“I’m sorry, we need to let you go.”

Oomph! Those words feel like a punch to the gut of the employee on the receiving end, and for the leader delivering the bad news, those words create anxiety and many sleepless nights leading up to that difficult conversation.

Failed Employee
No leader likes to see an employee fail on the job. From the moment we start the recruitment process, through interviewing, hiring, and training, our goal is to set up our employees for success. It takes a incredible quantity of time, energy, and expense to bring new individuals into the organization and ramp them up to full productivity so it’s in everyone’s vested interest to see an employee succeed. Yet we all know there are situations that, for whatever reason, an employee struggles on the job and there isn’t much hope of turning it around.

I recently met with a group of HR professionals and line managers to debrief employee termination situations. As we reviewed the cases at hand, the following nine signs emerged as warning signals, that had they been heeded early on in the employee’s career, a termination decision could have been made much earlier in the process that would have saved everyone a lot of heartache and the company a lot of money. Any one of these signs is alarming in and of itself, but when you combine all of them together…KABOOM! You’ve got an employee meltdown waiting to happen.

Nine Warning Signs of a Failing Employee

1. Things don’t improve with a change of scenery – Maybe it’s the relationship with their boss, certain peers, or the nature of the work has changed and the employee is struggling to perform at her best. Whatever the reason, moving the employee to another role or department can get her back on track. I’ve done it myself and have seen it work. But if you’ve given someone another chance by giving them a change of scenery and it’s still not working out, you should be concerned. The scenery probably isn’t the problem.

2. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around the employee – We all have personality quirks and some people are more difficult to work with than others, but when an employee becomes cancerous to the morale and productivity of the team and everyone feels like they have to walk on eggshells around the person for fear of incurring their wrath, you’ve got a serious problem. Don’t underestimate the destructive power of a toxic, unpredictable employee.

3. Emotional instability – Part of being a mature adult is being able to manage your emotions and it’s critically important in a professional workplace. If you have an employee that demonstrates severe emotional mood swings on the job and in their relationships with others, you need to pursue the proper legal and ethical guidelines in dealing with the employee and getting them the support they need. Don’t ignore the behavior by chalking it up to the heat of the moment, the stress of the job, or excusing it by saying “Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe.”

4. Trouble fitting into the company culture – Perhaps one of the earliest signs that you have a failing employee is noticing she is having significant trouble adapting to the culture of the organization. There is a natural transition time for any new employee, but if you’re constantly hearing the employee make negative comments about how the company operates and criticizing leadership, or not developing solid relationships with others and becoming part of the team, warning alarms should be going off in your head.

5. Blames others, makes excuses, and challenges authority – You know the incredibly loud sound of air raid sirens used in civil defense situations? That’s the sound you should be hearing if you have an employee with a track record of blaming others and making excuses for her poor performance. Failing employees will often challenge authority by trying to lay the blame at the boss’ feet by saying things like “You should have done this…” or “You didn’t address that problem…” or whatever the case may be. If you have an employee who always seems to be involved in drama, ask yourself “What (or more appropriately ‘who’) is the common denominator in these situations?”

6. Distorts or manipulates the truth – I’ve dealt with employees who were very skilled at manipulating or distorting the truth. In whatever difficult situation they were in, they would find a kernel of truth to justify and excuse their involvement to the point that I would feel compelled to side with them. I learned you have to be discerning and consistent in your approach to dealing with manipulative people and make sure you document your interactions so you have sufficient data to support your termination decision.

7. Unseen gaps in performance – One of the most challenging situations is when an employee seems to be performing well by outside appearances, but when you explore behind the scenes you discover there are gaps in her performance. Maybe it’s sloppy work, not following correct procedures, or even worse, being intentionally deceptive or unethical. Be careful, things may not always be as they seem.

8. A trail of broken relationships – Employees don’t have to be BFF’s with all of their coworkers, but they do need to respect others and be able to work together. A person may be a high-performer in the tasks of her job, but if she can’t get along with other people and has a history of damaging relationships with colleagues, eventually there will come a point where her contributions are outweighed by the damage and drama she creates.

9. Passive-aggressive behavior – You know those smiley-face emoticons at the end of slightly sarcastic and critical emails? A classic example of passive-aggressive behavior where the sender is trying to couch her criticism in feigned-humor. This is toxic and can be hard to manage because it manifests itself is so many ways that appear to be innocuous in and of themselves. Veiled jokes, procrastination, sullenness, resentment, and deliberate or repeated failure to follow-through on tasks are all signs of passive-aggressive behavior. Be careful…very careful.

The number one job for a leader is to help his or her employees succeed. Before an employee is terminated, a leader needs to be able to look in the mirror and honestly admit that everything possible has been done to help the employee succeed. These nine warning signs should serve as critical guideposts in helping any leader be alert to a failing employee.

About Author:– Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies

Re-blogged from Blanchard Leader-chat 

Tags:– Human Resource Issues, Leadership, Performance Management, Productivity

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Trust is frequently taken for granted until it has been broken, and when a crisis of trust emerges, leaders and organizations often find themselves ill-prepared to not only deal with the fallout, but helpless on how to begin the process of rebuilding it. Whether trust has been broken on the individual or organizational level, there are key steps to take, and pitfalls to avoid, during the process of rebuilding trust with internal and external stakeholders.

How to build Trust

Yesterday I partnered with Linda Locke, a corporate reputation management expert and Senior Vice President at Standing Partnership, to host the Trust Across America radio show. We explored the topic of how leaders respond to and lead during a crisis of trust. One glance at the news headlines tells you there is no shortage of crises facing leaders today. Whether it’s politics, government, business, sports, or non-profit organizations, there are plenty of contemporary examples of individuals leading during a crisis of trust. Some manage it well; most don’t. The problem? They respond in the wrong way.

Linda suggests there are four primary ways leaders can respond to a crisis of trust:–

1. Deny – This is a viable strategy if you can truthfully say you have no culpability or responsibility for the crisis at hand. However, if you have any involvement in the situation, no matter how small, then you need to own up to your actions. We have seen way too many leaders or public figures use this strategy in an attempt to cover their misdeeds, only to have it come back to haunt them when the truth finally surfaced. Think Bill Clinton, Anthony Wiener, Ryan Braun, Lance Armstrong, etc. Deniers would be well served to follow Mark Twain’s advice: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”.

2. Justify – Just like the previous strategy, justifying your actions could be a legitimate response if you truly had no alternative course of action. Sometimes leaders are faced with a trust dilemma, where upholding trust with one group of stakeholders may violate the trust of a different group. We see this often in government, politics, and business, where stakeholder groups have competing interests. In these situations it’s important for leaders and organizations to have a clear set of values that guide their decisions and actions. That doesn’t make it easier to lead during a crisis of trust, but it provides a path forward. On the flip side, trying to justify your actions when you could have acted in a more trustworthy fashion, makes you appear insincere, irresponsible, and incompetent.

3. Excuse – Children are a great example of how this strategy is used, aren’t they?. Think of the typical things a child says when confronted with wrongdoing…It’s not my fault! She made me do it! It’s her fault! Unfortunately, too many leaders haven’t grown out of their childish ways. In an effort to shift blame or responsibility, leaders often respond to a crisis of trust by making excuses. Whether it is natural disasters, the actions of another party, market conditions, governmental policies, or any number of other reasons, the excuse strategy always tries to lay responsibility at the feet of another. Not a recipe for building trust at any time, especially during a crisis.

4. Apologize – Ok, finally a strategy that makes sense! Of course, this is the tried and true, most effective strategy for leading during a crisis of trust. Saying I’m sorry are the two most powerful words you can use to begin rebuilding trust. Using those words conveys remorse for your actions, demonstrates humility, and displays vulnerability, all of which are vital to repairing a breach of trust. Other essential ingredients of an effective apology include not using conditional language, expressing empathy for the offended party, listening to concerns, and committing to not repeating the behavior.

Just like very few people intentionally plan for a natural disaster by having reserves of food, water, and emergency supplies, few leaders have a plan of action for how to respond during a crisis of trust. Although there isn’t a single, one-size-fits-all crisis response plan, leaders should invest the time necessary to develop a strategy tailored to the needs of their organizations.

Are there other strategies you would offer for leading during a crisis? If so, share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

About Author:– Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies. For more insights on trust and leadership, visit http://www.blanchardinternational.co.in/

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Re-blogged From Blanchard Leader-chat

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In its own research into employee work passion, The Ken Blanchard Companies has found significant correlations between perceptions of leader behavior, employee affect, and subsequent intentions to stay with a company, endorse the organization as a good place to work, and perform at a high level.

Developing yourself

Developing yourself

So why don’t more organizations invest in developing their leaders? What keeps them from taking steps in the right direction?

“For a lot of organizations, it’s just not part of their founding DNA,” says consultant and author Scott Blanchard in the latest issue of Ignite. “Some companies don’t grow up with it.”

That can be a challenge for managers and individuals looking to grow and develop within those cultures. People who want to develop and grow will find themselves plateauing or hitting the wall early without a clear process for developing themselves and others.

For leaders looking to take some steps toward reinvigorating themselves and others, Blanchard recommends four areas to focus on—understanding yourself, building relationships, producing results, and charting careers.

Step 1:– Understanding Yourself

Great leaders begin with a profound understanding of themselves. But Blanchard cautions that in order to get an accurate picture of yourself, you have to get input from others. Self understanding can’t happen in a vacuum.

“The best leaders do 360s so they can compare their self-perception to the perception of people around them. Inevitably, poor leaders are ones who either don’t care or who have an inaccurate awareness of the way they’re coming across to others. And that’s what Dilbert and the pointy-haired boss are all about. Don’t be that guy. Nobody wants to be that guy.”

Step 2:– Building Relationships

As a next step, Blanchard recommends developing and constantly improving your skill in building relationships with people. If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that fundamentally, the art of building relationships centers on serving people.

In Blanchard’s experience, the reason this is so important is the different way that people perceive the actions of leaders who are focused on others instead of solely focused on their own agenda. When people perceive that their leader is coming from the right place and then buy in to that person, they feel safe, they forgive a leader’s mistakes, and they are more willing to put themselves out, try a little harder, and achieve more.

Step 3:– Producing Results

The first two steps set the foundation that allows a leader to push people toward better performance. The third step is to learn how to work together with others with the explicit intention of generating better results. And it is not in a manipulative way explains Blanchard. “Leadership is something you do with people—partnering with them in the accomplishment of goals—it’s not something you do to them.

“You’re looking to leverage that interpersonal capacity to produce better results. Great people want to perform at a high level. A leader’s job is to help them get there.”

Step 4:– Charting Careers

In today’s work environment the opportunity to grow is more important than ever before. Growth is the currency of this new economy. People recognize that their ability to grow and learn new things is what keeps them valuable. In this fourth and final step, you—as a leader—must ensure that this is a part of your skill set.

Your goal as a leader is to let them know that you are a partner in their career journey,” says Blanchard. “It’s finding ways that people can grow by giving them a chance to excel in their present job but also looking at what you can do to provide them with opportunities for the next leg of their career.”

It’s a journey that begins with a better understanding of yourself and then expands to include a better understanding of others and how to work together to achieve common goals. This will result in benefits for both the individual and the organization.

Re-blogged From Blanchard Leader Chat

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Tags: — #Personal Self Development #Leadership Development #Organizational Change #Performance Management

 

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We tend to over-complicate things in life, and when it comes to defining what successful leadership looks like, we really, really, over-complicate it. Much of what constitutes leadership success comes down to common sense, but unfortunately it’s not always common practice.

Leadership SuccessSearching the shelves of your local bookstore (do those still exist?) or doing a search on Amazon.com would lead you to believe that to be a successful leader you’ll need to discover the keys, take the right steps, obey the laws, figure out the dysfunctions, embrace the challenge, ascend the levels, look within yourself, look outside yourself, form a tribe, develop the right habits, know the rules, break the rules, be obsessed, take control, let go of control, learn the new science, or discover the ancient wisdom. Did I say we like to over-complicate things?

I don’t think leadership should be that complicated. If you’re looking for leadership success, consider these seven simple truths:

1. There aren’t any shortcuts:- Leadership is hard work and most of it is on the job training. Formal education and ongoing development are essential parts of developing your leadership competency, but don’t think you can transform yourself into a great leader by reading a certain book or taking a particular training course. Great leaders are built by being in the game, not by standing on the sidelines or sitting in the classroom.

2. Great leaders start by being great followers:- Most successful leaders were successful followers at some point. They learned how to be part of a team, put the needs of others ahead of their own, and work toward a goal bigger than themselves. In our hero-worshiping culture, we tend to place the spotlight on the individual achievements of leaders, and not pay much attention to how they cultivated those winning ways earlier in their career. Learn to be a good follower and you’ll learn what it takes to be a good leader.

3. There’s no mysterious secret to leadership success:- Contrary to the titles of popular leadership books, there is no single, mysterious secret to unlocking leadership success (see truth #1). All those books I lovingly teased earlier offer valuable insights about various aspects of leadership, but most of them tell you what you already know to be true…which brings me to the next point.

4. You already know what it takes to be a good leader:- Not to plagiarise Robert Fulghum, but you probably learned in kindergarten most of what it takes to be a good leader. Be nice. Play well with others. Say please and thank you. Do what you can to help others. Of course you have to mature and apply those fundamentals in adult ways like being transparent and authentic with others, challenging people to strive for their goals, holding them accountable, and having difficult conversations when needed.

5. The difference between management and leadership is overrated:- Tons of books and blogs have been written debating the differences between these two concepts. Yes, each has its own unique characteristics, and yes, each of them overlap significantly in the practice of leadership and management. Leaders have to manage and managers have to lead. Learn to do them both well because they are much more similar than they are different.

6. Leaders aren’t special:- We’re all bozos on the same bus. Leaders aren’t any more special than individual contributors and everyone is needed to have a successful team. If you view leadership as service, which I happen to do, you should consider your team members more important than yourself. Get your ego out of the way and you’ll be on your way to success.

7. Leadership is much more about who you are than what you do:- This is probably the most important truth I’ve learned about leadership over my career. I view leadership as a calling, not a job. As a calling, leadership is about who I am—my values, beliefs, attitudes—and my actions are the visible manifestation of those inner ideals. If you want to be a successful leader, your primary focus should be on the inner work that is required, not on behavioral tricks or techniques.

So there you go, those are my seven simple truths. What do you think? What would you add, delete, or change? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Just don’t make it too complicated.

About Author:- Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Re-blogged From Blanchard LeaderChat

Topics:– #Leadership Success #Leadership Development #Team Leadership #Situational Leadership II

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As a customer I am often frustrated when someone either over or under-supervises me and I get told stuff I already know, or can’t seem to get the information I actually need.  Might this be happening with your customers?

Situational Leadership III want to quickly demonstrate the use of Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® II model to showcase a way to look at your customers with new eyes.  Not only will you save time with this approach, you will also give customers exactly what they need to succeed with your product and thus develop greater respect, memories of care, and referrals.

By teaching customers how to rapidly gain competence with your product they can more quickly feel like champions as they share their brilliance with you and others.

How this works

To begin with, think of something you sell that people are excited to have, but initially don’t know how to use.  This first stage of learning we call an Enthusiastic Beginner.  What do they need at this stage? They need direction—very specific guidelines, examples, and to be taught and shown how to use the product.

Like any learning curve, there is a next stage. Disillusioned Learner is when the task becomes a bit more difficult and frustrating. Discouragement often sets in when customers find doing the task is much more difficult alone than when they were with you.  Now, they need encouragement, a reminder of why what they are doing is important and how to fine tune their abilities so as to mediate their concerns and ratchet up success.

Soon, they will be Capable, but Cautious Performers, who are using their new products, but cautiously and probably with less speed than someone who has been using it for years.  They need to practice, share their thoughts, and hear their ideas, to be able to talk with you about what they are doing well and what they would like to do better. Since they are capable at this time, they really need air time to build their confidence in their competence.

With care, customers progress to a final development level as Self-Reliant Achievers.  At this level they are highly competent and highly committed.  This is your opportunity to really engender customer devotion by weaving their genius into the mix and having them participate on expert teams.  By asking them to teach others and share ideas you are really helping them to feel smart and recognize their brilliance.

Develop your customers

Situationally developing your customers is a great way to expand your use of the Situational Leadership® II model.  In the same way that it works for developing employees it can help you set up customers for rapid success and long term relationships where people feel valued, cared for and positioned to shine.

Re-blogged from Blanchard Leadership Chat

About the author:-

Vicki Halsey is one of the principal authors—together  with Kathy Cuff—of The Ken Blanchard Companies Legendary Service training program.

For more information about Situational Leadership® II Model call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll Free) or visit to our Situational Leadership® II Training Programs

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“Growth is not steady, forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail – three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap.”

bigstock-progress-concept–Dorothy Corkville Briggs

Becoming the person we want to be is a gradual process. We learn and grow line upon line. Here is a three-step process that can help you on your journey to become the person you desire to be.

Step 1 :– Have a clear vision of who you want to become

The process starts by having a clear picture of who we want to be. Each of us has been given a script to play based on a combination of our genetics (what we inherited) the way we were raised, and our current environment. We can either live out those scripts, or we can choose to write and act out our own new script. (See last month’s post for a process on writing out a new script for your life.) Whose script are you acting out?

Step 2:– Start each week with reflection and planning

Before the week begins, sit down and review each role in your life. For each and every role, reread your aspirational statement. (See last month’s post for more on this.)  Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you closer to becoming the person you want to become in that role?
  • What went well last week?
  • What would you like to do better this week?
  • What is the most important thing you can do this week to become the person you desire to be?

The answer to the last question can be a specific action such as taking a loved one to dinner, or it might be an area to focus on such as, “listen better.”

Step 3:– Forgive ourselves when we are not perfect

I love the wisdom of Mr. Rogers. He once said:–

“Some days, dong the ‘best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect – on any front – and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else.”

-Fred Rogers

Remember that this is a journey. There will be moments when you fall short of your goal. When you do, remember to forgive yourself and recognize the progress you have made over time. Are you closer today than you were last year to being the father or mother, husband or wife, manager or employee, you want to become? If you can answer, “YES” to that question, you are on the right path.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and/or questions.

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About the author:–

John Hester is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies who specializes in performance, productivity, and self leadership.

Re Blogged From Blanchard Leader-chat

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A Train the trainer workshop or TTT as it is commonly called, is a workshop with basic training skills for aspiring trainers. Several organizations send their employees for these workshops for two main reasons. First employees accept an internal trainer more readily as compared to an external one. And second, it works out extremely cost effective for an organization to have an internal resource.

Most Train The Trainer workshops are of 3-5 days duration, but some of them are split into few sessions of 1-2 days spread over a period of a month. This helps in optimum learning as the mediate time permits participants to absorb and implement the learning in real time and understand it’s effectiveness.

train-the-trainerA good TTT program conjointly provides the participants a chance to demonstrate their learning, multiple times throughout the workshop. In fact it is a great strategy to include a session towards the end of any training/workshop where the participants can demonstrate what they have learned. This benefits in two ways; on the one hand it boosts the confidence level of participants on their improved ability, on the other hand it provides an ideal tool to measure effectiveness of your training.

In a TTT course, a trainer should use the some question/answer technique to teach the delegates regarding the importance of asking queries. This way, not only delegates learn the technique, but they can also see how it works in practice as the technique is used directly on them. Over the course of Train The Training, they start to understand the effectiveness of the new skill and they can easily remember various parts of the course and see how each method helps them to learn.

Good corporate training courses based on accelerated learning are usually densely packed and the initial reaction at the beginning of the course is to think that there is simply too much material to cover. Most learners think that they are not capable of learning so much in a given time, just because they rely on their previous experience based on old-fashioned style of learning. What they don’t understand is that the old strategies of lecture-based training can be awfully slow in properly teaching a specific ability. Sometimes by the end of a training course, delegates start to rapidly build up their confidence in the subject matter and become amazed on how much they can learn in a short time. Training games and online training resources can be quite helpful on this.

In a train the trainer course, this basic discovery sometimes produces vital mentality shift as learners realise how quickly they have become competent during a specific ability and also at the same time how they can start applying this technique to their own courses to maximise their efficiency.

The train the trainer training contains all the training resources a trainer needs to run a course including power point slides, workbooks, exercises, trainer notes, trainer scripts, handouts, training games and so on.

Though a TTT workshop can give you the basic understanding and some practice of adult learning methodology, your success as a trainer largely depends on how much you implement. Like any other skill, you get better with practice.

We at Blanchard Research and Training India conducting Situational Leadership II TTT training course in Delhi on Mar 21-22: Book now!

For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345(Toll Free) or visit us at http://www.blanchardinternational.co.in

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India:In order for the leaders of large corporations to achieve in the 21st century marketplace, they need to have all the abilities required in order to compete. A company won’t succeed unless its leaders possess strong leadership qualities, are able to meet each challenge that the company faces, and know how to motivate everyone on their team so that all team members work at their peak efficiency. Your corporation must incorporate sales training programs that will give your employees the abilities to compete systematically in the world market, so that your company can adapt to doing business with different cultures around the world.

Leadership TrainingMillions of workers worldwide are not satisfied with their jobs and are often hesitant to approach their employers with suggestions on how to improve the workplace. In some cases, it may be a problem with the workforce, but most often it is a case of management not having necessary leadership skills to inspire employees and understand the strong and weak points of each of their employees. By developing skills that will teach management creative ways to inspire and motivate employees, the company will be more successful. Sales productivity will increase when your company provides leadership training programs developed by a company with years of experience in developing leadership qualities.

When you want to incorporate sales management programs to provide you management team with the necessary skill that will turn them into dynamic leaders, it is imperative to work with a company that can effectively teach you how to develop strong leaders that can successfully respond to the challenges of dealing with competitive corporations. The leaders of your corporation must be able to adapt to changing business modules and motivate your employees to adapt. Growth of your sales is a major priority if your company is to succeed in the 21st century. Your management team needs to understand how to accomplish this.

Your management team must be able to demonstrate qualities that will encourage productivity among employees while keeping morale high. Not only is it important for your management team to have the skills and expertise to increase productivity but also to provide the best possible service to all of your customers. Your team must develop all the skills necessary to stimulate sales and improve job performance no matter what industry you specialize in. When you have business issues that must be addressed immediately, call on a leader in the field to ensure your team develops the management skills needed to take your business into the 21st century.

Ken Blanchard companies is provider of learning-based solutions focused on leadership skills training and consulting in leadership development, core leadership training, leadership development programs, team building training and organizational development training programs.

For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll-Free) or visit us at http://www.blanchardinternational.co.in

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A business can benefit from its employee’s improved interpersonal skills, developed by leadership training programs. Leadership training programs additionally lead to innovation and improve business performances. These programs should be highly customized and powerful skill building programs, supported the requirements of the management.

The customization method includes of senior management interviews, on line surveys and a lot of. Leadership training programs help in developing efficient supervisory skills, managing diversity, developing high performance team work, time management for increasing productivity, handling difficult employees and poor performers diplomatically and managing inconsistency.

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Leadership training aims at developing a result-oriented approach. This implies that each action taken includes a positive impact on the objectives of the organization. It helps in building self-confidence, the power to encourage and nurture subordinates, improve decision-making abilities and continuing leadership growth on a personal level.

It is one thing to know the techniques of motivation but another to experience and be able to apply this knowledge to people and situations. The objective of leadership training is to educate an employee on how to motivate a group of diverse and talented people, towards achieving a common goal.

Leadership training may be expensive, but its benefits far outweigh the cost. Leadership training is incredibly necessary for the employees of any business concern. A business may cease to grow if its managers, employees and top executives are not given proper training.

The leadership training programs could be one-day seminars or two-day workshops or even longer. The price for leadership training programs, vary according to the course duration. Training programs that are held at retreat centers, generally make accommodation arrangements for the participants. The cost of these programs includes meals between training sessions, a room and the use of the training room. There are additional teleconference fees charged, if teleconferencing options are used during the seminar, in many cases.

Five Advantages youth can gain from leadership training

1. Develop key skills :–

Youth develop skills in communications, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and human relations. Leaders want these skills to be effective in their roles. At the same time, youth learn about character, values, and ethics. Where would any leader be without them?

2. Build Confidence:–

Leadership training inspires teenagers to dream a lot of, to do more, and to become more. Everything begins confidently and a decent leadership educational program helps every young person discover that he or she has the potential to lead. This potential gets nurtured through learning activities, special projects, internships, and community service.

3. Youth can get current, cutting edge techniques, strategies and solutions:–

Youth receive current information on leadership challenges, the traits of leaders, what it takes to steer, motivating others, the way to resolve conflict, managing with difficult people, effective presentation skills and more.

4. Youth gain experience through service learning projects:–

Service learning projects provide action and valuable experience. Youth explore real issues as they work with leaders in the nonprofit sector, business, and government. At the same time they build relationships with mentors who serve as positive role models.

5. Positive results:–

“If you don’t recognize where you’re going any road will get you there…if you don’t know where you’re going no road will get you there. A solid youth leadership program sets teenagers on the right path – one paved with opportunity. It positions youth for ongoing positive results. Skills are developed, information is imparted, and experience is gained.

We at the Ken Blanchard Companies provides comprehensive leadership development training and executive coaching solutions that address your business needs at every level.

We provides the leadership training in all over India like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, Noida etc. For more information you can call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll-Free) or visit us at http://www.blanchardinternational.co.in

 

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The Situational Leadership technique from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey holds that manager should use totally different leadership styles depending on the situation. The model permits one to analyze the needs of the situation and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on person’s competencies and commitment to the task, the leadership style should vary from one person to another.

Blanchard and Hersey characterized leadership style in terms of quantity of direction and the support that the leader offers to his/her followers. Effective leaders are able to move around according to situation, so there is no one style that is right. Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower is also distinguished. Similar to leadership style, developmental levels are also situational.

Blanchard and Hersey said that the leadership style of the leader must correspond to the development level of follower and it’s the leader who adapts. By adapting the right style to suit the follower’s developmental level, work gets done, relationships are built, and most importantly the follower’s developmental level rises to everyone’s benefit.

Hersey and Blanchard recommend that no single combination of task and relationship behavior is appropriate in all situations. The one important factor for selecting the most appropriate type of leadership for a given scenario is follower readiness.

There are different situational leadership models but the one most commonly used is the Hersey-Blanchard model, that separates leadership behavior into two general categories. Task behavior which is the communication and management of a work task that a group must accomplish with the follower and the Relationship Behavior, which is creation and maintenance of personal and emotional connections between the leader and the follower.

Hersey and Blanchard suggest that no single combination of Task and relationship behavior is suitable in all instances but the different combinations are best for different situations. The four leadership styles are described as follows:

1. Telling (High task, low relationship) (S1) - This leadership style includes more input of task behavior and less amounts of relationship behavior. The group members might have little experience with a given job. The leader will tell them what to do, when, where, how and who’s to do it. For example, the principal of a school is planning a science-training workshop for the teachers. He as a leader may need to provide a specific checklist, sequence of actions involved, list the responsibility of the teachers in detail and frequently monitor the progress of a group.

2. Selling (High task, high relationship) (S2) - This leadership style needs high inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers may not have the necessary knowledge or skill but they are committed and eager to learn. They need guidance and directions for accomplishing the task. But since they are making an effort, the leader should provide encouragement and motivation to the followers.
Situational Leadership
3. Participating (High relationship, low task) (S3) - This particular leadership style needs high inputs of relationship behavior and very low inputs of task behavior. The followers do not need a great deal of structure and direction as they have already demonstrated that they know how to perform. They need support and encouragement from the leader in order to build their confidence.

4. Delegating (High task, low relationship) (S4) - This style needs very low inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers in this case are competent and willing to perform a task. Very little guidance and direction is needed. They do not need a lot of supportive behavior. Still, the leaders need to see that the followers stay on the track and the leaders get some feedback about the task.

Leaders may change their leadership style over time from telling (S1) to coaching (S2) to supporting (S3) to delegating (S4) as performance improves. But if progress is not made, the leaders might have to back up and redirect their team until there is improvement. Leaders need to decide and do what the people are not able to do for themselves. There is no one best leadership style.

Situational Leadership is a model that allows the manager or leader to analyze the needs in a situation and then adopt the most appropriate leadership style. The mystery of leadership and follower ship goes on all around us and within us. We are all in some measure leaders and followers-as most of us, alternatively are parents and children, employers and employees, teachers and taught.

For More information you can visit Situational Leadership Page and if interested in Situational Leadership Program please visit Situational Leadership Program Calender or call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll Free).

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When I was 16 years old, my first job was serving ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins store.  Not only did I love ice cream, but I was very social and felt that this job suited me very well since I loved talking to people. Unfortunately, I think I’m still trying to lose those extra ice cream pounds I put on!

bigstock-brother-and-sister-eating-iceNow, let me be clear that the job of taking ice cream orders really is pretty easy. But imagine being new at the task of scooping rock-hard ice cream into cones without breaking them, or remembering the difference between a shake and a malt—let alone knowing where the heck to find all 31 flavors in the case. It took a bit of time to memorize all of this information.  Then imagine the store full of people on a hot day or after a sporting event, and you have mayhem!

One night during that learning period stands out in particular—not necessarily because of the reasons stated above, but more because of how my manager made me feel during one of those crazy, busy times.

A man came into the store with his daughter, a girl I had met before who went to a rival high school.  She and I said “hi” as I began to help her dad with his order.  He was a very direct sort of guy and started rambling off his order, getting frustrated if I asked him to repeat things along the way.  The last item on his list was a quart of French vanilla ice cream.

After making sure he had everything he needed, I went to the cash register to ring up his order.  Just as I totaled it up, I realized I had charged him for a quart of regular vanilla ice cream instead of French vanilla, which was more expensive.  I immediately called over the manager on duty to help me, since I didn’t know how to delete an order and start over.

As she came over, the man started yelling at me and calling me names because I had made a mistake and was taking too long.  As I was apologizing to him and doing my best not to cry (although my eyes were not cooperating), my manager did the most amazing thing.  She turned to the man and very politely told him that this was my first week on the job, I was still in training, and there is a lot to learn when first starting.  She went on to say it was a very innocent mistake and would be taken care of quickly, but there was no need for him to yell at me.

Even though her words didn’t stop my tears from coming, it was so reassuring to hear her stick up for me.  I actually felt sorry for his daughter—she was so embarrassed by his obnoxious behavior that she put her head down halfway through his order. As they were leaving, she just walked away with a glance at me as if to say, “I am so sorry!”

A lesson for leaders

What my manager did for me that night, and throughout the rest of my training period there, is a great lesson for all leaders.  Without realizing it then, I learned three valuable tips to help leaders build the skills, as well as the confidence, of an employee in training:

1.  Never reprimand a learner.

2.  Let the employee know it’s okay to make mistakes—that you “have their back.”

3.  Praise progress.

My manager showed me she believed in me when she stood up for me at a moment when I really needed it.  She knew the importance of both the external customer and the internal customer.  Her belief in me and willingness to work with me through that interaction with a difficult customer really strengthened our relationship and made me want to work harder for her.

Maybe the customer isn’t always right, but they still are your customer. My manager was a great role model that night for how to treat both external and internal customers with respect.

About the author:

Kathy Cuff is one of the principal authors—together  with Vicki Halsey—of The Ken Blanchard Companies.

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Lately I’ve been trying to make a few choices. For example, I’ve been wrestling with either working on my income tax or getting out those pesky holiday cards—which one should I start on first? This morning I had to decide whether I should get up early and run a couple of miles, or stay in bed because I truly needed a little more sleep.

Tough-decisionAt work our team has been stuck trying to choose between spending money on one strategy and finding out more information about an alternative choice. It’s been on our meeting agenda for almost a month now and, really, it’s not that big a deal.

Ever been there? The more you think about the options, the more it seems like a tie. One is just as good as the other, but you can only pick one. So you pick nothing. You procrastinate. Well, not exactly—because after all, you are doing something: you’re thinking this over. Right?

This dilemma has been around for a while.

Fourteenth-century French philosopher Jean Buridan suggested that if you put an ass (the donkey type, not the human type) between two identical piles of hay, it would be unable to choose between the two and would die of hunger. This became known as the Paradox of Buridan’s Ass.

Even further back—in 350 B.C., to be exact—Aristotle proposed that a person who is equally thirsty and hungry and has to choose between food and drink might stay exactly at that position and starve to death.

More recently, the character Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof had trouble making decisions because of his annoying habit of always saying “…but on the other hand, this, and on the other hand, that …” Fiddler opened in New York in 1964.

You may notice that all these observations happened long before multi-tasking as we now know it, incoming cell phone calls, being buried in emails, etc. By the way—should you pay to drive in the car pool lane today, or stay right where you are?

Success and FailureSo what’s a procrastinator to do? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Just do something. Anything. Have you ever noticed that if you are trying to push a stalled car off the road, it’s very difficult to get it moving initially? But once it is moving, it’s relatively easier to keep it going. Physicists call this “static friction.” It’s harder to move things that are currently stationary than things that are already in motion. You might think of it as activation energy.
  2. Don’t delay. There is a business theory that delay is better than error. Actually—no, it isn’t. First of all, the opportunity you’re putting off now will not be identical to what might be the case in the future. It will likely become more complex as you hold off taking action. Conditions change, and dilemmas usually intensify. Secondly, doing something provides you with some helpful information because you’ve got observed data. Call it a “pilot,” if you prefer. Keep in mind that very few decisions are absolutely final. During implementation, there will be opportunities for adjustment.
  3. Pick a small first step and add that to your to-do list. Don’t write “Income tax.” Write “Get forms,” or perhaps “Gather expense receipts.” The smaller the line item, the more doable it will seem. And put a deadline on it.

Of course, having a goal is helpful. In fact, it’s downright essential. But it’s not enough. Progress is all about taking action. Goals without action are merely dreams. So if you’re serious about productivity and execution, you’ve got to get active. As Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”  Inactivity breeds discouragement. In real life Buridan’s ass acts and sounds a lot like Eeyore.

Finally, to close the loop after you’ve done something—even an eensy, teensy, stupid little something—celebrate. Even if your celebration is merely a private party in your brain that you hold for yourself. Take a breath, smile in satisfaction, and feel good. And then move on. Come on, we don’t have all day here.

Re-blogged From Blanchard Leader chat

About the author:–

Dr. Dick Ruhe is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies.

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My wife is six months into a new job.  She has been through a lot of training since she started and just recently completed a four-week class to qualify for an advanced role.

She’s been struggling to learn all of the different components of the new role and she hit a low point this past Wednesday.  With the training coming to an end, she felt she had only mastered 40% of the required skills.  As a result, she was thinking of turning down the advancement and asking to remain in her previous role.  Even worse, she was reconsidering her decision to take the job in the first place.  Maybe it wasn’t a good fit for her, she told me.Situational Leadership

I was surprised at her reaction.  I knew my wife had been struggling to pick up the new skills, but I also knew that she was a bright, capable, woman who had mastered much tougher content in the past.  I did my best to offer a word of encouragement as I left for a 2-day business trip, but it didn’t seem to help much.  I could see the concern on her face as I kissed her goodbye.

Normal, but still painful

I thought about what she was experiencing as I travelled.  I knew that her reaction was normal and something that all people experienced when they were learning a new skill.  At Blanchard, our Situational Leadership II model called this Development Level 2: Disillusioned Learner.  It’s when people go from being enthusiastic about a task when they first start, to disillusioned when the task is more difficult than they anticipated.  However, with encouragement, and as they begin to apply their new skills and gain confidence, they finally move on to mastery.  It all sounds so neat in theory, but as my wife demonstrated, it doesn’t make it any easier for the person going through the process.  Still, reconsidering whether to stay with the company seemed an especially strong reaction.

That’s why I was so surprised when I returned home and she told me that she was moving forward with the new role and was even looking forward to the next position beyond that.

“What happened,” I asked, amazed at the complete change in her attitude in less than 48 hours.

What she told me next were two important actions that all managers need to add to their skill set when asking employees to stretch and try something new.

  1. She received some positive feedback.  After two weeks of practicing her new skills (badly, in her mind) she received some outside feedback on how she was doing.  She was surprised to find out that she had received a 97 and a 98 rating on her two recent evaluations.  These scores were consistent with the scores she had been receiving in her previous role.  She was shocked that her work was so good.  She was sure that she was going to receive bad scores.  The lack of feedback up to this point had caused her mind to imagine the worst.  A little bit of positive feedback provided a different perspective and dispelled that fear.
  2. She talked to her manager about her concerns.  She shared with her manager that she felt that she had only mastered about 40% of the material.  She also expressed her concern that maybe she wasn’t a good fit for the role.  Her manager reassured her that she was right on track and even shared a personal story that she remembered only being 20% confident of the material when she had completed the class years before.  The manager also shared that my wife was doing great, was one of the best people on the team, and that she had a bright future with the company. A little bit of encouragement and my wife’s confidence was restored.  In fact, she now had a “just watch me grow” attitude I hadn’t seen since she first started.

Is it time to check in with your people?

How are your people doing?  Are they knee deep in learning new skills?  Have you checked in with them lately?  It never hurts to ask.

Disillusionment is a normal stage of development.  By responding appropriately with encouragement and support, managers can help their people get through this difficult stage and move on to confident performance.  Don’t risk losing any of your best people to an extended period of disillusionment.  Don’t let a drop in confidence and perceived skill keep your people from moving forward.  Check in and see how they are doing.  Offer a word of encouragement if appropriate.  It can work wonders!

David Witt

Re-blogged from Blanchard Leader chat

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An Optimally Motivating New Year: Two Ways to Set Engaging Goals and Deadlines

“As a leader, how do I set goals and enforce deadlines without people feeling imposed by expectations?”Optimal Motivation

This is a great question often posed in our Optimal Motivation workshops. I understand that you are between a rock and hard place—on one hand, you are responsible for getting results; on the other hand, the traditional tactics you use destroy the high energy, dedication, creativity, innovation, and initiative people need to achieve those results. The irony of pressing for results and pushing deadlines is that you promote the exact opposite of what you hoped to encourage. You need a new approach in 2014.

Reframe Goals into Something Meaningful

When I was an itinerant speaker for the world’s largest public seminar company, I conducted over 125 day-long workshops a year—each one in a different city, state, or country. I appreciated the work, but I was literally bone weary. The company imposed hard metrics that meant termination of your contract if not met: Collect 75% or more of participant evaluations (typically 200) and score a 4.5 or better on a 5-point scale.

Those goals exhausted me even more! If I had focused on meeting them, I would have burned out and quit—many of my colleagues did. Instead, I reframed the company’s goals into outcomes meaningful to me. I will remember at least 20 people’s names and something about them by the end of each day. If at least one person tells me I made a difference in their life, then it was a good day. (After all, that was why I was doing what I was doing.)

Reframing goals into results that were meaningful to me was energizing. I focused on the values of what I was doing and the by-product was consistently achieving the organization’s measures of success. Consider taking the time to help your employees reframe the organization’s goals.

When employees reframe organizational goals into results that are meaningful for them, everybody wins.

Turn Deadlines into Data

Deadlines exist. I am working on one right now as I write this blog. The trick is to view deadlines (or live-lines, as a colleague of mine chooses to call them) as critical information. Leaders can help people shift the way deadlines are interpreted. Instead of considering deadlines as points of pressure, position deadlines as communication tools that describe what is needed for people to do their jobs effectively. Instead of imposing deadlines that undermine people’s autonomy, position timelines as data points that provide valuable insight about how to allocate time, make thoughtful choices, and decide what to do next—or not at all.

Deadlines are a reality, but leaders can position deadlines as data to help employees live a more autonomous, optimally motivating, and high-quality life at work.

Re-blogged from Blanchard LeaderChat

Susan Fowler is one of the principal authors—together with David Facer and Drea Zigarmi—of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ new Optimal Motivation process and workshop.

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Do you work in a matrix environment? Do you have many managers creating requests of you, every with their own agenda and priorities? How do you effectively cope with more than one boss?

Working in a matrix organization with multiple bosses can create major challenges:

How to deal multiple bosses

How to deal multiple bosses

  • Work overload :– A common refrain in workplaces around the globe is, “I have too much work to do.” Things can be even worse when you have multiple managers on different projects. Each boss may treat you as if you only work for him or her.
  • Competing demands :– Having several bosses can mean competing demands on your time. Whose project gets first priority—especially when every boss believes his or her project should be number one?
  • Conflicting messages :– The a lot of managers you have got, the a lot of chance there’s for conflicting messages. {different|totally totally different|completely different} bosses have different expectations and ways of human activity, and will accidentally send conflicting messages.
  • Conflicting messages :– The more managers you have, the more opportunity there is for conflicting messages. Different bosses have different expectations and methods of communicating, and can unintentionally send conflicting messages.

What can you do to manage these challenges? I suggest these four strategies:

1. Be Clear Who Your “Real” Boss Is

It’s important to know who your real boss is. Which person do you formally report to? Who does your final performance review? Who makes decisions regarding your compensation? Even in a heavily matrixed environment, just one manager is typically responsible for these tasks. Make sure you are having regular one-on-one meetings at least once a month with your real boss. Use this formal leader as a mentor or coach in dealing with your other managers.

2. Be Open About Your Workload

Your bosses don’t know what’s on your plate unless you tell them. Be open about your workload. Share your calendar with all of your managers so they know your schedule. Create a shared document that updates them on each of the projects you’re working on so they see your progress and have a better understanding of your workload. Have quick weekly check-in meetings to stay connected and address any concerns.

3. Set Clear Boundaries on Your Time

Constant interruptions are a major time waster. It’s difficult to focus on your projects if your bosses keep coming by to ask questions or make additional requests. Encourage them to use email or text for questions and requests. Block off specific time on your calendar to work on projects. Let your managers know this is sacred time and you should not be interrupted unless it is an emergency.

4. Set Clear Standards for Communication

Get your bosses together to develop one set of standards for communication. Do you prefer to get requests through email, text, Outlook tasks, face-to-face, or some other way? What is the expectation for timely response to an email or text—for you and for them? How often will you meet one-on-one? How are you going to report project status? If possible, come up with one way that works for all of your managers so you don’t have to deal with different expectations for communication.

Working in a matrix environment can be fun and invigorating. I enjoy working on multiple projects with multiple managers. It gives me a greater sense of autonomy, provides access to a larger network, and allows me to grow and develop in my career.

Having more than one boss can have its advantages—but it needs coordination. By using these four simple strategies, you can minimize the challenges and reap the benefits of working in this stimulating environment.

About the author

John Hester is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies

Re blogged From Blanchard Leaderchat

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The one factor that characterizes a strong leadership personality is how true they can be to their core leadership values. If you are a leader, you are endowed with a leadership personality and this personality is your own. This is created in part by the values you abide by. Hence, it becomes crucial for you to have core leadership values and stay truthful to them. If that is your intention, then you would like to rely on these very important aspects.

core leadership

core leadership

What are your core leadership values? :– If you would like to remain faithful to your core leadership values, then the primary step is to know definitely what they are. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity in your mind. You need to sit down and think what principles motivate and drive you; only that realization can help you inspire others. So, start out by thinking what fundamental principles you want to believe and make the cornerstones of your team.

Build Priorities:– There could be quite a few things that you want to follow. However, there are always some principles that you believe in more strongly than others. These should be placed at the top of your list of beliefs. Leadership training experts speak about prioritizing core values in snappy lists of three. Create your own top 3 core leadership values list.

Build a concrete determination:– to stay truthful to your core values. Once you have got spared some thought into designing your prime three core principles, you have to garner the courage to stay true to them. Things could happen that try to sway you from your path, but you need to take them up as challenges. If you’ve got determined to remain loyal to your beliefs, you’ll be able to do a much better job of enduring by them.

Always delve into reasons:– If something doesn’t go the way you want it to, why did not it happen like that? What was the deterring factor? When you know what stops you, you are more capable of overcoming those problems.

Don’t be in a hurry:– to improve yourself. This may cause you to tempted and you’ll be able to succumb to those temptations, sacrificing your core principles. Growth is necessary, but it shouldn’t be rushed into. Plan your growth. Leave enough breathing space for the enhancement of your personality without compromising on what you stand for.

If your utmost intention is to be an effective leader who is known for their core leadership values, like most of the top leaders in history have been, then these are the things you need to incorporate in your way of working. Above all, be trustworthy to your beliefs despite the challenges that return your approach and folks begin respecting you for what you’re.

By the way, do you want to learn more about core leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here core leadership skills

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I thought I’d share ten simple and easy ways to tell your employees “thank you.” Telling an employee “thank you” is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to build trust, yet it doesn’t happen near enough in the workplace.

Whenever I conduct trust workshops with clients and discuss the role that rewards and recognition play in building trust, I will ask participants to raise their hands if they feel like they receive too much praise or recognition on the job. No one has ever raised a hand.

So on this day of giving thanks, take a few minutes to review this list and commit to using one of these methods to tell your employees “thank you.” I’ve used many of these strategies myself and can attest to their effectiveness.

Give Thanks To your Employees

Give Thanks To your Employees

1. Let them leave work early :– This may not be feasible in all work environments, but if you’re able to do it, a surprise treat of allowing people to leave early does wonders for team morale and well-being. I use this technique occasionally with my team, usually when they’ve had the pedal to the metal for a long period of time, or if we have a holiday weekend coming up. Allowing folks to get a head start on the weekend or a few hours of unexpected free time shows you recognize and appreciate their hard work and that you understand there’s more to life than just work.

2. Leave a “thank you” voice mail message:– Don’t tell my I.T. department, but I’ve got voice mails saved from over ten years ago that were sent to me by colleagues who took the time to leave me a special message of praise. The spoken word can have a tremendous impact on individuals, and receiving a heartfelt message from you could positively impact your employees in ways you can’t imagine.

3. Host a potluck lunch:– You don’t have to take the team to a fancy restaurant or have a gourmet meal catered in the office (which is great if you can afford it!), you just need to put a little bit of your managerial skills to practice and organize a potluck lunch. Sharing a meal together allows people to bond and relax in a casual setting and it provides an excellent opportunity for you to say a few words of thanks to the team and let them know you appreciate them.

4. Give a small token of appreciation:– Giving an employee a small memento provides a lasting symbol of your appreciation, and although it may cost you a few bucks, it’s well worth the investment. I’m talking about simple things like giving nice roller-ball ink pens with a note that says “You’ve got the write stuff,” or Life Savers candies with a little note saying “You’re a hole lot of fun,” or other cheesy, somewhat corny things like that (believe me, people love it!). I’ve done this with my team and I’ve had people tell me years later how much that meant to them at the time.

5. Have your boss recognize an employee:– Get your boss to send an email, make a phone call, or best-case scenario, drop by in-person to tell one of your employees “thank you” for his/her work. Getting an attaboy from your boss’ boss is always a big treat. It shows your employee that you recognize his/her efforts and you’re making sure your boss knows about it too.

6. Hold an impromptu 10 minute stand up meeting:– This could be no or low-cost depending on what you do, but I’ve called random 10 minute meetings in the afternoon and handed out popsicles or some other treat and taken the opportunity to tell team members “thank you” for their hard work. The surprise meeting, combined with a special treat, throws people out of their same ol’, same ol’ routine and keeps the boss/employee relationship fresh and energetic.

7. Reach out and touch someone:– Yes, I’m plagiarizing the old Bell Telephone advertising jingle, but the concept is right on. Human touch holds incredible powers to communicate thankfulness and appreciation. In a team meeting one time, my manager took the time to physically walk around the table, pause behind each team member, place her hands on his/her shoulders, and say a few words about why she was thankful for that person. Nothing creepy or inappropriate, just pure love and respect. Unfortunately, most leaders shy away from appropriate physical contact in the workplace, fearful of harassment complaints or lawsuits. Whether it’s a handshake, high-five, or fist bump, find appropriate ways to communicate your thanks via personal touch.

8. Say “thank you”:– This seems like a no-brainer given the topic, but you would be amazed at how many people tell me their boss doesn’t take the time to express thanks. Saying thank you is not only the polite and respectful thing to do, it signals to your people that they matter, they’re important, valuable, and most of all, you care.

9. Send a thank you note to an employee’s family:– A friend of mine told me that he occasionally sends a thank you note to the spouse/significant other/family of an employee. He’ll say something to the effect of “Thank you for sharing your husband/wife/dad/mother with us and supporting the work he/she does. He/she a valuable contributor to our team and we appreciate him/her.” Wow…what a powerful way to communicate thankfulness!

10. Give a handwritten note of thanks:– Some things never go out of style and handwritten thank you notes are one of them. Emails are fine, voice mails better (even made this list!), but taking the time to send a thoughtful, handwritten note says “thank you” like no other way. Sending handwritten letters or notes is a lost art in today’s electronic culture. When I want to communicate with a personal touch, I go old school with a handwritten note. It takes time, effort, and thought which is what makes it special. Your employees will hold on to those notes for a lifetime.

What other ways to say “thank you” would you add to this list? Please a share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies

Re-blogged from Blanchard Leader Chat

 

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This is a great time of year to celebrate holidays around the world, commemorate team accomplishments, or just take time to build relationships for the year ahead.

When people work together face to face, celebrating can be spontaneous. Without prompting, someone brings in snacks or puts up decorations to celebrate a holiday, group achievement, or personal triumph.Corporate celebration on Christmas

It may sting a little, though, when remote team members get copied on an email about a party they can’t attend or when they see photos of others celebrating.

For people who work virtually, times like these can cause underlying feelings of isolation and disengagement to resurface.

Just like in-person work groups, virtual teams need the shared identity, community, and enthusiasm that come through celebrating together. Because virtual festivities tend to happen less frequently, virtual team members are often particularly appreciative of celebrations—no matter how simple. Each team has its own culture and humor, of course, so encourage your team members to discuss these ideas and choose how they would like to celebrate virtually.

Create cards together to mail or email :–

  • As a team, create a card for your customers by using a standard clip art background together with cutouts of team member photos and holiday greetings.
  • For the team itself, paste a holiday image on a shared whiteboard and ask each team member to sign it online. Include small photos of each team member in the image to make it personal.
  • Seek out one of the fun online ecard sites like jibjab.com and create a customized card with photos of your team members as dancing elves.

Send gift cards :–

Virtual teams are often more diverse in their membership than face-to-face teams, so selecting one gift that will suit everyone may be a challenge. Instead, consider these options:

  • Give people gift cards to a coffee shop or restaurant that you know has a location near each team member (web searching makes this easy). Make the amount large enough for two people to enjoy, and ask team members to share photos. Set the stage by being the first to share your photo as you wear your Santa hat and drink your peppermint latte with your daughter, for example.
  • Give people gift cards to a chain store or online retailer and ask team members to share a photo or description of what they purchased. This is a fun way for everyone to gain insight into each other’s personalities, hobbies, and interests, and it promotes familiarity among team members.

Have a party :–

  • For a special treat, use a web platform that allows streaming from multiple webcams. Individuals calling from home can walk their camera around to show holiday decorations or introduce family members or pets.
  • Ask individuals to come to the party prepared to share their favorite holiday recipe (with a photo) or to discuss holiday traditions that are meaningful for them.
  • Have team members dress for the occasion! Consider holding a holiday sweater or funny hat contest with the team voting for the winner.
  • During the party, ask team members to reflect on a team accomplishment or event that was particularly significant or to express appreciation for a fellow team member who provided great support during the year.
  • Consider adding some simple team activities to help members get to know each other. Individuals could share their most unusual job, guess the hobbies of other team members, or look at photos of desks and identify what the desk reveals about its owner.

If your team is daring :–

  •  Sign up the group for an online multi-player game to discover treasure or solve a problem together.
  • Consider using one of the online karaoke sites to have the group sing together for group bonding.

The research is clear: teams that demonstrate good humor and friendly relationships are more productive. Although it takes collaboration, creativity, and effort, your team members will appreciate the enthusiasm and community that comes with celebrating together.

Happy Holidays!

About the author

Carmela Sperlazza Southers is a senior consulting partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies who specializes in increasing organizational, team, and leader effectiveness in the virtual work world.

Re blogged from Blanchard Leader chat

 

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What is one of the biggest time wasters leaders deal with on a everyday basis? For several, it’s the daily barrage of email. How much email do you send and receive every day? How much time is spent reading, writing, or responding to email? Here’s some practical advice for managing your email instead of letting it manage you.Manage Your Inbox

This advice falls into 3 basic categories: Reduce the quantity of email you send and receive, Send clear, elliptical messages, and Keep your inbox clean

Reduce the Quantity

Sure, it sounds simple enough, but how do you do it? Believe it or not, the easiest way to reduce the amount of email you receive is to send less. The less email you send, the less you receive. Here are some ways to accomplish this goal:

Pick up the phone:–  When you expect a oral communication, don’t use email just pick up the phone or get up and go talk to the person.

Use cc: – Use cc and Reply All sparingly. Only copy or reply to those who really need the information.

Use No Reply Needed in the subject line or in your signature: – Too many emails are sent just to say thanks or to let the sender know their email was received. If you don’t need someone to reply, let them know in a prominent spot.

Create an alternate email address for junk mail: – Create an email account to give out to people or companies you don’t need to interact with on a daily basis. Once a month, head to that account and do a quick scan to see if there’s anything you need to read or act on.

Send clear, elliptical Messages

Clear, elliptical electronic messaging can dramatically cut down on the time we spend on email.

Consider the following:

• Use descriptive subject lines. Help readers know the intent of your email in the subject line.

• Put required matter in first paragraph. For example, you might type Approval needed, Information Only, or Need Help Immediately to let the receiver understand what you expect.

•    Only send email that’s okay to forward. If you wouldn’t want the message to be sent to others, use the phone or communicate face to face. It additionally helps to go with the assumption that your email will be permanently stored.

Keep Your Inbox Clean

Manage your email thus your inbox stays empty. A full inbox is a major time waster.  To stay your inbox clean, each time you open an item for the first time, do one of 3 things with it:

Act on it: – To act on an email, you can:  handle it immediately; delegate it by forwarding it to another person; schedule it as a task for later; or schedule it as an appointment in your calendar. Once you have acted on it, either file it for later or delete it.

File it: – If you think you may need the email later, place it into a specific folder for that client, project, or individual. Consider saving attachments and deleting the email. If you are unsure whether you will need it later, create a 30- or 60-day Hold folder for items you might need to go back to. Periodically clean up this folder or simply set it up to automatically delete mail older than 30 to 60 days. If necessary, make a note on your to-do list or calendar to remind you where you filed the email.

Delete it: – If you don’t need the email after you’ve read or scanned it, simply delete it.

I hope you find one or more of these ideas for managing your email helpful in the New Year. Let me know any other best practices you use to manage your email.

Back in 2010, one of our clients, wanted to measure the impact of Situational Leadership II training that they had rolled out in their organization.
The training program was delivered via 3 venues—traditional classroom with people attending in person; completely virtual with people working through self-paced modules; and a third ‘blended approach’ that combined aspects of each.

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leadership-training-india

After the program was completed, one trainee, an OD expert, measured the impact of the three delivery strategies.  He found that the self-paced virtual model produced a 5% boost in productivity which was sensible, the traditional classroom produced a 10% boost in productivity which was better, and the blended approach produced a 12% boost in productivity which was best.

The one distinction that made all the difference..
In looking at why the blended approach produced the best impact, he discovered that it was a result of the blended approach built the training into the student’s work life by including the immediate manager in the process, tying the learning to real work, and providing a way for feedback along the way.  His conclusion was that it was these design factors that made all the difference.

Want bigger ROI from your leadership training?

For years, instructional designers have known that adults learn best when they see how the learning impacts their work priorities and is in alignment with their work goals.  Without this, it may be tough to find the time for training. Learning—especially in the context of a work setting—has to be relevant, impactful, and turn out results.  If you don’t have that, people won’t find time in their schedules, and senior leaders won’t push for people to attend.  People have multiple priorities these days.  They have to focus on the things that help them get their work done.
Here are 3 ways to make sure that any new training program you’re considering generates the bottom-line results you’re longing for.

Alignment—use impact maps to attach training to a student’s existing work goals.  Have the manager and student identify the student’s key areas and then map how the training will help the learner meet those goals.

Modularize content delivery—deliver the content in tiny, bite-sized chunks over time. This permits students to receive the knowledge in manageable segments that are much more conducive to learning.  It additionally provides an opportunity for ongoing feedback.

Follow-up—involve immediate managers to check in on progress. Make sure immediate managers are on-board with the new behaviors and that they schedule time to interact and have discussions with learners as they start to use their new skills.  Nothing demonstrates the importance of a new skill learned in class than a manager checking up on its adoption.
People learn best when the information they are learning is relevant to what they are performing on, when they see how it will help them improve, and when someone is checking on their progress and encouraging them to adopt new behaviors.  Make sure that you are following these three steps to get the most out of your next training initiative!

About US:– Blanchard Research and Training India LLP is the India partner for Ken Blanchard Companies. The Ken Blanchard Companies is a global leader in leadership training solutions. For more info call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll Free) or visit us at http://www.blanchardinternational.co.in

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