Archives For Mastering Leadership Skills
Empowerment refers to power sharing, the delegation of power or authority to subordinates. Leaders provide their followers with an understanding of how their jobs are important to the organization’s mission and performance, thereby giving them a direction within to act freely.
There is a wide range of leadership behaviors that empower or diminish people and their performance.
• Shows Approval
• Shows concern and empathy
• Shows interest
• Facilitates learning
• Communicates and listens
• Sees the small and big picture
• Trusts: Tend to see the good as well as the bad
• Is seen as supportive
• Is assertive
• Creates cooperative and independent relationships
• In conflict situations is balanced, sees others’ viewpoints, and sees mutual solutions
• Usually uses an “I win, you win” style
• Resorts to name calling
• Uses put down statements
• Embarrasses people
• Has a sink or swim attitude
• Blames: tends to look for the negative first
• Gossips about shortcomings
• Tells, directs
• Picks on details
• Creates dependent relationships; primarily sees mistakes
• Is noncommittal; frowns
• Is seen as critical
• Is aggressive
• Creates competition and dependency
• Focuses on problems, not solutions
• In conflict looks for “I win, you lose” solutions
Ref: Just Promoted
“You have to enable and empower people to make decisions independent of you. As I’ve learned, each person on a team is an extension of your leadership; if they feel empowered by you they will magnify your power to lead.”
~ Tom Ridge
Leadership Tip from The Leader as a Linking Pin to Management
Performance Counseling is the second step in the behavioral/performance modification process. The word “counseling” denotes the degree of formality and assertiveness that is required to make this process successful. Normally, after a counseling interview is completed, a written record (summary) is made of the interview and placed in the Employee’s Performance file.
A performance counseling interview “can be” a two-way communication process. In some instances you are only interested in presenting your point of view. In other words, you are “reporting to the employee what you see – and telling them the changes that must be made.” In other situations, you want the employee involved in the process.
Pitfalls To Avoid
1. Failure to confront the problem as soon as it surfaces.
2. Acting before you understand what the problem really is.
3. Acting before you have completed the Employee Performance Analysis.
4. Beginning the counseling process with preconceived notions.
5. Failure to listen.
6. Failure to invoke consequences for non-performance.
If we fail to avoid the pitfalls, we fail to help people become the employee that they deserve to be. We also become a detriment to our organization because employees are not being held accountable for their bad behavior and performance. The good employees also start to question our leadership abilities because we avoid confrontations and set a new standard of conduct.
* This is an excerpt from The Three C’s of Leadership (Coaching, Counseling, and Confrontation), a Mastering Leadership Skills seminar.
The ultimate goal in the disciplinary process is to change behavior or performance. Not punish the employee. Therefore, we must enable the employee to maintain as much of their self-esteem as possible while focusing on the desired results. Even if the individual fails to respond to your efforts, the employee should be treated with respect and the greatest degree of professional courtesy that you can muster.
Remember, when they leave your office, you want them thinking about their behavior, not the way you treated them!
Before you meet with the employee do your homework. Don’t embarrass the employee or yourself by making allegations that are later found to be false. Complete the following eight step Employee Performance Analysis process before you interview the employee.
1. Check your facts:
a. Obtain dates, times, and locations.
b. Gather supporting evidence or documentation.
2. Outline the problem.
a. Write it out to make certain you understand what it is you are dealing with.
b. Look at their past performance and behavior.
3. Decide if you’re confronting a performance problem or a behavioral problem:
(1) The report contained numerous errors.
(2) Poor workmanship.
(3) Tardy three days last week.
(1) Acting immature.
(2) Insubordinate toward a supervisor.
(3) Disregarding the rights of others.
4. Identify specific actions you need to take as a supervisor to help the employee correct/overcome the problem.
5. Examine the sanctions for this type of issue.
6. Clearly define your future performance/behavior expectations.
7. Identify the employee’s positive contributions to the organization.
8. Write out (or outline) the main points you want to cover with the employee when you conduct your disciplinary interview with them.
* This is an excerpt from Using Positive Progressive Discipline, a Mastering Leadership Skills seminar.
Essentially, it is difficult (if not impossible) to change the behavior of some employees. Generally speaking, the only way you can hope to modify or change someone’s behavior is by:
- Making them aware of their behavior;
- Advising them of the impact of their behavior on others;
- Creating an environment which requires the person to change, and providing them with the skills/training needed to modify their behavior;
- Clearly defining the expected changes and reinforcing the changes in behavior when they are observed;
- Confronting the employee each time the employee responds inappropriately. Over time they may realize that you will no longer tolerate their inappropriate behavior;
- Clearly defining the consequences for failure to change and invoking the consequences if they fail to change;
- Documenting your interview(s).
To communicate your required behavioral changes, a six part message format can be used. It is designed to get the employees attention, to focus on their behavior, and inform them of the consequences for failure to change.
- Describe their behavior.
- Describe how their behavior affects the group.
- Describe how their behavior affects the coworker who is the recipient of their behavior (if appropriate).
- Describe how you feel about their behavior.
- Describe your future performance expectations.
- Describe the sanctions for failure to change.
And of course, DOCUMENT the conversation and have the employee agree on the behavior changes.
* This is an excerpt from Working With Difficult Employee Problems a Mastering Leadership Skills seminar.
The intervention process is a formal “documented process” which is used to assist an employee in resolving performance or behavioral problems. The process is designed to identify problems, develop solutions, and establish a follow-up process which reinforces appropriate performance/behavior, or provides for corrective action should the employee fail to respond.
When you are preparing to meet with an employee, you must decide which approach is most appropriate. Your choice of initial words and actions should be predicated not only on your desired outcome(s), but also on the type of employee you are working with.
In counseling, flexibility is absolutely necessary. If one approach is not working, don’t hesitate to try another to gain the desired results. The following techniques are provided to assist you in structuring your next performance counseling interview:
Initially review the previous conversation(s) that you have had with the employee, and/or events that have happened. State how you feel about the employee’s actions (I’m upset, I’m angry), and discuss how they have impacted on your unit’s (section, department, or team) productivity. Finally, ask the employee “Now, what are you going to do to correct these problems!”
This approach is non-threatening and leaves the door open for the employee to talk about what they think the real problem is. A word of caution is in order, it may be necessary to get the employee back on track if they wander too far away from the real problem. Begin the interview with a broad based question such as “How have things been going for you in the past (week, month, quarter etc.).” Don’t mention the specific problem you want to talk about until the employee brings it up. The employee knows this is not a social visit and will begin to focus in on the specific issue(s) you want to talk to them about. When they get to the real issue, then you can begin using the counseling skills that we are going to talk about.
This interview begins by saying “I believe we have a problem, and I want to talk to you about it before it gets out of hand.” “Quite honestly, I think that it’s bothering you too.” “Let’s talk about it, and find some solutions.” “Ok?”
This approach puts the employee in your shoes and asks them “What would you do?” It begins by saying,“John, if you had an employee who (state the problem) what would you do?” Listen to their response, if it’s on track with your thinking then ask the employee, “How can we solve this problem before we have to take the drastic action you suggested?”
|This is an excerpt from The Three C’s of Leadership (Coaching, Counseling, and Confrontation), a Mastering Leadership Skills seminar.|