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Posts tagged ‘Turnover’

The Villain in the Workplace!!

There is an evil villain that lurks in many workplaces today. Often times he/she can be found hiding in the shadows watching your every move, checking up on you and waiting for the prime time to pounce! Worse yet this villain often times does not hide at all but is right out in the open for all to see and often we feel powerless to do anything to stop him/her.  Who is this age-old villain I speak of in the workplace……. it’s………………MICROMANAGER!!!!

Some would say that occasionally micromanaging is needed. This would be true with a new Team Member or someone venturing into an area they have not encountered before. Otherwise a true Leader never has to micromanage because he/she knows the Team and each ones unique abilities and therefore assigns tasks to each one accordingly. Thus, the true Leader can trust the Team Member will move forward and succeed or at least the Leader knows that he/she and the Team Member have an open line of communication to the point the Team Member feels free to come and ask for help. No need for the Leader to be constantly checking in or making suggestions. He/She knows that the project will be done correctly and has already set up times to come together with the Team Member to discuss their progress and/or roadblocks they have encountered.

Are you wondering if you might be the villain, MICROMANAGER? Is your Leader the villain MICROMANAGER?

Here are some symptoms that can be observed in those who are micromanaging:

  • They appear frustrated that nobody is “getting it” or taking things as seriously as they do.
  • They want frequent status updates, even when things are operating normally.
  • They are quick to point out errors and mistakes of Team Members.
  • They have an overloaded task list, but their teams are looking for things to do.
  • They get upset if they’re not consulted before decisions are made.
  • They’ll take back delegated tasks to do them quicker or better themselves.
  • They assign a task and then go out first and do the task they assigned to someone else
  • They show up unannounced and often change directions you have given your team
So, what do you do if you are micromanaged? 70% of the respondents of a recent random survey feel they have been or currently are working for a micromanager. The sad part of this is that fact that as long as an organization is seeing results from the department that is being micromanaged, they often will not do anything to the one doing the micromanaging. If that happens, it is up to the Team Member to adjust, here are some options:
  • Take a critical look at your own performance. Is there anything you are doing that is adding to the problem? Self-identified micromanagers often claim that they wouldn’t have to micromanage if their people would just do what they were supposed to do. It may not fix the problem, but delivering your best may give you a little more breathing room.
  • Play by their rules. Admittedly, spending your day requesting permission for every action, justifying every decision or rewriting every sentence is not productive. However, fighting it will be even less so. Figure out the hot buttons, pet peeves and sticking points and try to abide. Sadly this may mean spending more time on the non-value-added appeasing tasks, but if you can streamline them, you may be able to create a workable relationship.
  • Try not to take it to heart. Assuming your work is sound, try not to let the constant nit-picking affect your self-confidence. The problem is the manager’s, not yours.
  • Talk to them about their behavior. You may want to attempt a frank, but respectful discussion with the Leader about the issue. Come prepared with recent examples and ideas for how you can work better together. Be aware though, that they may be unable to recognize that their behavior is problematic and their inherent lack of trust may create a contentious discussion.
  • Take it up with a “higher authority”  Often this approach may end up doing more harm than good. At the very heart of micromanagement is a lack of trust, and going over the Leader’s head, potentially making him/her look bad is a cardinal sin in the eyes of this type of Leader. Although it may buy some momentary relief, chances are you will suffer in the long run.
  • Leave the organization. This option may be the only choice in some situations. Assume your Leader is not going to leave. If you find that your work, your family and most likely your health and well-being are suffering because of a work situation that has become intolerable, looking for a better job may be the best thing you could do for yourself and your long-term career. Ultimately, you are in control of your own future and can make the decision to leave for greener pastures.
No one likes to be micromanaged because, generally speaking, if you were hired to do a job, trained to complete that job and have on open communication line to your Leader and the resources need to complete the job; then you should be allowed to do the job!
Until next time, if you are micromanaging…stop it! If you are being micromanaged, hang in there and send the Leader this blog………….


Grounding Beliefs

Grounding Beliefs

People’s beliefs affect their work when those beliefs hold them back. Grounding beliefs, or mental blocks, are thoughts that are not true and that damage our effectiveness. These tend to be based on ideas and norms we’ve acquired from our culture, upbringing, or peer group. We can have thousands of thoughts each day, and very many of these thoughts are repeating. That’s why, over time, we can start to believe our own version how the world is.Always remember, how we see things determines the actions we take that will result in the results we get. This is called a Paradigm. It is imperative we have the right mindset/paradigm so that we do not become a self-fulfilling prophecy at work or life.

Sometimes, what we believe is wrong. Perhaps we’ve interpreted someone’s actions or words incorrectly. Or perhaps we’ve learned the wrong lesson from a mistake in life, and, as a result, we’ve been unable or too fearful to pursue a similar action again.

Here are some examples of grounding beliefs:

  • Success is not possible. I don’t deserve to succeed.
  • I will fail.
  • Nobody likes me. Nobody cares.
  • It is impossible.
  • It’s my way or the highway.

The Leader’s job is to work with the Team to uncover and deal with self-limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of the Team Member’s job performance. The Team may be unaware of the real cause of these blocks, but may be aware of symptoms – such as lacking ambition, lacking hope, or lacking direction.

There are, of course, some deep beliefs that require assistance beyond coaching. But generally, once people recognize that one of their thoughts isn’t true and that it’s holding them back, they start to make progress and overcome the issue. A good technique for coaches to use to help deal with mental blocks is to explore the Team Member’s beliefs and thoughts, and identify the positive beliefs that are helping them progress, and the negative beliefs that are holding them back.

Strong Relationships

Leadership is about relationships! I suppose if you frequent this blog you could begin to get tired of seeing me type that phrase, but that phrase is the key to any Leader’s sustained career! Nothing can overcome the most difficult of situations in a workplace environment like a strong relationship based Team. Everyone in the office can still be uniques, have differences and even a few simple confrontations, but it will be the strong relationship that will help everyone understand each other better and will aid in a much quicker resolution to any and all problems in the office!

So, I guess you might be wondering what makes up the foundation of a good relationship in the workplace. There are several characteristics that make up healthy working relationships:

  • Trust – This is the foundation of every good relationship. When you trust your team and colleagues, you form a powerful bond that helps you work and communicate more effectively. If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don’t have to waste time and energy “watching your back.” Trust is something that often is the hardest part of a relationship. Realize that to trust, one has to allow themselves to be vulnerable and that is a risky move. However, if you do not extend that trust, that open door to your emotions and feelings, you will never have any synergy, cohesiveness or support in your workplace. Yes, you might get hurt a time or two, but pain is a part of  learning, learning is a part of growing and growing is a part of success. If you want to be a success as a Leader, you will have to endure a bit of pain along the way. Take heart though, if you allow it to, it can make you a much stronger and better person because of the journey you will take with it!
  • Mutual Respect – When you respect the people whom you work with, you value their input and ideas, and they value yours. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity. Mutual Respect is a huge part of Synergy, (the process of two or more minds coming together to create a solution that is greater than any one person could come up with on their own), which every working environment needs to have. Without respect or synergy in the workplace, you and your Team are going nowhere fast!
  • Diversity – People with good relationships not only accept diverse people and opinions, but they welcome them. Any workplace that respects, invites and encourages diversity will be the a workplace that experiences frequent success and will be a pool of idea generation! It is paramount for the Leader to instill in all Team Members that each and every one of us were created with a unique skill set and valuable insight. As everyone seeks to include all thought processes and viewpoints, collaboration and projects soar to new heights!
  • Open Communication – Whether we’re sending emails, text and IM’s, or meeting face-to-face it is crucial that we stay positive, constructive, open and honest The better and more effectively you communicate with those around you, the richer your relationships will be. All good relationships depend on open, honest communication. As a Leader you should only want the very best for your Team Members and often that will involve some very frank conversations. Even thought it is tempting to avoid the hard talks, it is detrimental to the Team as a whole. Just as in a personal friendship, if you are a true friend you will be honest, even with the hard stuff. The same holds true for your work relationships. If you have established the trust and respect with those around you, it opens the door for honest, open communication. However, if you have not established trust and respect, you in no way can have open communication. It is the trust and respect that will help you approach the other person with the hard subjects in a way that they know you are only trying to help them. It is also the key elements that will allow them to receive it in the manner you truly intend it to be.

If a Leader will utilize this recipe above, model it and instill it in his/her people, they can revolutionize the workplace environment. Until next time, keep building strong relationships!!


Levels of Commitment

The 6 Levels of Commitment

       Commitment is a verbal signature of a heart and head process. Lying at the heart of the coaching process, commitment is designed to stir up excitement about possibilities and potential.


The two kinds of Commitment:

  1. Relationship Commitment- A willingness to work with the other person.
  2. Outcome Commitment- A willingness to work on a plan of action


The 6 Levels:


A highly committed person is an “activist” –someone who wants the plan or agreement to succeed. Activists will do whatever is required to make things happen in order to, “pull it off.” Caution needs to be observed as many activists have a tendency to take things too far and actually ruin the synergy of the Team


People who are enrolled are advocates to a degree. They want to achieve the plan, and work very hard to see that it is accomplished. In short, they will be low profile champions.


          Sponsors are supportive; they accept the challenge of the task, and they can visualize the benefits of doing so. They may not spend a lot of extra time and energy on the task, but they will meet the basic expectations and are valued by the group.


Actors go through the motions and make it appear as though they support the plan. Often times, the actor will give “lip service” to the task, but real action and commitment are not yet established.



Resistors don’t test at all; they don’t even want to try. Something is holding them back- apathy, lack of interest, low energy, lack of reward, fear of failure or they feel overloaded and are unable to prioritize. They likely won’t work on the plan at first, and they may take the position that no one can make them. Generally these people work under the “victim” mentality.


These are people who have no commitment or interest in seeing that the plan succeeds and may in fact work contrary to the consensus of the group. The rebel has a very clear and strong identity. They usually are proud of this identity and want to protect and uphold it at all costs.


Real lasting and deep commitment does take time to solidify and is not going to appear overnight. Just as a farmer must plant the seeds and water them, as well as allow the warmth of the sun’s ray to do their part; so too must the Coach, plant, nourish, and provide the supporting “rays” to your partner in coaching. Developing this mindset is a very satisfying process and sets a coach-minded person up for repeated success in all of their coaching relationships.

Until next time,


The Value of Others

Not long ago I was teaching a Leadership class and had touched on the fact that we need to care about the lives of those whom we lead. I wasn’t referring to becoming the employees Therapist or even their best friend, just caring about what made them tick and trying to find out a little about the issues that might stand in the way of top performance on the job. It seemed the group bought into this idea pretty well other than a couple of individuals that made the joking comment, “I don’t care what their problems are. Get to work and do your job!” We can all laugh at this and it can be a good bit of levity in a meeting setting. However, it is a motivation, profit and culture killer in the workplace!

I have worked in organizations that had that same attitude and I would like to share with you today what it feels like to be on the other side of that comment. Many of you will identify with me during the course of this blog and I would invite your comments on how you felt in a similar situation. Some, however, will be reading this and have made the comment listed above either in their mind or, (heaven forbid!) verbally. Please pledge today to never feel that way or make the comment ever again. In case you are new to this blog, my mantra is: Leadership is About Relationships! You can’t succeed without others!

When employed are XYZ Company I was young and had many things going on in my life. Often I would have issues that would distract from my production capability a little, to a lot! I knew what was going on in my head and was truly trying to not let it affect my performance but sometimes it seemed an uphill battle with no end in sight. This is a tale of two Supervisors, one we will call Tom and the other Bart.

Tom was a good man who cared about his employees and took a genuine interest in them as people, not just workers. Tom hired me and nurtured my strengths. Whenever I would have a bad day he would call me into his office or catch me out on the floor and pull me aside. He would ask me how my day was going and if anything new was happening in my life. If I did not offer anything of value up, he would tell me he noticed I was a bit different today and ask me if I thought I was acting any different. If I still didn’t give up anything he would ask me why I thought he was noticing a difference in me that day. Before long if I had not revealed what was going on in my life he would simply say, “Rod, you are not your usual self today and your production is off. I want you to remember whenever you come in our front doors to work that if you have anything you need to talk about, I’m here for your. I am not your Doctor, Lawyer or Therapist, but if you need an ear I will listen. You need and I need you to be at your best when you are on your job, so go back out there and do what Rod does best! Remember though, if you need to talk I am here. I want you to be successful and today you are not fully on that path.”

It never failed that eventually Tom and I talked. He never really gave me advise per se, but he listened and it made me feel better. He always helped me put my work/life balance in perspective and, because he cared about me, I grew in that company very quickly. Not only did I grow, but he rapidly became the Regional Manager over many locations and did very well for himself.

Let’s look now at Tom’s replacement Bart. Bart came into the picture after Tom moved up to a District Manager position. One day always sticks out to me as the defining description of Bart. As a matter of fact, to this very day, some 20 years later, every time I think of this man, I think of this one day. I had been promoted to the head of my department and it had become one of the top departments company wide through our teamwork under Tom. On this fateful day I was doing my job but for personal reasons was not on my game. Bart passed by the area I was working in and never said a thing. Which was not unusual, he never said, “Good Morning”, “Hello”, or anything of the sort when he arrived at work. Once he went by, he circled back and saw me standing and thinking. He approached and here was the entire conversation, “Long, you are a disgrace to this company! Seeing you stand there when you should be working makes me wonder why you were ever promoted in the first place! Tom isn’t here any longer to hold your hand so you better wise up or you are out of here! Now get to work and stop standing there like a tree!” Oh, I went to work alright! I soon went to work for another company!

Bart was fired after a year on his job when profits were down, sales plummeted, employee turnover was the norm and customer satisfaction was at an all-time low. Tom on the other hand, continued to rise and everything he touched turned to gold.

The simple truth for Leaders is: Leadership is About Relationships!!

Until next time, keep working on your relationships!


Adding Value

Leaders Add Value by Serving Others- The attitude of the Leader affects the entire work environment. If you desire to add value by being a resource, open and willing to serve others, you will leave a Legacy as a Leader.


Are you making things better for the people whom you lead???

  • If you can’t answer without a pause, then you likely aren’t.
  • 90% of all people who add value to others, do so intentionally. Humans are naturally selfish so adding value to others calls for the Leader to always be aware of opportunities to increase value in others.


Adding Value Changes Lives-

  • Truly Value Others– Legacy Leaders go beyond not harming others, they intentionally help others succeed. They must appreciate people for who they are, and what they bring to the mix of the work setting. This appreciation and belief must be genuinely demonstrated in ways that their Team can see.
  • Make Yourself More Valuable to Others– This takes a process of being purposeful and intentional in your own personal growth. The more you have to offer others, the more valuable you will be. Read, watch and learn!
  • Know and Relate to What Others Value– Learn what is valuable to your Team Members. This will require you to listen to their stories, hopes and dreams. Get to know the people that directly report to you, then lead based on what you have learned from them. This is not a manipulation of them, but a motivation of them.



The Story of Robert Owen:

Robert Owen (1771-1858) was an early industrialist–perhaps best known for his model textile factory and village at New Lanark Scotland. Owen developed an aid to motivation and discipline–the Silent Monitor system–which could be described as a distant ancestor of appraisal schemes in practice today. Each machine within the factory had a block of wood mounted on it with a different color–blue, yellow or red. Each day the superintendents rated the work of their subordinates and awarded each a color that was then turned to face the aisle so that everyone was able to see all ratings. His textile factory was one of the most profitable ones during this era.


It is important that the Leader recognize that adding value through an appraisal or an evaluation is a critical thing to do both in the short-term and at the 90-day mark. Employees will know they are appreciated and value can be added by using effective, accurate and informative appraisal systems.

The bottom line of a Legacy Leader is not how they advance themselves, but how far they advance others!

Common Leadership Mistakes, part 2

6. Misunderstanding Motivation

Do you know what truly motivates your team? Here’s a hint: chances are, it’s not just money!

Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for monetary reward. However, it’s unlikely that this will be the only thing that motivates them.

For example, people seeking a greater work/life balance might be motivated by telecommuting days or flexible working. Others will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, praise, or a sense of camaraderie. A great tool to help figure this out is an Extended DISC Profile! Contact us today to learn more!!

7. Hurrying Recruitment

When your team has a large workload, it’s important to have a full team. But filling a vacant role too quickly can be a disastrous mistake.

Hurrying recruitment can lead to recruiting the wrong people for your team: people who are uncooperative, ineffective or unproductive. They might also require additional training, and slow down others on your team. With the wrong person, you’ll have wasted valuable time and resources if things don’t work out and they leave. What’s worse, other team members will be stressed and frustrated by having to “carry” the under-performer.

You can avoid this mistake by learning how to recruit effectively, and by being particularly picky about the people you bring into your team.

8. Not “Walking the Walk”

If you make personal telephone calls during work time, or speak negatively about your CEO, can you expect people on your team not to do this too? Probably not!

As a leader, you need to be a role model for your team. This means that if they need to stay late, you should also stay late to help them. Or, if your organization has a rule that no one eats at their desk, then set the example and head to the break room every day for lunch. The same goes for your attitude – if you’re negative some of the time, you can’t expect your people not to be negative.

So remember, your team is watching you all the time. If you want to shape their behavior, start with your own. They’ll follow suit.

9. Not Delegating

Some managers don’t delegate, because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed and burned out.

Delegation does take a lot of effort up-front, and it can be hard to trust your team to do the work correctly. But unless you delegate tasks, you’re never going to have time to focus on the “broader-view” that most leaders and managers are responsible for. What’s more, you’ll fail to develop your people so that they can take the pressure off you.

10. Misunderstanding Your Role

Once you become a leader or manager, your responsibilities are very different from those you had before.

However, it’s easy to forget that your job has changed, and that you now have to use a different set of skills to be effective. This leads to you not doing what you’ve been hired to do – leading and managing.

Key Points

We all make mistakes, and there are some mistakes that leaders and managers make in particular. These include, not giving good feedback, being too “hands-off,” not delegating effectively, and misunderstanding your role.

It’s true that making a mistake can be a learning opportunity. But, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team!

Until next time, Lead on!!!