Tag Archives: teams

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leadership leverage

Leadership Leverage, Are You Using It Properly?

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When you need to move a big or heavy object, leverage will help. For the human side of your organization, leadership leverage may be the difference between movement or staying stuck.

Do you have leverage? Are you using it appropriately?

People often confuse a formal position or authority with leverage.

Do what I say, when and how I say it, and everything will be fine.

This is sort of like moving an egg across your yard or down the street with a bulldozer. This isn’t the kind of leverage you should use.

Leadership is not really about formal authority. Formal authority helps, yet the best leverage will come from being more artful and less commanding.

Decades ago, perhaps a half-century or more, formal authority made the biggest impact. Today, the formal authority should be the backup plan, not the primary method of operating.

Society has shaped and shifted to a different understanding of what it means to work. The psychology of work has changed. Understanding it matters now more than ever.

Leadership Leverage

Leadership leverage means that you can utilize the strengths of the individual or team to get more accomplished. Ideally, it means doing it more efficiently with fewer required resources.

Consider that strategy may be the biggest friend of leverage. Tactical approaches always matter and mission objectives are completed by the appropriate use of tactics. Yet, you shouldn’t confuse tactics with strategy.

Fighting metaphorical fires in the workplace is tactical, not strategic.

Leadership leverage develops through strategy, purpose, and persistence. It also happens through teamwork, relationships, and inspiration.

You probably wouldn’t bring a bulldozer to the Easter Egg hunt.

Much of the workforce won’t respond well to commands. They want to be part of something, respected and inspired.

Leverage is a gentle giant.

It gives more, and takes less.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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remote team connections

Remote Team Connections Still Matter

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Are you staying connected? Remote team connections will matter because not only do they keep everyone up-to-date, they create camaraderie that is irreplaceable.

Human interaction has mattered long before we had sophisticated systems that enable commerce opportunities. Long before quality was measured and before customer service became a thing.

As modern people we rely on the people that serve us.

It may be friendly help at the hardware store to make sure we get the right kind of screws. It may be the pet food supplier who gives us comfort that we’re giving our pet the best. Perhaps it is our medical doctor who pauses long enough to really listen and make us feel that someone understands.

In your workplace, there is often more happening than just the art of the actual work performed. There is the fulfillment of other human needs that may not be what the CEO is directly paying people to accomplish.

Remote Team Connections

People working together accomplish more than what a single standalone person may achieve.

There are different talents and abilities, backgrounds and education, and even motivation and team enthusiasm styles.

This is the root why connections still matter. Sure, there are many other aspects of your connections. However, when things split apart and more and more people are working remotely for the greater good of the organization, those relationships are still going to matter.

People are disrupted, disconnected, and many are afraid.

It is during times like this when reaching out, doing the hard and exhausting work, listening, caring, and demonstrating empathy make a difference.

During a disaster or major disruption connections take center stage.

-DEG

Two important webinars are happening soon. Managing Remote Work Teams and Mastering Work From Home.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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collaboration

Collaboration Has Long-Term Side Effects

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Do you have collaboration in your workplace? Does your team and the individuals who make it up collaborate effectively? Where do you stand?

People collaborate for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons stem from the concept of mutual interest or the uniqueness of specific capabilities.

If I’m exceptional with a hammer and nails and I partner with some who has mad skills with a handsaw we may be able to build a great house.

When we put my resources together with your resources, we can create something of more value.

Your Unique Team

When we dip inside an organization of people, we often find a unique way to align strengths and weaknesses, then we label it “our team.”

People who are actively engaged in the team share a common goal.

The common goal operates from some very simple principles. What we do today will matter more because of the effort of the team. The end-result and the future results are shared and are only available when we participate.

It is why collaboration matters.

Collaboration Long-Term

Across the long-term team members grow to value the team effort more. The recognition of this value often develops because true team players know that what goes around, comes around. You’ll always end up with more value as a team.

Handling unique circumstances, jumping through hoops for the high value client, or customizing a product or service for someone who chooses a different path.

It’s how you bring exceptional value.

The competitive edge is the team. It is the advantage that every competing organization wishes they had.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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restore team trust

5 Tips to Restore Team Trust

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Restoring trust in teams may be as individualized as the personalities that exist within it. Would more trust improve the performance of your team?

Building, restoring, or managing trust can be tricky. Trust is very delicate, it has a way of improving and then going away only to suddenly appear again seemingly without reason. In addition, trust issues are not all the same and as such there is not a one-size-fits-all method for improvement. Here are some helpful tips that can position you on the right path for more trust:

  1. Face Trust Issues. Probably the most important step for improving trust is to acknowledge that there is room to improve. Often organizations would rather deny that trust is problematic than face the reality that there is room for improvement. If you don’t understand or refuse to accept that trust issues exist, game over.
  2. Set Reasonable Expectations. Everyone across all organizational levels will need to have some specific expectations. These might also be considered as guidelines or rules of engagement but without consciously bringing forward the expectations of each employee improving trust doesn’t stand a chance. Be cautious of the mind-set of, it’s not me, it’s them, because everyone has some ownership when it comes to trust.
  3. Open Communication. Closed doors, whispering conversations, and inconsistency in decisions or actions will severely limit your ability to build trust. Everyone also needs to remember not to, “Shoot the messenger,” and to use constructive feedback techniques. Keep in mind that conflict will always exist in teams but how it is managed will determine whether it is harmful or not. Think conversations, not confrontations.
  4. Intentionally Reduce Supervision. If you are going to trust more, you often have to give more. Carefully and honestly assess your delegation efforts. Real or imagined one of the most common discussion items in low-trust environments is micromanagement. As difficult as it may sometimes feel you are going to have to become more giving and more effective with delegation and supervision techniques.
  5. Engage in Continuous Learning. Teams that don’t understand the expectations or have not connected the dots for how to inspire more trust will likely fail at their attempts to improve it. Sadly, creating a lot of awareness about trust and then not following through with the most appropriate corrective actions may result in even less trust. Effectively training employees on how to improve trust is critical.

Can you make a difference with trust?

Chances are good that with the right effort and patience trust can improve in your team. Keep in mind though, trust issues are delicate and because trust is intrinsic you might want to consider consulting with an outside resource. Self-identification of trust issues without the proper course of action may result in more conviction for the issue instead of more conviction for the cure.

– DEG

Originally posted on November 16, 2016, last updated on April 20, 2019.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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10 Ways To Express Employee Appreciation

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Lots of organizations claim to value every employee’s contribution. They’ll often express that employee appreciation or the act of being appreciative is a core value. As a consultant, trainer, and coach I hear a lot of good stories, some of the most common underlying themes of workplace dissatisfaction seem to develop from a lack of respect, trust, and appreciation. Do you feel appreciated? What about your team?

employee appreciation in the office

Appreciation doesn’t just happen; it is intentional, but only with your good effort. The old news is, people don’t quit jobs because of the organization, they quit because of their boss. This applies not only to many root causes for turnover but also to absenteeism, unhealthy workplace conflict, and in some extreme cases even theft.

Increase Employee Appreciation

Do you want a healthy organization culture? Do you believe that you are showing appreciation for a job well done? Here are ten expressions of appreciation, use them (or create your own) frequently:

  1. That was so valuable!
  2. You did something no one else could have done.
  3. You really impressed me.
  4. This was beyond expectations!
  5. Can we clone you?
  6. That was absolutely amazing!
  7. I know you will have great success with this.
  8. I don’t know how you did it, but it is fantastic!
  9. Where would we be without you?
  10. Thank you.

Most employees know all the usual buzz phrases so try to use them sparingly, here are a few:

  1. Nice job.
  2. Great work.
  3. You rock.
  4. Awesome.
  5. Thanks.

While these are better than nothing, they are often too simplistic, are taken for granted, and do not generate lasting meaning.

I’ve heard countless stories about the manager who tries to say or do the right things but the delivery is terrible. Employees end up feeling like it is sarcasm, that it is not genuine, and provides no value.

Doing It Right

What is the difference, or how do you do it right? You have to feel it and believe it. Your level of integrity with improving employee appreciation comes from you understanding and valuing what it really means to appreciate the work or accomplishments of someone else. Truly consider what your workplace life may be like without them. What additional work load would you have to endure? What would the customer experience be like or what would your sales volume be?

Lastly, make sure your gestures, body language, and other actions align with your words. Recognize all of this in your mind first and then express why you appreciate them so much.

Always remember it is not what you intend to deliver, it is how it is perceived. Perception is reality.

Appreciate them more.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC and the owner of the registered trademark Appreciative Strategies®. Dennis is a four-time author and his latest book is titled, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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