Knowing How to Lead Virtual Team Members Is a Required Skill

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One company decided to set up a remote office for one of their sales reps who had done well in the home office. The employee wanted to move back to his hometown in another state. The relocation expenses were costly, but, the company believed they would recoup their costs within a year.

But, after a year, no new sales had occurred and the sales manager was at a loss. She didn’t know how to manage a remote sales rep. Finally, a business advisor clarified the problem. When the sales rep worked in the home office, he was available for inside sales calls. That’s how he developed a good sales portfolio. Now, he needed to prospect and generate interest for new sales where he lived. However, he didn’t have the skills or interest to do so. After a year, the sales rep left to work as an inside sales rep for a local company.

Currently, over 66% of companies allow remote or virtual work, and 16% are fully remote (Remote.co).  Because of the reduced cost and commuting times for employees, along with other benefits, this trend is skyrocketing.

This is why it’s important for leaders to learn how to manage virtual team members. Remember, leading remote teams present unique challenges that are very different than leading a team that works in your office.

What is a Virtual Team?

virtual team (also known as a geographically dispersed team, distributed team, or remote team) usually refers to a group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on communication technology such as email, FAX, and video or voice conferencing services in order to collaborate. Wikipedia

Benefits

  • 80% of employees would be more loyal if they had flexible and work-from-home options (FlexJobs’ 2019 Super Survey)
  • Easier to hire the best no matter where they live and keep good team members that are relocating
  • Less expensive due to reduced overhead
  • 36% of employees would choose to work from home over a pay raise (Global Workplace Analytics study)
  • Encourages healthier lifestyles since remote workers can incorporate physical exercise into their day, instead of commuting

6 Tips for Leading Virtual Teams

Hire for Job Fit. When hiring or promoting, always use a qualified assessment tool to assess job fit. This assessment provides objective insights into how the person will handle working remotely. Required skills include good communication, high emotional intelligence, an ability to work independently, and the resilience to recover from the snafus that inevitably arise. (Harvard Business Review, 2014)

Build and Maintain Relationships.  Fostering trust is crucial. To achieve this, engage virtual team members 1:1 via conferencing at a minimum of at least once a month. And, be available via text, email and cell so you can be easily reached when necessary. During these monthly calls, spend time reviewing what’s been working and what’s not been working. Don’t forget to ask them about their career goals and other projects they want to participate in. Then, ensure these opportunities happen.

Set Clear Standards and Accountability. Many employees, particularly younger ones without office experience, look at working from home as an extension of their current life. If there are young children, unruly pets, smoking or drugs, or other distractions, it can be difficult for them to operate at the same professional level as expected in the office. Remind them how to handle distractions that get in the way. Also, hold them accountable for meeting product and service standards, along with adhering to company policies. If you want to learn more about how to listen for these concerns, contact Jeannette Seibly.

Frequent Communication is a MUST! Communicate expectations frequently, especially during interviews and onboarding processes. During meetings, you will need to be present and listen at a new level to proactively catch issues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and deep dive into any concerns. Always be available to guide them through client challenges.

Team Building. Host a required-attendance team conference meeting monthly and quarterly to learn about each person’s accomplishments. Acknowledge them individually on these calls. This creates comradery and has each team member feel valued and part of a team.

Training and Development. Whenever possible, have remote team members attend on-site workshops and training programs. During these visits, schedule face-to-face and 1:1 or small group meetings to improve working relationships and build a stronger team.

© Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

How to Develop Yourself as a Competent Leader by Jeannette Seibly

Competent Leader.3

Generally speaking, leaders don’t believe they are incompetent.

The challenge is …

According to Gallup; only one-in-five (18%) leaders demonstrate a high-level of attitude for leadership. This means 82% of the time incompetent leaders are hired. BizShifts-Trends, 2017

Have you ever worked with someone who:

  • -Made decisions that negatively impacted the company and its people?
  • -Cut corners on getting a project completed on time and within budget?
  • -Lacked the communication skills required to engage their team and get intended results?

You are not alone!

How Does This Happen? 

Incompetence is defined as inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose or lacking the qualities needed for effective action. (Merriam-Webster)

Because people tend to be promoted into leadership positions based on their technical competencies, their people management interests or abilities are ignored.

While many will attend required workshops and pass written tests to be certified leaders, they fail to improve their decisions, engage others, create viable solutions, resolve conflicts, or admit their mistakes.

Are you ready to become a competent leader?

Most will say, “YES!” Remember, competent leaders continuously improve their decision-making, communication, management, and self-management skills.

If you’re ready, keep reading…

5 Tips to Improve Your Leadership Competency Qualities

Fit the Job. Poor job fit is the #1 reason for incompetence. It’s a very costly problem for companies and for you personally. So, don’t be afraid to decline a promotion when the job responsibilities don’t fit your thinking style, core behaviors, and/or occupational interests. Use a qualified assessment tool to clarify your strengths and weaknesses before taking a promotion or making a job change.

Develop people management skills. Typically, incompetent leaders are self-absorbed or manage by intimidation. As you know, these behaviors don’t work. Take the time and make the effort to develop the “soft skills” of a competent leader.  According to the Center for Creative Leadership, there are four timeless core leadership skills that you need as a leader: Self-Awareness, Communication, Influence, and Learning Agility. Again, use a qualified assessment tool to guide you in creating an intentional leadership performance improvement plan with your boss. Then, for faster results, hire an external executive coach and find an industry mentor to help you develop these competencies.

Determine the expectations and outcomes required for your success. Every company and industry has its own requirements for success. These requirements determine a leader’s competency for the job. Work with your boss, executive coach, and mentor to understand these expectations. Then, be coachable when working through complex situations, murky results, and political relationships. Your success depends on it.

Develop emotional intelligence.  Being mindful and asking for help are requirements for being a competent leader. Make sure you have someone to be accountable to for your results. (Added bonus: set up this practice for your team members too.)

Breakthrough the fear of not being liked. It’s a must! Don’t fall into the trap of making decisions based on being popular or well-liked. Making hard decisions is not easy…and…each decision will either develop or detract from your competency as a leader. Competent leaders know and accept that not everyone is going to agree with them. But, they honor their commitment to creating win-win-win outcomes for the company, team, and customers.

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Being Too Nice is a Big Problem for Leaders

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A new project leader asked her boss, “What will it take to be successful in this position?” The boss’s response was, “It’s important to be really nice in order to attract new customers, which is what top management is focused on.”

So, the new project leader went overboard to be nice to new customers at the expense of her team members and current customers. When a new customer called, they were given priority. When a new customer complained about a team member, she sided with the new customers’ POV. Employees felt blamed and became disengaged. Interestingly, all customers questioned why they were not getting the intended results promised.

After the company lost two customers, the new project leader was sidelined. No one told her why. She became a disgruntled employee and left.

Clearly, her boss’s coaching to be really nice was not effective.

Many new leaders find themselves defaulting on the spectrum of being too nice to being too rigid. These extremes do not engage employees OR keep customers OR achieve intended results OR prevent career derailment.

The Challenge of Being Too Nice

If you’re too nice you risk being a pushover; you might keep an employee beyond their expiration date; you might see deadlines come and go; you might become too close with your employees at the expense of being able to give them tough feedback. (Forbes, 2018)

So why do many new leaders default to being too nice? They lack training! They lack confidence in fulfilling their new responsibilities. They want to be accepted and receive the highest ratings from their teams. Unfortunately, their passivity (being too nice) creates a lot of problems that could be avoided.

…leaders are also expected to make the tough decisions that serve the company or the team’s best interests. Being too nice can be lazy, inefficient, irresponsible, and harmful to individuals and the organization. (Harvard Business Review, 2014)

No one is born a leader. Developing leadership requires work, effort, and tears to be effective. It’s an ongoing process of coaching, training, and development to learn to make hard decisions.

5 Tips to Overcome “Being Too Nice” as a Leader

  1. Start training to be a great leader as soon as possible, even before you receive the title of manager or team leader. There are many podcasts and training programs available that can help you become honest, polite, and assertive (but, not too nice). Since most successful leaders have a coach, it’s important to select the best coach for you. While companies should invest in their future and current leaders, don’t be afraid to pay for it yourself…you’re worth it!
  2. Shadow a leader you respect. Select a mentor and design a mutual agreement for you to shadow the mentor in meetings or projects. This will help develop your awareness of good leadership skills.
  3. Develop emotional intelligence. Success is an inside job. Your biases, habits, and fears of not being liked will get in the way of your effectiveness and results. Develop your emotional intelligence (EI). Take programs focused on developing awareness of your feelings and mindfulness of how you impact others. This will help you naturally develop compassion and an ability to relate well with others, which are required today to become a great leader.
  4. Have patience…becoming a great leader is a process. Developing the “soft skills” and the ability to “talk straight” takes time. Be patient with yourself since developing effective leadership skills will not happen overnight. And, know there will be times it feels easier to be too nice. Don’t fall into that trap. When murky situations or complex relationships threaten to derail you (and, they will), work with your coach to move through them now. Don’t let the moment or challenge sabotage your growth of becoming an effective leader.
  5. Understand uncertainty is part of being a leader. You will encounter a lot of curves and sharp points since there is no straight line upward in work and life. Develop resilience, resourcefulness, and flexibility. These three skills will serve you well in 2020 and beyond. Be coachable and avoid becoming derailed by the inevitable (and avoidable) problems caused by being too nice.

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning advocate for creating leaders and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided leaders and teams to excel. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

New Podcast! What Does Money Have to Do with Success?

Focus, Plan, Act are three keys to having a financially successful 2020…listen to my interview with Pat Williams (a recovering CPA).

http://ow.ly/Lcus30q7T55 (Anchor.FM)

https://youtu.be/gZCvo9IAtz4  (YouTube)

Why the Busyness Trap Sabotages You and How to Change It

Avoid Costly Mistakes

The best advice I can provide you for this new decade is to stop worshiping “busyness.”

Recently, I was talking with another coach. She was exclaiming about how busy she was and mentioned I was not talking about my busyness. Instead, I shared about launching my podcasts and the challenges and successes I’ve had. As she kept talking about her busyness, I could understand how she was sabotaging her ability to find new clients. She practiced busyness.

Many people believe being busy makes them sound more important or effective. Rather, it has the opposite effect. Do you know every time you say, “I’m so busy…,” people stop listening to you?

Why do you feel the need to create “busyness?” “People need a purpose in life.” (Stop Worrying About How Much You Matter, Harvard Business Review)

Today, people pride themselves on being busy, hoping to feel fulfilled and purposeful in life. But, instead, in this digital age, busyness has evolved into an excuse to not focus on the critical key actions for success.

One of the primary reasons we love to talk about how crazy busy we are, is we’re trying to feel something and not feel numb! (Crazy Busy: The Ultimate Numbing Strategy, Inc.)

For example, when we share our “busyness” with others, it’s not engaging them. We’re subtly telling them we don’t have time for them. (Think potential customers, family, friends, etc.)

For a successful 2020, you need to let go of “busyness” and create more effective habits.

9 Important Tips to Stop the Craziness of Busyness! Start now!

  1. Find Work that is Important to You. Almost 70% of employees today are in jobs that don’t fit them (What Engaged Employees Do Differently, Gallup). As a result, many people feel job satisfaction is a myth. Use a qualified job fit assessment to objectively clarify why you (and your team members) are not engaged. Then, create the right job responsibilities and develop the skills needed. Job satisfaction occurs when you and your employees are engaged, inspired and productive.
  2. Limit Social Media. Spending too much time on social media and comparing your life with others is a no-win exercise and time-waster. Most of these posts are only quick snapshots that don’t show how people are really feeling. Instead, get involved in something you enjoy. Volunteer for a cause. Help a neighbor or friend. Take a fun class or go get a certification. Do something that builds your inner self-worth.
  3. Get Out in Nature. Many times taking a 20-minute walk can rejuvenate you! Don’t listen to podcasts or talk on your cell. Simply walk. Breathe. Stop the inner mental chatter. Enjoy the sights.
  4. There are many ways to have fun while creating something new. You don’t have to be highly creative to paint a picture. Take photos. Build or rebuild a clock. Create code for a new online product. Cut out pictures and create a collage. The process rejuvenates your mind, body, and soul.
  5. Learn to Truly Listen. Truly listening to others stops the distracting internal mental chatter. Nothing is more rewarding than the feeling of being truly heard! When you listen to others, they will listen to you…together you can create new opportunities in life and business!
  6. Enjoy Silence. Instead of running off to the next meeting or task, set aside a few minutes to enjoy the silence. This helps re-energize and destress you!
  7. Handle Uncertainty. Often, we clutter our minds and calendars so we feel worthy and in control of our lives. However, there is no certainty or guarantee in life. Instead, take charge of what you can by making a list of what you need to handle now. Cut the list down to the top 5 must-be-done tasks. Rank them in order of importance. Now, yes, now, start on #1!
  8. Be Present Instead of Multi-Tasking. Believing multi-tasking is effective is a trap. The same can be said of busyness. Our brains are not designed to focus on more than one thing at a time. Doing so creates stress, miscommunication, and the need to procrastinate. Be present and focus on what you are doing and who you are talking with. Being present will add a rich and positive dimension to your life.
  9. Simplify Projects and Follow Your Dreams. Many times we love to make the process too difficult (and at times, impossible), sabotaging our ability to accomplish our dreams. Instead, hire a coach. Get unstuck. Take focused-action steps. There is always a breakthrough ready to occur when you are in focused-action.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning advocate for creating leaders and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided leaders and teams to excel. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Improve Your Expectations to Encourage Better Results

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Many of us as bosses or team leaders have had to read our bosses’ minds and hope we read their expectations correctly. We are often afraid to ask too many questions out of fear of looking stupid. Yet, the problem is, we’re not mind readers!

Now, as bosses, we’re doing the same thing to our teams. Instead of sharing expectations simplistically and consistently, we expect them to just know. We even expect them to let us know if they are off track. The problem is, because they are not mind-readers, how are they going to know if they are off-track?

When you fail to share your expectations in a clear and consistent manner and expect your team to read your mind, there will be missed deadlines, miscommunication, and missed opportunities that cost you and your company millions of dollars.

6 Tips to Improve Expectations for Better Results

  1. Be realistic! This is #1. Engaging your team to achieve intended results requires your expectations to be in alignment with company and customer expectations. Be clear and ask questions to ensure you’re on the same page with your boss and customer before sharing your expectations with your team.
  2. Let Go of “Shoulds.” Stop focusing on how things “should” look and how the process “should” go. Results never occur in a straight upward line. Instead of insisting on only your way, ask your team for their ideas. Brainstorming gets everyone on the same page and your expectations in alignment with them while encouraging innovation.
  3. Communication is Key. Practice sharing your expectations out loud in front of the mirror. Keep them simple to understand. Then, like everything in life, communicate…communicate…communicate by being consistent and realistic.
  4. Be Responsible and Accountable. When your team members go awry, and they will, their results often won’t support your customer’s needs. This is on you.

      Ask yourself:

  • -“What did you fail to communicate?”
  • -“How can you get the team back on track?”
  • -“What does the team need from you to regroup and refocus?”
  1. Get Unstuck Quickly. Otherwise, the team’s motivation will be sabotaged. Remember, when you don’t share your expectations and managed accordingly, team frustration will set in and grow exponentially. If you keep sending mixed signals, you will get mixed results.
  2. Encourage Feedback to Avoid Surprises. At every meeting, ask for feedback on the project. Ask: What’s working? What’s not working? Then, “What do you need from me?” This will let you know if your expectations are on track, off track, or too unrealistic. It’s easier to fix things now rather than wait until the team has been stuck and is afraid to let you know. (Hint: with that level of frustration, they are circulating their resumes.)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to improve your results and communications with your team?  Contact Jeannette now for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

New! Podcast! How to Humanize Your Story for Success

Today’s guest is Don Cardona. As a former NBC and ESPN Sports Producer, he understands the power and importance of humanizing your story for success.

http://ow.ly/clfl30q3783  

https://youtu.be/Tr501DBbBlw  (YouTube)

It’s Time to Focus on What Will Improve Your Sales Results

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It’s that time of year when everyone is looking at their sales numbers and making projections for next year. Yet, too often we fixate on the wrong things to improve our sales results and numbers. It’s time to get real and focus on the right things.

7 Tips to Ensure Your Sales Team is Delivering Real Results

  1. Hire the Right People. This is the #1 requirement to achieve sales results! Why? People that fit their job have a natural interest in achieving real results. It’s always important to go beyond the interview where they tell you what you want to hear! Use a qualified sales assessment to positively impact your results and bottom line. The right assessment provides you with interview questions and addresses the critical factors necessary for sales results (e.g., compensation, prospecting, closing, building relationships, resourcefulness, etc.). For example, if a person is unwilling to work in a sales commission job, hiring them doesn’t make a positive difference for anyone.
  2. Coach with Laser-Focused Accuracy. The right assessment tool also provides you laser-like coaching When you address the true issue with low performing salespeople, it’s easier to get real about how they can improve their sales skills. For example, telling someone they need to meet more people when they are already making a lot of contacts won’t make a difference. Instead, focus on coaching steps of how to engage people to determine potential buying interest.
  3. Focusing on Technology Doesn’t Fix Sales Results. How many times have you believed a new CRM or other technology-based sales system will improve sales results? This is a big, huge illusion. If you don’t have the right salespeople, technology will only make things worse. Your low producers will hide out behind learning the system as an excuse for not initiating the right conversations. The high performers will be annoyed they have to learn another new system.
  4. Customer Engagement Requires a Process. Are you engaging your customers on a quarterly basis? If yes, they are less likely to stray! Also, when you are top of mind, your customers are more likely to refer you to others. When meeting with the customer, use a scorecard to get real about what you are delivering versus what they need. Design these conversations to uncover new current problems and growth challenges. Provide qualified resources for your salespeople to become valued and trusted advisors. Remember, training is crucial for these conversations to be effective!
  5. Sales Team Huddles are a Must. If you’re not already doing this…start now! Have a standup huddle each morning for all salespeople. (Yes, stand up…if you sit during the meeting will go too long.) It is harder for so-so salespeople to hideout. It only takes 10 to 20 minutes. During the sharing, focus on progress actually being made and where to focus your attention for better results.
  6. It’s All about the Fundamentals. Train for the Details. I remember years ago a sales expert told me that you need to learn the details of your products and services to be a successful salesperson. This has made a positive difference for me when closing sales! Learn and teach your systems. Provide weekly training, updates, and stories. You can use the daily stand-up huddle for this too. Remember, successful selling is a lifelong process of learning with consistent reinforcement.
  7. Acknowledgment Works Wonders. Acknowledge your team, each team member, and your customers often. Share brags with others. Have an up-to-date dashboard showing results readily available. This encourages team support when someone is stuck.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want a stellar 2020? Improve hiring and coaching your sales team. Now is the time to contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

New! Podcast! How to Create Values for Balance and Success 

Interview with Katy Piotrowski…how to live an authentic, peaceful life based on creating your values for balance and success.

http://ow.ly/yZoq30q11ai (Anchor.FM)

https://youtu.be/9nt2rHoR4pE  (YouTube)

How to Provide Performance Reviews That Engage Your Team

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Imagine that you’re in a meeting with your boss to review your past year’s performance. Out of the blue, he reminds you of an incident that happened 10 months ago. You’d forgotten about it. Your boss didn’t mention it before now! How would you feel? What would be your response?

You might think, “Why didn’t you bring it up 10 months ago? Why are you bringing it up now?”

As the boss, when you conduct meaningful performance reviews, you must leave out the surprises. This all-important skill is required to build high-performance teams.

7 Tips for Conducting No-Surprise Performance Reviews

  1. Do It Now. Don’t Wait. Once a year is not productive. Instead, conduct interim performance reviews every quarter. Look at, “What is working? What is not working?” Consider using a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment…these can provide additional insights from team members. When a critical issue arises, address it immediately because memories will be more accurate and intervention can make a positive difference in the moment.
  1. Be Specific. Being prepared with specific facts and examples makes a positive impact. It encourages team members to listen to your feedback. Offer specific opportunities to support their development and growth as business professionals (e.g., coaching, training, work assignments, etc.).
  1. Individualize Feedback Using a Structured Approach. Avoid using rating systems, which rank or rate each team member against one another. This approach does not promote a high-performance team. Instead, use a structured questionnaire for each team member’s self-review. Then, review their feedback with your notes and insights. Now you can have a meaningful conversation.
  1. Focus on Growth and Development. Saying, “You’re doing great. I’ve nothing to add” or providing a list of criticisms is not helpful or meaningful. Remember the primary purpose of performance reviews is to provide objective growth and development feedback for each team member. Take the time to ensure they leave the performance review with one or two areas for improvement.
  1. Use First-Hand Knowledge. Failing to investigate issues doesn’t let you off the hook. Neither does saying, “I heard about this issue.” Investigate and verify before adding your observations. Then, ask for their perspective. Otherwise, you will create distrust between you and the rest of the team.
  1. Be Proactive. If there is problem brewing, share a story that exemplifies the potential issue and outcome. End by saying, “I’m committed that a similar situation doesn’t happen to you. This may be nothing…but, let’s be proactive. What do we need to do to get you on the right track?” Now, listen, make a plan, and follow-up to ensure progress is being made.
  1. Take the Time Required. Rubber stamping self-reviews may seem faster, however, it doesn’t make you a good boss or build a high-performance team. Again, it’s up to you to take the time to conduct performance reviews that are meaningful and engage your team.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to improve your managing and coaching skills? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

New Podcast! How Failure Can Shape Positive Success

Interview with Lisa Reinicke … how to learn from failure when experiencing challenges and setbacks…and create success.

http://ow.ly/qyfo30pZ2io

https://youtu.be/JZzECTTXPD8 (YouTube)

8 Ways Toxic Bosses Can Stop Creating Toxic Workplaces

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When a toxic boss finds fault with everyone, including themselves, they create a toxic workplace. Their poison is to create fear about what they will do or say next. They further alienate their teams when the team feels they must walk on eggshells.

All bosses have strengths and weaknesses. But, if your team is not producing intended results, you are not building a strong team. It’s time for you to get real about whether you are a toxic boss by reviewing the following antidotes.

8 Antidotes for Toxic Bosses

  1. Success is an Inside Job and It Starts with You. Gain objective insights on why you are a toxic boss. Start with a scientifically strong validated assessment to review your thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests. These will answer why you are having trouble being a boss, and how to effectively overcome these challenges.
  2. Build Your Self Esteem. Too often when bosses misbehave or create mischief, it’s because they lack confidence and don’t feel good about themselves. Hire an executive coach to talk you through murky challenges and confidential concerns. Also, engage an internal industry/company mentor to guide you through company politics and industry expectations. It’s important you make the time and financial commitments to work with these experts as remedies to overcome your toxic boss style.
  3. Review Your Brags Daily. Use Brag! exercises daily to remind you that you have what it takes to succeed. This helps keep you on the right pathway to become a better boss when frustrations seem overwhelming.
  4. Build on Team Strengths. As the boss, your primary responsibility is empowering others for success! Assigning projects or work based on who you like best at that moment creates distrust and fear. Take the time to build on the strengths of all of your team members, regardless of your feelings about them. Remember, feelings change, but, often, your team’s memories won’t forget.
  5. Rely on Your Team for Solutions. Having the title of “boss” doesn’t mean you know everything, or should know everything. Don’t micromanage or base decisions on tiny bits of information without delving deeper with your team. Remember, as a boss, it’s your job to guide your team to develop solutions by asking the right questions to elicit their best ideas.
  6. Value Feedback. Feedback is gold. Ignoring it will cost you your title and paycheck! Listen and learn!
  7. Share Selectively. You’re not in the right job if you’re venting to anyone and everyone about what is wrong with your team members, projects, clients, and company. Instead focus on finding solutions, which will reduce your frustrations. When you need to vent, share with one or two confidants…and, of course, your executive coach.
  8. Take Your Responsibilities Seriously. Great bosses hold themselves to a higher standard. While it may have been a fun exercise as an employee to gossip about others, now you are the boss. What you say and do will create a positive or toxic workplace. Focus your attention on ensuring others have the resources and support they need so everyone can excel. Remember, you are responsible for your team, client, vendor, and company successes.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to get rid of your toxic boss behaviors and become a great bossContact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Podcast! On the Air with Jeannette Seibly, It’s Your Time for Success!

This week: The Importance of Acknowledging and Handling Grief

Interview with Leslie Charles talking about how to handle grief and why it’s important to do so.

http://ow.ly/4wlb30pWKkh (Anchor.FM)

https://youtu.be/oCvfp_UqpPo  (YouTube)

Alert! What Your Employees Need from You to Be Engaged!

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Employee engagement is a great way to attract and keep great employees. It’s every hiring boss’s #1 concern today…or, should be.

If you don’t believe employee engagement is important, stop for a moment. Use the Cost of Hiring Calculator to get a conservative dollar value of what turnover is costing your company! Remember, you are already experiencing how hard it is to replace good employees! In the meantime, you’re losing profits, customers, and top talent while you are looking for the ideal candidate or attempting to manage someone that doesn’t fit the job.

6 Tips to Engage Employees and Create a Happier and Healthier Workplace

1. Begin Onboarding Immediately. Starting employee engagement on the day candidates apply for the job produces happier and healthier employees and reduces surprises later.

 Questions to ask yourself:

  • -Am I responding quickly and in an effective manner?
  • -Am I prepared for each conversation?
  • -What were the promises made (e.g., when to expect the job offer, key points and salary discussed during the interview)?

Remember, candidates today have short attention spans, but, long memories of how they were treated.

2. Engage in Conversations. Instead of checking the box for each interview question, engage the candidates in all conversations.

 Questions to include:

  • -What are they really looking for in this job?
  • -What is their purpose in life? In work?
  • -What are their goals in the next 3 to 5 years? (Don’t shy away from this question for older talent.)
  • -What specific skills do they need to learn or improve on?
  • -How can we provide a work/life/balance with our company?

Write down their responses and review them before each conversation. Remember, Millennials and Gen-Zers want to make a contribution that fulfills their purpose…not just pushing keys on the keyboard. Also, Baby Boomers and GenXers want to contribute…however, they will have different expectations of what the company needs to provide.

3. Use Qualified Assessments. While there are over 3,000 assessments on the market today, most are only for fun. They do not meet the Department of Labor’s Guidelines for pre-employment use. When you use scientifically validated tools with strong validation and reliability studies, you are telling candidates and employees that you value them and want to make sure they fit their job responsibilities. The right tools help you as a boss to hire, manage, coach, and train your employees effectively, while engaging them!

4. Stay in Communication. One manager said it took 9 months before he met his boss. During that time he felt he was doing a great job…until his manager told him he wasn’t, during their first meeting! It was a disempowering conversation that could have been avoided! The manager left 3 months later. Lesson? Bosses need to be available on Day #1. Schedule daily meetings for the first week, and less often as time progresses and they are on the right track!

5. Create 180-Day Success Plans. What will the successful candidates achieve? Be realistic. Include in the Plan how to build relationships, understand systems and policies, and be a contributing member of the team. Don’t forget to provide resources (e.g., training workshops, videos, or podcasts) and a mentor. During this time, provide positive daily reinforcement. This is very important and often overlooked. Remember, it’s a stressful time to learn a new job, meet new co-workers, and understand company expectations (both, written and unwritten).

6. Offer Brags! Studies have shown that bosses who provide daily acknowledgments to their employees don’t need formal recognition plans…and their employees stay much longer! Be sure these kudos are specific to each employee’s contribution to make them more meaningful.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to improve your employee engagement practices?  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

New Podcast! How to Energize and Have Productive Meetings

We’ve all grown to hate meetings and feel they are a big huge waste of time. How can we turn this around and achieve the intended results?

My guest this week is Dr. Ronald Beach, author of The Virtual Divide.

http://ow.ly/kNRf30pUYfD (Anchor.FM/Jeannette-Seibly)

https://youtu.be/ux_UdwN0dPw (YouTube)

How to Deliver Bad News to Your Team with Confidence

Delivering Bad News

It’s normal for bosses everywhere to deliver bad news to their teams and others. If you’re not prepared, are unclear, or lack confidence when delivering the bad news, it will be disruptive.

Examples include:

  • -Contract canceled by the client
  • -Boss slashed the budget
  • -An influencer has withdrawn support due to company politics
  • -The team hit a wall and conflicts are unresolvable

Years ago I facilitated a project with team members from different areas of a company. The project was assigned to me by the company president and it took six months. Part of the process required team members to understand the impact their recommendations would have on the whole company. There were many conversations about the “right things” to do and how to do them in a way that worked for everyone. They did a great job and were ready for their presentation. Yet, on the day before the scheduled presentation, the company president called me. He said, “I’ve decided we are no longer interested in this project.” I was shocked! Then, I had to deliver the bad news to my team members who had worked so hard over the past six months. Needless to say, the team was upset that all their hard work ended up being a waste of time and that there was no acknowledgment from the president.

As the facilitator of this company-wide team, I did not deliver this bad news with confidence. I was upset just like the team members. That’s when I saw how important it was to take responsibility for how you deliver bad news to your team.

6 Tips to Deliver Bad News

  1. Get advice from your boss first. Remember, they’ve delivered received and delivered bad news before. Then, review the policies to see if the news will impact team members’ employment status (e.g., contract, fulltime, etc.). Also, do your venting with your boss and/or your executive coach before talking with your team.
  2. Plan before talking to your team. Gather the facts, but, do so quickly. What are the facts? How does the bad news impact your team members, the project, and others? What is being done to support your team members if they are losing their jobs? Talk with one or two key employees, human resources, and your executive coach. This is to ensure you’ve dotted your “I’s” and crossed your “T’s” before talking to your team. Remember, confidentiality is critical since leaks of information will create more upset than the actual bad news.
  3. Write out your message. Then, read it out loud several times in front of a mirror before delivering it. (Most bosses try to wing-it.) You practice in front of the mirror so you can pay attention to your non-verbal expressions. Remember, what you say and how you say it will impact your team members in ways that you may not anticipate. Choose your words responsibly and share factual data. For example: some team members may be happy to work on a new project, while others may experience emotional upsets.
  4. Stay on point. When delivering your bad news face-to-face or using conferencing and/or written communication, stay on point and be consistent. Don’t blame others and don’t make promises you cannot keep. Your team members need factual information. Items to be addressed: Can the project issues or situation be corrected? What is currently being done? Do not make false promises.
  5. Follow-up. Let me repeat … follow-up. Of these six tips, this is most often ignored. Time and patience are very important. Stay in touch with your team members and others affected by the bad news. Each day ask your team how they are doing. Encourage 1:1 and small group conferences…have them stay on point or it will only disrupt the workplace further. For example, if you didn’t handle delivering the bad news very well, apologize and ask what can be done to fix it.
  6. Debrief with the team. If the project hits a wall or the team needs reorganization, review what actions you have taken to date. Engage the team in the exercise “What worked? and What Didn’t Work?” This brainstorming process will bring objectivity to the situation, create new ideas for better results, and rebuild team spirit.

Remember, delivering bad news is never fun. However, having confidence when delivering bad news should be part of every boss’s job description!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to improve your skills as a boss? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.