Are You a Defensive Leader?

https://seibco.com/defensive-leader/

Many leaders and bosses today run away from unsolicited feedback, helpful criticism, and being told they failed or made a mistake. Instead of listening and learning, they become defensive by justifying or excusing their behaviors. This bad habit makes it challenging to have conversations for improvement and to create positive outcomes for situations or relationships.

When Collette received negative feedback from her male co-workers, she seethed underneath but pretended to handle it well. After all, she knew her profession better than they did. To feel better about herself, she shared her concerns with Pam, a female co-worker in a different department. The conversation went well until Pam asked for positive support from Collette about her issue. Collette due to her need to feel superior blamed Pam for the problem instead of offering sound advice.

Defensive leaders often feel the need to hurt others to feel superior, which limits their ability to address their own insecurities and challenges.

Do you become defensive when you have:

  • Waited too long to address issues?
  • Relied on facts that others dispute?
  • Taken comments personally, even when they are meant as compliments?
  • Refused to work with a coach or mentor, fearing they will only tell you what you are doing wrong?
  • Failed to set expectations, which includes policies and procedures?
  • Blamed others for wasting time offering new ideas or solutions you don’t understand?

While leaders and bosses can be level-headed, emotionally intelligent, and good listeners, when feedback is offered, these same people can become defensive by blaming others, creating a myriad of excuses, and overreacting (sometimes for hours and days).

Consider that your defensiveness as a leader/boss will derail your career, especially when your inability to hear what you don’t want to hear costs the company customers, top talent, and required results.

Tips to Overcome Being Defensive

First, Calm Down. Your effectiveness is limited when you are snarky or defending what you’ve done or not done. Breathe and become mindful of what triggered your reaction. Then, talk with a trusted confidant to learn how to move forward. (HINT: When listening, stay away from “Yeah, but!”)

Work with An Executive Coach. Many defensive leaders and bosses fail to hire a coach. Why? They believe their defensive reactions are reasonable and that a coach will tell them they can control and manage their emotional intelligence. The right coach will provide objective data to help address “why” and solutions to improve your working relationships. Also, consider hiring a therapist to work through the feelings that erupt when team members, bosses, or customers confront and upset you.

Use the What Worked? / What Didn’t Work? Exercise. Take time to complete this exercise to gain insights into the true issue. It clarifies what happened and diminishes your emotional reactions (and attachments) so you can address the facts. Now, have a conversation to resolve the mistake, failure, or conflict.

Ask for Actionable Feedback. It can be unpleasant when people offer feedback that is too general or based on others’ feelings. Ask for specific facts so you can learn what the actual issue is. This makes it easier to hear others’ concerns and to know what to do in the future.

Ask Open-Ended Questions. When feeling confronted, ask for their side of the issue or upset. Listen. Stick with the facts and not your or their emotional reactions, which can and does change with each telling of the story.

Don’t Respond to Emails/Texts. Sadly, too many people today lack the communication skills necessary to share their concerns in a helpful manner. Don’t interact in an email or text (emojis and AI cannot address the real issues). Instead, schedule a 1:1 conversation and ask questions. Listen and be open to their point of view. (Remember, you can agree to disagree.)

Don’t Threaten or Call Others Liars. STOP when you want to lash out at others to express your anger! Leave the situation and talk with your coach, boss, or human resources rep to address the problem.

What Do You Do to Move Forward? Apologize. Understand trust has been broken and it may take a long time to regain trust with your bosses, team members, or clients. If your defensiveness continues, it’s time to seek a different job. Being in the wrong job or working in a poorly run company is stressful. Act now to avoid YOU gaining a bad reputation.

©Jeannette Seibly 2024  All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of practical experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select® Partner for over 32 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about these state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tools or how to coach and manage your people to achieve incredible results.

A note from Jeannette: Due to the many demands on leaders/bosses today, many are defensive when offered coaching or essential feedback. This reaction will limit career opportunities and the ability for others to work with you. It’s time to get objective input via the PXT Select Leadership Report! This invaluable assessment will provide critical insights for your growth and improvement! Let’s talk now — before it’s too late. Contact me!

Now is the time to get into focused action! Are there days you dread doing what is needed to manage your people, projects, and team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has those days! But continuing to hide behind excuses only hurts you and your future promotability. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully – this includes getting you out of the way and working with and through people effectively to achieve the results required. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Do You Focus on Workability?

“Workability in a project, situation, or relationship allows for opportunities to achieve intended results.” Jeannette Seibly

Today, our focus often gravitates towards the ‘ideal’ of our goals and dreams. However, we overlook the crucial element of workability and the practicality required to achieve them. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment, let’s focus on working smarter, not harder – step-by-step.

All leaders and bosses today are busy pursuing their goals and the goals of their business or company. However, when we become too fixated on the big picture, the crucial details often get overlooked. This can lead to avoidable problems that hinder our progress and even damage our reputation.

Tips to Create Workability

  1. It Requires a Team. Don’t try to do what you don’t do well. Hiring the right team is essential to achieving the desired results. It starts with following a strategic job fit system to ensure the right person is in the right position on the team!
  2. Honor Financial Obligations. Years ago, I met a self-proclaimed enlightened business owner who claimed he had a million-dollar business. But he kept his financials in a shoebox. Hiding important details will hurt you and have others question your credibility. Schedule time weekly to keep your A/R, A/P, and taxes up-to-date and paid. Remember, the IRS doesn’t care about your excuses.
  3. Trust Others to Get the Work Done. Complaining about how others do their work limits creativity and innovation; it does not make a difference in achieving results. #1—Stop micromanaging since you’ve not done the work and don’t know the details involved. #2—Hire for job fit to ensure they have the interest and willingness to do the work as it needs to be done.
  4. Honor Feedback. Instead of being defensive when unsolicited comments are made, lean in and learn more.
  5. Focus on Integrity. Cutting corners, overlooking quality concerns, not proofing documents, and ignoring safety precautions will get you in trouble and hinder workability. This is because your team has to work around you, often with less-than-stellar results. For example, reading the fine print is required, and having a good business attorney review documents before signing them is essential!
  6. Hire a Coach. I know, I say this often! “Every successful leader has a coach!” The right coach guides you through the details and offers alternatives, regardless of your feelings. The coach also helps you organize your goals, so you have time to live a healthy lifestyle simultaneously.
  7. Express Gratitude. Appreciate what you have and express it instead of focusing on what you don’t. This will make you a more accessible leader and person to work and live with! Your family and employees will appreciate this more than you imagine… along with your cat and dog!
  8. Stay Connected. Schedule 1:1 and group time with the people in your life. Put away electronics, and don’t allow other distractions to get in the way. Remember, there will always be high and low points in life. Your relationships will help you through both if you prioritize the time now.

©Jeannette Seibly 2022-2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of practical experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select® Partner for over 32 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about these state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tools or how to coach and manage your people to achieve incredible results.

A note from Jeannette: Due to the many demands on leaders and bosses today, it’s important to create a workplace culture (home and office) of workability. It supports achieving goals faster and more effectively. Are you having challenges getting everyone on the same page? Let’s talk now—before it’s too late. Contact me!

Now is the time to get into focused action! Are there days you dread doing what is needed to manage your people, projects, and team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has those days! But continuing to hide behind excuses only hurts you and your future promotability. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully – this includes getting you out of the way and working with and through people effectively to achieve the results required. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

This book (“Hire Amazing Employees“) by Nancy Schick, NY Employment Attorney and Mediator, can help you improve your hiring process. I met Jeannette Seibly a few months ago In this Together Round Table, where I also learned about her book, Hire Amazing Employees. Since my clients frequently struggle with this task, I bought myself a copy and gave several as gifts. The book contains many helpful tips for avoiding the impact of hiring errors. Read the full testimonial here.

Are You Using Your Talents Effectively?

“Why does 30 to 40 years seem like a long time to work? Because you are not working in a job or career that supports your natural talents.” Jeanette Seibly

Many would say, “sort of.” Or, “I guess.” Or, “I don’t know.”

The challenge? Many people today are unaware of their talents, gifts, and natural abilities! This includes everyone at every level in a business, nonprofit, entrepreneurship, or other workplace.

Unfortunately, most people fail to recognize and develop the skills and strengths necessary to support their natural talents. Instead, too many people waste time wishing for, being frustrated by, and being jealous of others’ talents.

If they spent that time learning about their own talents, they wouldn’t have to spend money on coaching and training to support goals that don’t honor their talents (e.g., 1099 employee v. W2 employee). The result? They feel like failures instead of winners!

Talents are natural abilities that someone is born with, while skills are learned abilities that come from practice and experience. Upwork

A financial planner worked hard to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and accomplished her goal. She commented, “If someone studied that hard to become a CFP, they must be in the right job.”

Sadly, no. People can achieve degrees and certifications because they must keep their jobs or be eligible for promotions. Or it is due to parental or others’ expectations that they do so. Or because their friends or people on social media said it was the best career choice! (It may have been for that person – but not for you.)

The truth is if you want to grow in your career and life, focus on developing your unique talents, gifts, and strengths to pursue your goals. But first, ensure the goals you are pursuing honor you!

How to Honor Your Talents

It’s essential to identify your natural talents and strengths through:

Self-Reflection: Ask yourself what activities, tasks, projects, classes, and interactions give you joy and satisfaction. They usually feel engaging and fulfilling, and time passes very quickly. You want more of them.

Example: If you love crafting, gardening, or coding, ensure your job or hobbies include a creative outlet!

Feedback from Others: Talk to friends, family, co-workers, mentors, and bosses who know you well. They can provide insights into your strengths and talents that you might need to be made aware of. But don’t buy into everything they tell you since their advice may be more of a reflection of how they achieved their success.

Example: Years ago, a CFO asked if I would work for him in his department. I said, “Thank you, no.” While I have excellent math skills, crunching financials wouldn’t use my talents or support my interests. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s the career path for you.

Job Fit Assessment:

  1. Take a job-fit assessment that provides objective data: occupational interests, thinking style, and core behaviors.
  2. Review your strengths with an executive coach.
  3. Beware of myths that often get in the way of recognizing your talents.

Examples of Myths:

  • Buying a franchise is easy and guarantees you success. The reality? Too many people buy a franchise and fail. Why? They are uncoachable and think they know how to run a well-established brand better! (Hint: Their thinking style, need to be creative, and/or do it their way got in the way.)
  • I’m good at math, so I should be an accountant, engineer, or financial planner. Too many people believe this, and what is often overlooked is that they don’t have the interest to do that type of work. (Hint: There are so many occupations that require logical thinking and the ability to use numbers and metrics; don’t narrow your options!)
  • I’d love my job if I had the right boss. That is categorically incorrect! (Hint: If you don’t enjoy your job responsibilities and fail to use your talents, it won’t matter who your boss is or how much you like them.)

Example of Honoring Your Talent: A woman worked hard to graduate as an engineer because her parents and teachers believed it was “the right career” for her. When she received her degree and got her job, she quit two months later. In a moment of insight, she realized she needed to follow her true passion and got a position in human resources where she could work with people daily.

Recognizing Moments of Being in the Zone: Reflect on times when you’ve been so involved in an activity that you lost track of time. These moments can indicate a natural talent, skill, and interest. Look specifically at what you enjoy about the task or project. What is the best way to incorporate this into your current or future job aspirations?

Example: Auto, bike, or computer repair. Working with your hands is a valued talent that pays very well.

Exploring Your Passions: Your passions can often lead you to your natural talents. Think about what excites you and how you can pursue those interests further. Talking with a career coach or executive coach can also be very helpful.

Example: You are great at attracting money for your favorite animal shelter. What would it take to do this full-time or in other nonprofits?

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of practical experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select® Partner for over 32 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about these state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tools or how to coach and manage your people to achieve incredible results.

A note from Jeannette: Are you using your natural talents, gifts, and strengths effectively? Finding work that honors your talents is important to enjoying your job! If you’re frustrated or confused about how to discover your talents, let’s talk. I have 31+ years of guiding people to uncover and pursue their talents, gifts, and strengths. Contact me now!

It’s time to talk it out! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes during 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

This book (“Hire Amazing Employees”) can help you improve your hiring process, by Nancy Schick, NY Employment Attorney and Mediator. I met Jeannette Seibly a few months ago In this Together Round Table, where I also learned about her book, Hire Amazing Employees. Since my clients frequently struggle with this task, I bought myself a copy and gave several as gifts. The book contains many helpful tips for avoiding the impact of hiring errors. Read the full testimonial here.

Unleash Your Inner Leader

“Stop waiting for the company to provide you opportunities to develop your leadership opportunities – unleash your inner leader now.” Jeannette Seibly

Unleashing your inner leader requires taking the initiative to prepare your skills for professional and leadership growth. It’s not about waiting until you have the job title—it’s about preparing yourself in advance for new job responsibilities and accountabilities so you are ready when they become available.

The problem? Most future leaders (and bosses) are waiting for their employers to offer these opportunities. However, today, companies are not providing training and opportunities for leaders to develop since their practices are often outdated. As a result, their future leaders (and bosses) are not ready for today’s challenges!

To be ready and not overlooked for the next job promotion or opportunity, it’s up to YOU to take the initiative NOW by discovering and unleashing your inner leader.

How can you lead without a leadership title and develop the essential traits now?

Tips to Prepare as a Future Leader

  1. Focus on Communication:
    • Communication skills are #1 and required for advancement.
    • Communication includes listening, speaking, and writing.
    • Take classes and workshops online and in person.
    • Remember, actual development happens on the job and working through miscommunication, microaggressions, and other communication snafus. (Note: You will make mistakes – how you handle them makes all the difference.)
    • Your word choice matters. Learn what company and industry jargon really means and use it appropriately.
    • Talk with people, not at This starts by using words or phrases they readily understand, not what your ego believes everyone should already know.
    • Learn how to speak up in a way that influences others and has them listen. It starts by building on others’ thoughts and ideas, not just yours.
  2. Master Your Competencies and Confidence:
    • Hire a Coach. You will make mistakes! Trying to hide them or pretend they don’t matter makes it more difficult for others to follow you. Using the do-it-yourself way of excusing the mistake or not getting to the core ensures it will happen again (and again!). Remember, your ability to be coachable and work through difficult situations and working relationships will make or break your career choices.
    • Select a Mentor. A company and an industry mentor can help you understand current issues and how to address them.
    • Become an Influencer. Many believe you are ready for the next job when you’ve learned the technical skills of their current one (e.g., financial, technology, operations). This belief is false. Often overlooked is that advancement to management and executive levels requires the ability to influence by using good interpersonal, decision-making, and emotional intelligence skills.
    • Actively Participate in Classes and Workshops. Then, use these skills appropriately each day by working with your coach, mentor, and boss.
    • Address Strengths and Weaknesses: Taking an assessment that reflects how you want others to see you provides little value regarding your true strengths and weaknesses. Use objective job-fit assessments to address your “true” thinking, behavioral, and occupational interests. Also, use a 360-degree feedback assessment to clarify your impact on others. Objectivity is key! Professionally developed tools provide the science (e.g., predictive validity), confidentiality, and insights to help you grow and unleash your inner leader.
    • Growth is a Process. You will feel uncomfortable developing your leadership and boss muscles. Learn to handle this by immersing yourself in an issue and overcoming your fears. For example, most bosses fear resolving team conflict for win-win-win results. Work with your coach, and talk with your boss and human resources. Now, you’re prepared to fix it.
  3. Broaden Your Awareness:
    • Get Involved in Work, Customer, and Corporate Teams. These experiences expand your awareness and improve your decisions. But working in any group will require understanding the difference between “group think” (going along to get along with others) versus “taking a stand” for win-win-win decisions. Use your coach and mentor to understand the differences in each
    • Actively Participate in Trade or Professional Associations. Putting yourself on a committee or board position can give you leadership experiences and connections you cannot get within your company. Remember, your reputation will precede you – so honor your word and make good decisions. They will matter.
  4. Review Progress Regularly:
    • Stay Consistent. When mistakes or failures happen (and they will), use a well-developed system to handle the grief, humiliation, or other feelings that naturally arise. Self-care, team care, and a professional approach with integrity and responsibility are essential traits for influential leaders.
    • Don’t Assume Your Promotion Equates to Being on the Right Track. While it’s essential to be agile and flexible, it’s important not to take on promotions that don’t fit or support you. For example, many people take on being a boss of people without any interest in working 24/7 with their employees. The problem? Your assumption that a promotion is developing your inner leader can be false. As a result, those that fail have their careers sidetracked. Ask for help if you find yourself in the wrong position. Then, seek different career options to continue developing your leadership skills.

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.

A note from Jeannette: Are you ready to be a future leader in your company or organization? Too often, we wait for the company to provide the help and guidance required. Unfortunately, many companies today do a poor job of providing the skills and tools that make a positive difference in leadership development. Want to tap into my 31+ years of experience in developing influential leaders and bosses? Contact me now with your questions!

It’s time to unleash your inner leader! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Are You Driving Your Results?

“Bosses and leaders need to be in the driver’s seat to produce intended results, not in the back seat criticizing everyone.” Jeannette Seibly

Driving your results requires being in the driver’s seat – not in the back seat or passenger seat criticizing other’s efforts. When bosses or leaders are riding in the back seat, they lose their inner power, create mischief, and limit the results possible for their teams and customers.

Driving your results creates control, success, and recognition for you and your team.

Driving results does not mean dismissing your team’s ideas or the boss, management team, or board’s directives.

It’s learning to be flexible and resilient while developing decisive, confident, and solution-oriented approaches. These approaches occur when you learn how to work with and through others when driving over smooth and inevitable rough terrain to achieve intended results!

Shifting into The Drivers Seat and Achieving Results

  1. Responsibility and Accountability. Take time to write down results from the past year (or any time period), “What Worked?/What Didn’t Work?” Be specific about your successes and failures. All successful bosses and leaders make mistakes – own them! Now, create Brags! for your accomplishments. Then, have your team do the same work and share. These exercises will honor the job done and lessons learned and bolster you and your team’s confidence that together, you can drive the results required.
  1. Create What’s Next and Stay Out of the Trap. Instead of attempting to replicate what worked the last time, play the “What if …” game. “What if we could achieve this new result? What would it require?” Stay out of the trap of buying into each other’s fears. When they arise (and they will), have the person name the fear (“I fear the customer will be angry about this change in the project.”). Now, write down at least 5 ways it could work! (e.g., “I could ask my boss to talk with the client.”)
  1. Now, Write Down the New Stretch Goals! Develop them with the team. Ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Talk with the nay-sayers to see what needs to be reassessed or is being ignored. Don’t forget to get buy-in from your boss, other teams, and customers that the changes will impact.
  1. Hire an Experienced Executive Coach. Since you’re now in the driver’s seat, select the right coach for your leadership and business growth and your team. Remember, focus on the coach’s experience and ability to work with different types of people and produce intended results since no two teams will operate similarly. 
  1. Use a Qualified Job Fit Assessment. It’s a highly effective way to distinguish differences between team members and to work effectively with them. These high-quality tools include long-term predictive validity needed to assess where you’re at today (the real you) and where you and your team members will be during the next year or so. These tools also focus on who you are (your natural thinking, core behaviors, and true occupational interests) and not how you want to be seen (more of the back-seat way of thinking). For example, selecting someone to handle the budget who hates working with numbers will only alienate others on the team, especially if you’re going over budget and the customer refuses to pay the additional costs!
  1. Do the Real Work! Real work is required (and experience, too) to drive the intended results. You can acquire the experience if you’re taking focused actions, being coachable, and driving the results (not attempting to hitch a ride in someone else’s vehicle)! Driving for results means asking for status reports, listening for actual work done, being open to new initiatives, and being willing to provide the resources needed. Remember, No Focused Action = No Intended Results! Stop settling for good enough (aka mediocrity), which is more of the back-seat way of thinking.

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.

A note from Jeannette: Do you want great results from your team? Then, it would be best if you got in the driver’s seat to achieve the intended results. Want to tap into my 31++ years of experience? Contact me now with your questions!

It’s time to get honest and genuine! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Are Your Future Bosses and Leaders Ready to Lead the Way?

“Preparation is the key to success – that includes developing your team’s talent as future leaders too!” Jeannette Seibly

“Leader and manager development” is at the top of the list of priorities for HR leaders during 2024, according to Gartner’s annual HR Priorities survey.

According to the survey, here are several of the factors driving this priority:

  • Productivity anxiety
  • Employee conflict
  • Mutual distrust between employees and bosses
  • Pressure for operational proficiency

Also:

  • Bosses (managers) are overwhelmed by the growth of job responsibilities
  • Bosses (managers) are poorly equipped to lead change

The bottom line – here are the mistakes we often make:

  • We wait until the new leader or boss has been given the job title before we provide the tools and training required to do the job. But that is not enough!
  • We assume there is no difference between being a top performer versus being the boss. But leveling up and the added responsibilities will cause failure. (Level up = emotional intelligence, flexibility, and resilience to name a few).
  • We subscribe to the traditional sink or swim mentality of letting them figure out their new job on their own! (Yes, there are still employers that rely on this poor practice.) We only intervene when it’s necessary to put the new leader or boss on a performance improvement plan or fire them if there is too much turnover, conflict, or other nefarious outcomes!

All of these costly mistakes ensure loss of top talent and customers, while negatively impacting business revenues and results.

How to Prepare Future Leaders and Bosses

Start with:

Develop a Career Pathway.

  • What are the person’s primary interests and goals?
  • How can they achieve these in your workplace culture?
  • What type of training and education is required to meet the company and the person’s goals?

Map out the career pathway in writing and provide the dollars necessary. Remember, not all people should be or want to be bosses or managers of people to move up in the company. This often-overlooked issue can be very expensive when the person fails and leaves the company.  All their knowledge, experience, and other attributes go with them! And, your reputation as an employer suffers too. Create different career ladders and opportunities for employee growth. This should include exposure to cross-training and other customer related opportunities.

Use Valid and Reliable Job-Fit Assessments. It’s important to hire and promote based on job fit. Another benefit of using objective data and predictive validity (the ability to measurement or predict future performance in a job) is the ability to change the job responsibilities to fit the incumbent’s thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests! Some job-fit assessments also provide leadership reports with objective data and insights into strengths and areas for development. Remember, people today refuse to work in jobs that don’t reflect their interests and do not provide perceived value to advance them on their career pathway!

Now, Provide Hands-On Training and Development:

Build Expertise. While providing ongoing leadership and management training is important, it’s even more important that they are given opportunities to use the training and develop those skills!

Example: “1 in 5 managers would prefer not being people managers.” Yet, guiding them to learn how to work with and through other people is required in most jobs. But managing people working on projects is different than managing people on a daily basis.

Ideas for development include: leading team projects, working on a corporate team project, being on boards for non-profits and for-profits too, volunteering, etc. The key is to ensure they are actively participating and not just observing!

Proficiency with Technology. Technology and innovation are here to stay! It’s important future leaders and bosses develop an entrepreneurial spirit or curiosity to think like a business leader and drive needed change. If they don’t have the authentic curiosity or interest in technology or business, your company and customers will suffer.

Provide Talent Mobility. Post jobs and allow employees to be considered for them. This provides incentives for them to expand their skills and knowledge – always critical components to improving retention, revenues, and results! Remember to use a strategic job fit selection system for internal job transfers and promotions. Have candidates interview for the job as if they were new job candidates. Also, review their job-fit assessment results and training and education to-date.

Ask these types of questions (these are offered to get you thinking):

  • What was your most recent mistake? What did you do to fix it? What did you learn from it? (Listen for: coachability, awareness)
  • How have you used xxx (pick one or two new skills) effectively? How do you know you were using it effectively? (Listen for: ability to adapt, be flexible, and use skill appropriately)

Also, conduct internal reference checks. Example: True story – a young man was promoted by his boss because of the young man’s likability. The problem? He wasn’t courteous or likable by his co-workers and customers(!) – his overconfidence and ego got in the way too often!  

Use Objective 360-Degree Feedback Assessments. Many companies use internally designed 360-feedback questionnaires. Most of these create a lot of employee apprehension rather than provide valid insights for bosses and leaders. The main reason? There is no objective measurement being used! Pay now or pay later when using internally designed 360-degree tools versus professionally validated assessments.

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.

A note from Jeannette: Are your leaders and managers (bosses) ready to lead? Are they comfortable with change? Do they have the interests to develop the skills and competencies required? Want to tap into my 31++ years of experience of developing effective leaders and bosses? Contact me now with your questions!

It’s time to get honest and genuine! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Bosses and Leaders Need to Develop Conflict Resolution Skills

“Resolving conflicts between employees and teams is a top 2024 challenge for bosses and leaders today – but they are not ready!” Jeannette Seibly

Many bosses and leaders today need to focus on conflict resolution between individuals or teams more so than ever. But they are not ready. (Gartner Research) It no longer works (and never did) to rely on “Do as I say.” Or ignore conflicts and difficult employees while hoping the issue will take care of itself. While some will fire the perceived offender, this doesn’t resolve the real issue since it takes more than one person to create conflict.

Unresolved conflict is like a virus – it spreads invisibly into everything we do – and causes top talent and customers to leave!

Reasons conflict resolution has become a top issue during 2024 for bosses and leaders:

Employees are:

  • Taking comments and situations personally
  • Unaware of the negative impact they have when not doing their work as required
  • Unwilling to value the facts over gossip, lies, and innuendos
  • Upset when they feel unfairly treated (I’m right, and they’re wrong)

Boss and Leaders lack the following:

  • Willingness to be effective and instead focus on likability (not rocking the boat)
  • Ability to create win-win-win results (I’m the boss, and I’ll do it my way)
  • Skills or interests to get to the core of the real issue(s)
  • Objectivity is required, and instead, listen to the “loudest” or “favored” person or group
  • Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills are required to effectively manage brainstorming sessions and allow for differing opinions to create new solutions – when this is not managed effectively, it is experienced as conflict

Addressing conflicts requires getting to the core upset or issue. This can be difficult due to the various communication styles and skills in today’s workplace. Additionally, perceptions of how co-workers, bosses, and customers should talk and behave are traditionally handed down through family cultures, communities, and religious beliefs.

The solution? Everything can be resolved through communication. Often, you are unwilling to talk it out and resolve conflicts because you dismiss other’s thoughts and feelings as unimportant.

Three Key Communication Skills

Listening Skills. Focus on listening, being present, and hearing what others are saying. Listening takes awareness and lots of practice. It requires being present during conversations and not letting your mind wander. It’s especially difficult when you cite, “I’m too busy,” and fail to listen!

Remember, the longer a conflict goes on, the more mischief, factionalism, and other costly challenges occur (offsprings of the original issue). It’s important to unravel the core problems before you move forward. These conflicts do NOT go away on their own without working through the facts.

It’s up to you as the boss and leader to exemplify the skills required! To improve listening and reduce misinterpretations during meetings (a significant source of conflicts), a good place to start is with no “cell phones” allowed during meetings! Hold your supervisors, managers, and management team accountable and responsible for doing the same! Employees will follow your lead.

Speaking Skills. Many employees have limited speaking skills in the workplace for various reasons (e.g., different primary languages, fear of voicing their ideas, and remote and hybrid work concerns). Learn to speak slowly and carefully and engage all team members during meetings, virtually and onsite. Keep your word choice simple and be able to use synonyms (similar words and phrases) to help employees and team members understand what you’re saying.

Stay away from sound bites or using jargon. When explaining decisions you’ve made, be prepared to answer questions without diminishing any question as unimportant. When you humiliate one team member, others will side with them — causing instant conflict.

Influential leaders know that miscommunication is one of the top reasons for employee conflicts today! The words you choose and whether or not you listen make a big difference in causing or managing conflict. It takes less time to ensure everyone is on the same page today than to deal with tomorrow’s conflict.

Non-Verbal Gestures. While verbal and written skills are essential, non-verbal skills account for 80 percent or more of what people hear (e.g., tone of voice, hand gestures, head nods). Given that interpretations of gestures are often based on family and community cultures, one gesture may mean one thing to one person and something different to another. Take the time to talk through these differences. It’s time to listen and learn.

Three Key Solutions to Diminish Conflict

Hire Yourself an Executive Coach. Many leadership blind spots can create conflicts. Address them as they occur and work through them. You’ll become a more decisive leader and boss.

Training and Development. To reduce conflicts, close the communication gaps. This requires investing money to create onsite workshops and video training libraries. Hold everyone accountable for developing and using these skills—especially all leaders, bosses, and supervisors.

Use a Qualified Job Fit Assessment. How do qualified job fit assessments reduce conflicts and improve communication? They help team members understand objective differences in each other. They also provide a foundation for those difficult conversations about difficulties experienced when working with each other. For example, with objective data, employees are less defensive about traits that impede team progress (e.g., a hyperactive employee attempting to work with an employee who fails to meet deadlines).

Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.

A note from Jeannette: Conflict resolution has become one of the top 2024 issues bosses and leaders must address! But many are not ready to do so for a variety of reasons … and I’ve seen too many to count. Want to tap into my 31++ years of experience? Contact me now with your questions!

It’s time to get honest and genuine! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Hiring for Likability Causes Company Results to Suffer

“Likable job candidates are easier to hire but harder to fire.” Jeannette Seibly

Why is it so easy to hire based on “likability?”

Job candidates:

  • Are positive
  • Listen to what you are saying
  • Smile a lot

The problem?

  • They tell you what you want to hear
  • You fail to ask job-related questions
  • You don’t listen to their actual responses
  • You fear deep-diving into their actual skills and responses
  • All because you like them

The results?

  • Customers are upset they have another person to train on your behalf
  • The new “likable” employee has little to no interest in doing the job as it needs to be done (e.g., the employee lacks the initiative to get answers the customer needs)
  • The hiring boss waits too long to let the person go — in the meantime, the bottom-line results suffer due to loss of customers and top talent (again)

In a recent video, a GenZer claimed that bosses should hire based mostly on someone’s likability. The problem? Most companies have been doing that for decades. Now, turnover and poor job fit are at an all-time high since we have negated the importance of job fit, an important indicator of job success.

A new employee was hired to train employees in an insurance agency — the hiring boss liked her spunk and positivity. But she had no experience working in an agency, having previously worked in the benefits division of a large company. The current employees, who had also applied for the job, were now expected to train the trainer. The new trainer lasted 60 days. While everyone felt she was “likable,” the truth was that she was ineffective in training people to succeed in their jobs due to her lack of hands-on experience and poor job fit. (She worked better in a large corporate setting.)

These Are the Pitfalls When Hiring for Likability

Hiring too quickly. On average, many hiring bosses and leaders make a “yes” or “no” decision within 4.3 minutes of meeting the job candidate based on likability and other biases. For example: “It’s unusual for job applicants to like the color orange – I love orange too.” OR “They attended the same college I did.”). Note: Yes! These situations happen all too often and have no objective basis for job fit!

Relying on fragments of information. Savvy job candidates are likable and are good at telling hiring bosses what they want to hear. Since the hiring boss feels good about the person, s/he fails to ask job-related questions and deep dive to determine if the person has the required work experience. As a result, many hiring managers make decisions based on fragments of information instead of obtaining complete objective data.

Failing to admit we are wrong. When a person is likable, many hiring bosses will defend the job candidate even with data that shows they are not a good fit for the job (e.g., hiring accountants with excellent math skills but no interest in using them). Why? Once we’ve made up our minds, it’s difficult for us to change and admit we were wrong (again). Remember, this happens way too often… you cannot change a person’s fit with the job, but you can change the job to fit the person. Examples: People may learn the skills but lack the interest in using these skills effectively. OR, Former employees from large corporations find it difficult to work in smaller environments where more initiative is expected to keep the customer happy.

Expecting them to clean up issues. While likable job candidates will tell you what you want to hear, they do not have the capability to make the tough decisions and have the difficult conversations to “clean up issues” they were hired to do.

How to Focus on Job Fit and Less on Likability

Create a Strategic Job Fit System. Then, follow it! It’s not complicated. But it does require accountability and responsibility for who you hire and why you hired that person(s).

Use Qualified Job-Fit Assessments. It’s crucial to see the “whole person” (e.g., thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests). Using the wrong assessment allows applicants to show themselves as they want to be seen, not as who they are. With over 3,000 published assessments available, it can be difficult to discern which ones comply with the Department of Labor guidelines for pre-employment and selection use. Recommendation: Ask for a technical manual and check for distortion, predictive validity, reliability, and validity coefficients. (See Chapter 9, Use the Right Assessments and Skill Tests, Hire Amazing Employees). Using the correct assessment correctly makes all the difference in the selection process!

Conduct Due Diligence. It’s not uncommon for applicants to provide education, job titles, and companies that don’t exist! (Yes, likable job applicants can lie.) Make sure to conduct background, licensing, education, and other checks. Many times, using a third-party provider ensures a thorough and consistent process. (SEE Chapter 17, Types of Checks, Hire Amazing Employees)

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, achieving business success always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve extraordinary results.

A note from Jeannette: Too often, we hire based on likability and ignore selecting for job fit (employees that fit their job responsibilities and workplace culture). But with high turnover of top talent and customers, poor job fit impacts results and your bottom line. With a well-designed job-fit selection system, let’s make 2024 a great year. Want to tap into my 31++ years of experience? Contact me now with your questions!

It’s time to get honest and genuine! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Talent Mobility Creates a Profitable Company

“Talent mobility (moving people within the company) creates a powerful impact and positive workplace culture.” Jeannette Seibly

Often, companies fail to embrace talent mobility that focuses on hiring employees for job fit, providing laser coaching, and moving these talented employees into the “right” seats. This failure leads to companies experiencing significant layoffs, high turnover, and quiet quitting.

How To Achieve It!

Use Qualified Job-Fit Assessments. Often, we use assessments that are not validated for pre-employment and selection use. It’s one of the reasons employees leave or quietly quit. Instead, use the PXT Select® for hiring, coaching, and managing insights. These reports provide needed information for talent mobility and coaching. They guide bosses, employees, and teams to excel faster.

Develop Individual Career Paths. Use objective data and the employee’s interest(s) to build a viable pathway to fulfill professional and personal goals. Employees (at all levels within the company) will stay longer and do a better job when they feel the employer is supporting their interests and providing needed coaching to build their skills.

Provide Training Consistent with the Employees’ Growth and Needs. Training everyone the same way doesn’t work. (However, one consistent area for growth is teaching employees, bosses, and leaders to listen.) Use the PXT Select® Coaching Report to determine growth needs before promoting or moving someone into a different job. High-quality assessments help leaders and bosses coach and manage employees for success and let them know ahead of time where the obstacles will occur. And issues will occur! Forearmed is forewarned.

Develop Leadership and Boss Skills Before Needed. While everyone can be a leader in their job, not everyone will be a great boss of people! Take the time to train and develop all employees interested in promotion or new work opportunities. Start with the PXT Select® Leadership Report for objective insights into strengths and areas for improvement. Then, set up an individualized training and coaching program (aka career path). For example, training all team leaders and members to conduct effective virtual, on-site, or hybrid meetings is critical to achieving the intended results the customer requires.

Provide an External Coach and an Internal Mentor. Top talent will have questions and want answers. Often, the boss is too busy, doesn’t have the answer, or cannot provide effective coaching. Providing the ability to have a confidential conversation with their executive coach or ask internal or industry questions of a mentor will provide everyone with answers when faced with difficult situations or politically charged relationships.

These five crucial areas will impact talent mobility and the company’s profitability. (Hint: Picking at least one of the five areas above and implementing it will advance the company further than most.)

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of practical experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, it always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select® Partner for over 32 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about these state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tools or how to coach and manage your people to achieve incredible results.

A note from Jeannette: “Moving people within the company (aka talent mobility) can have a powerful impact on the bottom line, create a positive culture, and grow the company’s, leaders’ and boss’s reputation.” However, too often, we move and change people’s jobs without considering job fit, their true interests, and how to get the best results for our customers and our company. Have questions? Contact me now!

It’s time to get honest and real! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes during 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus is that they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

Spotting Hidden Talent Easily

“Selecting people based on job fit increases employee and customer retention and profitability.” Jeannette Seibly

Did you know hidden talent can be easily spotted using a well-designed job-fit selection system?

While everyone is complaining about the difficulty in finding “hidden talent,” the reality is that the person could be right in front of you! However, your biases often get in the way of seeing their hidden talents. Other blocks that can get in the way include lack of objective data, unrealistic expectations … the list goes on and on.

Bottom line: We miss spotting hidden talent due to a lack of good, reliable, and objective data when making our hiring, promoting, and job transferring decisions.

Here Are Ways to Avoid These Common Pitfalls

Prepare Job Applicants. Send them a helpful video about your interview process and what to expect. Remember, for many, this is their first time talking with your company. Provide several interview questions (and be sure to ask at least one or two of these questions) so they feel comfortable with your selection process. I would also recommend sending them a link to the brag book: “How to Sell Yourself Anytime, Anywhere: Start Bragging!” Many applicants have hidden talents that they need to learn how to share effectively!

Use Valid a Honesty/Integrity Assessment. These direct admission tools can help weed out those job candidates that are good at selling themselves, but have things to hide. They also help provide safer workplace environments. Be sure to check with local and state statutes to avoid asking inappropriate questions (e.g., age, marital status, children, etc.).

Conduct Phone Screen Interviews to Gather Objective Data. Ask questions designed to reveal the facts of their past employment and education. Remember, verifying and documenting is essential. Too often, job candidates fail to get honest about job fit… they want the job. (For help in creating questions, READ Chapter 10, Hire Amazing Employees)

How many times have you hired someone and 2 hours or 2 weeks or 2 months later realized who you interviewed was not the person who has showed up for the job!

Use a Qualified Job-Fit Assessment. It’s crucial to see the “whole person” (e.g., thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests). Using the wrong assessment allows applicants to show themselves as they want to be seen, not as who they are. With over 3,000 published assessments available, selecting ones not designed or complying with the Department of Labor for pre-employment and selection use is easy. How do you know the difference? Ask for a technical manual and check for distortion, predictive validity, reliability, and validity coefficients. (See Chapter 9, Use the Right Assessments and Skill Tests, Hire Amazing Employees). Using the correct assessment, the right way makes all the difference in the selection process!

Interview for Job Fit. Too often our beliefs in the skills required are sabotaged by our subjective biases (e.g., since they are good in math, they will be good accountants or financial consultants; since they were friendly during the interview, they’ll be great bosses; etc.). Ask job-related questions and listen! Deep dive into their responses using the “Rule of 3” to determine the depth of their skills. (For additional insights about “Rule of 3” and creating job-related questions, READ Chapter 10, Hire Amazing Employees)

Conduct Due Diligence. It’s not uncommon for applicants to provide education, job titles, and companies that don’t exist! Make sure to conduct background, licensing, education, and other checks. Many times, using a third-party provider ensures a thorough and consistent process. (SEE Chapter 17, Types of Checks, Hire Amazing Employees)

Require Onboarding for Best Results. Start when the job offer is accepted and will continue over a period of months. Otherwise, your newest talent will “leave” while remaining on the payroll. (READ: Chapter 20, The Success of a New Hire Is Up to You! Hire Amazing Employees)

©Jeannette Seibly 2024 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a Talent Advisor/Leadership Results Coach with over 31 years of experience guiding leaders and bosses to improve their hiring, coaching, and managing practices and produce amazing results! And yes, it always starts with having the right people in the right jobs! She has been an Authorized PXT Select Partner for over 31 years. Contact Jeannette to learn more about this state-of-the-art job-fit assessment tool or how to coach and manage your people to achieve amazing results.

A note from Jeannette about discovering hidden talent: Often, we miss spotting hidden talent due to the lack of good, reliable, and objective data when making our hiring, promoting, and job-transferring decisions. With a well-designed job-fit selection system, let’s make 2024 a great year. Need help? Have questions? Contact me now!

It’s time to get honest and real! Are there days you dread managing people, projects, and your team’s financial performance? You’re not alone! Everyone has their blind spots! NOW is the time to get the guidance you need to make the right changes for 2024. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses and leaders to hire, coach, and manage their teams successfully. The bonus … they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.