Posts tagged teambuilding
How to Coach Your Team to Success

One of the biggest challenges for leaders is to create and maintain the proper conditions for worker engagement and productivity. We know that if we are to maintain high levels of workplace output and morale we need to ensure that our employees feel valued and challenged. We also recognize that if we want to be able to respond to, if not stay in front of, marketplace change we need to develop workers who are comfortable thinking independently and contributing to the collective brain trust.

Too many leaders and managers, however, fail to achieve this because they do not understand how to motivate today’s workers or how to empower them to think and act independently and more positively.

In generations past people would be told what they needed to do from their earliest years. Parents would instruct children on how to behave at home and teachers would demand student compliance in school. Failure to obey would result in corporal punishment or other heavy handed responses. In the workplace, employees would be given orders and were required to dutifully implement them if they wanted to hold their positions for any meaningful duration.

But times have changed. As younger workers make their way into the workplace, they expect to play by a different set of rules. They want to be given the freedom to experiment, a voice with which to weigh in at staff meetings and the ability to pursue what they view as meaningful, engaging work. Anything less they view as limiting, which spells dissatisfaction and, for the most part, underperformance (if not outside job seeking).

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Adding a Sense of Urgency to Your Work

Research is clear that people respond better – both qualitatively and in terms of completion time – when there is a sense of urgency to their work. While it’s important that leaders not overplay the urgency card (that can dull people’s responsiveness and induce unneeded stress) with their teams, there are many benefits to strategically adding an element of healthy pressure to the workplace.

Here are some “E.A.R.N.E.S.T.” ways to increase a sense of urgency at work:

  • Expectations – The first thing that people need to know is where things stand and what needs to change. Once you get your team clear on where they are and what needs to happen, you can reasonably expect that they will focus their efforts and energy to move things forward.   

  • Awareness – They also should be made aware of why this task is of increased importance, as in what’s going to happen if nothing changes. In my example, it would be that we need to prioritize dismantling the sukkah to ensure that it gets into the shed before the sky opens up and everything gets soaked. Your consequence may relate to losing customers, taking a loss on a faulty product or service, or an opportunity to gain market share.

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Connection: The Anti-Silo

It’s a central part of far too many organizations. Bickering. The lack of healthy communication. Folks sitting quietly at their desks, hoping to stay under the radar and not be burdened with more work, let alone someone else’s work. People prioritizing their wants and needs over those of the team, or those of their own team over the organization as a whole.

Territorialism. Silos.

Silo mentalities and the turf wars that they enable devastate organizations by wasting resources, killing productivity, and threatening goal achievement.

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8 qualities of strong mentors

Mentorship is a relationship that is created between an experienced professional and a less experienced mentee or protege. Its primary purpose is to build a support system that allows for the natural exchange of ideas, a forum for constructive advice, and a recipe for success.

Superior mentors possess most if not all of the following qualities:

  1. Skilled and knowledgeable. Good mentors possess current and relevant knowledge, expertise, and/or skills.
  2. Trust builder. The mentor establishes a high level of trust. He/she indicates that their relationship is about building capacity and offering support, not “zapping” the mentee for poor decisions or performances.
  3. Active listener. A strong mentor knows how to listen. This includes using eyes and body posture to convey interest and attention. More about strong listening skills can be found here.
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