There are some universal themes and issues that keep coming up over and over in the work I do. Mentoring the low performer is one of these. It creates anxiety and fear into the heart of every leader and manager who feels they need to do it. But it doesn’t have to be that way as Mike’s experience shows.
This was a mentoring experience I had a number of years ago and last week (and many times in between) I had almost the exact experience again so I recovered this post and revised it, knowing that it could be valuable for so many leaders and managers facing this situation.
In my workshops, I always offer the participants the opportunity to contact me after the workshop by email if they have any questions or want to discuss anything from the workshop.
This email I had from Mike was one of those situations. Both Mike (not his real name) and his employee have allowed me to tell this story and use it as a learning experience for others.
Rather than follow up by email, I actually phoned Mike to talk about this and made some suggestions for how he could handle it and about 12 months later when our paths crossed he gave me some feedback on what happened. I thought it was a good case study to present here.
If you are a Baby Boomer, or even a Generation X professional, you will remember when there was a career ladder. It had rungs, levels, that showed you how to get from the bottom to the top, how to progress your career. At each rung or level, there were fairly clear cut performance expectations that if you met granted you the opportunity to step up to the next rung or level. Depending on how far up you wanted to go and how quickly, you could get to the top of your career.
Today young professionals do not have that luxury, that certainty about how to take their career where they want it to go. There is no career ladder or if there appears to be one, many of the rungs are broken and getting from where you are to the next level seems a huge leap, often impossibly big.Read More
What kind of a leader do you want to be in the midst of these changing, uncertain and challenging times? Do you want to be an emotionally intelligent one or an emotionally unintelligent one? In the article I refer to here on the importance of working on yourself as a leader there is the story of Ann who was invited by her manager to give feedback.He took her comments and feedback and allowed his emotions to personalise them, became offended and then threatened her with withholding her bonus for no other reason than the fact that he couldn’t manage his emotions intelligently and appropriately as a leader. Emotional intelligence, like self-awareness, are crucially important leadership skills and deserve a high priority in our professional development as leaders. I doubt that Ann’s manager would have learned anything from this experience Who would be courageous enough to tell him if they were going to get the reaction that Ann received? Make a commitment to developing your emotional intelligence in 2020.Read More
Mark has technical skills your organisation cannot afford to lose. No one else in the organisation has his level of expertise. You really want him to focus on bringing that expertise to research and development, enhancing the product development and service delivery in the organisation. Mark, however, has been wanting to move into management for the past 18 months, saying that having been with the organisation for 3 years at the same level, he deserves a promotion given his significant contribution.
You don’t deny any of that and you are quite concerned that if you don’t grant that management promotion to him, he may seek it elsewhere. So what do you do? You make him a manager. What happens next is an organisation’s worst nightmare.Read More
There is presently an overwhelming global concern among CEOs and senior leaders about their inability to find talented people with the right skills for the job. One of the most important skillsets they are looking for is the soft skills for leadership, the ability to lead people, to engage them so they become intrinsically motivated to give 150%.
But the challenge is not only about attracting the right people with the right skillsets. It is also about how to retain them. It’s about looking after them.
These two articles I’m sharing this week have insights and strategies for how to do just that. They are a valuable resource for leaders and their organisations.
Every leader wants a team of high performing professionals in their organisation. How you achieve that is the big question. I’ve written previously about what I consider are the three big motivators – Engage, Empower and Elevate that will see you achieving that.
There are also many other skills that can enhance your leadership. I have selected six that when developed and enhanced are the ones that I believe will bring the most significant outcomes. Those of you who know my work will know that my focus is on the soft skills needed for leadership.
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives today. We all believe it is bad for us and we want to be able to manage it so that it doesn’t create chronic health problems for us. However health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, in her 15 minute TED talk is turning that belief on its head. She wants us to make stress our friend and uses scientific research to prove that mindset plays a big part in how we view stress and its impact on our lives for better or for worse. Watch her TED video here.Read More
It was a privilege last week to be interviewed for this podcast by Joanne Law from the Mediation Institute. Its regular podcast has generally been about specific mediation issues, but Joanne has been engaging with people like myself to provide mediators with a broader perspective of ideas that will further enhance the skills and insights of mediators. In this wide-ranging interview we discussed empowerment and being an empowered and empowering person, soft skills and what they mean, the importance of reflection and self-awareness among ofther issues.Read More
While reading the Melbourne Age online this morning, I see a Liberal National Party Staffer has been put on “indefinite leave” for texting an expletive-laden tirade to a female journalist who recently criticised a federal MP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. In responding the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack stated it was sent “accidentally and inadvertently” to the reporter when it was actually intended for a friend. While the staffer has apologised, what has been said cannot be erased.
How often do we see this today? Angry, overwrought, stressed and highly emotional people resorting on the spur of the moment to vent their feelings, generally apologising sometime later. But what has been said in haste cannot be taken back.
We constantly hear stories like the one above. People in organisations brawling back and forth by email. Again too often in their highly emotional, non-rational state, accidentally sending it to the wrong person, then it circulating around the building, becoming the latest reality show in the building.
We can change this. We can learn to respond in professional ways. The recent research into the brain and how it manages our emotions tells us how.