Earn Your Employees Trust: Change How Your Employees Feel At Work.

You have a TRUST Situation:
  1. You are a leader.
  2. You have a new team member.
  3. The new team member is reluctant to take on responsibility and make decisions.
  4. You need him to make decisions.

Reasons:

There can be many reasons.

Possible Reason #1. They may want to relax and take it easy and therefore not take on the responsibility of making a decision. This means you didn’t hire well. I’m sorry to say, this is your fault… not theirs.

Possible Reason #2. Your new employee may be avoiding decisions because he doesn’t feel empowered… he has been burned by leaders in his past.

SOLUTION to Reason #2: 

Simply telling your new employee they have authority will not have positive impact. They likely feel scared to make decisions because they were yelled at or embarrassed or were made to feel bad about decisions they made in their past. A trauma he had in his past is influencing his behaviour to not make that mistake again… he is avoiding feeling bad by avoiding making decisions.

Your words alone will not change how he feels.

Emotions cannot be changed by reason… existing feelings have to be changed by making him feel new emotions… by having new positive emotional experiences.

You have to SHOW your new employee you trust his opinion when he makes a decision. If he makes a decision but it isn’t how you would do it BUT his decision still works, leave him alone and say nothing. You have to show him you have his back on the decisions he makes (as long as you do trust his expertise and decision-making process). And, you have to reinforce your behaviour in order to reinforce the new behaviour you want.

Changing how anyone feels – changing someone’s emotion will take time; it will take repeated reinforcement and investment on your end. Your new employee has to feel your trust – he has to learn to trust you and he has to learn to trust himself.

Real Experience

This happened to me years ago.

I had a lady who reported into me when I took over managing a department. Her previous boss made her feel stupid (literally). Whenever she gave her opinion or made decisions they were never good enough.

Reality was – she was so smart and experienced.

All any of us ever really want is to feel trust and respect and to learn from our shortcomings – not be beaten up by them.

It took a few months but in my case this employees’ trust in me grew… and her trust in herself grew. She now runs a whole department. What an amazing transformation.

What we do every day of our lives is what matters.

We hope you enjoyed this post.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Leadership Skills, Motivation Skills, Difficult Conversation Training, Business Email Etiquette, Time Management, Mindfulness and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

 

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Every employee is a leader. Never let your leader be surprised.

Every employee is a leader no matter what level you are within the company.

Leaders are leaders of company and/or department vision and success. Leaders are also leaders of:

  • Hiring and retaining the best people
  • Knowledge / information: Making sure employees know the vision, goals and the ‘why?’
  • Employee motivation and team motivation
  • Resource allocation: Making sure the team has the resources they need to succeed
  • Project tracking: Keeping routine track of projects, goals and budgets
  • Managing expectations: Keeping everyone informed – managing up the ladder and managing down the ladder.Manage Expectations

Employees are leaders because they are responsible for what they do with the goals, opportunities and resources their leader provides. Employees are also responsible for:

  • How they use the resources provided
  • How they allocate their time – time management
  • How well they collaborate and communicate within a project team and with suppliers
  • If they do or do not meet agreed upon goals
  • Managing expectations: Keeping their leaders informed

In short, employees are leaders of their own personal and professional success, brand and reputation.

If circumstances change and new risk is introduced for any agreed upon timeline or goal, employees must manage overall project goal expectations and they must manage their leader expectations.

Employees should ever let their leader be surprised… especially by a shortfall!

Conclusion:

Employees are 100% responsible for building trust with their leader or for eroding trust with their leader. Employees are 100% responsible for their future.

What we do every day of our lives is what matters.

We hope you enjoyed this post.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Leadership Skills, Motivation Skills, Difficult Conversation Training, Business Email Etiquette, Time Management, Mindfulness and more.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

View Bruce Mayhew's profile on LinkedIn

Bruce Mayhew Consulting

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

 

 

Is your employee insubordinate or, do they just not know better?

It’s a busy time of year.

Yesterday you had an employee unexpectedly take a sick day because their child was ill. This situation is inconvenient, but managing situations like this is part of what being a leader is about. Shake it off.

Today this employee comes in at 9:30AM, about 1-hour later than their usual start time. Argh… frustrating. And now, as it pushes 10AM they still have not settled down – meanwhile you and other members of your team are running around trying to meet a few important deadlines. Not only is this even more frustrating, you are also feeling more and more angry which is slowly moving into resentment and disappointed targeted squarely at this employee – and echoed by many of their coworkers. Yikes! Time to catch yourself and be careful.

Is your employee Insubordinate?

I’m sorry to say but instances like this is where it will show off your leadership skills.

What you can do?

As a leader I believe you have to hold this employee accountable. This means you will not hesitate (for long), before you have a difficult conversation with her about her actions (or lack of), this morning.

Now, let me be clear. Having a ‘difficult conversation’ isn’t about pinning blame or doing your best to make someone feel inferior or bad. This is about managing each others expectations. Also, difficult conversations are not yelling matches. If you holler and scream you are just doing damage to your personal and professional reputation.

Difficult conversations are ‘difficult’ because they are usually uncomfortable. But what they do accomplish is clearing the air. These conversations give you an opportunity to discuss what is important… to each of you… in a respectful, honest way.  In the example above, what is important is to let the employee know her actions today (not yesterday), are letting you and the rest of the team down; no blame – just reality. On a side note, I’d suggest it would be very cool and respectful of you to not mention her 9:30AM start because her morning might have had some lingering challenges from her child being ill.

This is about managing expectations.

The reality is that if you don’t have have that difficult, uncomfortable conversation – if you do nothing about her behaviour today you should not expect anything to change – and you are setting an example for the rest of the team; and you don’t want that. At the same time, if you don’t invest in that difficult conversation you will be losing the opportunity to learn more about what may be bothering this employee and how you might be able to help her today and in the future.

Step 1 of being a great Leader

You have to talk about what is going on. As a leader you have to manage her expectations and tell her what you need… even if she really should know what those expectations are.  To make this work better in the future you may want set up a new best-practice that whenever someone is out due to illness that first thing they have a 10-minute meeting with you to check-in and to re-set their schedule.

Step 2 of being a leader

You still have to inspire and motivate her, even if she is disappointing you. So, try to have everything you do and say to have a positive twist. You will see this explained further in the examples below.

Your mindset should lean to letting her know that her contribution is important!

Step 3a of being a leader

Prepare a great first sentence. This is important. Seriously, it’s really important.

What you SHOULD NOT say. “You are disappointing me – after taking a questionable day off you are now wandering around here disturbing others and being a nuisance – perhaps it would have been better you take another day off and call it a vacation day.”

What you COULD say. “Bonnie, I’m glad you are back and I hope your child is feeling better. I really need you to get onto PROJECT A and have it done by 11:30 this morning. Can you do that? The team worked on XYZ yesterday but your experience and expertise will help us finish it. After that, let’s talk about two other priorities we need you to be part of. Please come see me at 11:30AM for a recap and status of PROJECT A.”

Sure the second approach is a bit more hand-holding and perhaps you don’t think you should have to… if only they were more like you. But as a leader it’s your responsibility to get the best out of the people you have and for now it seems clear you have to do a bit of hand-holding. Perhaps with this hand-holding they will begin to learn. I’ll assure you – some will, and some will not.

As a leader soft skills can be as much as 80% of your responsibilities. It is not your job to work work work… it’s your job to inspire, motivate, empower and to build a trusting culture within a strategic vision… all while living the company values and producing quality, competitive results.

Step 3b of being a leader

Bonnie is not settling down.

If she continues to not settle down, keep sharing how you are feeling, but be careful to still not be emotional. Keep your empathy turned on – but stay firm with your work responsibilities and dedication to supporting your ream when they need your support.

For example you might want to say something like, “Bonnie, I’m getting a bit frustrated that we have all the work I shared with you this morning that needs to get done and you are not settling down to help the team. Is there something you need or is there something going on that I need to know about?”

Talking about how you are feeling is part of being truthful. You are not pushing blame and it certainly doesn’t make you look weak. Again, it’s about managing expectations and trying not to assume why someone is… or is not doing something. Discussing feelings helps give everyone a clear picture of the impact of our actions – or inactions.

Conclusion

There is never any one perfect solution I can give you, but what I’ve shared above does work – I promise. Stay focused on your needs and your personal and professional values. They will help keep you grounded.

Great leaders have to keep adapting to new environments and more complicated situations faster than ever before. Among everything else, even employee needs are becoming more challenging and often more personal. 

This is where being more connected to our feelings and tapping into our empathy and compassion is the right solution. Learn how to work with your soft skills. Even in difficult times, great leaders still try to instil trust, compassion, support, teamwork and hope.

You may have to get outside your comfort zone… but you can do it.

We hope you enjoyed this post.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

View Bruce Mayhew's profile on LinkedIn

Bruce Mayhew Consulting

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

 

 

Time Management – get more done.

Everyone says get to bed early and wake up early. And for about 90% of us that is the right recommendation. And if you are part of the 10%-night owls I’m not going to try to get you to change. And frankly, as work requirements are more flexible, adaptable and virtual of late, there are fewer challenges for night owls to get into work by 8AM… for many professions.

But, here is one truth that is important for all of us to know – no matter when you like to get up.

We are all strategically at our best from about 1 hour after to about 5 or 6 hours after we wake up. Even if we feel tired because we cared for a newborn or an aging parent, you can’t argue that we are still most rested after we wake up.

Three other amazing best practices that help early birds and moderates get more done:

1. Get to work early.

When we get to work early, it is usually the quietest part of our day. Before other coworkers, customers or suppliers get organized and begin bugging us we can get lots done.

2. Don’t plan meetings until at least 10AM or 11AM.

Meetings are often some of our most unproductive time. So, try to get as much strategic time in as possible. Remember, you are at your best up to 5 or 6 hours after you wake up so use that as your guide. Create a policy that restricts early morning meetings for your team. Try not to let meetings happen before 10 or 11AM.

If you lead a team or department and can’t get the meeting moved, check to see how critical it is that you attend. Perhaps you can send someone else from your team and then have them give you a quick update early in the afternoon. This time management best practice has two additional benefits including:

  • It’s likely a career development opportunity for a junior team member
  • A quick update will take less time than sitting through a whole meeting.

3. Use your travel time strategically.

I don’t necessarily mean work work work. Sure, getting a bit more work done may be your decision for today, but good time management also could mean giving yourself time to do some inspirational reading, or to hand-write a note to a friend, family member or an employee who has done a great job living up to the corporate values.

What I mean by use your travel time strategically is do something that is planned – even if your plan is to rest or daydream. Mixing up your routine and turning off the radio, or turning on a podcast is often one of the healthiest things we can do and is often one of the things we don’t often allow ourselves to do.

Little things matter.

Happy communicating, leading, mentoring and getting more done.

We facilitate courses including email etiquette, time management training, leadership skills, generational differences training… and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

The Ideal Leader

If I could be the ideal leader, I would:

  1. Have a strategic, virtuous goal that does not diminish the value of someone else’s strategic, virtuous goal.
  2. See that my goal may be part of someone else’s (or societies), even bigger goal.
  3. Be able to see reality through the eyes of many different people who would have very different perspectives than myself.
  4. Create a compassionate space where other people would be encouraged to also see reality through other people’s eyes.
  5. Build relationships based on respect and listening, and these relationships would build a foundation of trust and a willingness to collaborate.
  6. Want to have developed a reputation as being trustworthy and fair.
  7. Always keep in mind the importance of managing expectations – both mine and other peoples.
  8. Embrace creativity and spontaneity.
  9. Know that I don’t know everything and through shared trust with my collaborators, I would feel comfortable to ask questions… and my fellow collaborators would be patient with me as I would be with them. And we would all see our question and answer periods as opportunities for us all to explore the project in a new way as well as learn about each other.
  10. Remember that profits and sustainability are important, but the sustained health of people, communities and our planet are more important.
  11. Have time to reflect… and I would also know that sometimes I am confident in my goal, myself and/or my team that I do not wait for a fully developed plan.
  12. Always try to develop my team so they continue to grow and reach their personal and professional goals within our organization for as long as possible.
  13. Realize that peoples career choices and behaviours are theirs and theirs alone.
  14. See change is healthy and necessary… and inevitable.
  15. Remind myself that everyone learns and works in a way that is unique to them. Different people may need more (or less) investment… and that is OK.
  16. Remember that intrinsic motivation is almost always more effective than extrinsic motivation.
  17. Remember that if I am not learning then I am falling behind.
  18. Always be looking for an opportunity to work with and learn from other leaders.

Happy communicating, leading, mentoring and learning.

We facilitate courses including Email Etiquette, Time Management training, How To Run Effective MeetingsLeadership Skills, Generational Differences, Difficult Conversations training… and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

15 Ways To Be Sure Your Business Meeting Isn’t A Waste Of Time

How you manage a business meeting with colleagues, clients or a combination of both can be a good indication of your leadership abilities. And while I’ve outlined 15 ways to be sure your business meeting isn’t a waste of time, I’m sure you’re already doing some. So perhaps, add them up your ‘Do’ column and ‘Need To Do’ column and see which list is longer.

Why is it important to review your business meeting management best practices?

It takes far less time to organize a great meeting (and reinforce a great personal reputation), than it takes to sit through a poorly organized meeting that is a waste of time… for everyone.

Great business meetings are about choice. Do you choose to:

  1. Plan the meeting with no more than 3 key objectives to discuss or 3 key decisions to make?
  2. Invite only the people who need to be there?
  3. Build a reputation that your meetings start on time in order to respect everyone’s time?
  4. Build a reputation that your meetings finish on time in order to respect everyone’s time?
  5. Send your agenda out days in advance?
  6. Stay on topic, on agenda?
  7. As a participant, do you read the agenda in advance?
  8. As meeting organizer or participant, do you arrive prepared with the background and / or support documents you need to participate?
  9. Listen with purpose to learn? During the meeting, are you trying to understand (not necessarily agree with), other points of view? Please say yes.
  10. Participate? Stay relevant? Ask questions / provide your opinion only when you have meaningful contribution? Do you create value? If people have questions they will / should feel free to ask.
  11. Use a ‘Parking Lot’ for new topics… and new business meetings?
  12. Be respectful when you agree and when you disagree?
  13. Get to the point, not waste time, don’t ramble. Do you choose to be efficient and effective… especially if you have executives in the meeting.
  14. Review decisions and action items before you close to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  15. Document and distribute agreed-upon decisions and action items?

Conclusion
Far too many meetings leave us with the feeling our time and/or our opinion aren’t appreciated. And while much responsibility sits with the organizer, I believe it’s each of our responsibility to know what we can do to make sure business meetings are not a waste of time.

Happy communicating, leading, mentoring, learning and hosting great meetings.

We facilitate courses including Email Etiquette, Time Management training, How To Run Effective MeetingsLeadership Skills, Generational Differences, Difficult Conversations training… and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

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