More about Employee enlightenment

During these uncertain times it’s worth exploring how organisations can work together and maximize the contribution of everyone

employee-engagementLatest blog from bookboon about my book follows on from the February newsletter and continues to explore the engagement as a management device or as a tool for growth

Employee Engagement: Organisational Brain Washing or Enlightenment?

Risk it and try some collaboration, what me?

As for the last six months I have been collaborating with a diverse and highly skilled group of coaches and I wanted to reflect upon the process of working within a forming and developing series of relationships.

Which at times requires tolerance and understanding so for me both personally and professionally these words have had some real special resonance so I thought id re-share them so to speak

What are the current trends on problems for companies and people?

Companies are looking for more tailored and integrated ways of driving action. When trying to marshal large scale, diverse and remote work forces ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work. Localized, targeted and aligned programmes have a far higher chance of success.

They need to regenerate a sense of belonging and re-establish trust and integrity. Having open and clear conversations has an enormous pay off on the bottom line. Collaborative forms of leadership, create followers that engage and want to succeed.

Recent research shows that during the recession MDs/CEOs were staying with organisations for even shorter times, this often meant that senior managers moved on quickly too. The result is that some organisations became skeletal in nature; too thin to survive therefore there is no room to anticipate or deal with any fluctuation of the organizational plan and growth then becomes a problem rather than a delight.

Risks and experimentation are at a minimum. Innovation is marginalized and the same old ways of working get the same old results. Change is not getting any slower and shortages exist at all key levels, so perhaps getting the best from people is not such a costly idea and practice after all. The world is small and big at the same time. Speed and flexibility is the key.

For people
Resilience is the key.
Keep learning.
Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Look for the good in what’s happening.
Have realistic expectations and enjoy the now.

Being self reliant, self motivated and self developmental because in some strange way this is what the company wants from people  and it’s what they you want for themselves.

However the years of recession have taught people to keep their heads down, don’t rack the boat and it’s best not to be noticed.

The need for great leaders as coaches and mentors is even greater than ever before, so collaborate, trust and talk the real key words for company and personal success

So to bring it back to my own experience lots of energy, willingness to share and be honest , developing trust and understanding has moved us all in Smart Training and Coaching to become a great team and gain lots of valuable learning and results

This article originally appeared on the http://www.smartcoachingtraining.co.uk/risk-it-and-try-some-collaboration

Another micro-article that inspired my thinking http://www.smartcoachingtraining.co.uk/the-importance-of-strength-of-mind

How have you turned things around?

July 2015 newsletter
image-indiv-sub
In my line of work I often meet organisations and teams where things are not working well.  Having been recommended to a senior executive from a public sector agency by a private sector manager from a local networking group, I met with him to talk about the issues he had with his team.After describing how his team was acting and reacting to one another and how some of the issues were to do with specific individuals, he then explained how difficult it was to change their behaviour. Typically, these issues were the surface reactions and through some further discussion I discovered that some team members avoided each other, some set each other up to fail and some competed over everything or simply did their own thing and generally acted very unlike a team.

Change can be liberating

I suggested it would be useful for me to meet each team member and talk through the situation and how it was affecting them. During these discussions we talked about what it was like to work for that company, what they got out of it, what they enjoyed, what frustrated them and how they saw themselves. A common problem in situations like this is that everyone sees others faults and problems and the need for change, but few are willing to make the change themselves.  This proved to be true in this situation.

To get things started, I did some individual profiles.  This allowed them to have a common language to describe how they worked with one another, what their preferences were and why they saw the world differently.  These profiles were conducted individually and privately so they could challenge and discuss freely.

Then I brought the team together to display the results (anonymously) and talk through where they were now and where they wanted to be. During this process it became apparent that the team was very used to playing ‘the away day’ game; where everyone was nice to each on the day, but once back in the office reverted to their previous behaviour.What they hadn’t realized was that other parts of the workshops would be about them having paired discussions and that these discussions would form the basis of their action plans. I think for the first time in a training session they were required to commit to change and this would be followed up by mentoring from their boss with some coaching from me.

Everyone understood that they could speak without fear of recrimination.  At times emotions and concerns were highly charged and often very vocal.  The focus was on moving forward, not reconstituting the past. It proved to be a liberating experience for them all.

At the end of the workshops (held over several days) the team created a ‘team charter’ detailing how they would work with each other, how they would behave during their group meetings and how they would be mindful of each others’ feelings. They also agreed that they would exchange information and teach each other about their diverse roles and how these interrelated.

This process released the trapped potential of the team, with team members and the team leader now being energized and committed to a common and shared future. The way they worked with one other changed dramatically. In terms of results they went from being mid-table and on a downward trajectory for their type of agency, to being in the top five in the country

services

How to help teams make decisions?

profileSo lets start by looking at how we go about decisions from possibility to reality through encouraging positive behaviours

Seeking to collaborate and blend ideas rather than through forcing them

The team has enough information on which to base decisions

The team considers  a range of alternative solutions sufficiently and widely

Consensus is used as  a way of arriving at decisions

Everyone wants to solve the problem

The team is prepared to take difficult decisions for the right reasons

The team understands that not everyone has to agree with the final decision but agree what has been arrived at

The team’s decisions support the overall team goals

The final decision is seen as fairly arrived atservices

Working collaboratively or how I helped turn things around?

February 2013 Newsletter

In my line of work I often meet organisations and teams where things are not working well. I met with a senior executive from a public sector agency to talk about the issues he had with his team. I had been recommended to him by a private sector manager from a local networking group. After describing how his team were acting and reacting to one another, how some of the issues were to do with specific individuals, he then explained how difficult it was to change their behaviour. Typically these issues were the surface reactions and through some further discussion I discovered that some team members avoided each other, some set each other up to fail and some competed over everything or simply did their own thing and generally acted very unlike a team.

I suggested it would be useful for me to meet each team member and talk through the situation and how it was affecting them. During these discussions we talked about what it was like to work for that company, what they got out of it, what they enjoyed, what frustrated them and how they saw themselves. A common problem in situations like this is that everyone sees others faults and problems, and the need for change, but few are willing to make the change themselves.  This proved to be the true in this situation. To get things started I did some individual profiles, this allowed them to have a common language to describe how they worked with one another, what their preferences were, and why they saw the world differently.  These profiles were conducted privately so they could challenge and discuss freely.

Then I brought the team together to display the results (anonymously) and talk through, where they were now and where they wanted to be. During this process it became apparent that the team was very used to playing ‘the away day’ game; where everyone was nice to each on the day, but once back in the office reverted to their previous behaviour.

What they hadn’t realised was that other parts of the workshops would be about them having paired discussions and that these discussions would form the basis of their action plans. I think for the first time in a training session they were required to commit to change and this would be followed up by mentoring from their boss with some coaching from me.

Everyone understood that they could speak without fear of recrimination.  At times emotions and concerns were highly charged and often very vocal.  The focus was on moving forward, not reconstituting the past. It proved to be a liberating experience for them all. At the end of the workshops (held over several days) the team created a ‘team charter’ detailing how they would work with each other, how they would behave during their group meetings and how they would be mindful of each others feelings. They also agreed that they would exchange information and teach each other about their diverse roles and how these interrelated.

This process released the trapped potential of the team, with team members and the team leader now being energized and committed to a common and shared future. The way they worked with one other changed dramatically. In terms of results they went from being mid-table and on a downward trajectory for their type of agency, to being in the top five in the country.

How teams need a leader and to lead themselves?

Top ten tips for effective teams

Getting a team to work well in today’s pressurised and difficult times is not easy it takes persistence, perseverance and patience not just by the team leader but everyone in it

1.People trust each other and feelings are expressed openly, this is the basis of good communication the art and care of talking about easy subjects easily and difficult subjects just as easily

2.Conflict is worked through, is seen as normal something to be solved, a sign that people both care and have opinions about what should happen

3.Information is shared freely by all, secrets create a secretive and closed environment that only seeks to cause division

4.Objectives are common, everyone is moving in the same overall direction and see the value of doing this

5.Have something worthwhile to aim for, not just a task but work that is valued and appreciated no matter at what level or complexity

6.Know what they have to achieve, each team member knows their part and what they have to do

7.Have time to develop as a unit, time and space is given both to developing the teams understanding of each other and also the maintenance of them all as team members

8.Have members that are clear about their roles

9.Have an appropriate way of working, this is the result of applying 1-8, understanding, clarity and trust, the collection of individuals becomes a team that is really inspired and inspiring to be in

10.Review how they are doing, regularly check how they are doing and take action to keep on track or seek help where it is needed