to understand the power of words and primal empathy.
Do we need to be clinical psychologists to do this? NO!
We need to have the intention to be useful and the discipline to know how best to do this. Often the best way to be useful is to listen without interruption.
Giving advice is often counter-productive. Knowing that you are not going to be interrupted allows the mind to search without constraint. And people usually have all the resources they need to be effective.
It is merely a question of accessing such resources. How? By asking positively oriented, open, neutral questions such as what would you like to happen? How might you achieve this? Any other ideas occur?
It is a question of getting out of the way to allow the coachee time to think – the most precious time of all.
If you are coaching in a very different culture, acquaint yourself with local norms. Consult experts. But most of all trust your attention and intention to transcend any cultural misunderstandings.
Pushing the edge for a coach is necessary for development. Trust your client to meet you half-way. And the result will be a kind of magic!
Andrew McLaughlin is a Programme Director on the IMI Diploma in Executive Coaching and IMI Diploma in Organisational Behaviour. He is an experienced executive coach who has worked with national and multi-national companies including Revenue Commissioners, Departments of Industry and Commerce and Defence, OECD and EU. Andrew is a Master Practitioner and certified trainer/consultant of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Andrew regularly volunteers to work in Africa in a university setting.