A disclaimer upfront. I’m going to do this in a very short period. So this is a coles notes version of the idea of leadership and coaching. So I want to start by saying that employees leave managers, not organizations. And you know the truth is that when I come to work for an organization, I work for a manager or a leader, and it’s you that impacts my day-to-day. You move my increases the job I get to do. How I get to do it, whether how I come and go. So it’s important to know. So what does it take to be a good manager in a leader? So the tenth most frequently cited skills of effective managers are communication and managing time and stress. There are many others, but I’ve highlighted the top two because they are the most important. So let’s talk about communication. First, are you feeling like a communicator if you look at this rowing that’s going on for that to be as effective as it is to have everybody going in the same way simultaneously? Effective communication is going to be critical. What’s important when I think about communication is that in this notes version, the words we use and the words you choose to use when communicating can be very important. And I don’t know. One of my leaders once told me, ” Hey, do you realize some of the words that you say sometimes? I thought because the truth was I didn’t, and there were things I was saying that I didn’t realize. So I’ll give you a couple of examples of things I want you to think about. So I want you to think about not using the word why. So as an example, if an employee comes into work late one day and the first thing you say to them is why are you late, the chances are you’re going to put their back up ever so slightly because just by saying that statement in that way may say to them guilty until proven innocent. And so when I first heard this, I got this when I was doing a coaching program. I thought, ha, and then I tested it on a coaching client, and I used the word why and didn’t even realize I had used and right away, she took offence to what I had said. I know this works, so let’s give an example if you took why out of the equation and replaced it with what or how. Let’s go back to the example of an employee who comes in late for work, so instead of saying why were you late, if you replaced it with what or how you might, you’re forced to reframe it. So sally, what happened? You’re late for work. All of a sudden, that opens up the opportunity for sally or joe to say oh, here’s what happened if you start with why you generally shut the conversation down quite quickly. So something simple, please keep why out of your conversation and replace it with what or how. It took me a little bit to get used to it because it was something I always said. Still, once you practice it, you’ll find that your communication by taking the why out and replacing it with what or how will increase your interactions with your staff amazingly. So the other thing is to seek first to understand and not to be understood. You know, when you’re asking why the question about why someone’s late, we’re not seeking for us to understand. We’re just saying you’re late and we’re not going to allow you to tell us otherwise. If you come at conversations with your team, seek first to understand, then to be understood. The chances are you’ll make it a safe place for them to tell you whatever they need. So if they’re late for work and there’s something they want to share, you want to ensure it’s safe enough for them. As Daryl steven covey says, seek first to understand, then to be understood. Another little tip is to ask, don’t tell. As managers, I think over time, we were raised or taught that we were supposed to have all the answers to everything, and the truth is we can’t possibly have them. But I know that employees do so.
For example, I was working with a client on a Jobsite, and he needed some temporary steps built to get into the trailer they were working in or working out of. And so he asked one of his carpenters to do it. So his carpenter went and didn’t use a cut sheet, so he got completely upset with the manager or the employee for not using a cut sheet. And so I talked about that, and I said, well, how could you have gone about that differently? So instead of telling him, you have to use a cut sheet, ask him what it would look like had he used it. How would that impact the lumber that was used? How much faster would he do his job, and what would it look like when it was done? So asking and not telling allows the employee the opportunity to kind of figure it out for me. It takes a little bit longer, but I promise you that if you allow me to think it through myself, I will realize it makes more sense. If I’m going to do a temporary stairwell to figure out exactly how much lumber I need to cut it to spec so that I’m not wasting wood, but if you tell me to do it and not give me that opportunity, I’m not as likely to do as well. So I think important for powerful communication is not to use why to use what how and to allow me to think it through. Ask me good questions so that I can figure it out myself. The other thing is listening. I don’t know. If a little listening we’re a muscle, it would be their weakest in our bodies in many ways, So I’m asking you to stop for a minute and think about it. Think about how well you listen to your employees; if they’re coming to talk to you and you’re busy on your phone, you’re looking at your watch, or on your computer, you’re likely to listen to them. And I know that as an employee, if I came to talk to you, I would want to be heard. So make sure that when you’re meeting with employees, you give them the time they need. Listening is a critical component of communication. So now let’s talk about managing time and stress. So I believe the root of all conflict is unmet expectations, which can be very frustrating. So if you’re not clear with an employee about what you need for them or haven’t established together, maybe a cut sheet is the right approach. I’m going to guess that your expectations aren’t going to get mad and you’re going to get frustrated, and when you get frustrated, you’re going to show up in a way that isn’t going to give you the best reaction. I would say from employees. So it all starts here system training manager-employee, so if I’m upset with an employee because they haven’t done something that I wanted them to do in the way that I wanted to do it, you have to ask yourself, is there a system in place. Is there a system that says, to do this, this is how I’m supposed to do it? Has the employee been trained on it, and is the manager holding them accountable if all those three are yes, then you might have a challenge with your employee. You need to look back to see if any of the answers are above or not. We need to put a system in place. As the manager, we need to train them on it, and then I must make sure I hold employers accountable. When you do that, you will not have unmet expectations because everybody will be clear on what’s expected of them. Because there’s a system in place, and they’ve been trained on it, you’re holding them accountable. Another thing to think about when you’re having meetings with employees, and you’re talking about things, looking a different way, or hoping they’ll do something differently is sustainable. Sustainable change occurs when an employee’s building something, not fixing something, so if you come to me and you’re trying to fix something I did, I’m not going to be as open to learning. As if you’re trying to build something, so you’re trying to build my career by teaching me something that if I knew that if I did it better or differently, it would build me, it would help me be better at who I was. And the way that I did things, not so much who I was but better at what I was doing in the way that I was doing it, I’d be way more open to hearing what you had to say. And trying something new, so again don’t try and fix me try and build me try and help me be the best I can be by helping me understand that if I learned differently or tried differently, what a different result I could achieve. The other thing to think about is what you tolerate you manage, so if you’ve got turnover and low productivity, you’ve got mistakes happening, you got low morale people aren’t showing up for work or worse, people are at work, but they’re not there mentally. They’ve got issues with coworkers. If you let all that go on and tolerate it, you’re going to manage it, and boy, are you going to manage it. So managing time and stress is about dealing with those things and not thinking of them as necessary conflict but as opportunities to grow and learn. So one thing I know is that people possess the ability to resolve their upsets, do their thinking and discover their answers and path forward. If you allow them the time to do that, and again I know that everybody’s busy and a lot is going on, but if you can invest in employees like me early on and you spend a little bit more time with me, I promise they’ll be amazing the longer-term down the road. So some questioning tips you could use is to share intentions upfront and set the context for the question rather than dropping it on your employees. So if you want to talk to them about the way that they’ve done something, tell them what you want to do, that you want to have a conversation about a job that they just worked on or a project that they just completed and see if it’s a good time for them. Let them know that what you want to do is try and support their career because you know that they have career aspirations of x never doing what they can do for themselves. The minute a manager starts working for an employee, that an employee should be doing. You got to know that you get in trouble a little bit there. So never do for others what they can do for themselves, and the manager coach functions as a guide and sounding board who is proactive rather than reactive, which demonstrates a willingness to work together. So be proactive. Don’t be reactive. Some sample questions you could ask are what’s important to you about this situation, what outcome you would like to produce, how may I support you today, and how would you feel if you accomplish this goal, like if you’re trying to teach them something different. And in the end, they knew that if they achieved it, they had met a goal of theirs. What would that be again? Help me think about if I did this, how it would impact me, what they are proud of, what would give them the greatest joy, and you know every employee I’ve ever talked to wants to do good work. They want to do the best work. They know how to help. Show them how to do that. I will take this action you were promising to make a difference. What’s the easiest action to take? These are just a few questions but notice each one of them. If you didn’t notice, you could see it on the paper is what or how is the first word of every sentence there’s no way in there it’s only about what can you do. How can you help? What do they need, and how can they do it differently to get a better result? You know Disney conducts manager surveys every year, and they know that the destinations with the lower manager ratings will have revenue issues, so thus they focus we’re on working with those managers to overcome the challenges. There’s a direct correlation for them that if managers are getting poor ratings, they know revenue will go down, which shows the impact that managers and leaders have on the employee group. I just thought that was a really interesting stat and something that, if you’re a manager, leader, or owner, have complete control over. So, in summary, effective communication is critical. The words you use matter. Listen, listen with intent. Remember that systems, training managers and employees in those orders are going to manage expectations so that there won’t there aren’t going to be any unmet expectations. You know, one of the things I always say is when you first meet an employee, and you sit down in here you’re working with each other for the first time, ask them what is it that they need from you to be successful, what do they expect from you and what do you expect from them. How those open, honest dialogues, hopefully, your organization has behavioural values that you can talk about because man, if you’ve got that setup if you’ve got that the whole idea of why you exist. Your value setup allows you as a manager and an employee to open a powerful dialogue about how they’re doing. How successful they are at following them and maybe the areas that they’re not following them as well and coaching without action. So I have an assignment for you, how have you avoided giving feedback, what do you need to say to that person, and when will you do that? If we expect our employees to grow and learn and build, we’ve got to expect the same of ourselves. So if they’re somebody you haven’t given feedback to, you need to do it, and hopefully, it’s not just negative feedback. Hopefully, you’ve got some really powerful feedback because they’ve done a great job. Make sure you’re very specific about whatever feedback you give. Regarding what you say, don’t just say attaboy and not why. Oh, please don’t say a great job without saying why because you might find that they think what was great is not the same thing as you think. This has been an initiative of the city of Penticton economic development department, and I’m Cori.