29 Mar

Are you a good boss?

According to Gallup, only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. Let’s just stop and think about that for a moment. 85% of people are not engaged at work. Due to this disengagement, we often see destructive, bullying behaviour in the workplace or hear of employees talking negatively about their company to friends and family. Not a good result.

While you are thinking about the 15%, think about the loss of productivity and the amount of time wasted. It is staggering.

This article also points out the following; Employees everywhere don’t necessarily hate the company or organisation they work for as much as they do their boss. Employees — especially the stars — join a company and then quit their manager (Clifton, 2017).

This reminds me of the quote from Marcus Buckingham who said “people don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers’

You can see the theme I am going for here. As a manager, business owner or leader you are responsible for your team’s performance. But gone are the days of the autocratic management style and the sadly facilitated performance reviews, (which never worked anyway) or the “my way or the highway” approach. So, how do you manage your team’s performance without taking on this archaic approach?

Communication. Simple. To help improve your communication with your team, think about the following:

  1. How often do you communicate with your team? Do you talk at them or with them?
  2. How often do you honestly listen to what they are saying, or take note of what they are not saying? Providing them with 100% of your attention? No devices to distract your attention.
  3. How often do you shift employee appointments for other “more important” meetings?
  4. Think of each one of your employees and rate your professional relationship with them from 1 to 10. Do you know if they have children? Who are their favourite sports teams, their favourite foods? What do you need to improve on in this area? Building trust with your team members starts with building relationships.
  5. Are you are aware of their different personality traits and what motivates them? We are all unique and therefore need to be managed differently.
  6. How often do you let them make the final decision?
  7. How often to you reward and recognise them?

This list could go on, but I need to end this post. The moral of the story is that your employees are the most important people in your business. Instead of just agreeing with this statement, action it. Show them that they are important by changing your attitude and behaviour towards them. Walk the talk!

26 Apr

What it takes to be a Leader

Throughout history there have been some exceptional leaders, Ghandi, Churchill, and Nelson Mandela are a few that come to mind. All these great leaders have stood out over the decades and have mastered the art of leading a group of people, where in some circumstances have had to lead in the most harrowing of circumstances. What was the reason that people chose to follow these great leaders?

There has been extensive research completed by many universities and organisations over the years to try and pinpoint what exactly are the traits or qualities of a good leader. The research has apparently come back inconclusive. As you can guess, every exceptional leader who has stood out in a crowd has come with a different background, value system, experiences and character. Unfortunately there is no such thing as one neat little set of leadership traits. If you had to compare Ghandi and Churchill, these two men were polar opposites in their leadership styles, even missing a few key leadership traits some would say. However, they are still regarded as great leaders of our time.

There are however two traits that do rise above the countless leadership traits that we see on personal development lists and job description requirements and those two are as follows.

  1. Good leaders have the ability to adapt to their circumstances: A leader is someone who can assess and acknowledge the environment for what it is. Expecting the environment to be perfect for their unique requirements would be an impossible ask. Good leaders can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a situation as well as identify future opportunities.  Never wishing what could be, but knowing what the results will be into the future. Good leaders truly believe in the vision themselves, so much so that their passion and motivation for achieving their vision shines through in all that they do.
  2. Good leaders understand the need for building relationships: Leaders understand that in order to reach the ultimate vision they need the people around them to firstly buy into that vision. Once that has happened only then can action plans be  executed.

How do you get people to follow you or buy into the vision? Well, this could be the place where some of the other important traits come in. Good leaders know that it’s not about spitting out orders and expecting results. It’s ultimately about building relationships. What are some of the characteristics of a strong relationship? What should a good leader be practising everyday?

  • Respect: Earning respect from the team by practising active listening, being accountable for one’s actions, practising what they preach and  stepping up and leading from the front.
  • Empathy: Taking the time to understand the team and how they view the situation. Considering their feedback and suggestions to make them feel part of the process.
  • Loyalty: Being honest and open with the team builds loyalty and trust.
  • Treating everyone as unique: Good leaders take the time to get to know the individual team members. Their style, strengths, challenges, personal goals and dreams. The leader will help each team member to grow, develop and reach personal goals whilst working towards the business vision.

Do you have these leadership traits? If not, what do you need to do to develop them?

26 May

What makes a good coach?

Recently I was asked “What makes a good coach?”

There are literally a hundred different answers to this question. There is also no exact right or wrong answer, as it depends purely on who is asking and what they are actually looking for in a coach at a particular time.

Different characteristics will mean different things to different people. Certain personality traits may be higher on your list of importance when it comes to selecting a coach than on someone else’s list. However the one trait that I believe everyone should see as key to what makes a good coach, and that should be on the top of everyone’s list when in the coach selection process, is trust and the coach’s ability to instil trust into the coaching relationship. Here is why I say that:

  1. Trust is first and foremost the most important component of any part of the coaching relationship. The coaching partnership is built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect.  Without trust, there will be no true relationship and the coaching results would most probably be poor.
  2. As a client you are trusting someone to keep your coaching sessions private and confidential.
  3. As a client you are trusting that the coach has got your best interest at heart. There shouldn’t be any hidden agendas or commission kick-backs down the line.
  4. You are trusting that the coach is holding a non-judgemental safe space for you to work through your goals. You need to feel comfortable in your coaching sessions with no fear of being judged.

So the next time you are investigating the services of a coach, don’t just think about what personality traits would work well for you. Ask yourself two vital questions. “How will this coach instil trust into this potential partnership?” and  “Can I trust them?”

Need professional coaching assistance? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz