vrijdag 14 december 2012

Three Tips for Connecting With Your Staff

In one of my previous blogs (The Four Questions) I question the extent to which managers should be interfering with how staff do their job. One of my followers commented that the message of “staying out of their way” seems somewhat in paradox with “knowing what hampers them in doing their job”. I would like to come back to this in today’s blog.

Empowering staff has EVERYTHING to do with connecting with them. The main difference lies in how you engage. Here are three pointers that I have learnt in my professional career from people who have coached me or who I have coached:

Ask or Tell?
When performance is not as expected, do you tell your employees how they need to change things or do you involve them in formulating the answer by asking the right question? The best and most lasting solutions and resolutions are still those created by the people directly involved.

Focus of Attention
How much time do you spend on those succeeding their tasks as opposed to those who do not? Asking the right questions is as relevant for success as for failures, but for different reasons. Whereas failures are the cornerstone for personal development, individual or team successes can, when celebrated in choir, motivate and inspire those that did not succeed the first time.

Coach = Coachee
Connecting is a ‘two-way activity’. If you are not open to learn from the other person, you are not really engaging. By showing empathy or understanding you may think you are, but you are not. It requires a deeper conversation about how we can make things better together. The day leaders stop improving themselves, is the day of their businesses' doom.

Needless to say that consistency is the key in applying these.

Please be invited to complete this list of pointers as I am clearly still learning.

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