Posts tagged workplace
How to Deepen the Workplace Bond

One way for leaders to develop a strong bond with their people is to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Not just their own work, but the work of their direct reports, as well as their reports’ reports. Take time to sit in various offices and seats within the organization and seek to develop new skills and make connections on different levels. Ask about existing challenges within the company and develop empathy for those who are tasked to address them regularly. Brainstorm with staff about how best to address these issues to optimize performance. By bringing yourself down to your people, you will gain their admiration as someone who really seeks to know their situations and improve them.

Another, more sustainable approach to bonding with employees is to actively connect with them on a regular basis. Hewlett Packard (HP) founders William Hewlett and David Packard used a strategy that has become known as MBWA, or Management By Wandering Around. As its name implies, MBWA requires regular walking throughout the workplace. It offers many benefits to leaders and their employees

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Confront With Care

Few leaders can avoid confrontation. There are simply too many items and employees that require oversight and guidance. The likelihood is very high that every leader will need to address numerous areas of concern within her organization at various points.

Whether the matter is personal (a coworker's attitude or manners, for example) or performance related, confronting someone about an issue can be one of the hardest things for a leader to do. It is generally unpleasant for someone to have to bring this concern forward and demand change and improvement. In fact, many leaders will go to extreme lengths to avoid it. Some reasons for this include:

  • Fear of how your relationship will be affected moving forward;

  • Concern over being seen as overly demanding or callous;

  • Bad feelings from past confrontations that went awry;

  • Second-guessing and questioning ourselves regarding our grounds and motives for the confrontation;

  • Negative memories from times that we were confronted by others.

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How to Build Workplace Symmetry and Win

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked while refueling in Yemen’s Aden Harbor. 17 American sailors were killed and 39 more were injured. It was the deadliest attack against a United States naval vessel in over a decade. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

Though the horrors of 9/11 were still 11 months away, the United States was now in an asymmetrical war. The new kind of struggle, which pits nations or groups with disparate military capabilities and strategies against each other, and features such irregular tactics as counterinsurgency and terrorism, would force the Pentagon to rewrite its rules of engagement after decades of following a WWII and Cold War driven playbook.

Though the battlefield is far from the ideal workplace metaphor, the sad truth is that many employees come to work each day feeling embattled.

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How to Make Work More Satisfying

For many of us, a large portion of our days is spent at work. In fact, the average person will spend a total 90,000 hours – or approximately a third of their lifetime – at work.

The sad reality is that according to a recent Pew study, 30% of American workers view their days as something to get through (“just a job to get them by”) rather than a source of real satisfaction, let alone an opportunity to grow and contribute.

90,000 hours is a heck of a lot of time to burn through.

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Making Work More Like Play

Tomorrow, I will deliver two leadership trainings based on the True Colors Personality Assessment. In this system, people are identified as being one of four colors: blue, green, gold or orange. The personalities differ from each other in many ways, including their approach to relationships and situations. For a more detailed description can be found here.

Of the different colors, I personally identify most with green. “Greens” are, among other things, less interested in connecting with others emotionally and engaging in small talk. Instead, they like to jump right in to solve problems and fix things. (Not surprisingly, this attitude can get Greens in trouble, particularly when dealing with more emotional, relationships-driven Blues. But that’s for another time.)

Greens are also independent thinkers, natural nonconformists that live life by their own set of standards. They are deeply analytical and tend to think about and do things differently than most of their peers. They love independence and eschew outside control. When applied to work, Greens are likelier than most to see their work as play, as in less drudgery and more fun, since they invest a level of themselves into their projects.

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Deepening the Workplace Bond

One way for leaders to develop a strong bond with their people is to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Not just their own work, but the work of their direct reports, as well as their reports’ reports. Take time to sit in various offices and seats within the organization and seek to develop new skills and make connections on different levels. Ask about existing challenges within the company and develop empathy for those who are tasked to address them regularly. Brainstorm with staff about how best to address these issues to optimize performance. By bringing yourself down to your people, you will gain their admiration as someone who really seeks to know their situations and improve them.

Another, more sustainable approach to bonding with employees is to actively connect with them on a regular basis. Hewlett Packard (HP) founders William Hewlett and David Packard used a strategy that has become known as MBWA, or Management By Wandering Around. As its name implies, MBWA requires regular walking throughout the workplace. It offers many benefits to leaders and their employees

Read More