How to handle dissent on the team

How to handle dissent on the team

Who loves disagreement and dissent? Well, there might be a few who love the drama, but for the majority of leaders and co-workers, it’s not an item that we look forward to encountering. Dissent has to be addressed though in order to be an effective team that has high morale Today we’ll look at where it may come from and how to address it head-on. 

Understand the type of dissent that you are dealing with


Before you get in front of dissent happening on the team, you’ll be well served to understand what exactly you are getting in front of. Are you attempting to stop a squabble or an all-out rebellion? Here are different types of dissent that can show up in your team

Storming: a normal part of team building – Storming is a phrase that refers to the second phase of a team coming together. They’ve worked through the pleasantries of the introductions and now they are fighting to figure out direction, responsibilities, and influence. This phase will often work itself out as the team settles into roles, and what is expected. It is good however to check in and make sure that things haven’t gone too far off the rails. 

Personality differences – There will be times that you encounter an oil and water situation with two people; they simply don’t mix. Knowing that they never will, actually helps you as a coach and leader. You shouldn’t waste time and energy expecting these folks to magically become good friends. Instead, focus the coaching on how they can establish a working relationship. Address any performance issues here or behaviors that are counter to your company’s values. How to Handle Toxic People (Show 205) will help employees deal with those co-workers whom they truly don’t get along with.

A fear of change – Just like the rising sun, change is inevitable. No matter how along in your career journey you are or what your tenure is at an organization, change can be surprisingly hard sometimes. We all settle into our areas of comfort, and it can be difficult to change the dynamic or be asked to leave it altogether. The key here is up help the person understand 1) The Why behind the need. 2) How it impacts them. 3) How the change could positively impact that person. 

This conversation certainly isn’t a one-and-done discussion and will require you to check in to help them feel secure and informed on the change journey. Remember that their dissent is based on fear, so communicating and affirming in a way that mitigates that fear should be your goal. 

Detractors: misaligned employees –  Sometimes there are people who just aren’t aligned with what your team is trying to accomplish. There could be a number of reasons why that person now sits in this category, but the most important thing is that they are here now. When I do talent assessments with leaders, we make a collective commitment when people fall into this category. Either we rehabilitate these people to perform like they need to or we find a different position for them that better suits them. Our last course of action is to exit the employee, but even then we must walk the agreed-upon coaching plan first. leaving detractors on your team is detrimental to your business, and your mental health as they continue to drag you down and their influence can spread to others. 

Address the dissent


Once you determine the type of dissent, you’ll be better equipped on how to approach the situation. Regardless, these steps will help you as you address the issue:

  • Address it immediately, or at least as soon as professionally possible. Don’t let the rub or issue fester, but also balance the need to address it quickly with the appropriate setting to do so. You don’t want to embarrass someone and become unprofessional yourself. 

  • Be very clear on what the issue is. Clarity and brevity are best here. Communicate what you are observing (or what feedback you were given) 

  • Ask questions (when appropriate) and seek to listen and understand instead of react. Get a true understanding of their perspective and experience. This works well, especially for those with a fear of change, but this step will be less successful and sometimes unnecessary in situations like personality conflicts where someone acts unprofessionally. 

  • Set or re-establish expectations

  • Gain alignment and agreement with the other person

  • Establish expectations on behavior change and follow-up timeline. 

Don’t take all dissent that happens as a personal mark against your effectiveness as a leader. It’s part of a leader’s journey to address from time to time. Understand what you are dealing with and then address it in a way that all parties can move forward from. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Bouncing back from a layoff

Bouncing back from a layoff

Facing a layoff can be a challenging and emotionally overwhelming experience. It can rock your financial stability, self-esteem, and career trajectory. To make matters worse they can also come out of nowhere at times, taking you at a total, unwelcome surprise. Setbacks like these can also be seen as opportunities for growth and transformation. Today, we will explore how to bounce back from a layoff and turn adversity into a springboard for personal and professional development.

Embrace Resilience and Prioritize Self-Care


Losing a job can take a bigger toll on mental and emotional well-being than you may want to recognize. It’s easy to get into a mindset of just grinding out a job search until you land something.

It’s crucial to allow yourself time to grieve, process the loss, and acknowledge the associated emotions. Practicing self-care during this period is essential. Engaging in activities that promote mental and physical well-being, such as exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, and pursuing hobbies, can help reduce stress and maintain a positive outlook. Cultivating resilience in the face of adversity is the first step toward bouncing back. There is a good chance that your journey may not be a sprint or a marathon, but somewhere in between. Pace yourself and take care of yourself as you go on this journey.

Assess and refine your skill set


A layoff can serve as an opportunity to reevaluate your professional skills and identify areas for improvement. If you’ve been in your role or industry for some time, there is no doubt that things the needs of business and your role changed around you. Use this time to engage in self-assessment, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Upskilling or reskilling through online courses, workshops, or certifications can enhance your qualifications and make you a more attractive candidate in the job market. Learning new skills not only boosts your confidence but also demonstrates your adaptability and commitment to personal growth. 

Look online at jobs, roles, and careers that you may be interested in and look to understand what types of skills people are looking for for those positions. Some organizations will list their required skills out while it is more challenging to easily see the skills in others. Combine your aspirations with your detective work to understand what kind of skill catalog you may need to invest in strengthening. 

Networking and your personal brand

Building and nurturing a strong professional network is essential in today’s job market. Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts to inform them of your situation and seek advice or opportunities. Online platforms like LinkedIn provide excellent avenues for expanding your network and showcasing your expertise. Crafting a compelling personal brand through an updated resume, a well-crafted LinkedIn profile, and a professional online presence can significantly enhance your chances of being noticed by potential employers.

Have a look at your online social media profiles and posts. Switch your view to public view and have a look. What do you look like to the general population? If you see misalignments, make notes and go back and clean up your profiles. We all grow and evolve over our career journeys. There may be posts, and viewpoints that you shared that you may no longer align with. 

Explore and set realistic goals


While returning to a similar role might be the ideal scenario, it’s a great opportunity to keep an open mind and consider exploring new career paths. Identifying transferable skills and industries that align with your interests can lead to exciting opportunities. Set clear, achievable goals for your job search, breaking them down into smaller steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Celebrate even the small victories, like securing an interview or attending a networking event, as these steps contribute to your progress.

Bouncing back from a layoff requires a combination of emotional resilience, skills development, networking, and goal setting. The journey can be challenging, but it also presents an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Remember, a layoff is just one chapter in the larger story of your career, and with the right mindset and strategies, you can author a remarkable comeback.

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to create an irresistible pitch to your leader

How to create an irresistible pitch to your leader

Whether it’s trying to gain additional resources, implementing a new strategy on the team, or asking for a raise, one crucial that you will need in your toolbox is the ability to create a successful pitch that not only captures your leader’s attention but also persuades them to buy into your ideas. Today we’ll walk through how to master the art of crafting a pitch that resonates with your leader and paves the way for successful collaboration.

Understand your audience


A successful pitch begins with a deep understanding of your leader’s preferences, priorities, and communication style. Research your leader’s background, goals, and the organization’s current challenges. Tailor your pitch to align with their vision, using language that speaks to their values and aspirations. If your leader is data-driven, provide compelling statistics and facts. If they are visionary, paint a vivid picture of the future your idea can create. By showing that you’ve invested time in understanding their perspective, you establish a strong foundation for your pitch.

Additionally, consider how you present your pitch. What setting works best for the situation? Perhaps an informal setting works best, or maybe the situation calls for a full presentation with a PowerPoint deck and including others to help present. 

Craft a compelling story


People are wired to respond to stories. Weaving a compelling narrative around your pitch can engage your leader emotionally and intellectually. Start with a relatable problem or scenario that your idea aims to address. Then, guide your leader through a journey that highlights the challenges, solutions, and potential outcomes. Incorporate anecdotes, metaphors, and personal experiences to make your pitch memorable. A well-told story not only captures attention but also makes your proposal easier to remember and support.

If you need help crafting a perfect story check out show 359 (4 elements of a great story) and show 124 (Be the storyteller)

Focus on value and benefits


Leaders are ultimately concerned about how an idea benefits them, their goals, and the organization. Clearly articulate the value your proposal brings and how it addresses specific pain points. Highlight both short-term gains and long-term advantages. Demonstrate how your pitch aligns with the organization’s goals, whether it’s increasing revenue, improving efficiency, or enhancing customer satisfaction. Quantify the potential impact wherever possible, showcasing the return on investment your leader can expect. When the benefits are crystal clear, your pitch becomes much more appealing.

Anticipate questions and concerns


Leaders often ask probing questions and express concerns before committing to an idea. Anticipate these queries and prepare well-reasoned answers. Address potential challenges your proposal might face and offer solutions to mitigate them. Show that you’ve considered various perspectives and have a comprehensive plan in place. This not only demonstrates your foresight but also your commitment to the success of the idea. Being proactive in addressing concerns shows your leader that you are prepared and committed to the success of the proposal.

Crafting a successful pitch to your leader is a blend of art and strategy. By understanding your audience, telling a compelling story, emphasizing value, and addressing concerns, you create a pitch that not only captures attention but also resonates on a deeper level. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Situational Leadership – Delegation

Situational Leadership – Delegation

“They need to delegate more,” is a phrase we often hear when gathering feedback about leaders. While it may be easy to point out, the statement may not be as simple as it looks to act on.
 
Delegation is the pinnacle of situational leadership and leaders can miss the mark here as they enter this exciting phase of leadership if they haven’t brought the person through the other stages of leadership first.

What is Delegating and when do you use this style?


Your ultimate goal in delegation is to have create an empowered individual that has the capacity and confidence to take the task, assignment, or project to successful completion with little supervision. They are highly motivated, driven, and competent to get great results on their own.
 
Just like Supporting, this is very much a follower-driven stage of leadership. You are still “Inspecting what you expect,” but with little follow-up needed. While still need to Champion Success and celebrate their wins, you no longer need to praise every task or achievement.
 
With Delegation, you’ll want to start the process in less stressful times with lower risk in order for them to get comfortable and have a higher chance for success. You will also share more context about organizational goals and constraints so that they can make informed decisions and develop the best approach to reach the goal.

Why is Delegating an important part of your overall leadership?

Delegation is important because at this stage you have a highly skilled person who is very committed and well-developed in their role. As we’ve talked about building bench strength and the one-level-up concept getting people to the delegation phase is seeing this thought come to life.
 
A person at the delegation stage is highly effective in what they do and often contributes in a larger way to the team. They are also downright fun to lead and you have a high confidence that things are going to get done and get done well.
 
As we said at the open, you do need to delegate in order to realize your own full effectiveness and potential as a leader. These people will help take a load off you and act as multipliers in your influence over others.


What are some of the cautions of Delegation?


One of the main cautions of Delegation is that leaders sometimes want to jump straight to the delegation phase of leadership without taking the person through the previous three stages first. This is one of the reasons why someone can struggle with delegation. They may not have the relationship equity, confidence, or capacity to well in their role to be ready to excel at the delegation phase yet.
 
While many people have heard of micro-managers – leaders that are in every nook and cranny of your daily work routine, there is also a less talked about style at the other end of the spectrum; under-managing. Delegation is the go-to style for people who under-manage their team. “Say it and forget it” would be a way to sum up these leaders.
 
Be sure that you’ve walked through the other levels of leadership before arriving at delegation. Once you lead someone in this style, make sure that they have the full support and resources that they need to be successful.

Think back to your time as both a leader and follower. One of the most inconsistent things that a leader can do is to treat everyone the same. Your approach and style should adapt to the nuances and needs of each individual and their unique set of circumstances.  Use situational leadership styles to raise the level of excellence with all your team as they grow towards the future.
 
 
Make a better tomorrow.
-ZH

Situational Leadership – Directing

Situational Leadership – Directing

We are all on different points of our personal leadership and life journey. It’s important to remember those differences as you coach, develop, and lead others in a positive way. A great leader changes and adapts their style of leadership and communication based on the needs of the individual that they are working with.  Take a blanket approach to everyone and you’ll likely leave the majority of your people longing for a more engaged leader.
 
The Situational Leadership Model covers four styles of leadership that help you understand what the appropriate style of leadership is for each unique person on your team.

The four styles of leadership in this model are Directing, Coaching, Supporting, and Delegating. Today we are going to look at the Directing Style and understand what it is when to use it and how it can make an impact both positively and negatively on others.

What is Directing and when do you use this style?


Directing is the most basic and entry form of these leadership styles. You are typically highly involved with this person in giving direction and feedback. You’ll want to focus on directing work instead of relying on a trusting relationship because it’s very likely that there is not a relationship built with this person yet.
 
These people typically have a lower comfortability of depth of knowledge because they are either newer to the company, their role, or geographical location. Other associates who may be in the wrong role and need remedial help will fall into this kind of leadership style as well. Both types of associates will come to you for direction and need or want more attention from you as they go through their daily work.

Why is Directing an important part of your overall leadership?


There is a reason why some people need this type of leadership. It’s highly likely that they don’t know all of the information in order to do the job to their fullest potential yet.
 
Have you ever started a job and the company just immediately threw you into the work with no direction? How did you feel? Probably overwhelmed, and lost and you had no sense of grounding whether you were doing a good job or not.  It’s imperative that newer associates be led with more of a directing style so they feel equipped to take on their role and know that they have a safety net in you as they grow in confidence.
 
For those that have been around a long time, that require a high level of attention and follow-up, it may seem frustrating to stay in a directing role with them. Shouldn’t they know the direction if they have been around for a long time? It is true that they should in fact be able to handle their role, refusing to direct them, will only compound their shortcomings and they will continue to struggle.  Instead, lean into directing them and work to get to the root cause of why they need the extra attention. As you continue to provide this level of support for tenured people requiring this type of leadership, you may need to do some tough self-reflection to determine if they are in the right role.

What are some of the cautions of Directing?

You certainly don’t want to lead your whole team with a directing style, otherwise, you’ll quickly be known as the micro-manager of the team.  Give your individual people the Directing Style as needed, but be aware that your ultimate goal is to support them so you can begin leading them in a new style (Supportive, Delegation, Coaching)
 
Some leaders like to stay in the Direction phase of leadership because they like to know what’s going on in all aspects of the business. Be willing to change and grow your connection as each individual grows as well.
 
 


Although associates that need this type of leadership typically have a lower knowledge level, they often have a high commitment level. Encourage them as they learn new skills and grow their understanding. Champion Success as they make progress. Remember that your goal is to help them raise their ability and capacity so you can move on to the next phase of leadership: Coaching.
 


Make a better tomorrow.
-ZH