4 Steps to Introduce Change Successfully

4 Steps to Introduce Change Successfully Introducing change successfully doesn’t happen by accident. Gartner, a research and advisory group, estimates that only about 34 percent of change is successfully implemented, with an additional 16 percent reporting mixed results. Those aren’t the best odds. Using a little organization and some other vital strategies will boost your likelihood of being among the 34 percent who report success with implementing changes on their team. Here are 4 steps to introduce change successfully. 1. Acknowledge the Need for Change. The first step in introducing a change is understanding why it is necessary. What issue will a change improve? What happens if the problem remains unaddressed? Most importantly, how does the change impact the individuals on your team? Remember, people will always want to know the “WIIFM”… What’s In It For Me? Many people find themselves intimidated by big changes. Change is risk; it feels unpredictable. Giving up the comfort of a routine can be hard. Understanding the need for change helps you communicate to your team why the new idea is positive. If your team has a clear vision of how a new practice will benefit them, they will be more likely to support it. Gaining that support is a critical component that will determine whether your change is successful. 2. Create a Plan with Your Team. Once your team clearly understands the reason for the change, it’s time to craft a plan. What are you asking your team to do differently? How will they accomplish these new tasks? If support and/or training is necessary, when and how will that take place? Map out a process for implementing the new procedure with them. If you involve them in the planning, it becomes “our change” instead of “your change”. Together, consider the team’s overall calendar as you decide when the change will occur. For example, it may make more sense to postpone a change for a short time if key team members will be out of the office on vacation or are nearing a critical deadline. 3. Implement the Change. Even when we do our best to anticipate all the possible outcomes, new processes can cause unexpected ripples impacting our team or customers in surprising ways. As you introduce the change, ensure you are available to answer questions or address unexpected effects of the new procedure. Check in regularly with your team members to see what’s working and address any concerns or questions they may have. 4. Evaluate the Results of the Change. Sometimes, change has quantifiable results with numbers that tell the story of its success or challenges. At other times, you’ll have to gather information from your team and customers about how the new process impacts them and addresses the issues that prompted the change. Consider your criteria for success. What was your highest priority outcome? Did the change make it possible to achieve that outcome? What has improved as a result of this change? If not, what new information have you learned [...]

By |2024-03-27T17:02:00-04:00March 27th, 2024|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Steps to Introduce Change Successfully

3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance

3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance Employee productivity depends on effective performance management. The best managers use a combination of strategies to draw upon the full potential of their team and get consistent top-performing results. How do they do this? One powerful tool great leaders use to optimize performance is motivation. The Pygmalion effect explains how and why setting high expectations for employees yields excellent results. Here’s how to use the Pygmalion effect to optimize performance among your employees in 3 steps. What is the Pygmalion effect? The principle is simple. People tend to perform to our expectations, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we have high expectations, they perform better. When we have low expectations of people, they often perform below their capability. 1. Define Your Expectations Take a moment and think about each member of your team. Think about each person and your performance expectations. Do you think this person is capable of learning new tasks easily? Can they complete more than the tasks they’re given now? Do you have low or high expectations for this person? How well do you think they’re aware of your expectations? As you evaluate your expectations, also consider whether they’re realistic. Having high expectations of your employees only works when those expectations are achievable. If you set your expectations too high, the team may give up before they’ve even had a chance of success because they feel the target is impossible to reach. In summary, when you set expectations, think positively, but don’t depend on the power of positive thinking. 2. Boost Communication and Positive Feedback How do you communicate your expectations to your team? In life and work, communication determines so many outcomes. Remember that communication isn’t only the words you say. Sometimes, what’s unsaid speaks much more loudly. For example, when a manager is distant and uncommunicative, their team often assumes they are uninterested and have low expectations of their team. The fix is simple. When you see your team doing a good job, notice it and tell them. Don’t assume your appreciation is apparent. Make sure you’ve communicated it to your team. 3. Lead with Self-Confidence and Develop Yourself One of the critical factors that determines how successful employees are is the confidence level of their management. Do you believe you can coach and support your team? Do you believe in your abilities as their leader to achieve high performance? Are you using your full potential and investing in your own development? If not, what’s holding you back? Identify the barriers and find ways to remove them. Do you need more support from a coach or mentor? Ask for the help you need. It might be as simple as that. Are you lacking in a particular area of expertise? Find a way to get the training that will help you round out your leadership abilities and boost your confidence in yourself. Get the Best from Your Employees Are you getting the most from your team? Learn key [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:14:34-04:00September 11th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance

4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work

4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work Being assertive at work means voicing your opinions and ideas with confidence. Assertiveness helps us set boundaries and ask for what we need without being rude or combative. Communicating assertively increases job satisfaction and creates win-win situations with our coworkers. It also allows us to recognize our feelings and build honest relationships with teammates. Here are 4 more reasons to use assertive communication at work. 1. Keeps the Focus on Your Idea, Not You One common problem we face at work is thinking we’ve communicated an idea more effectively than we actually have. For instance, if you share an idea in a meeting or email, and the tone is too soft, your comment may get lost in the conversation. Your teammates may not recognize that you’re asking for or proposing something. On the other hand, if you pitch an idea too forcefully, the idea gets lost as people react more to your delivery than the idea itself. Assertive communication uses clear, direct speech to explain an idea, allowing the idea to hold centerstage for discussion. 2. Gives You a Sense of Empowerment Assertive communication provides you with tools to make your needs heard. It helps you zero in on what you will and will not do so that you can state that clearly. Setting boundaries offers you a sense of control and autonomy. That sense of empowerment makes a big difference in your happiness and resilience at work. 3. Helps You Earn Respect One of the critical components governing the level of respect you have at work is how often you do what you said you’d do in the time you promised to do it. Here’s where assertiveness comes in. If you cannot ask for the resources you need to complete your work, it won’t get done. Assertive communication gives you a vehicle to ask for those resources and clearly state what you can do so the team can plan accordingly and count on your contributions. Assertive communication also helps those in leadership to set priorities and expectations so that team members know which tasks to focus on and what to do if they encounter problems. 4. Reduces Stress No one likes feeling unheard or as though their needs never make the priority list. It’s true in family relationships, and it’s true on the job, too. If you feel unheard as a leader or team member, assertive communication can help you break through that wall. Learning to speak up and state what you need firmly and clearly allows your coworkers to adjust their expectations and offer the support that helps the whole team succeed. Knowing you have a path to being heard reduces stress and ensures you have a safety net in your ability to speak up. Expert Training on Assertiveness at Work Mastering the balance of speaking assertively without being rude can be tricky, but it’s a skill worth learning. Our Assertiveness workshop teaches communication and conflict resolution styles and how to [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:16:33-04:00August 9th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees Happiness at work is essential to today’s workforce. What’s especially great is the fact that happiness in your employees creates benefits for the company they work for, too. Happier employees complete their work faster and are more creative. They’re also less likely to quit their jobs, even if they’re offered more money somewhere else, according to this analysis from Gallup. Having happy employees doesn’t happen by accident; it doesn’t simply mean hiring people with a positive attitude. Fostering and maintaining happiness in your employees is a deliberate effort. Here are 5 ways you can create a work environment that increases employee happiness and delivers the benefits of a happy crew to you. 1. Set the Example of Happiness Start your day on a positive note. Think about something you’re looking forward to doing or experiencing at work today. Smile and greet your team members, and be as genuine as possible. Smiles, like happiness, are contagious, foster open communication, and help to lift the mood of the people you encounter. 2. Show Appreciation Make a point to recognize a job well done on a regular basis. The simple act of saying thank you and taking note of a team member doing well not only boosts their confidence and self-esteem but also sends a message to the other team members that you’re engaged and you notice their work. 3. Be Flexible Whenever Possible Offering employees choices about where and how they accomplish their work gives them a sense of control. Allowing them to choose their hours and break times also promotes a sustainable work-life balance and means they will be more focused and productive during the time they’ve set aside to work. 4. Create Comfortable Collaboration Spaces Having a comfortable in-person or virtual break room is a significant benefit for your team. It creates a space where employees can disconnect from work for a few moments and mentally reset, and it provides a space where team members can collaborate, solve problems, and build relationships—all activities that benefit the health and happiness of the whole team. 5. Communicate with Transparency What’s your vision for your team? How do your team members contribute to that vision? What are they doing that’s making a difference in the world? Talk to your employees about your organization’s bigger picture and how their work contributes to the overall goals. Giving them this insight helps them feel significant and invested in the outcome of their work. Expert Training on Happiness at Work It is not difficult to be happy at work and foster happiness in your employees. You simply need to know the guiding principles. Our Happiness and Performance workshop teaches the variables most often correlated with happiness, including the role of work itself. Deepen your understanding of what promotes job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and what to do for team members who want to be happy or happier. Contact us today to set up a training session on Happiness and Performance [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:17:28-04:00June 30th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills Interpersonal communication refers to the methods we use to communicate thoughts, feelings, and needs to other people. On the job, this includes things like reporting the status of a task we’re working on, asking for information for a task or job, and resolving conflict between team members. When we think about communication, we often think of the messages we’re sending out using words, such as our verbal or written communication, but interpersonal communication includes so much more than that. There are four types of interpersonal communication: verbal, non-verbal, listening, and written. We use all four types of communication daily, even in a single meeting! Here are 4 ways you can boost your interpersonal communication skills so you can more quickly understand others and be understood. 1. Practice Active Listening Active listening sounds basic, and it is quite simple: listening with the goal of understanding what someone is saying. That said, it’s easier said than done and most of us need to improve this, especially in our fast-paced world. It means listening without thinking of your response or forming rebuttals. It means using your body language to signal attentiveness. To make sure you are truly listening, make sure to make eye contact, focus by removing notifications and distractions. If possible, take notes and ask questions to show that you are present and interested. 2. Use Assertive Communication Using assertive communication means speaking in a respectful way that is clear and direct. “I” statements can help you strike the balance between being direct and respectful. For example, “I need more time to complete this task” is better than, “You didn’t give me enough time to finish.” Instead of using words like “should” and “could”, try rephrasing with more positive words like “will” and “want”. Not only is this better communication, but it will also give you more of a sense of empowerment. There’s a big difference between, “I should get most of my emails answered today,” and “I want to reply to my important emails. I will do this by tomorrow end of day.” 3. Check Your Body Language Nonverbal communication makes up a big part of our conversations, whether we consciously realize it or not. We look for clues in our listeners that show they’re paying attention, understand what we’re saying, and clues to help us assess how they feel about our ideas. We also read the body language of people as they’re speaking to us. Maintaining eye contact tells listeners that you’re speaking directly to them. Good posture communicates that you have confidence in what you’re saying. On the other hand, crossed arms or legs tend to signal discomfort or resistance to the ideas in discussion. Looking down or away from the people you’re speaking with suggests distraction or insecurity. Checking in with your body before and during a conversation can help you make sure your unspoken conversation matches the words you’re saying and signals your confidence and connection with your [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:30-04:00March 24th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback 

5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback Giving employee feedback is one of the key ways we train, reinforce, and communicate with our team members. Effective feedback motivates employees and increases their confidence in their job performance. It’s actually something team members consistently ask for on surveys about work satisfaction. Knowing how you’re doing, what you’re doing right, and what you can improve helps us feel connected to the job we do. It helps us understand how our contributions matter. And it helps build trust with our managers. Here are 5 easy tips for giving employee feedback to boost your team’s success. 1. Feedback Matters Focused feedback helps employees. Not only does it direct them to continue doing tasks in ways that are effective and beneficial, it also bolsters their confidence about the job they’re doing. A team member who has confidence about his role in the company is a happier employee. Happy employees work harder and stay with an employer longer. I know this may sound cheesy, but I still believe that “feedback is the breakfast of champions” because you can’t improve, if you don’t know what you could improve. 2. Frequency Matters It’s tempting to focus our efforts giving feedback on annual reviews, and those may be important tools. There are hundreds of workdays between those annual reviews, though. Employees will experience more consistent growth, more energy on the job, and more motivation when they receive feedback on a much more frequent basis. The new trend is more about frequent, on-the-spot, micro feedbacks. Ideally, more positive than negative if possible. Remember the chapter in The One-Minute Manager: “Catch Them Doing Something Right”! 3. Timing Matters Giving consistent employee feedback may take some time to get used to. We tend to get focused on tasks and deadlines more easily than on the people making those deadlines successful. To build a habit of offering regular feedback, identify some key moments where feedback doesn’t interrupt workflow or embarrass a team member. For example, one great opportunity for feedback is following a team meeting. If the feedback is relevant to the whole team, add it to the meeting agenda. If it’s specific to one team member or a small contingent of the group, ask those individuals to remain behind as the meeting closes. 4. Celebrate, Don’t Manipulate In his book, Nonviolent Communication, author and psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg discusses his approach to expressing appreciation. His concern with some forms of positive feedback is that employees can lose their motivation if they feel that a manager or leader complimented them in order to manipulate them. Instead, he recommends expressing appreciation with three specific components. First, express what specific action the team member completed that made a positive difference. Next, explain how you felt in reaction to those actions. Last, this is how those actions met a need. The order is less important than ensuring the components of the appreciation are present. Remember authentic recognition creates a powerful boost to people’s morale. 5. Critical [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:02:34-04:00November 1st, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Easy Tips for Giving Employee Feedback 

5 Components of Successful Delegation

5 Successful Components of Delegation Delegation is one of the most critical skills you can learn as a leader. Not only does it effectively train your team and give them ownership of the work you’re doing together, but it’s like adding extra hours to your day. Delegation allows you to get multiple tasks on your to-do list completed at the same time. Considering handing over tasks to other team members can seem intimidating at first. The real process of delegating goes beyond simply asking a team member to add an item to their to-do list, though. Successful delegation involves five critical steps to ensure that the work you surrender gets done correctly, on time, and without a lot of hands-on time from you. Here are the 5 key components for successful delegation. 1. Give the job to someone who can get it done. The first step in delegating is, of course, actually asking someone else to take on the job for you. The right person must have time in their schedule. They don’t need to know how to complete the task already. What you’re looking for instead is someone who has access to the resources needed for the job. They may need training or coaching first, so factor that time into your plan. If the training takes a short time and the task is recurring, making the time to bring the employee up to speed makes a great investment. Try not to stress too much about this step in the process. Think of delegating like giving someone on your team a gift. You’re offering them a chance to increase their skills and improve their value to the team. 2. Communicate Precise Conditions of Satisfaction. One of the reasons people hesitate to delegate their work is worries about the task being completed incorrectly or remaining unfinished. The best way to combat this issue is with clear communication of expectations. Be sure to outline the deadline, budget, context, deliverables and any special circumstances. Ask your teammate to summarize to you what they heard you ask for. This helps ensure that you communicated your needs effectively and that they feel confident. Also make sure you clarify how you both want to handle any questions they may have about the task. Do you want them to bring those questions to you? In person? Email? Is there a different person on the team who has expertise who would also be a good resource if you’re unavailable to answer questions? Putting all of these expectations in writing is a good idea, too. That way you can both refer back to the document or email and see specifically what was discussed. Depending on memory alone can get dicey, especially when we’re juggling lots of other tasks or projects. 3. Work out a plan. If the project or task that you’re delegating is simple, then this step may be very easy. If it’s a multi-step process, you may need to spend a little more time breaking down the [...]

By |2022-05-09T16:38:45-04:00May 9th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Components of Successful Delegation

Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team

Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team The new year is the perfect time to create a fresh start and update your skills in managing a hybrid team. You may have practices that used to fit your team that simply don’t work well today. We live in a new world in which employees may be at home, in the office, or some combination of both. From time to time, we all need to reevaluate our performance and change what we’re doing to meet new challenges and opportunities. Turning the calendar to a new year is a perfect time to freshen up our management approach with some new strategies for today’s agile teams. Here are 4 tips for sharpening your effectiveness as a leader and help in managing a hybrid team. 1. Communication is Key Whether your team works on site or remotely, one of the best ways to maintain a cohesive, productive team is to clearly communicate how you want things to operate. Be sure your preferences are clear as far as what types of issues or communications should be handled via an email versus scheduling a meeting. Make sure your team understands which projects have top priority, and any changes to the scope or deadline to your team’s work. Some hybrid team leaders have opted to have daily standups or check-in meetings at the start of each day. While that approach may not be right for every team, pay attention to the needs of your crew. While extroverted personalities are energized by spending time together (even virtually), introverted workers may find too many meetings to be disruptive and inhibit workflow. One approach for managing a hybrid team that fosters clear communication is to set an agenda for each meeting and send it out beforehand. If your team members review the agenda and determine they do not need to attend, they can skip some meetings and continue working. 2. Combat Natural Bias One issue faced by hybrid teams and their leadership is a natural bias toward members who work on campus. It’s sort of like the expression, “Out of sight, out of mind.”. We naturally think that team members who are in the office (whom we can visually see working) are more productive than team members who are working remotely, when this is probably not true. Managing a hybrid team effectively means you’ll need to work to correct that natural imbalance by connecting with your remote team members. Set regular one-on-one calls or video chats to briefly check in with them. Making sure they have what they need can go a long way toward making team members feel supported and valued. It also keeps their contributions to your overall team present in your mind as you lead. 3. Create Connections Leaders do so much more than herd a project toward completion by a specific deadline. They’re responsible for finding ways to pull a team of people together so that the resulting sum is greater than [...]

By |2022-01-18T13:09:29-04:00January 18th, 2022|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Get a Fresh Start with These Tips for Managing a Hybrid Team

4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills

4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills It is exciting to lead people and it is a critical role. According to experts, leaders can have a direct impact on their team’s happiness and self-esteem. That said, in today’s new reality, with fewer resources and a hybrid workforce, being in charge of a team presents unexpected and complex challenges that can leave even seasoned managers at a loss. The solution? Focused personal development training or coaching gives leaders the effective tools they need to navigate these challenging times. Personal development assists leaders and managers in critical ways. Here are 4 key reasons to take advantage of the “back-to-school” season and prioritize personal development to boost your leadership skills. 1. Identify and leverage your strengths and manage your weaknesses Personal development often incorporates assessments that allow managers to discover strengths and opportunities for development. It also teaches how to strengthen both. This assessment is an important first step toward more effective leadership. Self-awareness is one of the top key competencies for leaders, and I always say that an assessment is like a mirror. Even if you know yourself well and/or if you have used them before, it’s always good to take stock again from time to time…and who knows, you may have blind spots! You can choose any of these tools: a potential assessment, a psychometric questionnaire, a personality test, a 360° feedback process or a survey sent to your team. Pursuing personal development that includes identifying strengths to leverage, weaknesses to work on, and then after that targeting course corrections where needed, will give leaders huge opportunities to be more effective, retain employees longer, and meet or exceed goals. 2. Set goals and share with your team Another important way personal development through training or coaching assists leaders is by identifying and breaking a large goal into smaller, achievable steps. This is useful not only in preparing your action plan. It also helps you make sure that your development is on your radar and remains a priority. Communicating your plan with your team is also very impactful. It allows you to demonstrate authenticity and even your vulnerability. It also shows that you “walk the talk” when you say development is something you believe in and take seriously. This can inspire employees who would also benefit from personal development to take action as well. It helps boost team morale and improves employee retention. 3. Stay up-to-date We’ve probably all experienced sometimes being a little behind the times professionally. The best practices of yesterday may not all apply today. With the fast-paced back-to-back changes in today’s world, it’s necessary and inspiring to look for new ideas. The latest, science-based trends, advice and recommendations on how to adjust and adapt your approach will help you to be as successful as possible. 4. Discuss and share ideas with others Another way that personal development training assists management is through focused discussions. These conversations involve a trainer and other participants from or outside your organization. A [...]

By |2021-08-24T16:38:07-04:00August 24th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Ways Personal Development Boosts Leadership Skills

4 Reasons Leadership Requires Friendliness

4 Reasons Good Leadership Requires Friendliness Leadership requires a lot of different skills. In addition to expertise in a specific field, it requires the ability to manage resources, budgets, projects and most importantly, employees. One of the best ways to invest in the people who make up your team is to make friendliness a key component of your relationship with them. Friendliness isn’t the same thing as friendship. It’s possible, even beneficial, to craft a friendly management style and still maintain professional boundaries with your team members. Why does good leadership require friendliness, now more than ever? Here are 4 good reasons to use a friendly approach with your team in order to boost morale and reap the rewards of success together. 1. People respond more openly and positively to friendliness. Getting results through friendliness can take a lot less energy than getting results through direction. Task-oriented managers find it more difficult to motivating people. Think about it this way: if you use a positive, friendly approach when communicating with your team, they’ll be far more likely to leave a meeting feeling valued and energized. When team members feel like their boss is pushy or demanding, they may work more in the short term. In the long run, though, they’ll be less inclined to be fully engaged. They may also move on to a new job or boss more quickly than an employee who feels appreciated by a leader who understands them and shows that they care. 2. Friendliness increases the chance that others will buy in to the objectives. Friendly leaders believe that the way they address people is a key part of what creates a happy team environment. It cultivates the feeling that you’re all in this together and shows an investment in them. Friendliness also contributes to creating a safe environment for your team to ask questions. Employees are more likely to invest in objectives that they understand and believe in. 3. Friendliness in leadership sets the tone for your team. Whether leaders realize it or not, the people they lead carefully watch their words and actions. People model their leaders, too, so adopting a friendly style and using that approach with your team sets the tone for how they deal with each other. A warm tone and a positive approach reassure your team, especially in challenging circumstances. Bring out the best in people by showing them that you are not disproportionately results-oriented. As always, balance is key! 4. A friendly leader actually has greater impact on the team. A leader who approaches his team with intense emotions—displaying anger, stress or frustration openly—might hurt the team over-reacting. Venting might feel gratifying in the moment, but it can also reduce the trust between a leader and his team. It creates a leader-versus-team dynamic rather than a sense of facing a challenging situation together. Friendliness on the other hand, helps craft that sense of community and team spirit. A friendly approach shows the team that the leader views himself [...]

By |2021-05-25T16:01:14-04:00May 25th, 2021|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Reasons Leadership Requires Friendliness

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