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  • feedwordpress 08:00:21 on 2018/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , teams, ,   

    This Is the Smart Way to Handle Toxic People 

    Over the course of your career, you’ll probably end up working with all kinds of
    people—some you love, some you could live without, some you learn from. But
    the worst kind of people to work with are those who are toxic.

    Working with a toxic person causes all kinds of problems. They arrive with drama and demands and (eventually) leave you in their cloud of negativity, feeling exhausted and mistrustful. But the worst thing about toxic people is the stress they create for everyone around them.

    We know that stress can have a lasting negative impact both physically and mentally. That makes it important to know how to handle toxic people to minimize your own involvement and danger.

    Handling a toxic person is a process and it takes time. There will good days and bad days, and you’ll need to call upon all your smarts and emotional intelligence. Here are some tips:

    Create clear boundaries. When you are talking to a toxic person, establish a boundary, making sure you do so proactively and deliberately. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly entangled in toxic conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you will engage with a toxic person, you stay in control.

    When they go low, you go high. Toxic people are notorious to for hitting below the belt, for being cruel and disruptive. Whatever they do, don’t give in to the temptation to meet them at their level.

    Scan your own emotions. Learn how to scan your own emotions. If you feel yourself getting upset—and sooner or later it’s likely that you will—respond to your own emptions rather than any external force. A thoughtful response is far better than a knee-jerk reaction. When you respond, you stay in control.

    Be a problem solver, not a problem contributor. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. But when you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal advantage that produces positive emotions and reduces stress. Toxic people may maintain a single-minded fixation on their own problems, but you really do have a choice.

    Check your surroundings. When you find yourself around someone who’s endangering your thinking and stability, it’s time to regroup—and maybe even remove yourself physically—so you can move forward in the best way. Always be aware of your surroundings.

    When you cannot change the situation, you can only change yourself. When you feel that you’re stuck in a toxic situation or that those you work with are difficult, it’s time to take back your control. The situation may be bad, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose control.Regardless of your situation, you can always be in control of yourself.

    Construct a support system. It’s tempting to think you can handle toxic people on your own, but in truth it’s important to design your own support system to gain perspective and give us insight when we need it most. A successful coach or a qualified mentor may be able to see a solution you can’t, probably because they’re not as emotionally invested.

    Lead From Within: The only way to handle a toxic person is to be smart about how you approach them.
     


     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStock Photo

    The post This Is the Smart Way to Handle Toxic People appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:11 on 2018/06/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , Effective Teams, , , , teams,   

    Overcome These Obstacles and Build an Effective Team 

    After decades of observing teams as an executive leadership coach, I’ve come to realize two things.

    First, every team has issues to overcome before they can function effectively.

    Second, every team has the ability to navigate those issues and do great work together. There aren’t any shortcuts, but you can make it happen with determination and hard work.

    Here are some of the most common obstacles I see in teams. Think about the teams you’re involved with as you read through and see if you recognize any patterns:

    Weak leadership. When a team isn’t meeting expectations, the problem often lies not with the team but with the leader. If the leader isn’t up to it, someone else on the team needs to step up, even unofficially. Once the ineffective leader sees how it’s done, they may begin to serve more effectively. If not, the bases are covered. Bottom line: in the absence of leadership, it is the responsibility of the team to step up and lead the way. The solution is to establish sound leadership.

    Lack of connection. When a team can’t connect, the real issue is usually communication. And that’s critical, because communication is the one of the most important factors in successful teamwork. Fostering communication means being open to suggestions and concerns, asking questions and offering help. The solution is to establish cohesive communication among your team members.

    Only a few members are engaged. If you’ve ever attended a meeting where two or three people are doing all the discussion, you understand this issue. Fairness aside, it’s not sustainable. Sooner or later, the rock stars will quit carrying the others, and the entire team will go down. Everyone member needs a role that fits their abilities, and accountability for carrying it out. The solution is to find a way for everyone to be of value.

    Trust is lacking. This one’s simple, although it may be the most important of all. If you can’t trust your teammates, you don’t have a team. Trust is the foundation of any effective team. The solution is to model and foster trust, trustworthiness, and trusting relationships.

    Self-serving attitudes. When a team member’s in it only for themselves, they do real damage. They withhold information, fail to communicate and can’t be trusted. It doesn’t take them long to erode the team’s fiber. The solution is to build a culture based on working together, connecting together and winning together.

    Death by consensus. Consensus is great, but it often takes a bad turn. Months can pass with the same topic unresolved because people are absent or disengaged. If no one’s interested, don’t make it important. Give a deadline for opinions and then make a decision. The solution is to set objectives, solve problems and plan for action.

    Lead From Within: Creating an effective team is ongoing process that takes leadership and partnership. It can be challenging work, but it’s well worth the effort.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Overcome These Obstacles and Build an Effective Team appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:43 on 2018/03/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , teams   

    Getting Everyone on the Same Page (Does More Harm Than Good) 

    Getting everyone on the same page—that is, creating unity of thought and opinion—is a concept that’s highly valued by many leaders. It’s widely thought to make teams more productive and creative. But in my years of experience, that connection is far from reliable. If anything, just the opposite applies: getting everyone on the same page does more harm than good.

    The idea behind this “same page” fixation is that a unified team culture is superior. And that’s true to a limited degree—for example, a sense of shared purpose lends strength to any team. But when you don’t invite and accept differences you weaken creativity, you decrease innovation, and you reduce individuality.

    When you try to make everyone think alike, work alike, and believe alike, you weaken and demotivate the talented and skilled people you’ve hired. You may think you’re building a team, but in reality you’re undermining them.

    Don’t allow yourself to be lured into the “everybody on the same page” trap. Instead, commit to the kind of leadership that builds unity through diversity on your team, by doing the following:

    Appreciate each person for who they are, not who you want them to be. Recognition is motivating, and great leaders appreciate their people for who they are. Instead of trying to mold them into an image of what you want them to be, learn to appreciate their authentic selves, their individual backgrounds, and their capabilities. A solid mix of talents makes for stronger teams and more innovative organizations. Being appreciated for their true self is incredibly uplifting for any employee.

    Identify individual’s strengths and push boundaries. Get to know each individual person’s strengths, then motivate and inspire them to raise their own standards. When you believe in people they will do what they can to come through for you. Work to understand, encourage, and develop your team members’ skills and potential.

    Invite each to contribute and collaborate in notable ways: Too often leaders feel threatened by their people’s capabilities and talents and may even work to suppress them. But encouraging people to excel at what they do best is the soul of leadership—and it leads to great results. Maximizing and meshing talents is how projects get done seamlessly. It’s how you meet deadlines and develop innovative solutions. Collaboration is what teams are built to do.

    Have everyone own their leadership. Work to have everyone find ways to step up and show leadership at some point. Start by assigning them leadership over small projects involving a handful of people. When you do, you build not only a team but a team of leaders—inspiring growth and helping your people advance. Leaders aren’t born, they’re made when you allow them to own their identity and capabilities.

    Great companies, leaders and managers all focus on collaboration and on developing each person’s capacities and having them bring their individual gifts to the collective effort.

    Lead from within: People who come together create progress, and succeed together, but it takes a diverse group to make it happen.

     


    N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Getting Everyone on the Same Page (Does More Harm Than Good) appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:48 on 2018/02/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , teams   

    7 Ways To Keep Your Team Happy And Motivated 

    There are probably few if any people in leadership who don’t aspire to have a happy team. But what does it take to keep people motivated? Especially these days, when most people are working long hours and have so much to do, there are steps you can take to help ensure your team is happy (and, since the two go hand in hand, motivated). Here’s a list, compiled from the workshops I facilitate, of what fuels the happiest teams

    1. A happy team has a supportive leader. A happy team has a leader who is engaged and supportive—and leaders with that style will go much further than either micromanagers or aloof directors. People are much more willing to go the extra mile if they know their team leader is willing to roll their sleeves up and pitch in when necessary. They need to know their leader is someone they can count on when the going gets tough.

    2. A happy team has an inclusive culture. One key to a happy team is to create an environment where people feel free to discuss ideas openly and to disagree with each other before reaching consensus—or, at the very least, a compromise that everyone can live with.  If the culture is right, the conversation will be honest and the communication will find common ground. Make sure your team atmosphere is one where new ideas are welcomed, healthy debate is encouraged and everyone works toward the same goals of trust, respect and success.

    3. A happy team has opportunities for learning. When team members feel that the organization and leadership are invested in their career, they feel valued—which in turn makes them feel happier and more productive, innovative and creative. Team members are also invigorated by feeling that they’re growing and not just standing still. Extend as many opportunities as possible for learning and professional development.

    4. A happy team has up-to-date tools that work well. Teams work at their best when they know they’re equipped to do their job properly. Tools that are outdated or that don’t work well make the workplace stressful and frustrating. When setting goals for your team, make sure that they have the tools and training to accomplish they need.

    5. A happy team has ongoing feedback and clear communication. Good communication skills build trusting relationship and cultivate happy people. That means you need to be as skilled at listening as at speaking and writing. Allocate ongoing time for feedback, making sure communication is honest, truthful and straightforward. Teamwork thrives in an environment where communication is valued.

    6. A happy team knows mistakes are acceptable. While you should be able to expect consistently high performance from your team, mistakes and errors are inevitable. A positive working culture is one where employees are not made to feel that a mistake is unacceptable or fatal. The best teams make mistakes—and then learn from them. Avoid blaming or shaming people when they make a mistake.

    7. A happy team receives appreciation and recognition. When your team does something above and beyond, something unexpected, something that impresses you—express appreciation and recognition as loudly and publically as possible. It’s a no-brainer: making people feel valued it one of the easiest things you can do to foster a positive workplace culture and a happy team.

    Everyone in the organization, from the top down, is responsible for designing and building a positive environment and culture where people can be happy, where everyone makes a contribution, where everyone counts.

    Lead from within: Happy people make happy teams, and happy teams know what they want and how to navigate toward it together.


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Ways To Keep Your Team Happy And Motivated appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:48:17 on 2018/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , Feedback, , , , teams,   

    The Power of Feedback: How To Make Feedback Constructive 

    Criticism is rarely easy for anyone to hear, but the manner in which it’s provided can make a huge difference in how feedback is received and how useful it can be in helping the recipient grow.

    The way most organizations handle feedback is terrible. Bosses save everything up till the dreaded performance review rolls around. Piling up a year’s worth of feedback in one day is grueling and stressful for everyone involved. Instead of being an opportunity for growth, it’s treated as something awful to get through.

    I believe there is a problem—not only with the whole performance review process but with how we communicate feedback. We have institutionalized the art of letting people know how they’re doing, often with a process that does more harm than good. But we dutifully follow the system that’s handed to us, even though it’s unsettling for everyone involved.

    Feedback can be invaluable when it’s offered in the right way with the right intentions. Knowing the how and when is a skill, and like any other skill it takes practice to get it right.

    Here is the process I teach to top leaders around the world. It’s effective, constructive, and geared toward employees’ overall growth and development.

    Make sure there’s a reason. For feedback to be effective, it must have a purpose. You may be analyzing a recent problem to prevent it from recurring, or the employee’s role may be involved in an area that’s been targeted for expansion. Effective feedback requires credibility, and that credibility is absent if only context is “It’s review time and I have to list something under ‘Areas for Improvement.’”

    It has to be given at right time and at for right duration. Appropriate timing is important. When an event triggers a need for feedback, provide it as quickly as possible (but not in the heat of the moment). Timely feedback allows you to address issues more effectively, and it doesn’t leave employees feeling blindsided.

    It has to be done routinely and regularly. Examining events and looking for highs and lows, and especially for places where changes would be beneficial, should be a regular part of your leadership, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. When feedback becomes part of that process, it doesn’t make recipients feel singled out or like a scapegoat.

    Keep it simple and specific. To be effective, feedback must be clear. Stay on track and stick to the issue at hand. Avoid phrases like you never or you always—discuss the impact of specific behavior without blame or personal criticism.

    Make it interactive. Feedback works best when it’s treated not as a one-way street but an interactive session for problem solving. Ask for input and ideas to help clarify it’s about progress, not punishment.

    Use “I” statements. The best feedback comes from your personal perspective. You can avoid labeling, blaming and accusing by making sure your sentences start with “I”: I thought, I sense,, and by expressing yourself with concern and care,

    Know when to go private. It’s a wise principle that’s easy to forget: give recognition in public and criticism in private. Create a safe environment, away from hearing ears, and speak in a way that no one can overhear or disrupt the conversation. Privacy is important.

    Stay focused. A good feedback discussion is about one issue, not piling on every large and small grievance at once. If you expand the scope of the feedback to include objectives and criticisms, you risk having an employee who feels attacked and demoralized—and who wouldn’t? Stick to the specific behavior that the employee needs to change.

    For every negative, give two positives. A good rule to follow is to start off with something positive. This helps put the person in the right frame of mind to receive information. It’s also good to end the discussion with something positive so they don’t leave discouraged and dispirited.

    Follow up for progress. The whole purpose of feedback is for improvement. Feedback needs to be carried out in a constant loop in which everyone thinks about what they’ve done and what they could do better, as they work to grow and develop—and that requires measuring accomplishments. Discuss what is and isn’t working and work together on anything that needs to be amended.

    If feedback is positive and constructive, positive outcomes will be the result; if it is grounded in negativity, a lack of engagement and failure will follow.

    LEAD FROM WITHIN: Feedback is effective when it’s a two-way street. You need to know how to give it effectively and receive it constructively.

     


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Power of Feedback: How To Make Feedback Constructive appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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