5 Ways to Turn Stressful Family Gatherings into Fun, Positive Conversations!

“The memories we make with our family either create future harmony or frustration.” Jeannette Seibly

Family traditions die hard … if ever … especially at the holiday table, where old conversations get retold over and over, usually at someone’s expense.

To transform these conversations, it takes the willingness to work through the resistance. Remember, gossiping, “stink eye,” and negative comments are bad habits. And, many of these have been handed down from generation to generation. It’s up to you to change them for positive conversations.

5 Tips for Fun, Positive Conversations with Family

Tip #1: Have everyone share what they are grateful for … include everyone. Example: I’m grateful for a good job and the ability to work from home.

Tip #2:  Have each person share something good about another person during dinner. Be sure to include everyone! Example: I’m impressed by your willingness to work and go to school at the same time.

Tip #3: Create a “Family Bingo Card” (google it) and have each person complete one. Then, have everyone share their results.

Tip #4: Turn gossip and negative comments about someone into a positive. For example: “Did you hear about xx getting canned from his second job?” Turn it around. “Did you talk with him and get his side of the story? You know that company can be a difficult one to work for.”

Tip #5: Have an electronic-free meal and table. Have everyone turn off their phone or electronic devices during the meal and stash them. Focus on the tips above.

These 5 tips are guaranteed to encourage fun, positive conversations! The bonus? You get to listen as the old conversations transform into new ones.

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals for almost 30 years. Her brags include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. Recently, she was able to add another brag. She became an Amazon Bestselling author of her first novel, The Old Wooden Rocker … a family saga of hope for a better future. Have questions? Need a speaker or facilitator? Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about creating fun family get-togethers. Tis the season for family meals and get-togethers. While some enjoy being with family, according to a segment on CBS Sunday Morning, over 17M family feuds are occurring. Many of these are avoidable by creating fun, positive conversations about each other. Start by taking responsibility for how you talk about members of your family and encourage others to do the same. Want to know how? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Create a Practice of Feedback and See Your Results Improve

“Want to achieve dynamic results? Then, give and receive feedback.” Jeannette Seibly

Why do we hate giving or receiving feedback? Why are we so attached to doing things our own way … even when we produce mediocre results?

The answer is, feedback triggers our brains to react in flight, fright, or freeze mode. When our boss or team member (or someone else) provides any feedback, our points of view and self-perceptions often feel threatened. Yes, it’s unwarranted. But these fears get in the way too often … and our results suffer.

Many leaders and bosses hesitate and avoid giving needed feedback out of fear of retaliation. Jeannette Seibly

Why is feedback so important? It gives you the ability to …

  • Grow as a successful leader
  • Take your team results from good to great
  • Work with different types of people, including “difficult team members

Remember, feedback requires tact and diplomacy and requires practice. Otherwise, you will escalate a conflict, create hurt feelings, or derail your career.

6 Tips to Give and Receive Feedback

1. Be Open to Receiving. People will provide feedback, whether you ask for it or not (or want it). Strong leaders listen to feedback regardless of their feelings. If you don’t, you will miss hearing important information. Ask questions for clarification while not sounding defensive. Then, review the feedback with your coach before making any changes.

2. Use a Qualified Job Fit Assessment. Objective feedback about your inherent leadership style is a gift! Take a qualified job-fit assessment and review the results with your executive coach. You will gain job clarity, uncover blind spots, and gain insider career insights into how to effectively work with others while appreciating their differences.  

3. Value 360-degree feedback assessments and conversations. Use these quarterly, annually, and/or after major projects. These tools provide confidential feedback when done right. Make sure to select the right tool that has the validation and reliability to provide laser-like feedback. 360-degree assessments are invaluable tools to provide feedback and improve results.

4. Ask for Feedback. This simple question can make a profound difference in your results. After a project, conduct a team debrief … or after a meeting, ask for feedback from the team and event host. Start by asking “What worked? and “What didn’t work?” Listen. Take notes. Then, review with your coach before making any changes.

5. Develop a Straight Talk Approach. When offering feedback, talk straight. If you filter too much, you camouflage the true issue.

For example, Dave, a VP-HR, provided feedback to Judy, a VP-Marketing, about her gossiping with employees and vendors. During the next coaching call, Judy’s coach could tell that she didn’t understand what Dave had said. He had sugar-coated it. Straight talk is important in order for behavioral changes to happen. Developing the skills to give and receive feedback takes practice … just like any other leadership skill.

6. Learn Different Feedback Methods. The same approach doesn’t work for everyone! Here are two good approaches to get you started:

a. Direct Approach works for people who want you to bottom-line it. Be clear about the facts and share them, after getting their permission to do so.

For example: “Josie, are you open to feedback from your presentation this morning?” She nods yes. “Super. There was too much information on your slides and you read it to us. It’s important to engage the audience, not lecture them, to learn about these new safety procedures.”

b. Sandwich Approach is for less tough-minded people. Share 2 positives, 2 specific areas that need improvement, and wrap up with 2 positives.

For example: “Joe, you’re a valued member of our team and we appreciate your involvement.” (2 positives)

“And, we need you to read the minutes before each meeting and put away your phone during the meeting. It’s very distracting when you’re not fully engaged in the conversation. Remember, multitasking is a myth.” (2 specific areas for improvement)

“Again, we appreciate your commitment to the project and look forward to hearing your ideas.” (2 positives)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020-2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. Do you have questions? Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about giving and receiving feedback. Many of you hate giving or receiving feedback even though you have a commitment to achieving dynamic results. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I not open to using this valuable leadership tool?” If you want to improve your ability to give and receive feedback, contact me for a confidential conversation. Your career will thank you!

Do You Need to Hire Salespeople … What Are 5 Key Tips?

“Hiring the right salespeople impacts your customer’s experience and fulfillment … and your bottom line.” Jeannette Seibly

Hiring salespeople can be a challenge. Many will look and/or talk the part. But when hired, fail to produce the required results.

Remember, it’s always faster and easier (and so much less expensive) to determine their ability to sell before you hire them. If you don’t, you’ll spend too much money and energy, and face sleepless nights attempting to fix them (and this never works out well for anyone).

5 Tips to Improve Your Selection Process

1. Are They Listening? Can they hear you? Do they respond appropriately? Ask the candidate to summarize the interview or various parts of the conversation by asking, “Tell me what you heard?”

2. Do They Ask Questions? Do they have questions about your company, product, management style, etc.? If not, move on. Candidates that don’t ask questions lack the curiosity and skills to inquire further.

3. Are They Calm and Patient? Does the person squirm in his/her seat? Does the candidate rush the conversation or attempt to finish your sentences? Does the candidate look at you when speaking or listening? While closing is a required skill and requires the ability to not be too patient, failure to have the prospect feel comfortable is critical.

4. Do They Fit the Job? To determine key traits, most salespeople need prospecting, presenting, and closing. Use a qualified job-fit assessment. Can they do these things? Will they do these things? And, can they do these things for your company and product?

5. Do They Tell the Truth? To objectively answer this question, first, use an honesty/integrity assessment to uncover omissions that are not part of a public record. It saves time and money by not talking with candidates that stretch the truth (think, customer expectations and fulfillment). Second, with final candidates, check background, education, and other accomplishments.

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you continue to struggle to hire salespeople who can actually sell, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about hiring salespeople that can actually sell. Many candidates for sales positions look and/or talk the part. The problem is, they fail to produce the required results. It’s up to you to improve your selection process to uncover salespeople that can actually sell your product and service. Need help? Contact me to improve your hiring and selection processes.

The 6 C’s Required to Create Crazy Amazing Success Starting Now!

“Achievement can only happen when you are willing to pursue what you really, really, really want.” Jeannette Seibly

It’s Q4! The craziness of 2021 is winding down. It’s time, if you haven’t done so already, to create new goals or pull them out from hiding in your drawer. Now, deal with the little negative voice in your head! Let’s create real success to support your goals for now and 2022.

The 6 C’s to Practice for Success

CREATE a Vision. What do you really, really, really want to achieve? Put aside what your parents and/or family and/or friends believe is the right vision. If it is a work goal, create the initial goal, plan, and budget before sharing it with your boss.

COURAGE is an Inside Job. Success requires authentically telling the truth about who you are and what you really want to achieve. Then, create the goal and take action instead of waiting for the perfect time (since it’ll never come). If this is an entrepreneurial pursuit, keep your day job until you have enough income to leave.

CONVERSATIONS Must Level Up. The conversations in your head and with others must focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, not on excuses or negativity. These only get in the way of success. Talk like a business person or community advocate when sharing your vision.

For example: Stop talking about feeling unmotivated this past year. Instead, talk about the new book you are writing. Or, the new project you are leading. Or, the new effort to create a community/family garden. The possibilities are endless. Share why it’s important and why it makes a positive difference for you and others. (PS: When having these types of quality conversations, allow others to contribute.)

COMMITMENT Requires Focused Action. Telling yourself, “I’m committed,” but not taking the right focused actions, normally creates failure. If you’re truly committed, create a blueprint supported by actions that lead to your intended results! Now, follow it! Do not create busyness as your new excuse.

CONSISTENCY Each and Every Day. Be bold and audacious by taking one step forward each day. Write in your journal (for your eyes only) and share your brags daily. This will motivate you to stay in action. If you have a day job, find the time and ask for help (e.g., have your family do chores, hire someone to tutor your kids, etc.). Then, honor the time you’ve set aside.

COACHABILITY: The Secret for Success. Asking for help and being coachable starts with hiring the right coach. It makes all the difference. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners fear a coach will change things and they will no longer be in control. Get over it! Be more committed to your success than your ego!

For example, an entrepreneur loved creating new products. But she hated creating the business infrastructure required to grow. She continued to struggle with sales until she learned how to work with her coach and do the work required.

Following these 6 C’s you will achieve crazy amazing success!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags also include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you’re struggling to get unstuck, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Achieving Crazy Amazing Success from Jeannette. It’s Q4! 2022 is only three months away. Although 2021 has not been business as usual, it’s offered many new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Don’t despair if you’re still thinking about your dream! Q4 is the time to learn the 6 C’s and take focused action. Need help? (We all do from time to time.) Contact me!

Want to Become Authentic? It Starts with Self-Awareness

“It takes courage to become who you authentically are and have others listen.” Jeannette Seibly

Being a chameleon or politically correct has its benefits. But so does being authentic and self-expressed. Both can bolster career and promotion aspirations. Both can also limit achieving these very same goals!

“… authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise.” (MindTools.com)

Self-awareness is when you’re being honest with yourself and others. Most importantly, you take responsibility for what you say and do, and the impact that it has on others.

7 Reasons You May Struggle with Authenticity:

You…

  1. Need to be part of the team
  2. Fear judgment or ridicule
  3. Suppress insights and ideas, even when they are correct
  4. Are unwilling to admit a blunder or mistake
  5. Dismiss emotional feelings with rational excuses
  6. Seek others’ approval as more important than your own values
  7. Fall victim to socially approved qualities that are not your own (e.g., extrovert v introvert; agreeable v being self-focused, etc.) (ScientificAmerican.com)

As a leader, right now your team (and your career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference.

10 Tips to Develop Authenticity and Self-Awareness

1. Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks. (Yes, it’s easier said than done.) Worrying is an excuse for you to hide out and justify why you’re not sharing your ideas and experiences. When you recognize this, stop. Ask yourself, “What is my true commitment to this project and team?’ Now act authentically.

Richard worried about rocking the boat with a new idea since he was new on the team. So, he stayed silent. After the team failed to deliver the results to the customer, Richard shared his idea with his boss. His boss coached him to practice sharing his ideas in the mirror … this would help him set aside his fears and feel comfortable speaking up at team meetings.

2. Set Aside Your Ego. Dial-up your humbleness and dial down the ego when authentically sharing ideas and insights. It makes it easier for others to hear you.

3. Learn the Basics…It’s Time Well-Spent. When you learn the basics in your job, you will build inner confidence and self-expression that helps you create bold win-win-win outcomes.

4. Listen and Learn to Expand Your Beliefs. Confident people are open to listening to others’ ideas and opinions. It’s a great opportunity to stretch limitations without sacrificing your personal and professional values…or authenticity.

5. Take Responsibility for Mistakes by Apologizing. Say, “My apologies.” OR “I’m sorry.” These simple phrases when said authentically help build positive relationships.

6. Forgive and Love Yourself. When you’ve made an error in judgment, a mistake, or a blunder, it’s important to forgive yourself. The key is, what are you doing to “own it” and “make it right?”

7. Listen to Your Feelings. This is a slippery slope. Feelings and logic are both important when making decisions, but are not the same as intuition or gut reactions. Learn the difference. If it doesn’t “feel” right, keep looking for the “why.” It helps you reduce your biases and expand your beliefs.

Joan wanted to build a strong relationship with a new group of businesswomen. While she was self-expressed, her judgmental feelings about members got in the way of developing alliances. She relied on her feelings, calling them ‘intuition.’ These feelings stopped her from being part of the group.

8. Brag or Self-Promotion. Standing up and speaking up is important. But do so in a respectful manner. Also, share your own achievements in a way that guides others to pursue their dreams. Pretending you’re not proud of your achievements is being inauthentic.

9. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others, completing tasks, and engaging in other activities. This simple, but rarely used, practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful … others will feel and see the difference too!

10. Develop the Self-Respect and Courage to Do the Right Things the Right Way. Ask for help and accept it. Be a parrot and repeat yourself when people don’t understand the issue after you have reviewed your concerns with your coach.

Jon was concerned about Tom’s decision and shared this with him. But Tom dismissed the concerns as being important. So, Jon spoke with his coach to develop a better way of sharing the impact of Tom’s decision before talking with him again. Tom listened and replied, “I appreciate you speaking up. It takes courage and a positive belief in yourself.” 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your authenticity and being self-aware.  Being authentic starts with self-awareness of what you say and do and its impact on others! As a leader, right now your team (and career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference for yourself and others. Need help to discover your authenticity? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Ask for Help and Not Feel Weak When You Do

“Deep down inside each of us is a fear that ‘we’re not good enough.’ We overcome this fear by asking for help and discover, ‘we are good enough.’” Jeannette Seibly

“Asking for help is indeed not a weakness. It’s super powerful to understand when to ask.” Simon Sinek

Do you know how to ask for the help you need? Many would say, “sometimes.”

You’re not alone. No matter where you are in your career, understand all current and future leaders have the same fear and confusion. “When is the right time to ask for help?” and “How do I ask for help and not feel weak?”

The issue is, you, and many others, subscribe to the saying, “If they need help, they’ll ask.” But this is seldom true. That’s why your boss or project manager seldom asks you, “How can I help you?” They are waiting for you to ask or fear being labeled a micromanager. Either way, making assumptions doesn’t work.

When a project is late, you have a dissatisfied customer, or the boss keeps making changes, it’s time to ask for help! It’s time to stop the do-it-yourself thoughts. Otherwise, you risk poor work quality, team conflict, and team members watching from the sidelines. This bad habit will cost you future career opportunities.

Susan, a long-time project manager, knew from experience how to get the customer’s project done. She’d achieved great bragging rights. But refused to ask for her team’s help in building on past results. She didn’t trust their insights and experience. Even when team members would ask, “How can I/we help?” she ignored their questions and did it her way. But when the customer complained that Susan wasn’t listening, her boss interceded. “You need to delegate and allow others to help. If you don’t know the answer, don’t dismiss that it was unimportant. Ask the team for help! Otherwise, I’ll replace you with someone open to asking for help and accepting it.” Susan felt unappreciated after that meeting and quit her job the next day.

She failed to see the lost opportunity for leadership growth by asking for and accepting help.

Six Tips to Ask for Help and Feel Confident

1. Set Aside Your Ego. This is critical. If you’re unwilling to ask for help and listen to someone’s ideas, you will lose out on new ways to get the results that work for you and/or your project. For example, “But this is the way I was told it must be done at a recent workshop.” This is what it looks like when your ego takes over.

2. Don’t Wait Too Long or Until You’re Stuck. The sooner you anticipate needing help the better. It’s harder to ask for help once you’ve sabotaged yourself (usually unintentionally) and created a lot of excuses that now feel like facts. For example, “It’s due to the economy and COVID. Otherwise, I’d have gotten that promotion and pay increase by now.” Clearly, this person waited too long and failed to ask for help.

3. Don’t Wait for Clarity. (It seems counter-intuitive.) Instead, ask a person that is not a member of your team to act as an independent reviewer. Ask for their insights and take notes. This is NOT the time to defend and protect your own ideas of how you believe things should be done.

Share in concise statements:

  1. Goal of project or issue
  2. What has been done to-date
  3. What is slated for the future

Then, ask for help: “What do you see is missing?”

4. Be Coachable. Listen and learn from the “coach” or “mentor.” Don’t defend beliefs that can sabotage your success.

Recently an author told me that bragging was nonsense to her. She had a lot of experience and didn’t have time or the need to learn how to brag. Yet, marketing her book and self-promotion is paramount to selling copies! Instead of being coachable, she kept repeating, “I don’t see the value and I’m too busy.” Even after others chimed in, she refused their help to overcome a self-limiting belief of promoting herself for success.

5. Make Asking for Help a Habit. It helps you produce results faster and easier each time. It also helps you grow professionally and become a recognized leader when you are being coachable. For example, acting like you have it all handled, and failing to ask for help or ignoring help will derail your career.

6. Make Your Requests for Help Clear and Concise. Allow for the team member to say, “yes” or “no.” Also, include other’s ideas to make the “yes” work for everyone.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about asking for help. Asking for help is a skill everyone needs to develop to achieve desired results. If you don’t develop this habit, you will risk losing out on good ideas, intended cost-effective results, and credibility. Do you fear looking weak when you ask for help? Do you want to become successful as a leader? If you do, it’s critical to develop the habit of asking for the help you need. Ask for help now … contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Improve Hiring Results Using Job Fit Assessments

“Using the right job fit assessment can improve your hiring, coaching, training, and managing results…and your own career opportunities!” Jeannette Seibly

It’s been a difficult year for most hiring managers. Ghosting has become the norm and qualified job candidates overlook employers due to a myriad of reasons. One of the critical reasons is how employers select and use ‘job fit’ assessments during the hiring process. Right now, with so much competition, it’s more important than ever to improve your hiring results.

Q4 is fast approaching. Let’s get real and learn how to use “job fit” assessments to improve your hiring results.

First … What is Job Fit?

The most effective job fit assessment measures learning style, core behavioral traits, and occupational interests. The right assessment goes beyond the resume, application, interview, reference checks, education, work experience, and background checks.

It can also create a diverse workforce that has the key skills required to improve your hiring and business results.

It answers three important questions:

  • Can the person do the job?
  • Will the person do the job?
  • Can the person do the job successfully here?

7 Tips to Use Job Fit Assessments to Improve Results

Think Outside the Box. It’s critical to know what you’re looking for. The problem is too many are dusting off job postings and reposting! Not updating your job posting it’s crazy with all the changes that have occurred due to the pandemic. Get real: Take the time to brainstorm the results you’d like to achieve with the position. Then, add a job title and positive opportunities to entice them! Now, you’re ready to use a job fit assessment!

Select the Right Qualified Job Fit Assessment. Every assessment sales rep will tell you their assessment is the right one!* Of the 3,000+ publishers in the market today, most do not meet pre-employment requirements. Get real: Review their technical manual and compare it with the Department of Labor guidelines for pre-employment tests. Pay close attention to the number of people in the study, and the predictive validity and reliability of the results. The higher the numbers the better the hiring results.

*NOTE: While many test vendors market their tests as validated, just because the vendor says the test was validated, [this] does not mean that the test’s validation will in fact comply with the Uniform Guidelines.” (Source) Alissa Horvitz, Attorney, Roffman mentioned in June, 2016 SHRM article)

Create a Job Fit Pattern. Every qualified job fit assessment has a job fit pattern to help you determine the best fit for the job. Get real. To set up a job fit pattern, conduct a study of current talent that you’d like to hire more of OR create a new job fit pattern using a job analysis survey. This process saves time, money, and a lot of energy pre- and post-hire. If you’ve ever hired a sales rep that said all the right things, but couldn’t sell your products and services, you know the value of a good job fit pattern.

Couple Job Fit Assessment with an Honesty/Integrity Assessment. Using an honesty/integrity assessment along with a job fit assessment makes good business sense. Get real: Job fit tools have a “distortion indicator,” but do not assess for good work ethic and integrity. Qualified honesty/integrity assessments go beyond public records when conducting background checks and can reduce WC, UEC, and turnover costs.

Assess for Skills. The purpose of a skill assessment is to avoid surprises when the applicant states they have the skills required. Use these tools after assessing for job fit. Get real: Use skill assessments to determine the skill level the applicant currently has. When the person is hired, plan to provide online workshops, mentors, and coaches to improve these skill levels where needed.

Don’t Shortcut the Procedure! This happens way too often when someone says all the right things and your ‘spidey-sense’ says, “This is the one.” Then, the candidate is rushed through bypassing your company’s procedures. The problem? The candidate is rarely the right one! Get real. Train all hiring managers to follow the system and read the job fit assessment reports. Ask ALL the interview questions in the selection report for the job fit assessment. It will improve the interview and hiring results.

Don’t Overlook Challenge Areas! Many hiring managers have been embarrassed after hiring the candidate only to find the job fit assessment report indicated challenge areas. Examples include prospecting, closing, working well with a team, etc. Get real. Read the full report. Yes, read the full report! If you don’t, you will miss critical information. Remember, you cannot fix and change a person, no matter what they tell you in the interview!

Qualified job fit assessments provide in-depth insight into the whole person and their fit with the job. Choosing the most effective job fit assessment will make your job as the hiring manager much easier to attract qualified diverse talent and improve hiring results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about improving hiring success using job fit assessments. Why should you care about job fit? Qualified job fit assessments provide in-depth insight into the whole person and their fit with the job. Choosing the most effective job fit assessment will make your job as the hiring manager much easier to attract qualified diverse talent and improve hiring results.  Contact me for a confidential conversation on how to streamline the process for success.

 

How to Work with an Incompetent Project Manager

“When working with an incompetent, but well-liked project manager, you must set aside your ego, or your career will be damaged.” Jeannette Seibly

Working with an incompetent project manager is difficult at best. They can sabotage your efforts while costing everyone time and money. And, this can happen whether you’re working with a PM in your company, or volunteering to work on a community project with an incompetent PM.

Many times, the project manager’s incompetence is due to a lack of self-awareness and failure to understand the impact they have on others. They insist everything is done their way; even, when their way doesn’t work! The primary reason they are incompetent is they never learned “how” to work with a team. And, they are often resentful if you know a better way to get results.

The difficult challenge is when the PM is well-liked and has positive notoriety or a great reputation. So…it’s up to you to learn how to work with them…they don’t have to learn to work well with you!

One volunteer offered to help a not-for-profit leader work on a committee for their biggest money-maker of the year. The leader was well-liked, donated a lot of money, and had a good reputation in the community. The problem? She was an incompetent project manager. She insisted on doing everything herself and didn’t know how to delegate. When the volunteer asked, “What can I do?”, she ignored his offers. But when she failed to get the job done, she didn’t hesitate to blame him at a group meeting for not doing his share.

Remember, even though it might be easier for you to take over the PM role to get the job done, that person’s popularity and ego can hurt you and your future career opportunities when not handled with a lot of diplomacy.

5 Tips to Work Well with Incompetent Project Managers and Keep Your Job

Diplomacy. This is the #1 skill to develop and use rigorously. Being right or egotistical or gossiping about the incompetency of the PM will not get the job done. And, if you do complain it will come back to bite you! Instead, be an ally. Take the person to lunch. Ask non-threatening questions about his/her background and experience. Then, ask how the project is coming along. Offer to do one task the PM is complaining about, “to help the person out.” Get it done asap. Then, ask, “How else can I help you?”

Do It Their Way. The biggest fear most PMs have is that others won’t do it their way. It’s true…you and others won’t. But to gain their trust, do it their way the first time; then, offer only one suggestion on how it could be done faster or better in the future (e.g., using a social media strategy or using excel to track progress, etc.). Remember, only offer one suggestion at a time and then allow it to be their idea!

Bring in a Respected 3rd Party. You may not have the luxury of waiting for the incompetent project manager to “get it.” Talk with your company mentor or boss, and/or external company coach about how to best handle the issue. Remember, stick with the facts. But understand your internal mentor and/or boss may be unwilling to “rock the boat” since it could negatively impact them.

An aspiring young leader, Sara, volunteered to work with an executive, Trevor, an incompetent project manager. She knew from Trevor’s reputation he was difficult and unafraid to blame others. Sara asked her coach what to do. Armed with insights, Sara asked Trevor if she could shadow him for a day and learn about his background and job. He was flattered. Over time, the two built a good working relationship. So, when the inevitable time came when Trevor was poorly managing a customer project, Sara was able to step up. She relied on their good working relationship to have a frank, but diplomatic conversation. Trevor allowed Sara to help him and turn around the results.

Document. Be proactive, and ask at least twice, “How can I help?” OR “What would you like me to do?” Then document you did not get an answer or there was push-back. Keep it fact-based (stay away from blame). Share with your boss to keep him/her apprised, especially if it can show up on your performance appraisal.

When All Else Fails, Let It Go. If you are a highly responsible person this will be very difficult. You probably have a strong commitment or an emotional attachment to doing a good job and fulfilling the needs of the project. But when an incompetent project manager refuses to budge, you have to step back. Especially if no one is willing to help facilitate the outcome. If you don’t, you will develop a bad reputation for “not working well with others.” (Ironic, isn’t it?)

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about working with an incompetent project manager. Always remember, you get to be right or you get to be effective. Being right will be short-lived. Being effective can build a positive and long-lasting reputation with most people, including incompetent project managers. Be patient. It takes time. But in the long run, you will save time, money, and energy … and your career. If you are frustrated and want to yell at an incompetent PM, FIRST…before doing anything…contact me for a confidential conversation. It’ll save your career!

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

“Excellent facilitation skills are often overlooked as essential for great leadership.” Jeannette Seibly

I have coached leaders on conflict resolution, meeting strategies, and project management skills. But the most important skill is facilitating teams. These skills are not hard to use and not hard to learn. Using them will achieve dynamic results every time.

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

Most leaders have many meetings to attend and projects to manage. Your success as a leader is demonstrated by your ability to facilitate these and achieve on-time and within budget results, while having team members feel valued. Developing these skills increases your effectiveness and productivity while saving time!

How to Facilitate for Dynamic Results

  • Hear from Everyone. Yes! I know that can be a scary thought. You may fear it’s too time-consuming to have everyone share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. But consider…it’s pay now or pay later. The reality is, if you don’t give everyone a chance to voice their ideas and concerns, they will express themselves outside the meeting. This will cause disruptions with other teams and/or customers and cost you time, money, and good working relationships.
  • Manage the Outspoken Know-It-Alls. Some team members will share their ideas and concerns with little or no encouragement. But good facilitators encourage everyone to express themselves, while managing the know-it-alls who will talk over everyone and dismiss other’s ideas. Doing this shows you value and respect all ideas.
  • Develop Their Critical Thinking Skills. It’s important when team members hit a wall (and they will) that they gain the confidence to discover the answers. Good facilitators ask questions. Share stories. And, encourage team members to deep-dive below the media headlines for the correct answers. Use feedback (positive and negative) and coaching to encourage them to do the work.
  • Encourage Team Building and Inclusion. Cliques can be the downfall of any project or team effort. When these occur, pair-up one of the clique members with the person they disagree with. Assign the pair an issue or task to complete together. Remember, don’t encourage lone rangers to resolve team challenges on their own.
  • Guide Others to Resolve Conflict. The #1 reason teams fail is by ignoring or mismanaging conflict. Step up and facilitate win-win-win solutions. Remember, team conflict can open up new insights previously overlooked when facilitated effectively.
  • Be the Coach that Encourages Others. As the coach, your job is to guide team members to learn and develop their technical and people skills. A great way to help individual team members build confidence is to share with the person 1 or 2 good things s/he does. For example, “I find you have great listening skills and I appreciate you ensuring everyone has a chance to share. Thank you.”

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your facilitation skills. All good leaders have learned the value of and developed excellent facilitation skills. These skills save time, value others, and ensure the achievement of intended results. If you are stuck and don’t know how to use facilitation skills to work with and through others, contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Turn Negative Feedback into a Positive Learning Experience

“Successful leaders listen to negative feedback and turn it into a learning opportunity. When they don’t, they lose the respect of and the ability to lead their teams.” Jeannette Seibly

No one likes to hear negative feedback about themselves. It feels demotivating. But negative feedback can turn into a positive experience when you listen to learn and improve your productivity.

When you welcome all types of feedback, you will get promoted faster, make more money, and be on the fast track for new opportunities. It also builds stronger relationships with team members, management, and customers.

9 Tips to Turn ALL Feedback into Success

1. Listen with Intention. If you listen with the intention of learning, you will keep your mind open to hearing what is said. The key is to avoid debating who’s right and who’s wrong; instead, ask clarifying questions.

2. Let Go of the Past! When you hang on to negative feedback, you will get stuck. Immediately after receiving negative feedback, talk with your executive coach and/or mentor to turn negative feedback into a positive learning experience. Then, create a plan of action and take the first step within 24 hours.

A VP told a young manager that “…he was stupid for making such a suggestion…that he didn’t know what he was talking about.” When a director overheard the conversation, he coached the young manager on how to learn from the negative feedback. The young manager took the coaching and got into action. He was able to turn the relationship with the VP into a positive one and was promoted six months later.

3. Remember, It’s Not Personal. This can be hard to believe when you receive negative feedback. If you’ve lost out on an opportunity or promotion, schedule a 1:1 meeting. Ask, “What is the most important thing I can learn from not getting this job (or promotion)?” Remember, you may have the skills and experience, but the opportunity didn’t work out for you at this time. Learn from it and be ready for the next opportunity.

4. Release Emotional Attachments. Like many people, you love doing things your own way. You rely on your own ideas and sometimes fail to welcome or take into consideration your team’s opinions. When you blow off negative feedback and fail to learn from it, your team and results will suffer. Eventually, your career will be sidelined.

5. Stay Away from Always and Never Statements. When receiving (or giving) negative feedback, do not use these triggering words! “I’m always on time.” “I would never say that!”

6. Stop Making It Mean Too Much! When receiving negative feedback about a goal, work effort, or interaction, don’t hear it as criticism. (Yes, it can be difficult to do.) Instead, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Remember, negative feedback is about a specific issue, not about you as a whole person!

7. Use a Job Fit Assessment to Clarify “Why.” When someone says you are not a good fit for a job, use a job-fit assessment and work with an executive coach to find out why. You may find that financial planning, sales, and/or customer service jobs do not fit your strengths! It’ll be the best money you ever spent and can save you countless disappointments in the future!

8. Get Your Brag On! When you learn how to brag or promote yourself, it is a huge confidence booster. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the negative feedback with everyone that’ll listen! Instead, share your “brags” to showcase your coachability to take feedback and use it.

9. Develop Mindful Resilience. Don’t allow negative feedback to sabotage your self-care. Take positive actions for your professional development by turning your internal monologues into dialogues with your coach and/or mentor.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about turning negative feedback into positive learning experiences. Paying attention and listening to ALL feedback is critical for professional growth. If you only listen to the positive, you’ll lose the opportunity to learn the truth! If you hate receiving any type of feedback, it’s time to get over it before you are bypassed for a promotion or pay increase! Contact me for a confidential conversation.