Firing People May Not Be the Right Answer!

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We have all worked with people we dislike, or, even, hate. There are many reasons. It could be they don’t follow-up or follow-through. They make projects harder than they need to be. Or, they may be having too many personal challenges.

But firing them is rarely the best answer!

Why? It could be due to legal considerations. They may have expert product knowledge and/or work well with clients. And, in today’s business environment, it can be difficult to replace them.

So, you hang on and hope for a miracle. Or, you seethe, blaming them for any or all of your challenges.

George was having trouble working with Kelly, a good employee who was no longer doing the job she was hired to do. Rather than involving the correct team member, Kelly, like many employees, had taken on tasks that were not in her job description and skill set. Unfortunately, because of this, she was failing!

Understandably, George was upset with Kelly’s performance. However, he wasn’t clear on whether to fire Kelly or find another solution. While her job fit assessment showed a good job fit with the original job responsibilities, it also showed “why” Kelly was currently failing.

My advice was, “You can fire her, or, make her successful.” George decided to make Kelly successful. The key was to have consistent and straight conversations about her job responsibilities, and, address “why” the team was not working together.

It wasn’t easy for either George, Kelly, or the team! But, the time and effort paid off. Kelly is now a successful employee again!

If You Can’t Fire Them, Help Them Succeed!

Clarify “why” the person is failing. Make sure you use a qualified job fit assessment when coaching, managing, and training to determine a person’s true behaviors, thinking style and interests. Also, you can use the same tools in the future when hiring.

Be clear about your needs and expectations. Then, be consistent in your communication. Take the time to clarify what you need now and in the near future from each position. Be able to answer who, what, where, when and why questions. Also, follow a 180-day Success Plan to ensure a person’s success.

Training and coaching will make a difference. Bill Gates said that “everyone needs a coach” and that includes you! Look at how you can have all your employees trained and coached to develop their “soft skills.”

Address ethical issues immediately. Sometimes, people simply don’t know that they don’t know. Or, they are aware but think their actions don’t matter. Educate them now. Review policies with them. Then, coach them on how to better handle sticky situations.

You’re not a counselor, you’re a coach. If an employee is having personal difficulties, send them to HR or to your employee wellness provider. Remember, unless you are a health care provider, you do not have the skills to suggest medical help to anyone!

Be a leader FIRST. Many times, leaders make friends with their employees. This can make performance challenges more difficult to manage. Be clear when working with “friends” that you are their boss during business conversations and when addressing performance issues.

Temper your temper. The issue may be you! Consider it may be time for you to take a sabbatical or leave of absence. If you’ve experienced a difficult situation and haven’t taken time to grieve or process a loss, it can come back to haunt you at an inappropriate time. Be kind to yourself. When you return, you will have a new perspective and the same situations and people will look different.

Develop your emotional intelligence (EI). Yes, developing your EI can help you excel, especially when working with difficult team members! Most issues can be resolved through effective communication. But, you need to develop the ability and patience for these conversations to be effective. Learn how by attending workshops and hiring an executive coach.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. 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.

Why You Need to Develop Your Team to Excel

Business team drawing a new complex project on wall

Business team drawing a new complex project on wall

Mediocrity has become a new standard today (The Standard, 2019). But, it’s costing companies time, money, top talent, customers, innovation, and reputation. And, the list continues!

Many leaders feel there is nothing they can do to change a team’s output from mediocre to great.  Some even believe team collaboration and intended results happen by accident.

These leaders believe they are powerless to change the trajectory of the results.

When teams get stuck, and they will, you as the leader need to roll-up-your-sleeves. It’s your responsibility to get the team unstuck, engaged and moving forward!

Leaders Step Up

Leaders step up to improve the quality of their teams’ results. Remember, these results don’t happen by accident. To excel, results start with how you hire, manage, coach, and train your team members.

Scary Stats

  • -10% of teams today excel. These leaders have a strategy in place to train and develop their people to go beyond the norm and out of their comfort zones.
  • -40% of teams are dysfunctional. When leaders give up so do their teams! They lack the training to align and build win-win-win outcomes required to achieve intended results.
  • -50% produce only small incremental improvements. Unfortunately, this is the norm! Many leaders are simply afraid to push their teams to excel.

(Stats taken from How to Improve Team Effectiveness, Skip Prichard, May 2019)

A team shared with me they wanted to build on the previous year’s event since attendance was down. But, the truth was, the leader wasn’t willing to do the work, release control, and brainstorm. All are requirements to excel! The result….attendance went down, even more, the next year.

How To Improve Your Team’s Results Now

Select the Right Team Members. This is the first and least expensive place to improve your team results. Job fit is the #1 reason (Harvard Business Review) teams succeed or fail! As a leader, it’s up to you to objectively look beyond the technical skills and assess the “soft skill” qualities. Use qualified assessments to select the right team members based on job fit: thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” (Forbes, February 2015)

Develop and Train Team Members. Don’t assume you know to conduct productive meetings. It’s up to you to ensure all team members and you are energized and receive training. Skills development must include how to conduct effective meetings, resolve conflicts, and execute projects. To get the most out of these training and coaching sessions, use real-life challenges and engage in developing real solutions.

Build Trust And Engage Your Team. Under your leadership, teamwork happens or it doesn’t! Real teamwork requires you to be available and engage your team in brainstorming true solutions. This can be a slippery slope since often, too many times everyone latches onto the first good idea. This will shut down further conversation and the development of better ideas. Continue brainstorming until you have built team alignment on the best solution.

Acknowledge Team Members. Don’t forget to acknowledge each team member before, during and after any process.

Get Real about Solutions. As the leader, you must be unafraid to challenge your teams to excel. But, it’s not easy. There is always a difference of opinions and resistance to doing something new. But, and this is a BIG but, innovation needs encouragement and commitment from you. Remember, resilience and flexibility are required since there will be challenges along the way.

Improve Coaching & Mentoring Opportunities. Successful leaders have coaches and mentors who are company and industry savvy. Mentors often focus on working through company politics and guide you to connect with the right people. Executive coaches are external to the organization and confidentially guide you through complex situations and how to proactively avoid them.

Effective leaders don’t accept mediocrity. The ones that do, damage their careers, businesses, and financial bottom lines. It’s up to you to be the type of leader that has their teams excel and achieve dynamic results!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. 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 Bridge the Generation Gap by Being a True Leader

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A survey of nearly 1,000 leaders by Carey Nieuwhof reveals there are deep mistrust and discouragement between younger and older leaders about how they feel towards one another.  Younger leaders feel older counterparts are stubborn and inflexible in decision-making and accepting change, while older leaders believe younger people are entitled, don’t work hard and think they have all the answers.

“Ok, Boomer!” Younger leaders often express this sarcastically about older leaders, believing their POV is “old school.”

Conversely, older leaders often complain about younger leaders “not getting it” and “wanting to move too fast without all the facts.”

The tension between these two groups of leaders can hurt companies, bottom lines, results, and the ability to attract great talent (of all ages).

No generation has all the answers!

Bridging this generation gap now is important. Otherwise, it will become too wide and too deep.

According to a study done by Carey Nieuwhof, here are the 5 key issues:

  1. They’re not open to change. Younger leaders feel older leaders are stuck in the past or fearful of rocking the boat.
  2. Older leaders are inflexible. The traditional power style and attitude from the past don’t work today.
  3. They think they know everything. Everyone believes their POV is right!
  4. Too many rules. Younger leaders dislike rules, and will ignore them, until it’s too late.
  5. Too slow. Embracing change takes time and impacts decisions being made.

As a Leader, How Do You Bridge the Generation Gap?

  1. Communication is Everything! Yes, this can be difficult for both sides to hear! “If only they would see it my way, there wouldn’t be a communication issue.” Everyone needs to slow down and learn how to listen and communicate in a respectful way so that others can hear you. I promise, you will find commonalities within your disagreements. These commonalities can be used to bridge generation gaps and build win-win-win outcomes. But, only if you’re willing to take the time.
  2. Build Win-Win-Win Outcomes. Many times, we believe our judgments and biases are right. We hurt relationships and sideline our careers because we haven’t learned how to create win-win-win outcomes. Take workshops (yes, more than one) on how to understand where your judgments and biases come from. With this new awareness, you can positively impact your decisions, communication, and ability to work well with others!
  3. Appreciate and Understand Others. Use a qualified assessment tool to do this. This will help you better understand yourself and others. You will learn not everyone thinks or behaves as you do! They have their own interests. Appreciating differences and learning how to value them will bridge widening generational gaps.
  4. Critical Thinking. Many people rely on information posted on the internet and sound bites offered by thought leaders. They believe these statements are the truth! These leaders (both young and old) fail to engage in a healthy sense of skepticism and question the validity of what they are reading or hearing. Take the time to get to the truth. It will save your company customers, time, money … and even your career.
  5. Be Open to Learning. Too often we are not open to learning what we don’t know. Mostly because we don’t know what we don’t know! (Yes, reread that one!) Attend workshops and training programs with an open mind. Be a sponge. Then, learn from your coach, mentor, and other leaders how to use these insights to bridge the generation gap.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. 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.

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

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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.