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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Recognize What You Want to See Again

By | Coaching, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Pivot Point, Team Building, Training | No Comments

 One of the most important tasks as a leader is to motivate their team.  Different team members are motivated by different things.  Some like public recognition, others prefer private praise, and some need it more, and some need it less.  As humans, I would argue that nearly all of us enjoy some form of recognition.  And, it’s one of the least expensive forms of motivation.  It does not even need to cost us a dime when tailored to the individual and done genuinely.

Leaders I coach often question, “I am supposed to recognize someone for doing their job?  I do my job every day and no one recognizes me.”  The answers is yes.  As leaders, we have to take the high road.  This means that we need to prioritize the time to give people positive feedback.  And, if we invest the time, studies show that team member performance increases.

What we choose to focus on matters.  When recognized, team members are more likely to repeat these behaviors, leading to better business results associated with these positive behaviors like increased client satisfaction, productivity, and/or quality of work.

Some tangible strategies to improve your culture of recognition as a leader are:

  • Kudos boards
  • Start meetings with “tell me something good”
  • Real time recognition

Kudos boards

A simple tool to build team morale – a visual display of all the great things the team is doing as a reminder of what good looks like.  This can be done in a variety of ways – a bulletin board in a break room or common area with post-it notes to recognize freely in the moment, a recognition box where team members can privately share their praise and leaders can display with employee approval later, or a client appreciation area with testimonials showcasing great client service.  I have seen it done well in various formats.  The key is getting buy-in from the team on how they want to be recognized, and tailoring the kudos board to their preferred format of recognition.  If they are a part of the idea to start, team members are far more likely to engage with the program and participate.

Each team is different, and their recognition needs are different too.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Replace Feedback with Guidance, and You Will Get Better Results

By | Coaching, Conflict Resolution, Leadership, Positive Thinking, Talent Retention, Team Building, Training | No Comments

The word feedback creates fear.  It creates a feeling in the pit of our stomachs, followed by an overly emotional anxiety.  Merely hearing the word makes it hard to hear the words that follow.

Imagine this scenario, someone pulls you aside, and asks, “Can I give you some feedback?”  Fear takes over, you assume it to be negative, and you instantly imagine the worst case scenario.  That is because the word feedback has been framed so poorly in the past.  It has created negative perceptions based on the experiences that our brain remembers.  Our brain recalls the pattern of negative feedback, and prepares our body with fight or flight mode to take cover or run away.  Our emotions take over.  That doesn’t bode well for solid decision making and behavior.

The words we use matter.  So, let’s try a different word – guidance.  I have been searching for a better word than feedback for years – words like feed-forward, insight, coaching – have been floated out there in the coaching community, yet none have felt genuine or appropriate.  Then, a mentor of mine shared an article with me about a concept called “radical candor.”  What struck me most about the concept was the use of the word guidance over feedback.

Consider this, rather than saying “Can I give you some feedback,” why not open with, “I’ve got some guidance for you…”  It’s softer, it frames the moment appropriately, and emphasizes positive intent.  The word guidance ensures that the audience is still listening, and not emotionally hijacked and paralyzed with fear.  Furthermore, effective guidance requires leaders to:

  • Deliver it real-time
  • Assume positive intent
  • Be clear about the behaviors rather than the person

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Delegating to Empower Others

By | Coaching, Delegation, Leadership, Positive Thinking, Team Building, Training | No Comments

Delegation, a skill that seems insurmountable as a leader, yet is essential for a leader to manage time effectively.  I often remind leaders in my workshops that the leader’s labor costs are likely the highest of the team.  As a leader, we are paid higher wages for doing the tough stuff, and so doing lower skilled work that someone else on our team could do is a problem.  We’re incurring more costs than we should.  And, even if it is not actual dollars in costs, it certainly is an opportunity cost.

Time is Money

You might be thinking, well I will just work more hours then.  As we learned in our time management blog, time is finite.  If you choose to say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else.  We only have so much time, and how we choose to spend it sends major signals to our team on what is important.  They pick up on the tasks, projects, and meetings that we prioritize or choose to do ourselves.  It alerts them that these things must be important for a leader to do themself.  They may even feel less engaged as a result of you not asking or trusting them to do it instead.

One of very first blogs, The Discipline of Delegation blog, highlights one key fear of delegation – the loss of control.  Knowing what is holding you back from delegating more is pivotal.  Ask yourself the question, what prevents me from delegating more?  What comes to mind?  Perhaps it is amongst the top ten I hear from leaders in workshops..

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

How to Retain Top Talent

By | Coaching, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | 3 Comments

The Facts

The struggle is real.  With unemployment hovering nationwide around 5%, employees are back in the driver seat with where they choose to work.  Employers have found themselves with less control in finding, hiring, and retaining top talent.  Recent studies from Manpower Group has shown that there is an excess supply of skilled jobs, with a shortage of labor interested in those jobs.  Couple this study with the fact that employees, now more than ever, are looking for value and purpose in their work, more of a balance with their personal life, and the feeling that their work is aligned with their own career long-term goals.

And, with a growing millennial generation that is expected to be 75% of our workforce by 2025, this trend is very likely to continue.  What we know about millennials is true, they are self-driven, demand value and purpose in their work, and transition jobs at a rate much higher than previous generations, averaging 4 job changes by the time they are age 32.  We are not going to change them, they are going to change our workforce, and in many ways, for the better.  They saw their parents live to work, lose their retirements due to corporate greed, and have been shown very little loyalty by organizations they work for with pensions eliminated, benefit reductions, and inappropriate vesting schedules of their 401k plans.  I can completely understand why this generation has chosen to respond with choosing to work to live.  It’s refreshing.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

How to Increase Your Chances of Career Success by 80%

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Pivot Point, Training | One Comment

The Facts

In my primary and secondary research for Pivot Point, I learned that when you have a plan, your chances of achieving career success is 80% higher.  I scoured the country interviewing dozens of leaders in various industries, functional areas, and stages of career, and I found one common ingredient to career success – a plan.  From these interviews, I learned that knowing what you want, and having a plan to get there is pivotal.  Whether it’s taking your career to an even higher level, pivoting industries or functional areas, or advancing to a leadership role, high potential leaders in transition wrestle with having a solid game plan to take their careers to the next level.

I just cannot handle having problems without a solution, so through a lot of collaboration with these leaders, I developed and tested a concept:  The Career Game Plan.  It is a simple four-step process.  It is unique to you, and defines what success looks like.  It fits on one-page and is easily shared with your managers, mentors, and coaches.  It paints the picture of what good looks like, with a clear road map to get there.  First, you must be able to articulate what you want, and what you are uniquely skilled to do – your purpose statement.  Then, you build the goals to support your purpose coming to fruition.  Finally, you brainstorm the competencies and action steps to achieve your goals.

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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Organizations that Invest in Managers, Win

By | Coaching, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Training | One Comment

Simply put, managers drive employee engagement, which drives business results.

The Facts

Being a leadership and career development enthusiast, I naturally find myself drawn to research and strategies to improve employee engagement.  I have seen first-hand that it drives business results by lowering turnover, boosting productivity, and enhancing quality.  In fact, a recent study shared by Bluebridge, a technology company focused on tools to improve employee engagement, indicates higher engagement drives 22% higher productivity, 50% lower turnover rates, and 3x more in profit margin.  Another organization, FirstPerson, who helps organizations design meaningful employment experiences, recently shared this video to illustrate this clear need.  Other smart organizations like Gallup have been measuring engagement for years.  And, it remains stagnant in the U.S., hovering around 32% according in the most recent Gallup study.  In this report, Gallup recommends that “organizations approach employee engagement as an ongoing human capital strategy and consider all of the elements that matter in performance management – from leadership accountability and manager education to clear role expectations and employee development opportunities.”

Further research indicates similar strategies.  If you search the term “employee engagement,” you will likely get articles with a titles such as – “7 ways to engage your employees” – with similar recipes.  The ingredients go something like this:  create a team culture, require individual development plans, foster work/life balance with telecommute opportunities, provide real time feedback, hire talented managers, etc.  The list goes on.  While all of these approaches have significant merit, these one-size fits all strategies do not work.  Why?  At the risk of stating the obvious, all organizations and teams are not created equal.

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business coaching, women, career, game plan, julie kratz, corporate, executive

Change Made Easier

By | Coaching, Leadership, Team Building, Training | No Comments

“Change is hard”

As leaders, it’s our job to manage change for the team.  We often have the most information about why the change is necessary and how it will benefit the team.  We just need to be transparent and share it.  Proactive communication in the face of change helps a team journey through the change management process more quickly and smoothly.

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