Practices to Prevent Employees from Robbing You!

“Taking good care of your business includes ensuring employees are not stealing from you!” Jeannette Seibly

Throughout my career, I’ve listened to many stories and guided the clean-up of employee theft. Many times, it could have been prevented by following best practices and immediately addressing theft as it occurs. Unfortunately, while many companies focus on theft by hourly employees, the truth is that white-collar crime is on the rise!

Leaders, did you know?

  • The median amount lost in an employee theft claim is $150,000
  • 5% of an organization’s revenue is lost to fraud every year
  • 23% of employee theft cases cost $1 million or more
  • The average office fraud goes on for 18 months before being detected
  • The most frequent thefts involve billing and check tampering schemes

(Source: AICPA.com)

Employee theft includes:

  • Employer’s property for personal use, without authorization
  • Data, money, physical inventory, proprietary information, publications, workers’ comp, unemployment claims
  • Time theft for hours paid, but not worked
  • Payroll information (e.g., social security and banking information)
  • Service theft (e.g., allowing friends and family employee discounts)

1.Prevention Starts with Hiring and Selection (includes new hires, contract to full- or part-time, and rehires)

Companies today fail to conduct background, education, and other checks. These often occur when the boss knows the person, the person is a family member, or they believe they are too busy to conduct their due diligence. (Note: Always check with your legal counsel, human resource professional, or business manager for when and how this information can be obtained and used.)

Obtain Background Checks. These are public records. But remember, many companies do not prosecute employee theft. Therefore, it’s essential to use a qualified core value assessment too. These tools provide direct admission about what they’ve done, and pre-hires are likelier to tell the computer the truth than a human.

Conduct Appropriate Employment Checks and Verifications. They can wave red flags! These are important since over 85% of resumes contain inaccuracies and lies.

Remember to Hire for Job Fit. Why? Believe it or not, employee theft and misuse of company data can be due to boredom, hating the job responsibilities, or being promoted too soon because there was no job fit.

Source: Hire Amazing Employees (Revised): How to Increase Retention, Revenues, and Results! available in July 2022; SeibCo.com/books/

2.Handle Theft Issues Immediately (this will deter others)

Keep Your Eyes Open for “Dummy” Billings, Contracts, and Surprise Billables

A daughter stole over $1MM from her mother’s company using dummy billings over 2 years. Why did it go on for so long and for so much money? Her mother was in denial even after being told it was happening.  

  • Conduct unannounced internal audits
  • Use an outside financial auditor
  • Review your financials frequently for discrepancies
  • Stay in contact with your customers and listen for: surprise contracts, duplicate billings, unusual costs, or delivery of extra inventory

Don’t Retaliate Against the Thief

While you may wish to bash the person’s reputation or withhold their paycheck, don’t! Otherwise, you may end up in a libel suit. Or have a valid employment claim against you for unpaid wages.

  • Contact the police, and your attorney and insurance company
  • Follow the disciplinary process for letting the person go
  • Change passwords, and alert bank and credit card companies
  • If the employee was terminated, immediately change the locks and other security systems
  • If an unemployment or workers’ comp claim is filed, provide only factual information

Use Best Practices to Take Care of Your Business’s Future

An executive director stole several thousand dollars from a not-for-profit. She set up a personal account and deposited several of the organization’s checks into it. When confronted, she threatened to sue them, using her gender and race as excuses. The board backed off from firing and prosecuting her out of fear of “looking bad.”

How you handle this type of occurrence will determine your organization’s future. When someone steals money or data, it’s important to:

  • Tell customers IF there was a data breach by following best practices for your industry
  • Work with your attorney, human resource professional, and/or business manager to recover the money or value of items taken
  • Determine the return on investment before filing any lawsuit
  • Review practices and policies for weaknesses that allowed the theft or issues to occur
  • Don’t let threats of lawsuits keep you from doing what is right

3.Here Are Some Warning Signs You Should NOT Ignore

When an employee:

  • Complains about work, has poor job performance, or is in frequent disagreements with co-workers
  • Feels mistreated, not heard, or humiliated by their boss
  • Has others input overtime and/or expenses for them
  • Is dealing with debt, drug use, or a gambling problem
  • Is unwilling to train others to do their job
  • Works unusual hours (e.g., comes in too early or stays too late)
  • Accepts goods and monies for personal use from suppliers or others

©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about preventing employee theft of time, money, and data: Many times, employee theft could have been prevented by following best practices and immediately addressing theft as it occurs. What do you need to do and become aware of to prevent employee theft? Does your strategic selection system need to be updated to avoid hiring mistakes? Let’s chat now before it’s too late!

Self-confidence allows you to address issues now. Self-confident leaders (current and future) address issues that cannot be ignored (e.g., employee theft, misuse of company data, etc.). Build the self-confidence you need to do the right thing now. Grab your FREE copy of 9 tips needed to develop self-confidence.

How to Use Adversity to Make You and Your Team Stronger

“Want to take advantage of new opportunities? Then, don’t let adversity stop you.” Jeannette Seibly

Like it or not, every team will hit a “wall” when adversity knocks. But remaining stuck or feeling sorry for yourself is not an option. These misfortunes or difficulties can originate from bosses, co-workers, and customers because no one likes change. Some feel threatened by it and will sabotage or block your efforts. Or, it can be due to a company “elephant in the room” no one wants to deal with.

Hoping that the adversity will disappear is a lose-lose-lose strategy! Instead, use your commitment and the team’s resilience to transform a situation, project, and/or relationship. Doing so will make everyone stronger. Here’s how-to-do-it:

5 Tips to Blast through Adversity

Get Real About What Happened. It’s essential to tell the truth. Putting frosting on mud pie and calling it a cake doesn’t change it from a mud pie! When difficulties occur, there is no shame in it. Everyone has experienced failure and unexpected adversity. Adversity can be due to a lack of critical thinking, ignoring ideas, or company politics. Take responsibility and talk with your executive coach and mentor when adversity occurs. Then, take immediate action to get it resolved.

TIP: Complete this exercise with your team: What Worked? / What Didn’t Work? This exercise will have you and your team focused on the facts of what worked and the lessons learned. It will also infuse objectivity into the conversations you need to have with others. This process is a precursor to moving through adversity powerfully.

Develop Emotional Intelligence (EI). It can be challenging to see a situation from another’s point of view when you are emotionally attached to being right. Ask questions. Listen and learn. Now build a bridge between where you are now and the goal you and your team intend to achieve.

TIP: To develop EI, talk with your executive coach or therapist and do the inner work to acquire the critical skills needed.

Utilize All Team Members Based on Their Strengths. There are times adversity occurs due to mistakes made by team members assigned the wrong jobs. Instead of relying on your favorite team member(s) to tell you what you want to hear, give assignments to the best-qualified person.

TIP: Use a qualified job fit assessment to clarify each team member’s thinking style, core behaviors, and primary interests. This information opens new opportunities to develop each and every team member, utilize their strengths, and reduce mistakes.

Be Responsible for What You Are Saying and Sharing. Today’s focus on transparency can backfire when you share too much and publicly blame others. Your relationships can be damage and other will stop trusting you. Straight talk is key. Include diplomacy and kindness to ensure everyone is willing to listen and get on the same page with you.

TIP: Keep a private journal and write down your thoughts and feelings. Not everything needs to be shared with others!

Practice Thanks! Everyone loves being appreciated. Saying “please,” “thank you,” and “great work” is critical. When done authentically, your teams’ confidence grows, and your customers feel valued. Appreciation is especially essential during and after working through adversity of a difficult situation. Be generous with your appreciation!

TIP: For one week count, how many times you appreciate someone. The following week double it. You’ll be surprised by the elevated confidence of your team. And, this is really easy to do!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021-2022

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about using adversity to make you stronger: Big goals will cause adversity since most people don’t like change! Ask yourself, “Am I willing to do the work required?” Then, have the right conversations with the right people to move the project forward. What adversity are you dealing with? Are you willing to get unstuck? Need someone to listen? Let’s Chat!

Self-confidence can be developed even when dealing with adversity. However, it takes a commitment to yourself to address “lessons being learned” and not shy away from them. Grab your copy of the 9 tips needed to develop the self-confidence you’ve always wanted (FREE).

How to Keep Your Job When Working with an Overconfident Leader

“Take care — overconfidence can sabotage working relationships irrevocably.” Jeannette Seibly

A new customer gave Allison’s company a similar project to what she had worked on with her former employer. She put together the plan and excitedly shared her knowledge with her boss, Stan. But Stan had his own ideas of what to do and how to proceed. While Stan allowed Allison to offer her plan first, he didn’t listen and scrutinized each point. So, even though Allison was well-prepared, she became inflexible that her plan was the right one. And the initial positive energy in the room deflated like a balloon losing air!

Finally, Stan said, “While this plan may have worked in your former company, we’re not them. So you need to do it my way.”

Not surprisingly, the customer was unhappy with Stan’s way. When Allison attempted to enlist several executives to help turn around the results, they refused. They cited a lack of time. But the truth was, they lacked the confidence to have the needed conversations with Stan and wanted to keep their jobs. He was known to overreact to anyone challenging his ideas on how to get things done. They did, however, recommend to Allison that she leave the company before being fired. (Side Note: The customer terminated the contract and hired Allison’s former employer to get the project done in a way that worked for them!)

This story demonstrates what happens when two overconfident people have to work with one another … disastrous results.

When egos interact with egos, no one is listening. Each person is attempting to outtalk the other and are inflexible to consider alternatives. The project or program is destined to fail, while the customer loses money and time, and at least one person will lose their job or be sidelined until finding another job.

So, how do you keep your job when working with an overconfident leader? First, check your ego at the door. Second … keep reading!

3 Keys to Work with an Overconfident Leader and Keep Your Job

Stay aware and mindful in conversations. Listen up when an overconfident leader shares a decision s/he is making or is about to make. It will impact you, your project, team, and budget, either directly or indirectly. Expand the leader’s opinions by asking open-ended questions for clarification rather than debating their decision. (I’ve coached lots of people who challenged the leader’s opinions. The results? Some were fired, and many were about to be and had no idea their overconfidence got in the way.)

Stand up and speak up. When the leader is overconfident, you will question your own point of view. (Harvard Business Review) Don’t let this deter you from being assertive and sharing facts. But(!) … diplomacy is crucial! (It’s an essential skill to learn!) Remember, while you may be right, overconfident leaders will ignore you when their ego feels threatened. The outcome can impact your future projects, results, budgets, resources … and career.

Avoid confrontation if the leader’s idea or assertion does not impact you. Choose which issues to pursue. If you confront every issue, the overconfident leader will stop listening to you. (And so will everyone else!) Instead, focus on significant issues that will impact you from a win-win-win perspective.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about working with an overconfident leader: First, set aside your ego! Second, be mindful, diplomatic, and ask questions to keep the conversation going. While it is a dance, the steps don’t need to be complicated. So, what challenge is on your plate to address this week? Need someone to listen? Let’s Chat!

Self-confidence takes practice before you can master it (like all inner growth). What are the essential steps to achieve it sooner rather than later? It requires focused action! Grab the 9 tips needed to develop the self-confidence you’ve always wanted (FREE).

Easy Ways to Combat Energy Zappers

“Many people love to procrastinate and blame boredom, stress, and toxic people. But the truth is when you fail to honor your commitments to yourself and others, your energy gets zapped daily.” Jeannette Seibly

What is our #1 energy zapper? Our excuses! Stress, boredom, and toxic people, along with lack of sleep, too much sugar, and caffeine, rank right up there as energy zappers too! And, these will occur on a regular basis when not managed.

But procrastination and the excuses we mentally create to justify it win as #1. Ironically, it takes more energy to avoid doing the task or job than it does to get the work done. It’s incredible how much time we waste looking for excuses, feeding our procrastination, and seeking out “why” we don’t want to get it done.

When you have a job, task, or client need, the bottom line is that you want to get into focused-action as quickly as possible. If you don’t, you will experience diminished self-confidence and self-worth. And, you will find future career opportunities, and sales get zapped too.

6 Strategies to Stop Energy Zappers

Schedule. Use an online or hand-written calendar, scheduler, and/or planner. Schedule the time needed to get the task done. Now, honor it as an appointment with a VIP (very important person).  

I remember using an online planner to get my first book written and published. Every week I would receive a notification of activities for the week. And I honored it! This process eliminated the excuses I usually created for not getting my book written and published sooner.

Do or Delegate. Just because you don’t want to do it doesn’t mean others won’t welcome the opportunity. Don’t be afraid to delegate the task or job to someone who would welcome it. Remember, they won’t do it the same way you would … but they often do it better because they enjoy the work!

Brandon hated accounting. But as an entrepreneur knew, it was essential to have up-to-date numbers. So, he set aside his excuses and hired a bookkeeper who completed the weekly work within a couple of hours. Now, Brandon can speak intelligently with banks, his coach, and his team about where they need to focus their attention and be profitable.

Set Aside 20 minutes. If you’re still finding or looking for excuses, STOP! Set a timer for 20 minutes and focus on doing the task during that time and see how far you progress. If, at the end of the 20 minutes, you’re ready to do more, go for it!

One sales rep avoided making his calls and following up with potential customers. His excuse was, “They don’t want to buy from me anyway.” When he worked with his sales manager and coach, he learned how to use those 20 minutes to follow-up and follow-through. His sales improved dramatically.

Hire a Coach and Find an Accountability Partner. Find someone to be your cheerleader. This person will keep you in action. And guide you through complex situations and/or relationships that can also be energy zappers.

Write It Out, Walk It Out, and Talk It Out. These three activities will help you overcome the normal energy zappers of day-to-day stress, boredom, and toxic people.

© Jeannette L. Seibly, 2010-2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. During the past 29 years, she has become an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant and keynote speaker. Have trouble getting into focused action and feeling energized to get your job done and goals completed? Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Note from Jeannette about energy zappers. Honoring our commitments has become more critical today than ever. Keeping your commitments make you a top talent that your customers enjoy working with. Unfortunately, too many people fail to understand the impact of not keeping their commitments. Contact me today to confidentially talk about your energy zappers.

Being a top influencer means honoring your word and getting the job done in a high-quality and timely manner. So, grab your FREE copy of Eight Tips to Increase Your Ability to Influence.

 

Frequent Conversations Are Required to Achieve Intended Results

“Frequent conversations that are productive stay focused on moving forward.” Jeannette Seibly

Have you ever wondered why we need frequent conversations to achieve intended results? Especially, if you’re a leader with too many demands.

Due to many team members working from home and frequent changes in business, staying focused and staying in communication can be hard.

And, the best way to keep everyone focused on the objectives and key results is through frequent conversations. It encourages progress, keeps everyone productive, and allows for innovative ideas.

How to Have Conversations that Achieve Intended Results

  1. Meet Weekly. When working on any project, meet every week. This encourages team members to get their work done and keeps everyone focused on the objectives and key results.
  2. Keep Meetings On-Point. Put together a short agenda. Review before starting the meeting. Remember, general meetings are a time to keep everyone updated, not a time to tell someone how to do their work. Effective meetings focus on the who, what, when, where, and why of a project.
  3. Use Check-Ins. Instead of meeting with the whole team, meet 1:1 with the team leader and/or team members to stay updated. Also, this is a good way to address specific issues and get resolutions faster.
  4. Create Accountability. At the start of each project, no matter how big or small, create the goal and milestones. Once done, assign each team member to their area of expertise to manage. Now, as a leader, have frequent conversations to review progress and stay updated on any changes.
  5. Stay in Communication. When a team member becomes confronted by an issue, don’t allow the person to isolate. It’s important for everyone to rally together as a team by using straight-talk conversations to help members move forward. And, if the issue is of a personal nature, offer assistance.
  6. Listen to Learn. Instead of listening to rebut (which most of us do), listen to learn. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to request examples (e.g., show me). This keeps lines of communication open and avoids surprises.
  7. Brag! It’s meaningful to acknowledge each and every person with kudos and congrats on the steps taken and the results achieved. When you sincerely acknowledge someone, your results will magically improve!
  8. Give Meaningful Feedback. Instead of saying, “This needs improvement.” Say, “There are a couple of things I would recommend changing. Can I share them with you?” Then, keep it simple and on-point. Don’t tell them how to do it (unless they ask). Also, be open to their feedback regarding the changes you have asked to be made.
  9. Develop Trust. Trust is critical. It starts with straight talk. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

©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 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 having frequent conversations to achieve intended results. With many team members working remotely, it’s important for you to have frequent conversations with team members. If you don’t, it will negatively impact achieving intended results. If you want to learn how to manage conversations with a diverse and remote workforce, contact me for a confidential conversation. Your team and customers will thank you!

 

Get Unstuck and Find Clarity to Pursue Career Opportunities that Fit

“Being stuck in a job that doesn’t fit you doesn’t mean you should leap to the next one.” Jeannette Seibly

There’s been a great awakening during the past year for many workers. Work and business as usual no longer exist … The Great Resignation (Google for additional info) has occurred because many now value and are prioritizing their time, family, and life pursuits. The problem? Many remain stuck trying to figure out what they’d like to do. When you gain clarity, you will be able to pursue career opportunities that fit your talents and honor your newfound values.

Millie was fired from her job for no clear reason. For the next 7 years, she felt stuck. Because of her past successes, the first thing she decided was to become an entrepreneur. She started a company, but it failed because the work requirements didn’t line up with her desire to have more free time and do things her own way.

After this failure, she took any type of job she could find for the next few years. She also took free online assessments and listened to motivational techniques, but felt even more stuck and less clear about what she wanted to do with her career.

Finally, after all those years, she took the advice from a trusted friend. She hired an experienced coach and took a qualified job-fit assessment. With her new clarity and commitment, she quickly found a job she enjoyed.

Her comment, “Wow! The truth is, finding work that fits my values and talents isn’t hard … but it does require coming down to reality and developing clarity about jobs that fit me.”

Note: Millie represents many people I’ve worked with over the years that became resigned and stuck after leaving successful and unsuccessful jobs.

4 Tips to Get Unstuck, Find Clarity, and Confidently Move Forward

Talk It Out. Share your concerns with only a few trusted people and your executive coach. Too many opinions keep you stuck. First, complete this exercise by focusing on your career to date, “What Worked?/What Didn’t Work?” Second, share selected results with a trusted listener. Listen to the feedback and ask, “What do you hear?” and “What do you recommend?” Get into action immediately!  Critical note: Stay out of the common traps of overthinking it, believing what they did will work for you, or, grabbing on to every new idea presented!

Get Your Brag On. Many of us have no awareness of the results and the positive impact we’ve had during our careers to date. It keeps you playing small in your career and not pursuing jobs you’d enjoy. Use the five steps outlined in the book, The Secret to Selling Yourself Anytime, Anywhere: Start Bragging! These steps awaken awareness of your talents and build confidence in “selling you” to win new career opportunities.

Write It Out. Every job … no matter how well it fits you … will have times when projects, situations, and/or relationships become murky and confusing. Before you do anything, stop! Breathe. Take the time to write by hand your thoughts, feelings, and commitments to gain a broader perspective (e.g., no one is perfect and you cannot win every sale). Another way to gain clarity is by writing with your less dominant hand (e.g., if you write with your right hand, use your left hand). Ask a question. See what answers pop up. Now, take action to move forward with your new clarity (e.g., it’s better to work well with others than be right about how it should be done).

Hire the Right Coach. There are 100’s of coaches that promise you results. The key is to find the right one for you. Be sure to use a qualified job fit assessment to clarify why some professions are good fits for you, and why others are not (e.g., not everyone should be a financial planner or insurance agent or tech consultant, etc.).

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011-2021

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 getting unstuck. We all experience being stuck about figuring out what is the right career or job for us. Today, over 85% of workers are in jobs that don’t fit them. (It’s shocking, right!?) That has created The Great Resignation with many quitting their jobs. The problem? Too many leave without a plan and then stay stuck! The answer? Ask for help, listen, and take the right actions before taking the leap. Need help finding clarity? Contact me for a confidential conversation now.

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.

How to “Coach Your Boss” (and Keep Your Job)

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

When your boss gets stuck and could use your insights and coaching, it may be time to coach your boss.

“First off you may not want to use the term coaching. Consider it an open and honest conversation with your boss that focuses on feedback. Framing it this way opens the door for more honest dialogue.” (Forbes)

But beware! If it’s not done diplomatically, you could find yourself sidelined in your job.

A director hated his boss, a VP. When the executive coach asked the director to have an honest conversation with the VP, he resisted. He used the excuse “Everyone else hates the VP since he is difficult to work with.” Under the guidance of his coach, the director had an honest conversation to clear the air with the VP. Afterward, he started treating his boss with more respect and appreciating his boss’s insights when stuck in projects. Soon thereafter, the director became viewed as one of the very few people who could work well with this VP. If the director hadn’t been open to the coaching he received, he could have been sidelined in his job instead of being promoted.

Many team members today have insights, concerns, or problems with their bosses. The challenge is learning how to have an honest conversation to create a positive outcome.

Note for bosses and leaders: Encourage your team members and co-workers to give you honest feedback. It’s the only way you learn and grow, and catch those blind spots before they get in your way.

6 Tips to Coach or Have an Honest Conversation with Higher-Ups

  1. Be Diplomatic. Egos get in the way. So, it’s important to be diplomatic and set aside your own ego. Remember, there are always at least two sides to any issue. Be open to hearing what your boss has to say before offering your insights.
  2. Be Clear About the Issue. Take time to write down the specifics about “why” this conversation is important. Rehearse in front of the mirror until the person looking back at you feels comfortable and confident. Otherwise, your boss will dismiss what you have to say.
  3. Visualize the Conversation. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through the entire conversation. If you hit a snag, rewind, and replay in a positive manner.
  4. Breathe to Calm Your Nerves and Anxiety. Breathe to calm down the urge to go in too strong. Remember, being assertive is important; but, being aggressive will only limit your future job opportunities. Breathe in for a count of 10, pause, then, exhale for a count of 10. Do this at least 3 times before your conversation. This simple exercise will reduce stress and positively impact your results.
  5. Work Through Your Anger or Righteousness First. It’s natural for you to feel that your boss won’t understand or get what you have to say. But if you go into the meeting assuming your boss won’t understand and feel angry or righteous, your boss will only defend his/her actions. Work with your own executive coach first and role-play the conversation. Write out an agenda outlining facts and key points. Stay on-point during the conversation.
  6. Ask Permission. Start with a soft approach to get your boss’s attention. “I have something I need to talk about with you. And, I’m nervous about doing this. I fear you’ll hear it the wrong way.” Do this in a respectful manner. The boss is more likely to hear what you have to say.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Right 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 coaching your boss (and keeping your job): Everyone can benefit from feedback. This includes your boss! Your challenge is the boss may not appreciate how you “coach” them. Instead, take the time to prepare for an honest conversation. If you know you need to have a difficult conversation with your boss but don’t know how contact me for a confidential conversation.