Tag Archives: Leading Teams

7 Things Successful Leaders Do Differently

paula-davis-laak7 Things Successful Leaders Do Differently

Today’s post comes from Psychology today and it is by Paula Davis-Laack, J.D., M.A.P.P. who is a stress management and work/life performance expert providing strategies for a healthier, more resilient you….more

This is the success formula for thriving leaders.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve had the privilege of coaching, teaching, and talking to thousands of leaders from varied walks of life. What I’ve noticed is that while most are successful on some level, a handful of them have that something extra. Their path hasn’t always been easy, and they’ve encountered numerous challenges, but this select group of leaders thrives both personally and professionally. Here is what they do differently:

1. They put relationships first. Successful leaders not only build networks, but they also nurture the connections they make. They make time for their clients and colleagues. They make time for people they mentor. They make time for their personal relationships. It takes a great deal of energy to keep connections thriving, but successful people are willing to put in the time and the effort. I’m reminded of a quote by Robert Martin that illustrates this point: “Taking an interest in what others are thinking and doing is often a much more powerful form of encouragement than praise.”

2. They know that meaning matters. In a recent Psychology Today blog post, I talk about the importance of incorporating meaning into your life, your work, and your business ventures. Many entrepreneurs, particularly millennials, are building their businesses around giving back and doing something that will affect the world in some way. Successful leaders know how their life’s work fits into a broader, more significant context.

3. They use humor. Successful leaders deal with tough stuff, but they fight back with humor. Early studies of humor and health showed that humor strengthened the immune system, reduced pain, and reduced stress levels. Since humor builds positive emotion, it can also help reduce feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety (McGhee, 2010). Additional research in this area shows that positive emotions predicted increases in both resilience and life satisfaction (Cohn et. al., 2009). What’s interesting is that the more stressful the situation, the more successful leaders tap into the funny side of life.

You can read the rest at this link

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pressure-proof/201206/7-things-successful-leaders-do-differently

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  
A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

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Be A Better Manager – Knowing How To Delegate

Being A Better Manager – Knowing How To Delegate

Do you really know how to delegate? I bet you say you do! But I wonder?

Knowing when, and what, to delegate does help. It should not just be about feeling you’ve got too much to do and you just need to pass something (anything) from your in tray on to someone else.

When you delegate what you delegate should meet two criteria;

  1. It must lighten your load and free you up to concentrate on what is important for you to do at your level, with your particular skills.
  2. It should help the receiver to learn and grow.

You should give the receiver the authority they need to complete the task just as if you had done it yourself. Of course, you give them only the authority necessary for their work and to complete the task as you would. You need to have a care about this; particularly where budgets are concerned.

Remember, though, that when you delegate, the responsibility remains with you. You need to make sure they have the training they need to do the job and you need to think about how they will be supervised. There needs to be space for them to do the task in their own way, but you need to ensure they understand, and will meet, any necessary standards. Most importantly, you (and they) need to be clear about how you will measure the results.

Then, you need to give them time to practice and you need to accept that when they start, they won’t do the job as well as you.

They will need to know who they can go to for help, if they have problem.

When you know how to delegate properly, you will have established an opportunity for real personal development for your team. And they will be better motivated as a result. On top of that, you will have more time to concentrate on the work that really requires your input – a win-win situation, all round.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 5 – Managing the Adjourning Stage

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

In this short series, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result.

In my last four posts in this series,  I discussed Stage 1 Forming, Stage 2 Storming, Stage 3 Norming and Stage 4 Performing. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved. In Stage 4 the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Now in Stage 5 the group is breaking up – hopefully with its purpose fulfilled.

Not all groups do complete their tasks but even so elements of the process described below need to be managed successfully.

Stage 5 – Adjourning

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 4, the group will now have delivered the task.  The members can move on to new things carrying forward learning from this experience into their new work. But for that to be done successfully there is a change to be managed.

The break-up can be hard for members who have come to enjoy team routines or who have developed close working relationships with other team members.  People may feel very insecure and anxious about finding a new role.  It is important to celebrate and document what has been achieved and to make sure that all have a chance to share the learning from this group experience. Some group members may need particular support in moving forward. It can be a stressful period, particularly if the group is being broken up before its task is complete.

Leading the group through Stage 5 – Adjourning

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 5, there is an opportunity to use a whole range of management skills.  You are dealing with conflicting emotions in yourself as well as in the team – these can include happiness and pride in a job complete, sadness at the dissolution and, even, anger if the group is being disbanded for less than noble reasons.

There may be some mundane but important tasks to complete around archiving and record keeping for governance purposes but team member may find it difficult to find the motivation to complete them,  Also encouraging honesty and sharing around lessons learned by the group during its lifetime, means that you need to keep the members’ trust. A positive outcome is you lead them to acknowledge the task is complete, accepting the best and worst of the process and then to let go and say goodbye

What could be problems in Stage 5 – Adjourning?

Team members may well have feelings of dislocation and loss.  People deal with their feelings in different ways.  You may find some lose motivation completely and start to avoid the necessary work.  Others may argue over minor details and you find them reverting to storming – old arguments re-surface.  Others may deny or try to pretend that isn’t really the end and find excuses to prolong the process. Leading/managing means being vigilant, identifying what is happening and intervening with understanding and support.

This is the end of this series on the Tuckman Model – Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing and Adjourning.  But I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 5. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com
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Preparing for the Job Interview – Managing Teams

If you are preparing for a job interview as a manager, team leader or project manager you might be interested in a series of posts I’m writing on our sister blog, Wisewolf Talking.

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning). Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

I’ve followed that initial post with posts on  Stage 1 FormingStage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 I described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved.

This week I’ve written about Stage 4 - now the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Next week, all being well, I’ll be tackling the final stage, Adjourning.

I hope the material is useful to you and I’d welcome any comments you have to add from your own experience of team management.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. She can help you – email her at
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles

 

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Preparing for the Job Interview – Managing Teams

If you are preparing for a job interview as a manager, team leader or project manager you might be interested in a series of posts I’m writing on our sister blog, Wisewolf Talking.

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning). Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

I’ve followed that initial post with posts on  Stage 1 FormingStage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 I described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved.

This week I’ve written about Stage 4 - now the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results. Next week, all being well, I’ll be tackling the final stage, Adjourning.

I hope the material is useful to you and I’d welcome any comments you have to add from your own experience of team management.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. She can help you – email her at
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles

 

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Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage

Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage

 is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you to solve difficult problems at work

In a recent post at this link, I introduced the Tuckman theory of how groups/teams develop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. Understanding the model can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!  A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along.  That means you get the best outcome for all, in the least time.

In this short series, I discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result.

In my last three posts in this series,  I discussed Stage 1 Forming, Stage 2 Storming and Stage 3 Norming. In Stage 1 we described how the group will be looking for ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. In Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved. Now, in Stage 4 the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results.

Not all groups are able to reach Stage 4; they achieve the task but without ever truly excelling.

Stage 4 – Performing.

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 3, the group will now be delivering the task with a high degree of openness, trust, confidence and autonomy.

The work itself is carried out to a high standard and the group take pride in group results and superior performance. Problems are seen as opportunities and they are tackled constructively.

The group can make decisions and solve problems quickly. People may challenge each other and there are can be healthy differences of opinion.  But these are resolved in a friendly manner.  The group has the confidence to review and revise work processes if necessary. New ways of doing things are considered and incorporated.

Leading the group through Stage 4 – Performing

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 4, the leader does not need to be involved in decision-making, problem solving or the day-to-day work of the team. People now work effectively as a group. The leader monitors progress and celebrates achievements; this helps to maintain morale and the performance of the group. The leader is also the conduit for any strategic decisions which need to be made at a higher level, for the group to complete their work.

What if they don’t stay in Stage 4 – Performing?

There remains a possibility that the group could revert back to an earlier stage. For example, if someone leaves, new members join or one of the existing members starts to work independently or outside the rules (formal or informal) subscribed to by the rest of the group.  It is possible then for the team to revert back to an earlier stage, until they have come to term with the change or the issues are resolved. If this happens, the leader should become more actively engaged again.  This could mean more close supervision for a while and encouraging them to have the confidence to go back to trying out new ideas and working independently, while remaining part of the group. They need you to be a cheerleader again – encouraging your group and recognizing them for the good work they are doing.

Now we are moving towards completion of the task – the next post will be about Stage 5 Adjourning

I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions.  Please share your own experience of handling Stage 4. What lessons do you have to pass on to others?

236419442_80_807Wendy Mason is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you to solve difficult problems at work
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com 
http://wisewolfcoaching.

Other useful articles

 

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Leadership Styles – is there a time and place for the Commander?

Casualty (series 4)

 When I was a young nurse, autocratic leadership was still common. 

It was the very early seventies. In those days, in Nursing, you learned to take orders and, as you gained experience and position, you learned to give them.

No, you didn’t shout like a drill sergeant!

You learned to use a certain tone in the voice that didn’t invite questions or equivocation!  All who joined the organisation and expected to thrive learned to comply – they gave their consent.  Some left pretty quickly!

Even then, times were beginning to change and by the time I left nursing, there were very few real autocrats still around.

Today, it is hard for me to remember what it was like to be part of such an organisation.

But there were occasions when an autocratic approach and the ability to command were invaluable; for example in a real medical emergency.

We were well trained and in most  emergencies everyone knew what was expected of them and slotted into their place.  The leader gave the orders and, in those circumstances, we obeyed. I saw several lives saved as a result of our ability to act as one body and give our consent to be led without question.

But it put a huge responsibility on the leader!

When I found myself leading the team, I found it awe inspiring to have someone’s life in my hands.

I had authority, but I had responsibility as well and I was accountable for the decisions I made.

I was grateful for my training and I was very grateful for my team and the relationships we had built up outside of the emergency situation.

Yes I am sure there is still a place on some occasions for the Commander and an authoritative style of leadership!  But without the consent of a good team built on participation and engagement, with real relationships and care for each member,  I’m sure no one achieves great things.

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Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her atwendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439

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