Posted by Louellen Essex on August 21, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management
Sometimes leaders have to be critical in an attempt to improve a situation created by staff, colleagues, or upper level leaders. How the message is delivered can make the difference between a productive conversation and a damaged relationship. Use this template to guide your thinking as you craft what you want to say when constructive criticism is necessary.
Posted by Louellen Essex on August 07, 2014 in Leadership, Team Development
Teams don’t work very well without periodic check-ups to make sure everything is working as it should. Use the following set of questions as a) a guide for your own reflective thinking about a team you lead, b) as a discussion tool for an upcoming team meeting, or c)as a survey for each team member to complete. What you learn from the feedback will help you and the team determine what actions to take to improve performance by solving problems identified before they become more daunting.
Posted by Louellen Essex on July 24, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management
It’s easy to cling to old, comfortable ways of leading that no longer make sense, once you pause to reflect. Ongoing research and current best practices teach us that it is time to discard the old and bring in the new. Consider these out-of-date practices and update your approach.
Posted by Louellen Essex on July 09, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations
Conflict is inevitable when people work together in an organization. In fact, it’s a good thing because it most often means that those involved care enough about the situation to express their differences or discontent. If mismanaged, however, it can lead to undesirable outcomes. By using the right approach in the right situation, leaders can effectively deal with conflict, increasing the odds that the dynamic becomes productive. Here are five approaches to managing conflict with guidelines for using each one.
Posted by Louellen Essex on June 19, 2014 in Leadership
Quotes give us a new way to think about something. They promote awareness and insight. They inspire. Sometimes they trigger that “aha” moment. Here are some that will cause you to pause, reflecting on what leadership means to you.
Posted by Louellen Essex on May 08, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management, Team Development
Every organization emphasizes the need for teamwork. But few really achieve a high performing team environment. Setting the stage for collaboration requires that leaders play close attention to several common traps that, when present in the work environment, make true teamwork nearly impossible to achieve.
Posted by Louellen Essex on April 24, 2014 in Leadership, Performance Management, Team Development
Much has been written about rewarding and recognizing staff members for a job well done. While money, trinkets, and prizes – extrinsic motivators – have temporary “feel good” effects, real motivation occurs in a much different way. More powerful is the satisfaction inherent in doing the work itself ¬¬ – intrinsic motivation. Here is how this translates into leadership strategies that unlock staff drive to achieve their best work.
Posted by Louellen Essex on April 10, 2014 in Leadership
Research engines are quickly producing numerous studies that challenge some of the commonly held beliefs about organizations, leaders, and employees. Here are some current findings, along with suggestions for how to put the research into practice.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 13, 2014 in Change Management, Communication, Leadership
Most organizations are in the throes of multiple changes, requiring leaders at all levels to be masterful in how they communicate. Staff resistance can be exasperated by faulty change messages that do a poor job of explaining why something different is needed. With so much change in the works, everyone is touchy about adding one more thing to their overflowing plates. Ease the burden by following these change messaging guidelines.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 27, 2014 in Communication, Leadership
Negotiation comes in many varieties. A competitive approach is aimed at you getting more than the other side gets – a win-lose outcome. A compromise means lose-lose, with both sides giving up something to get an acceptable solution. An integrative process creates a win-win, whereby both parties get the majority of what they want. Successful negotiators, as a backdrop to each situation they enter, focus on the integrative approach because their experience tells them it leads to better outcomes, more productive relationships, and on-going trust. To that end, here are the top 5 things they do.