“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.” – Albert Einstein Think about children for a minute. They’re naturally curious, imaginative, and always learning, always looking for new experiences and information. They know what they want, and they chase after it wholeheartedly. Does you hear your childhood self in this description at all? There are a lot of good things about “being an adult: the knowledge and experience we gained, knowing what we want and don’t want, the discipline to stick through a task even when we don’t feel like finishing it. Those are things kids aren’t so good at doing. But what about the benefits we’ve lost? Where did that natural curiosity and that vivid eagerness go? Many motivational experts like to say that leaders are made, not born. I believe we are all natural born leaders, but some of us have been deprogrammed along the way. As children, we were natural leaders - curious and humble, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge, with an incredibly vivid imagination; and we often had the ability to motivate, inspire, and influence everyone around us to help us in accomplishing our mission. So why is this so difficult to do as adults? What happened? No, Don’t, Can’t As children, we heard the words, no, don’t, and can’t over and over again. We had to sit silently in classes at school, listening while a teacher lectured on math, history, and grammar. Boundaries are a great thing for kids, and education is important. But they don’t foster curiosity or inspire us to ask hard questions or to seek information beyond what we’re given, and those things are an essential part of a great leader. Recapture Childhood Curiosity To be a great leader, one of the things we need to do is unharness that curiosity we had as a kid. We need to give ourselves permission to ask questions, to not only think outside the box, but also to ask questions without easy answers. Give yourself permission to not know the answers. Ask for help. Consult the experts. Educate yourself. Seek new knowledge and information and give your team permission to do the same. Your openness and willingness to be wrong or to learn new things will give them confidence and inspire them to do the same. No one likes working for someone who thinks they know everything and are right all the time. So unleash your inner child. Tune out your fears and tune into your curiosity. Embrace the journey toward greater knowledge. Let it transform your leadership capabilities. Tools for Success If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your leadership impact, you need to try our leadership assessment and development tool, the DISC (What’s Your Color?) Leadership Assessment. Take the test today and get your personalized report detailing your leadership strengths and weaknesses as well as exercises and development plans to help you gain the greatest increase in leadership performance. Ingrid Kelada [...]
Having more than 25 years of practice and experience under my belt, I can share with you 2 winning strategies to have more impact as a leader.
Good Management is Key According to Gallup, a US firm specializing in management research, in a survey of more than one million Americans, "people quit their bosses, not the organization." The effect of mismanagement is widely felt. Gallup also determined that poorly managed teams are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed teams. As an organizational psychologist, I can confirm that an apparent lack of commitment from employees is often the result of the absence of effective leadership from their boss or bosses! The following are 3 common mistakes that I have often observed in my practice and tips that could help you improve your performance management skills. 1 - Waiting until the end of the project or the year to give feedback We often wait before giving feedback for several reasons: lack of time, we do not want to disrupt, derail or demotivate people; it is unpleasant, etc. But without a concrete way to measure performance, and without feedback, one cannot improve. My advice: Think of "just in time". Feedback must be given quickly to be useful and have the desired impact. Especially with the new generations fueled by instant communications, I recommend using the "48-hour" principle: you have a window of two days after an event to find time to share your observations. 2 - Too much recognition can play tricks on you Managers sometimes ask me if it is really necessary to praise someone for doing a job they are paid to do. Conversely, I am also asked if too much positive feedback could make the employee arrogant or less diligent at their job. However, one of the most frequent complaints at work is the lack of recognition. My advice: There is very little risk associated with frequently highlighting our appreciation. Giving positive feedback remains, in my opinion, a simple and free way to value the members of our team while directly impacting their performance. Remember that positive reinforcement increases desired behaviors and attitudes. 3 – Getting too close to employees Traditionally, managers were recommended to maintain a "professional distance" with employees. Things have changed. In March 2015, Forbes magazine cites several studies that show that friendships at work have several positive effects. My advice: we want to work with people we love. We work harder for a boss who shows interest in us, and not strictly on a professional level. I suggest you review your position and consider the different forms of friendships. Redefine your definition of a "professional friendship." Closer interpersonal contact with people generates commitment usually followed by positive results! Improve Your Performance Management by Understanding Your Team Looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of your team? This Team-Building Assessment Tool is specifically geared for improving team synergy. Learn ways to more effectively manage your team members based on their personality and natural strengths and weaknesses. Improving the effectiveness of your team makes your business more successful. It's an investment worth making. Order your test today. Ingrid Kelada Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert [...]
Learn 6 simple ways to take your leadership skills to the next level.
How to Build Your Ideal Team One of the best and sometimes trickiest parts of being a leader is having the opportunity to build your ideal team. Choosing the right employees can make a huge difference in the success of your company. Employees represent and translate your company's values to your clients. What do you look for in an employee? You probably already have an idea of the education or skillset you're looking for. But how do you determine if a person has the right personality or work ethic to be a great fit for your team? When interviewing prospective employees, always try to notice their energy level and to understand their motivators. Does he seem passionate about he's saying? Is she eager to put her skills toward the job? Build Your Ideal Team with the Right Values and Motivation Ask questions about what drives the person. Do his or her values line up with what's important to your organization and objectives? It's important to choose people who value your ideas and goals. People will respond to genuine connection. You'll also want to build your team to include people with a team mindset. Individuals with this mindset will be problem-solvers because they're invested in the success of the team. They'll look for ways to improve their part of the process because it benefits them and benefits the team as a whole. Ask potential applicants how they have handled workplace problems in the past. Did they deal with things in a way you'd like issues to be handled when working for you? Choosing People with Potential to Build Your Ideal Team Further As you meet with applicants, consider not only the current needs of your business, but what you hope to achieve in the next several years. Find individuals who suit your company today and can help you achieve those longer term goals. Look for their potential for the short term as well as future roles. Is this someone who could someday be a manager? Someone who might have explosive sales potential? Remember to hire for ATTITUDE first, as you can always develop SKILLS later. Tools to Help You Build Your Ideal Team One quick way to uncover this and other critical information about individuals is to offer them a Work Personality Index. This personality questionnaire takes about 20 minutes and provides a comprehensive assessment of work behavior. Collect behavioral data on a person's energy and drive, work style, ability to work with others, ability to deal with stress and managerial potential.
Great Leaders Create Great Leaders We’ve all faced the temptation as leaders to simply direct people by letting them know what we need done. Sometimes it feels like if people would just do what we want them to do the way we want them to do it, everything would be so simple. Great leaders resist that temptation because they know the most effective kind of leadership involves empowering their followers and team members to make decisions and take ownership of tasks. Remember: great leaders create more great leaders. Motivating people to take ownership is easier than you think. One of the key components is simply understanding what motivates your team members. What are their values? What do they need from their job in order to feel successful? What type of management style best supports that success? Identifying Key Motivators You can figure out what motivates your team in lots of ways. When one of your team members brings a new idea or complaint, take the time to listen to what they’re saying. Not just the idea or complaint. Ask why this issue resonates with them. What is it about this problem that feels so important? Take the opportunity to involve the team member in the solution. If the problem is important to your team member, then the solution will be, too. Even if you can’t implement their ideas or solutions, try your best to make them a part of the outcome in a positive way. Compliments are another great motivator. Draw attention to your team members’ successes. Offer praise for a job well done. This might seem like a small thing, but too often in the workplace, we only hear negative feedback when we’re doing something that needs to be corrected. Positive feedback lets us know we’re doing well and motivates us to continue doing those successful things. It makes us feel valued and appreciated. Tools for Success It might be difficult sometimes to see how different team members’ motivations fit together to benefit the whole group. It might be hard to figure out how to motivate certain people to invest in your goals. Or you might simply be looking for a more comprehensive way to identify what motivates your group. A great tool to help you understand what motivates your team members is a personality test. A test can help identify work motivators, areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as well as provide a guide toward a more balanced work-life. All these things benefit you as a leader by making your team more effective. I recommend the Career Values Scale, which identifies all of these key areas in about fifteen minutes. Understanding how to best motivate your team helps you build the most powerful, effective group. It allows you to tap into the natural motivations of each member so he or she brings the best possible outcome to the whole group. Ingrid Kelada Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert KCC Inc.