There is nothing more frustrating than a manager who has not aligned their communication messages with their behavior. Team Members are often heard to say “They say one thing, but do another” a common example is a Leader who speaks at staff meetings about the importance of quality while outside of the staff meeting only ever inquires about productivity. It seems that occasionally Leaders forget that all eyes are on them, all of the time.
Down through the ages Leadership was almost always looked at as, “above” the Team. They were the ones who gave the orders and left. Often, the Leaders of the past thought that, due to the respect that came with the title they could have immunity from following their own directions. While this was true for earlier generations, Team Members within the last two working Generations are far past accepting that type of action.
Today’s workers are looking for the Leader that will not only, “walk the talk”, but do that walking side by side and be the Leader in action as well as direction. The only way that can happen is if the Leader realizes that they are not only the Leader of the Team, but that they are PART OF the Team! To ensure that your employees all receive a consistent message, you need to align your communication messages with your actions.
Until next time, don’t just tell them, lead it and live it!!
How would you like to skyrocket yourself and your Team in the following areas: Approachability, Trust, Business knowledge, Accountability, Morale, Productivity?
You can, by becoming an HP Leader! William Hewlett and David Packard, founders of Hewlett Packard (HP), famously used a particular approach Leading their company. Tom Peters, in his wildly successful 1982 book “In Search of Excellence,” included lessons learned from HP and other companies that used a similar style of Leadership – and the term MBWA immediately became popular. What is MBWA you ask? Managing By Wandering Around, a key to relationship, Team building and overall Leadership in the world today! To get connected and stay connected, you need to walk around and talk to your team, work alongside them, ask questions, and be there to help when needed.
Here’s how it can make changes in the above listed areas:
- Approachability – When your staff sees you as a person and not just a boss, they’ll be more likely to tell you what’s going on.
- Trust – As your team gets to know you better, they’ll trust you more. You’ll be naturally inclined to share more information, and that will break down barriers to communication.
- Business knowledge – Getting out and learning what’s happening on a daily basis can give you a better understanding of the functions and processes around you.
- Accountability – When you interact daily with your team, agreements you make with each other are much more likely to be completed. Everyone is more motivated to follow through, because you’re seeing each other on a regular basis.
- Morale – People often feel better about their jobs and their organization when they have opportunities to be heard. MBWA makes those opportunities available.
- Productivity – Many creative ideas come from casual exchanges. MBWA promotes casual discussions, so people will more likely feel free to come to you with their ideas.
Despite its obvious benefits, use of MBWA has been hit-and-miss. To be successful, it takes more than simply strolling through your office, warehouse, or production facility. MBWA isn’t a “walk in the park”: It’s a determined and genuine effort to understand your staff, what they do, and what you can do to make their work more effective. Don’t just do MBWA because you feel it’s an obligation – this probably won’t work very well. You have to truly want to get to know your staff and operations, and you have to commit to following up concerns and seeking continuous improvement.
Remember, Leadership is about Relationships! So get out there and start wandering around!