Quick to bite

I know it is necessary to encourage people periodically and pay them compliments. Not empty or fake compliments but truly watch them and point out what we think are the positives about them.

One thing I have realised in dealing with my colleagues and team members is how quick I am to point out all the errors or things that have been left undone.

I am making the conscious effort to stop being a nitpicker and focus on the positives which in turn would boost the morale of my team.

Sometimes I worry that this would lower the effectiveness and productivity of the team but based on the Leadership books I have read so far, it is necessary to periodically praise and encourage your team genuinely.

I am the first to say that some people need to be told the unequivocal truth about their performance (or lack of performance) but are there ways to do this without giving the Simon Cowell treatment?

In John Maxwell’s 5 levels of Leadership, he persuades leaders to be the chief encouragers of their team by focusing firstly on the people and who they are.

In response to this, I have drafted guidelines to help me encourage my team:

1. Get to know them on a personal level: I am appalled about how little I know about my team, so today I have decided that I would have lunch with each member of my team instead of that awful monthly 1-2-1 meetings that make us all cringe. I need to remember their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, children’s birthdays…you get the picture?

2. Appreciate the Greens: I specialise in Risk and Change management. In order to ensure compliance and proper governance, my team keeps track of projects that have exceeded their tolerance levels. These projects are flagged Red and have to be resolved within 7 days or they are escalated to the Board of Directors and immediately stopped.
Now, I get annoyed when I spot a Red project even when majority of the projects are Green. I have now resolved not to flip out when I see Red, I would send the team member a well done message with regard to the amount of Greens and tell them I trust them to resolve the Reds within the 7 day grace period. This would be very hard for me and this leads me to the next point.

3. Trust: Effective delegation is so easy to describe and explain but in reality, it is the hardest thing to do especially when you are a type of control freak.

Previously, I have poorly delegated to the extent that both the delegate and I are frustrated. Now I am learning that effective delegation means properly assessing the skills of the delegate, match them to the task that needs to be delegated, clearly state what is expected of them, give a timeframe within which the task should be delivered and assure the person that you are available to clarify aspects of the task if they need clarification.
If I am jittery about if the person is on the right track, I set check points for ensuring we are both on the same page on what needs to be delivered.

4. Develop: I have now realised that it is almost impossible to encourage someone you have not invested in. So I aim to invest my time with people on my team and find out what exactly makes them tick…then invest in them the right way.

I particularly enjoy reading John Maxwell’s tips on encouraging your team and you can read it on his blog.

In other news, my frozen shoulder is so much better. Thank you all for your tips on how to regain proper use of my right hand. I have now started practicing how to eat and read with my left hand and I shall let you know how it goes.

Have a fab day people!

x.

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