Amidst the uncertainty of current working environments, there’s one thing that remains constant;
The need for effective communication to get results!
One common challenge I regularly hear is “how do I motivate and inspire my staff?” Communication is the most important determining factor needed to achieve the connection for this to happen…. and everybody has their own way of communicating!
I recall some early days in my career as a leader…
— Staff begin work, staff do job, staff tick off lists, staff finish up for the day –
No spark. No creativity or innovation. No extra mile.
Seemingly ‘stuck’ in their day-to-day regime – and me, unsure of how to communicate to get things back on track.
I tried everything to reinspire and motivate.
I tried ‘everything on each of them’… meetings, extra breaks, feedback, incentives, buddy’s.
I tried everything that I believed would help to get my team’s buy-in….
It was hit and miss with my results and at times I certainly felt lost, uncertain and a little helpless.
I eventually discovered that the problem lay in my approach.
I was viewing solely, through my own lense… and under the impression that I understood what the problem was – ‘surely I get it’, ‘they must be feeling the same as I would in that situation’.
Key factor was that I had no idea how they were feeling and thinking about the situation… I could take an educated guess, but really… no idea.
At that time, I was yet to understand that although I saw differences in all people… I didn’t quite get that there genuinely are;
- different ways that we each respond to the same event and
- different things that make each of us tick….
Whether the team member has
- lost focus
- seems bored
- is straying from responsibility or
- seemingly ‘stuck in their ways’
…. it is the leader’s approach to these problems that will determine the success of the outcome.
Each ‘problem’ is typically identifiable through certain actions… and when you can look out for such behaviour and notice those traits in your staff, then you are able to effectively offer the right approach/solution.
There are four types of main problems that you’ll likely notice.
I’ve stated them below, along with the solution of how to approach that particular behaviour to ensure confident development.
When you lead in this way, with awareness and acceptance, it builds;
Trust – developed through respect and care felt by staff, and
Resilience – the determination to push through, because staff feel worthy and accepted.
In yourself, it promotes growth in self-awareness, felt through your purposeful approach and actions – which must be flexible in order to inspire creativity and innovation.
Trust, Resilience and Self-awareness are the ingredients that will transform and redefine your culture. An amazing culture moves your business from mediocre to outstanding.
- Problem – LOSS OF FOCUS – Forgetting the roles and forgetting the goals leads to making small mistakes. This person will often create their own little informal groups.
Solution – Focus on the big picture, maintaining a positive attitude. Take the time to chat and talk, helping to achieve recognition. Avoid too many details.
- Problem – BOREDOM – Doesn’t stay in area of responsibility, seeking out new challenges (often not received). This team member becomes bored and uninterested in teamwork.
Solution– Act quickly with this person, focusing on the issues and providing direct answers. Show interest and offer alternatives. Enjoy the battle – they will! Avoid too much information and don’t take issues personally.
- Problem – BOGGED DOWN – Some can become so overly cautious that they are bogged down in the details and thus resist responsibility.
Solution – Listen carefully and find out what the key issues are with this person. Be thorough and provide factual responses. Avoid small talk and applying pressure. Don’t expect decisions right away.
- Problem – RESISTS CHANGE – This can happen to many, but a good percentage will adjust in reasonable time. This team member will resist even the simplest of new procedures and become protective of their team. They are at a stand-still, full of opinion with no initiation.
Solution – Building trust is key here. Remember fairness and justice and provide support. Keep conversation slow and ask specific questions to find out their true needs. Avoid domination and unreliability.
It is crucial that each team member is viewed upon as their own entity… it is not rational to discount them for ‘acting up’ (unless of course its continual or extreme!) or to presume that they are doing so for a particular reason… there is only one way to find out why… and it’s in the approach!
So, get curious!
Focus on looking at how the individual is ‘doing’ their undesirable behaviour… and see your team as a group of self-leaders, where your role is to provide opportunities for their growth.
If you need more help connecting and communicating with your staff, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I am currently gifting free webinars that will strengthen connections and enhance all round communication.