I am that boss. The one who darts from good idea to good idea until there are so many ideas that nothing is accomplished. I am just back from the Influence Conference, and as usual had a great time learning and growing with colleagues. Even before I left, I knew I would come back to my office with too much information and too many things to implement.
During our Monday Morning Meeting a couple weeks ago, I literally said to my staff, Keri and Mary, “Watch out! I am going to the NSA conference so I will be emailing and texting you nonstop with things we should do. You should probably keep a running list and we can figure out what is truly important and reasonable when I return.”
And then, as though Alexa was listening, I saw this article:
If you work with a passionate, creative and oftentimes scattered boss, I think the ideas in this article are better than just making a list. If you would like coaching on this topic, I suggest that Keri and Mary help you, as in this case, I am a “do as I say, not as I do” boss – the very worst kind.
One of our clients was kind enough to send me what he experienced after I wrote an article about the importance of feedback and compliments.
“Once I paid what I thought was a huge compliment to a Director of Nursing about a member of her nursing staff. As a physician, I said it’s frequently challenging to reach the nurses station by telephone, but whenever I call this particular station, the unit nurse very promptly answers the phone. I relayed to the nursing director that I was very appreciative that this nurse was so immediately responsive to my needs.
The nursing director thanked me for letting her know, and informed me that this particular nurse has been neglecting their duties with respect to patient care and has been on a corrective action plan. The director said that the last place this nurse should be is sitting at the nurses station answering the phone!” My friend the doctor suggested to me that perhaps giving appreciative feedback isn’t always helpful. While that can be true, I think it’s a more complicated and nuanced issue. The following positives came from his comment:
- The doctor had a productive conversation with the Director of Nursing.
- The nurse who answered was rewarded.
- The exchange highlights that employees are multi-dimensional. Even employees who are underperforming in some ways are likely doing at least a few things right, and it’s important to notice what is going right as well as what needs correction.
Can you think of colleagues or employees who need improvement, but are still doing a lot of things right? When positive actions are recognized and appreciated, we are more receptive to making changes to improve performance in other areas. A 360 review provides individuals with a comprehensive evaluation and allows them to receive valuable feedback not only from their managers, but also from colleagues, clients, and vendors.
I am such an advocate of the 360 review process that I’ve written about it on multiple occasions. By learning and having the opportunity to give and receive feedback, employees can improve their work relationships and leverage themselves and their organizations to the next level.
Is it time for your organization to do a 360?
When I was in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, I took a course on Facilitation held by the esteemed professor, Roger Karsk. At the end of the semester, Roger offered me a job as a teaching assistant and I sprang at the opportunity. Ever since then I have been sharing insights about facilitating groups, including most recently through a series of blogs focusing on techniques to keep a facilitation running smoothly.
First and foremost, know that trust and shared group goals are imperative!
When you conduct an internal meeting within your organization, you cannot assume that everyone attending has a vested interest in the outcome. Therefore, meet with attendees and stakeholders individually beforehand to find out their goals and objectives. It’s rare that all members of any group share the same intentions, values, and especially commitment.
Once you have gleaned that information, your role as a facilitator is to decide what to do with it. One thing is certain, you should not hold on to it. Transparency is key, but the degree of transparency is critical and that is where the trust comes in. Participants have to feel comfortable expressing their motivations.
- Create an exercise or a structured time on the agenda where participants feel comfortable sharing their individual goals and objectives.
- Conduct a written follow-up survey. Compile the data, keeping individual comments anonymous, and review the results with participants.
- Talk to members individually to determine how the work may be interesting or beneficial to them.
- Work with the group to collectively develop a shared approach for moving forward.
Look for more facilitation tips in future blogs, and in the meantime, let me know how you have created synergy in the groups you lead or participate in.