8 Ways Toxic Bosses Can Stop Creating Toxic Workplaces

Toxic Boss.Workplace.2

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!

team.results.positively speak

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)

Want Better Results? Speak Positively About Your Teams

team.results.positively speak

Many executives and bosses want their teams to improve.

Yet, many of us sound like a critical parent when we talk about and to our teams.

You cannot build a strong team that produces amazing results by focusing on weaknesses!

When you speak positively about your teams, you encourage better results.

When you encourage your teams to stand up and brag, they will exceed your expectations.

If You Want to Improve Your Team’s Results, Change Your Approach

Speak positively about others.  Set aside your biases to help your team members excel and improve! Focus on one or two specific things a person did well and let them know (too many will sound insincere). For example, I had a difficult employee who was prickly to work with. Yet, she could find a penny when reconciling invoices and billings. When I acknowledged her and others, she became easier to work with. I did need to remind her from time-to-time, that while accuracy was important, she needed to be careful to not overdo it.

Use a laser-approach for how-to-do-it coaching. Take time to outline your expectations and specific requirements when assigning projects to the right person. But, don’t micromanage them.  For example, I had a team member who wanted to excel but feared her co-workers would make fun of her for wanting to become a manager. I gave her a project and outlined the basics. She excelled at putting together the project and addressing the details. After I complimented her on a great job, together we addressed specific details for her to address further. She overcame her fears of what others thought and today she is working in a management position.

Acknowledge and support frustrations and upsets, instead of criticizing your team. Breakdowns are inevitable, but, team members don’t need rescuing or fixing. (Stay away from engaging in no-win emotional drama, finger-pointing, and gossip.) Treat them as successful adults.  Listen to their initial concerns and frustrations and focus on the facts, not the emotions. Ask…what is factually working? Then, what is factually not working? Acknowledge the person’s efforts before asking how they would resolve the issue. Then, fine-tune.

Did you know job fit is the #1 reason people naturally excel?  But, only if you get out of the way! According to Harvard Business Review, job fit is the #1 reason teams and individuals excel. Using the right scientifically validated tools for selection and promotion ensures fit with job responsibilities. This encourages people to improve team and communication efforts. Use the coaching report (from the assessment) to become “laser-like” and get out of the way for your team’s success.

Offer spot-on training. Everyone started their jobs not knowing how to do them. Instead of labeling team members as smart or not-so-smart, offer on-the-spot training. Remember, team members need and want to improve. But, your team members do not all learn in the same way. Some are auditory learners…provide podcasts. Some are more visual learners…provide videos. Some enjoy human interactions or hands-on experiences…provide workshops and training programs. However, the best way to develop soft skills is to mix it up when conducting face-to-face training, live webinars, and coaching.

©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 how you engage your teams for results?  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

NEW! Podcast: This Week: Why is it Important to Promote Yourself?  On the Air with Jeannette Seibly … It’s Your Time for Success!

5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Careful Hiring Boomerangs

network meetings

Many employers are scratching their heads wondering how they will staff their open positions with qualified candidates.

One of the fastest-growing hiring practices is bringing back talent that got away (aka boomerangs). This can be a good way of attracting and hiring qualified employees. Stats show that 72% of boomerangs would return if the opportunity arose (ExitCheck.com) and 23% regret having left (GoBankingRates.com)!

But…they need to be asked and told how returning can build their careers.

5 Ways to Determine if Hiring Boomerangs Are in Your Best Interest?

  1. Memories are not reliable. The biggest challenge is ensuring memories are real! Review performance reviews and exit interviews. Talk with former coworkers. Discuss with the boomerang why they left and are willing to come back. Drill down to ensure clarity by having more than one straight conversation about current workplace culture and expectations. If you consider the time and cost of a hiring mistake, it may be easier to train a new person rather than hire a boomerang who cannot adapt.
  2. Job fit is key. Understanding the boomerang’s current skills is important. Use scientifically validated assessments to clarify job fit and core values (e.g., honesty and integrity). Skill testing can determine technical abilities and other skillsets. Deep dive during interviews to ensure the boomerang can and will do the new work responsibilities required today.
  3. What can you offer for the future? Boomerangs have expanded their work experiences and mindsets, and along the way, learned new skills and gained new abilities. They will be more interested in returning if there is a clear pathway to earning more responsibility and a bigger paycheck. Succession planning and career pathing are two ways to ensure you have hired and will retain a happy boomerang.
  4. Onboarding is important. Companies change and so do workplace practices, both written and unwritten. Although onboarding for boomerangs is often faster with less training, it’s critical boomerangs are provided a clear 180-day success plan designed to develop new relationships and work within current systems, policies, and procedures. Remember, successful reintegration never relies on “the way things used to be.”
  5. Recruiting starts with a phone call. Talk with the boomerang to determine if there is a true interest in returning. Share opportunities and job requirements (e.g., work schedule, job responsibilities, strategic focus, etc.). Let them know about the company’s hiring system and follow it. Resolve any concerns before offering the boomerang the job. If you engage in a paycheck war, neither party wins.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For more than 26 years, she has guided bosses and teams to select the right people for the right jobs. Need help with your strategic hiring system?  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Improving your boss style will attract talented performers. How can you make that happen?

 

How to Stop Struggling to Be an Effective Communicator

effective communicatorHave you ever noticed words coming out of your mouth that you vowed you would never say? To make matters worse, your tone sounds harsh or critical. Believe it or not, we often sound like our parents did when we were growing up. Imagine sounding like a critical parent when you’re speaking to your boss or teammates. Yikes!

Why Is Communication So Important?

When you fail to produce intended results and develop good working relationships, it is due to a poor communication style. Lack of respect, tone of voice, words used, and promises not kept (to name a few) hurt your effectiveness.

Instead of blaming others, take time to learn how to become an effective communicator.

8 Traits to Become a Savvy Communicator

  1. Change Beliefs. You must set aside your judgments and beliefs about how people should think, act, talk, dress … ad nauseam. Remember, simply using the right words or jargon will not prevent others from “hearing” what you believe or think about them (over 80 percent of communication is non-verbal!).
  2. Learn to Influence.  Instead of telling others what to do and stating how things “should” be done, ask for their input. Engage all team members by sharing the bigger picture. Now, allow them to handle the details on a project without micromanaging.
  3. Listen to Learn! Develop a positive attitude and authentic belief that others have great solutions! (Really, they do!) Listen and learn from them and incorporate their ideas. Give each person bragging credits.
  4. Treat People Right. Treat people with respect by listening and valuing them. Hang around effective communicators to learn how they do it. Take away insights that will encourage you to become an effective communicator. (Hint: Understand you will never communicate just like them!)
  5. Understand Your Style. Use qualified assessment tools to understand “why” you talk and work well with some people and not others. Armed with accurate insights into your thinking and behavior styles, work with a coach to improve your communication effectiveness with anyone, anywhere at any time.
  6. Pay Attention to Tone and Word Choices. The words and tone of voice you use tell a much deeper story than you may realize. Work with an experienced executive coach or licensed therapist to role-play any past and upcoming complex situations. These sessions can guide you on how and what to improve. As you become a more confident communicator, your style will naturally improve.
  7. Journal for Clarity. This is a great way to see, in black and white, your thoughts about people and/or situations. It gives you a chance to work through complex issues faster. Then, shred. NEVER send a letter spewing your upsets, no matter how justified you believe you are.
  8. Develop Confidence. Often, your innermost and deepest fear is that you are a fraud and everyone is going to find out. To awaken your “inner communicator talent,” get the book It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition, and complete the five steps to effectively communicate with confidence. Remember, there are no shortcuts!

Become an effective communicator by developing these 8 traits and enjoy the results!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017-2019

Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for people and results for the past 26 years. She has guided bosses and teams to excel in using powerful communication tools.  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Run more effective meetings by managing this #1 challenge:  http://ow.ly/Maox30oTBr6

6 Ways to Effectively Manage Difficult Top Performers

Manage Difficult Top PerformersAs a boss, managing top performers can be the biggest challenge you will face. While some top performers can be easy to work with, many can be difficult and will push anyone in their way to the edge.

Most of these top performers know they know their stuff. Since they believe others are less knowledgeable and less capable than they are, it taxes them to listen. Even listening to their boss can be a challenge, particularly when they don’t respect him or her!

If you are the boss of difficult top performers, learning how to manage these VIPs is important. It requires you keeping them engaged and growing.

If these difficult top performers are causing you sleepless nights, it’s time for you to improve your management skills. Not, get rid of them. (Remember, we love their results!) If you’re not willing to go the extra mile, consider a different job.

6 Ways to Improve Your Management Skills

  1. Address “issues” positively with straight talk. Top performers want to feel heard and valued! Unfortunately, they also create conflicts. Don’t avoid conflicts, bulldoze over them, or tell others “it’s the way it is.” This only creates animosity and more conflict! Instead, set a positive example by talking straight and listening to learn from them. Be open to new ideas since top performers have plenty of them!
  2. Engage these results-producing performers with challenges and new opportunities. Stay away from giving them busywork, which they are quick to spot and resent. A real challenge can look like this: transition a top sales producer to selling in a different market or selling a new product line. First, before transitioning them into a new role, assess the person for job fit with the new challenges and responsibilities. This is critical! A top performer’s skills may not transfer well from the old job to the new one (e.g., success in inside sales does not equate to success in outside sales). Remember, if you move them and they fail, they will leave, taking ideas, results, and other top performers with them.
  3. Expect good people skills. Too often, we overlook top performers’ interpersonal skills since they are top producers. The problem is they often create chaos and are typically lone-rangers. When there are relationship spats (and there will be), don’t step over or attempt to personally resolve them. Instead, expect them to reach a collaborative resolution within a set period of time.
  4. Adhere to systems and policies. Too often, difficult top performers believe they are exempt from following systems and adhering to policies. If you managing this, there will be a negative impact on others. Hold them accountable and responsible.
  5. Focus on developing tangible skills. Don’t manage their personalities. This bears repeating…do not manage their personalities! A qualified 360-degree feedback assessment is an invaluable guide on where to focus. Review the objective data to uncover leadership, communication, and project management skills that need improvement. Only address one or two areas at a time.
  6. Remember, money is not a motivator. While your difficult top performers may demand more and more money, higher salaries will not keep them or make them easier to work with. Find other ways of compensating them based upon results (e.g., perks, vacations, gift certificates, industry recognition, etc.).

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010-2019

Managing difficult top performers can be one of the most difficult challenges bosses face.  As an executive coach, Jeannette Seibly has been championing people and results for the past 26 years. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 Run more effective meetings by managing this #1 challenge:  http://ow.ly/Maox30oTBr6

 

 

Want to Improve Your Results? Expand Your Vision

expand your vision.better results.2Bosses and leaders exist to maximize results. This often unwritten job responsibility includes “approaching problems through a lens of opportunity.” (Forbes, 2013)

The ability to expand perspectives and design the right game plan will improve your results. It requires expanding the lens of your vision to create what your results could be. Embracing and engaging in this approach is a career and results changer.

What Gets in the Way?

Many bosses rely on linear thinking. From their POV, they find it easier and less work when they do what they’ve always done. They believe that change can rock the boat and hurt their upward mobility and paycheck. Unfortunately, these narrow points-of-view cause bosses to miss out on new opportunities and promotions! Remember, doing the same old things the same old way will disengage teams, hinder customer satisfaction, and turn the bottom line red.

Don’t miss another opportunity to improve your game plan by sharpening your vision and expanding your results!

6 Ways to Develop an Expanded Vision

Be patient. Developing an expanded vision take years of disciplined practice to master the ability to fine-tune your results. To achieve mastery faster, use the PXTS Leadership Report. It covers the six essential, time-proven leadership traits (Wiley, 2019) needed to achieve intended results.                                        

Commitment. It starts with you. You must practice broadening your awareness and POV. When you have grandiose and unrealistic expectations, it will limit the quality of your results. Once you implement your game plan you will hit snags, and, at times, a concrete wall. Keep your vision focused on the game plan without changing the intended results! This honors your commitment to work past these snafus.

Get to the Root Cause. Linear thinking bosses fail to get to the heart of the issue and continue hoping for the best results. Non-linear thinking bosses also fail by relying (and hoping) on the helicopter approach. But, hope is not a strategy! Use persuasive listening skills and be open to discovering the root cause. Armed with this expanded vision, you can now produce amazing results.

Develop True Brainstorming Processes. Most companies do a horrible job of brainstorming. They rely on the first good idea or succumb to the boss’s vision of how it should be. Write down ALL ideas, no matter what they are, before discussing the pros and cons. Many times we laugh or criticize off-the-wall ideas. Yet, these can ignite team members to create a broader vision and build expanded results.

Get Real. Many goals sound great on paper or in your head. Yet, your observations of what will work may not work inside your company. This is true even if the idea worked for a competitor. To combat this, ask questions and listen to others (e.g., team members, functional areas in the company, and 1 or 2 business advisors). Be select when asking the right people for input and observations. Remember, too many opinions will muddy the perspectives of what to do next.

For example, have you ever seen postings on a social media site asking for help? Usually, they will receive 10+ ideas. Then, inevitably, the people posting the request express being confused, overwhelmed, and not knowing what to do next. Too many opinions will cloud your lens making your vision murky. Doing it alone will not work either.

Avoid Circular Logic. This is the biggest hurdle in achieving your intended results. Instead of straight talk, you hear what you want to hear and muddle your discernment of reality. Clarity is crucial. Use an experienced executive coach to guide you through the inevitable complex issues and confusing situations you will face.

For example, your intended results impact employees. Yet, you fail to include them during the design, planning, and implementation stages. Your excuse, “I don’t have time.” This will get you in trouble. You can either take some time now or take a lot of time later. (Think, hours vs. months or years.) Always remember, employees can embrace your game plan or silently thwart your envisioned results!

To expand the lens of possibilities, expand the direction of your envisioned results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Being a great boss requires working through complex issues and confusing situations. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for people for the past 26 years. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Has your game plan by thwarted by your team? Want to know why?  http://ow.ly/Maox30oTBr6

How Can I Be a Boss When I Hate Managing People?

Boss.Hate Managing People.SeiblyI have many clients who don’t enjoy and actually hate working with people. After working with me, some have grown so much they now excel at working with people. Others have made job changes that don’t require managing others…and are now successful in their careers. Some became entrepreneurs, believing it would prevent them from having to deal with managing people. Yet, they found that in order to make money, they needed acceptable people skills.

Whether you like managing people or not, good people skills are critical for success.

Managing people can be confusing:

  • -They say one thing and do something different.
  • -They get upset with you for telling them the truth.
  • -They ignore your advice and do it their own way…to the detriment of others.
  • -They lie about how difficult it is to work with you in order to further their own career.

Gordon is a manager in a technology company and has 10 team members that report to him. When there is a problem, he uses the ostrich approach and only gets involved when it’s absolutely unavoidable. He pits team members against one another by not filtering his comments. He says he detests chaos, but, actually thrives in it because he can swoop in to save the project and client.

After hearing many complaints, Gordon’s boss mandated he works with a coach. At first, he tried to manipulate the coach into believing he had the wrong team members. After all, it wasn’t his fault people were difficult to work with. But, the coach had a lot of coaching experience and started the process with a qualified job fit assessment on Gordon.

The assessment results showed Gordon he didn’t like managing people. He remarked, “True, but, there is no other way of making more money and landing a better position in the company.”

Over the next several months, he listened, became coachable, and used the advice the coach gave him to handle specific situations. He enrolled (and actively participated) in “soft skill” workshops. These built his confidence and competence. He still did not enjoy managing people, but, he learned how to effectively work with them and through them to achieve the intended results. A year later, he was promoted to the director level.

What Can You Do When You Hate Managing People?

  1. Clarify. Do you actually dislike working with people OR do you lack the training and experience to do so? To gain a realistic POV, use a qualified job-fit assessment. Using objective data will help you understand why you feel the way you do. It can also help you understand your team members and gain insight into how to improve your working relationships.
  2. Resolve Past Circumstances. When past issues have not been resolved (work, personal, and family), they’ve not been forgotten, even if you don’t consciously remember them. Take the time to talk out concerns (e.g., trust) and gain a healthier perspective by working with a therapist.
  3. Take Part in Soft Skills Training. Participate in workshops that focus on experiential processes, not concepts or theories. These will provide breakthroughs in how to work effectively with and manage people like a boss. Areas to focus on include: conflict resolution, active listening, building alignment, creating win-win-win outcomes, etc. As the boss, you probably will not love managing people, but, you will develop an effective management style over time.
  4. Hire an Executive Coach. And, find an industry mentor. Each can help you work through confusing situations and political relationships. As the boss, the keys are to listen and be coachable.
  5. Focus on the Project and Results. Focus on empowering your team. As the boss, provide clear goals, budgets, milestones, and expectations for projects. Manage according to milestones and provide needed resources for the team. Don’t manage people’s personalities. When conflicts occur due to team members being difficult, personally resolve it or bring in a facilitator. Remember, it does not mean you’ve failed when you bring in an outside executive coach to resolve a major issue. It actually makes you look successful.

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Being a great boss requires working through complex issues and confusing situations. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for people for the past 26 years. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Is your team over budget and missing their milestones? Do you know why? http://ow.ly/Maox30oTBr6

 

How to Be a Proactive Boss and Stop Fire-Fighting

boss.fire fighting.proactiveEverywhere, exhausted bosses hate having to put out “fires.” The sad truth is, many of these “hot issues” are preventable by being proactive.

I remember reminiscing with a former coaching client last year. We laughed at the many stories we had addressed when he was the director of a technology company.

One of the most powerful stories was, he never seemed to worry about anything. His normal response, “I understand that maybe I should be worried … and I am concerned … but, I don’t see how running around will change anything.”

His new version: “If there is a fire in the building, I need to get involved instead of sitting and roasting marshmallows.”

He was right. Over-reacting is just as bad as not-reacting. It’s why our coaching calls focused on becoming a proactive boss that prevented “fires” from occurring.

Get Into Action Now

Stop Waiting for “The Perfect Time.” It’s a myth! Waiting until the situation or issue is “really hot” makes it more difficult to “put out the fire.” Attempting to drench it with a fire hose only has team members drown in chaos. In the chaos, the real core issue is camouflaged by smoke and mirrors. Listen up! Be open to hearing what you don’t want to hear. It’s the only way to be proactive and put the fire out now.

Two co-team facilitators sniped at each other during team meetings. Many team members stopped attending and blamed each other for the conflicts. When the boss heard about it, she simply stated, “People will be people.” It wasn’t until her top employee left that she decided she better listen! He blamed her for his need to leave. Perplexed, the boss asked why he felt that way. He replied, “All you had to do was care enough to be proactive, instead of waiting for the inevitable fires.”

Uncover “Why” There Are Upsets and Frustrations. Have you been hearing gossip and sparks of dissension?  If there are complaints, it’s past time to get involved! First, address what you have been afraid of hearing. Then, listen and ask questions to get to the heart of the matter. Don’t fall victim to the popular blame-game often used by others to deflect their responsibility. Straight talk and openness are required to create solutions. Note: If the fire is serious enough, before plunging in and making matters worse, dowse it by hiring an executive coach.

Badgering or Micromanaging Will Not Fix the Issue. Many times bosses feel helpless to resolve a current fire or a spark about ready to ignite. They default to nitpicking, playing the blame game, or steamrolling to get the results. These traits do not build high-performing teams, nor resolve the heart of the issue! When asking good business questions listen to your team members. Remember, you can fix the process, but, you cannot fix personalities.

Everyone Needs Training. Most fires are preventable with proactive actions. It starts with training everyone in how to conduct effective meetings, in-person and virtually. Remember, proactive training is ongoing. Focus on listening, conflict resolution, building trust, and holding each person accountable for the results.

Acknowledgement Work Wonders. It’s the boss’s job to let each and every team member know they are valued for their efforts. This can prevent fire-fighting. Why? When team members feel they matter, they are more likely to proactively prevent sparks from turning into out-of-control fires.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Being proactive as a boss is one of the most difficult challenges you will face. It’s difficult to know when to step in and when to simply advise. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for people for the past 26 years. She has guided bosses and teams to excel. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

Hope is not a strategy to get your team unstuck! Learn 10 ways to do it now.

How to Be a Great Boss and NOT Steamroll Your Team

Steamroller.Boss

  • -Do you fail to listen and interrupt your team members constantly?
  • -Do you ignore others’ opinions when trying to brainstorm solutions?
  • -Do you fail to coordinate with others and consider your impact on them?
  • -Do you fail to build alignment to get everyone on the same page?

If you answered yes, you probably consider yourself a results producer and expect others to overlook your steamroller approach. Consider this story.

Joelle was looking forward to working with her new boss, Jake. During the interview, Jake asked all the right questions and said all the right things. When Joelle asked good basic questions, he appeared to listen to her by nodding his head.  She was excited to accept the job offer. However, Joelle had failed to deep dive into Jake’s expectations and management style.  

At the very first team meeting, Joelle experienced Jake’s true style as a boss…a steamroller.  During the two hour meeting, he ignored others’ ideas. When he allowed others to speak, he vetoed them or talked over them or talked as if they hadn’t spoken. He acted like he knew the right way to do everything.

 After the meeting finally ended, Joelle was exhausted. She asked one of her new team members, Jon if Jake was having a bad day. Jon shrugged his shoulders and said, “Its Jake’s normal style. At least he wasn’t yelling and blaming us for the current challenges we’re facing.”

Joelle immediately texted the recruiter and told him to find her another job pronto! She wasn’t going to work for a steamroller.

Steamrollers are considered results producers who know how to get the job done. However, they also are considered pushy people who go to great lengths to get what they want when they want it. They have the need to prove they are right about everything.

The real challenge for a steamroller boss is to learn how to reduce team frustration caused by their steamroller approach.

Managing Your Steamrolling Style

Know Thyself. If you’re a steamroller, it’s important to know why. Use objective data from scientifically validated job fit assessments. This tool allows you to discover your natural style and why teams react towards you the way they do. As a company president once stated, “There will always be breakdowns with team members. Knowing ahead of time what can happen and how to address it allows me to sleep better at night.”

Art of Talking It Out. Not listening and being a “know-it-all” hinder your teams from being top results-producers. When talking with others, it’s important for you to ask questions and listen to their responses. Build on these ideas and deep dive to ensure you understand the meaning of their comments. Be fearless when addressing conflicts and get them resolved for win-win-win outcomes.

Fix Your Own Problems. Too often steamrollers create havoc. They expect others to clean up the messes they make, particularly in relationships. It’s important YOU make the effort to learn from your mistakes. It starts by apologizing (without any excuses) and making amends.

Be Proactive, Not Highly Reactive. Steamrollers are always pushing the panic buttons because they don’t believe their teams are operating the right way. STOP! Your constant badgering and micromanaging are getting in the way. It hurts innovation and team camaraderie. Plan your work and trust others to contribute to the plan. Don’t forget to acknowledge each and every team member for their efforts.

Develop Awareness. The good news is a steamroller can produce intended results. The bad news their process can be fraught with upsets and frustrations. Steamrolling discourages team members from wanting to work with you and for you. Hire an executive coach and use a qualified 360-degree feedback tool. These will provide insights and clarity. Ask your coach: “How do I stop being a steamrolling boss and still produce intended results?” Then, listen, consider what has been said, and take corrective actions.

Be a Straight Talker. Remember, just because you have a frank and direct way of speaking does not make you a steamroller. People today feel comfortable with fluff and indirect conversations. However, these types of conversations can be time-consuming and produce limited results. Become the type of boss that talks straight without steamrolling. Remember to let your team know before you make comments they don’t or won’t want to hear.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Developing your team is one of the most frustrating and difficult roles as a boss. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for bosses for the past 26 years and has guided teams to succeed. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

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