How to Rock the Boat for Better Results

Success.Failure

Making a commitment to stand up and speak up can rock the boat with any team. It requires courage and an ability to take have the right, sometimes, tough conversations to produce better results.

The challenge is not everyone will agree with you; and, not everyone will support you, even if you are correct.

So, it begs the question, “Why bother?”

Ask yourself, “if I’m not willing to rock the boat, who will?”

The underlying problem is fear and it creates the ostrich approach.

Some excuses are:

  • “I’m uncomfortable saying anything.”
  • “No one will like me or listen to me if I say anything.”
  • “If it doesn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you.”

Taking the ostrich approach ignores obvious matters and pretends they don’t exist. But, when problems do exist, avoidance doesn’t support the intended results.

Successful teams know that being clear of the costs of poor outcomes and making the commitment to rock the boat will produce better results.

It Takes Courage

Ignoring an issue until it can no longer be avoided is not a good practice. Provide training on how to conduct effective meetings (group and virtual). Use an executive coach to get the team unstuck and guide the creation of viable solutions. Encourage each and every team member to stand up and speak up. These will build communication, trust, accountability, and amazing results.

Rock the Boat Responsibly

  1. Voice your concerns in a positive tone. Remember, some team members will be unwilling to listen and consider there is a problem. Be prepared to review the objective facts before addressing less-factual concerns. Be respectful when addressing differing POVs.
  2. Brainstorm solutions with the team. Focus on creating win-win-win outcomes by brainstorming solutions with the team, not relying on one person for the answers. Don’t jump on selecting the first idea that resonates with the team. Explore ideas by taking the time to ask the right questions and deep dive into who, what, when, where, why, before addressing how. Use persuasive listening techniques to build alignment before revising the plan or project.
  3. Implement changes immediately. After alignment has occurred, it’s time to implement the change immediately. Remember, change can be difficult for some people and waiting will have people get cold feet. Make sure the person responsible for implementing the change has the interest and ability to do so. If there is a problem, immediately set up a meeting to talk with them. Before offering solutions, address: What has been done? What do they view as the next step? What, if anything, has stopped them from taking the new action?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017-2019

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

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How to Be a Proactive Boss and Stop Fire-Fighting

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

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

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

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

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

Get Into Action Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

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

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How to Be a Great Boss and NOT Steamroll Your Team

Steamroller.Boss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Your Steamrolling Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

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

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How Bosses Can Overcome the Entitlement Trap

Entitled Boss.4Entitlement has become an epidemic. Many people feel entitled to have what they want when they want it. However, for bosses, entitlement can become a trap and lead to career and business derailment and failure.

What do these traps look like?

Traits of entitled bosses:

  • -believe they are more deserving than their employees (e.g., pay increases, bonuses, perks, etc.)
  • -lack compassion for others’ challenges and believe they should just get over it
  • -brag about their team’s results using the word “I”
  • -willing to confront anyone to get what they want, regardless of the impact on others
  • -disregard company policies and rules believing they don’t apply to them
  • -considered bullies, egotistical, ruthless, manipulative, or liars

When you “assume you’re entitled to something, you stop working to get it and begin waiting for it to come to you. That’s a sure-fire way to fail.” (HR Daily Advisor)

To avoid these entitlement traps, it requires awareness and emotional intelligence work.

Remember, success is an inside job.

Entitled bosses (this includes both men and women) can be difficult for people to work with and for. Boss entitlement is why top talent leaves, teams fail to perform, customers go to the competition, and the bottom line isn’t so black.

The problem is, entitlement today is so pervasive that it’s like the air you breathe. You don’t think about it until something triggers it.

You’re not entitled to anything in this life!

This statement can be hard to read and harder to accept after listening to many motivational gurus. However, actually, it can provide clarity. The truth is, entitlement creates misery, not success. Developing healthy emotional intelligence and doing the inner work required, creates the real success you desire.

Get Started

Find an industry mentor and hire an executive coach to help you recognize your entitlement traits and develop better strategies.  One common example is when entitled bosses get angry when employees make mistakes. They exclaim, “They should know better, it makes me look bad.”

Become Aware of Common Entitlement Pitfalls that Sound Like These:

“Bad things shouldn’t happen to me.” There is no voodoo or anything else to prevent unfortunate circumstances. Life happens. Life is unfair to everyone. Develop resiliency and compassion for yourself and others.

“What’s in it for me?” Bad decisions are often based on entitled bosses’ self-interest, favoritism, faulty data, and biases. These will derail your team and your career. Use real objective data and create win-win-win outcomes for better decisions.

“I deserve to be respected.” Entitled bosses are easily disappointed in employees, results, and everything else in life. Remember, the attitude you lead with boomerangs back to you! Respect is earned, regardless of the job title. Adjust your beliefs by helping each and every employee, client and vendor excel. Use your coach to help you gain respect.

“I got this handled.” The minute we think we have something handled we stop paying attention. As a management guru once stated, “Then, we’re screwed!” Allow yourself to be a beginner and get back to the basics. Build on success. Mastery requires the discipline of practicing the right things over and over.

“I don’t make mistakes.” Really? If you hear yourself say this, call your coach immediately. Everyone makes mistakes. They either learn from them or repeat them. Learn how to genuinely apologize and correct the mistakes made by you and your team.

“I deserve nothing but happiness.” While the right team members and projects will make you happy for a short period of time, the honeymoon will end. Every project runs into snags or huge mountains. Set aside your ego, believe in your team, and become a resource to bring the project in on time and within budget.

“I should always win.” Remember, you are not entitled to have everything you believe you want in the way you think it should happen. (Read that again!)  When you rely on your ego to justify why you didn’t win, you miss out on a critical learning opportunity. Winners ask and answer, what worked and what didn’t work to deep dive into “why.” Then, move on.

If you stay out of the entitlement trap by developing awareness and emotional intelligence, you will become a successful boss. And always remember …  Success is an inside job.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an experienced award-winning executive coach with over 26 years of experience. Her clients create fun, earn 6-figure incomes, and successfully work through confusing situations. Develop your executive persona and stay out of the entitlement trap. Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

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