Thursday, 17 May 2012

When Colleagues Behave as Rivals

As a leader, how do you deal with colleagues who behave as rivals? 

Anyone who has faced rivals at work — colleagues who take all the credit, team members who undermine things — knows how difficult it is to ignore them. Instead, turn your adversaries into collaborators by following these three steps:
  • Redirect. Try to channel your rival's negative emotions away from you by bringing up something you have in common, or talking about the source of the tension in a favorable light.
  • Reciprocate. Give up something of value to your rival — help complete a project or divulge important information — so you are poised to ask for something in return.
  • Reason. Explain that not working together cooperatively could mean lost opportunities. Most people are highly motivated to avoid a loss.

Adapted from "Make Your Enemies Your Allies" by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Get Yourself Ready for Meetings

As a leader, do you use the 3 key steps for preparation? 

With so many meetings, busy leaders don't always have time to think about the goals of those meetings. But showing up unprepared only makes a meeting longer and less effective. Try blocking out time on your calendar for prep work and to think about what you want to accomplish. If a meeting is an hour, you may need 30 minutes to prepare. For critical meetings you may need much more time. If you plan accordingly, you'll arrive ready to accomplish what you've set out to do, not catching up.

Three key steps for preparation...

  1. Establish a clear purpose for the meeting and be sure everyone knows it.
  2. Uses processes for engaging participants.  Avoid talking at them. 
  3. Be sure to include everyone who needs to know. 

Adapted from "Make Time for Time" by Anthony K. Tjan.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Receiving Online Feedback

As a leader, how do you handle online feedback to your school/organization? 

Whether you're a small or large school/organization, feedback matters from those you serve. But it can be tough to navigate online feedback.  Consider the following when dealing with the negative feedback:
  • Seek a solution. Post a response and offer a way to turn the situation around. Always extend an olive branch if you can.
  • Don't treat all comments equally. Anonymous comments should never receive the same attention as authored comments.  In fact, you may wish not to respond to anonymous comments. 
  • Invite comments. If you're open to hearing input, you're more likely to hear positive things. Create forums for discussions about the service you provide.  Allow people to 'have their say' by posting testimonials and keeping social media lines open for their comments.

Adapted from "What Angie's List Knows About Customer Reviews" by Angie Hicks.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Leadership Thought for a Monday Morning

A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better. 

Jim Rohn   

Friday, 11 May 2012

Starting a New Leadership Position

As a leader, how do you enter into a new leadership position? 

Taking on a new assignment is exciting. But it's not easy. Here are three common mistakes people make when moving to a new leadership role and how to avoid them:
  • Forgetting about the people. Most people start a new leadership role with a plan for success. But you can't forget the people. Know who you will need to rely on to get your work done and focus on building productive relationships with them.
  • Failing to listen. You may be eager to introduce yourself and your plan, but don't dominate conversations. Listen to others so their input can guide you.
  • Relying on old power dynamics. Every organization has a way of operating. Don't assume what worked in your last school/organization will work in the new one. Understand the new dynamics and how to establish your authority. 

Adapted from "Get Ready for Your Next Assignment" by Katie Smith Milway, Ann Goggins Gregory, Jenny Davis-Peccoud, and Kathleen Yazbak.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Preparing for a New Leadership Assignment

As a leader, how do you prepare for a new leadership assignment? 

Many leaders know when their next promotion is coming, but few take advantage of this time to prepare. Instead of waiting for an official announcement, start with "phase zero." Use your insider status to become familiar with your new unit's people and performance and to discern the opportunities and challenges of your upcoming assignment. In the weeks leading up to the transition, carve out at least 30 minutes a day for this endeavour. Look through company documents, such as performance reviews and reports on services and operations. Identify problems and develop hypotheses for solving them. Turn to colleagues who have supervised the role, interacted with it, or previously filled a similar one. Ask them questions that will help you understand what to expect for the transition.

Adapted from "Get Ready for Your Next Assignment" by Katie Smith Milway, Ann Goggins Gregory, Jenny Davis-Peccoud, and Kathleen Yazbak.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Leadership: Relationships...not Muscles

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. 

Mahatma Gandhi