How Not to Speak to Your Boss

How Not to Speak to Your Boss

Effectively communicating with your boss is an essential skill to have in the workplace, especially when you’re in a leadership role. There are a right way and a wrong way to talk to your boss; it’s not like talking to a regular colleague and you must keep that in mind with every interaction you have with your higher-ups.

Here are some examples of what to avoid when you’re speaking with your boss:

Telling them “I can’t”

If you’re saying this, you will come off as unwilling and lacking confidence. Your management won’t appreciate this lack of flexibility or your negative attitude.

Don’t put down your colleagues

While we want to let our bosses know that we’re valuable to the company so that they consider us for opportunities in the future, but don’t minimize what your team did to make yourself look better, or even worse, take credit for what they did. This shows your boss that you’re not a team player and makes you look very unprofessional.

If you’re wanting to talk about issues with a colleague, that’s a different story, but still requires the utmost professionalism in your approach.

Saying that something isn’t in your job description

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should use a piece of machinery when you’re actually in accounting, just because your boss tells you to, but use common sense.

Bosses appreciate flexibility in their team, and getting more skills and experience in different roles will make you even more valuable to the company.

Don’t be too humble

Learning how to accept praise from management (or anyone!) is hard to do, and a lot of us try and deflect the compliments onto others, minimizing our own achievements for fear of coming off as arrogant. But you also don’t want to appear to be taking all the credit either. So what’s the middle ground?

Acknowledge what you accomplished, give credit where it’s due and doesn’t brush off the praise you receive. This way you show that you work well in a team, and are professional.

Saying ‘No’
While saying ‘no’ can be needed at times, you need to be polite and professional and remember that you’re expected to be as cooperative as possible when your boss asks you to do something. If you need to say no to something, try and phrase it in a way that explains your refusal, like mentioning another deadline you have and asking if your focus should change from that.

Being mindful of how you talk to and interact with your boss will help you greatly in your career. It’s important to have a positive relationship with all co-workers, including those higher up than you.

LeadershipHQ have launched some incredible public programs and events suited to all levels such as our Transitioning to Leadership program, brave Women Leading, HR Leadership and Leadership Masterclasses. Book here!

Check out our amazing Online Leadership Academy too and start 2019 as a Great Leader and Manager! 

Trust to Improve Performance

Trust to Improve Performance

What’s the secret to improving your teams’ motivation and performance? You’ve probably asked yourself this plenty of times when measures that you’ve put in place haven’t been as effective as you’d hoped. You have great incentives in place for your team, you’ve streamlined your processes and procedures to make things as efficient as possible, but you’re still not getting their best.

Gallup conducted a 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace, and found the following shocking statistics:

  • 60% of Australian employees are “not engaged” – meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organisational goals or outcomes.
  • 16% are “actively disengaged”, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.
  • Only 24% are “engaged”.

(Reference)

So how do you get your employees engaged, motivated and working hard? Something that you have to earn – trust.

Without trust, your team won’t be working to the best of their ability. If they can’t trust in their leaders, why should they put in more than the minimum amount of effort?

Author and professor of economic sciences, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul J. Zak, measured oxytocin levels and brain activity as people worked, over eight years. Oxytocin is the hormone that affects parts of our interaction and behaviours including trust. His research showed that trust within an organisation is absolutely vital to performance, and also that there are eight ways to quantify and boost trust within a workplace. Luckily for us, Zak made these into an acronym – OXYTOCIN – so it’s easy to remember.

Let’s take a look at what OXYTOCIN stands for 

Ovation

Positive reinforcement (like rewards and recognition) has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is linked to motivation and effort, so it’s important to recognise and reward your team for great performance because then they’ll want to continue working to that high standard. Nobody likes working hard without that effort being acknowledged.

Expectation

Expectations need to be set and made clear, so employees know what they’re working towards. Make sure that your team knows they’re part of the big picture, and explain just how they are. When you get your team involved in the mission, knowing that they are directly influencing the success of that mission and your organisation boosts their motivation and commitment to meeting and excelling at their goals and your expectations.

Yield

Micromanaging gets you nowhere; as a leader you must be able to effectively make decisions and delegate tasks. Foster a safe environment of learning – mistakes aren’t the end of the world, just make sure to learn from them – and your team members will thrive when given more responsibility, and work more autonomously knowing they won’t be punished for mistakes. They will feel motivated and empowered from being trusted to do important tasks.

Transfer

Transfer refers to enabling your team to ‘job-craft’ – make their job their own, and make their own decisions about how they define success.

Research undertaken by the University of Michigan showed that allowing employees to job-craft resulted in higher levels of job fulfilment and engagement. This means less staff turnover as well.

Openness

Being transparent and open with information relating to your organisation builds trust with your team because it shows that you’re being honest with them. You’d be surprised how much time and effort is taken up when your team is wondering what’s going on, so be sure to practice openness when communicating with your team.

Team members appreciate being told what’s going on, even if it’s not always good news since it gives them a chance to voice their opinions and give their input. When employees feel heard, they also feel valued and so want to return the favour and work harder.

We have launched our NEW Performance Team Coaching Program – find out more HERE! 

Caring

During his research, Zak saw a variety of studies that showed how important relationships (including friendships) are on retention, productivity, health and overall job satisfaction. Encourage relationship building amongst your team by providing plenty of team-building opportunities such as collaboration between departments, and making sure to reward great teamwork.

If your organisation isn’t getting across how important workplace relationships can be, then your team won’t be trying too hard to build their networks.

Invest

Invest in your team; provide them with training and opportunities for reward and advancement, and you’ll see a big improvement in their engagement. Your team will also trust you more, as they see how much you value them by choosing to invest in them. Feeling valued like this is a great motivator for employees to do their best.

Natural

The best leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable; being authentic and natural shows your employees that you’re human too and that they don’t have to be perfect because you aren’t either. When your team can relate to you, they’re inspired to be more open and honest as well. This allows them to ask for help sooner, instead of fearing being reprimanded, which means time isn’t wasted and work can be carried out more competently and efficiently.

Trust isn’t exactly something you can measure, but it’s a huge part of getting your team to consistently perform at their best. What Zak found from his research is that when you have people working for organisations that have an emphasis on trust, they are 76% more engaged, 50% more productive, and 50% more likely to stay in that organisation. You can’t argue with those results!

If you’re a leader who wants to step up your game and start encouraging a culture of trust in your workplace using resources backed by extensive research and with proven results, check out our Leadership Attitude Academy here, or book a coaching session here. 

 

How to Transition New Leaders

How to Transition New Leaders

When placed into executive roles, by promotion or otherwise, 50-70% of those executives fail in their first 18 months. This is a shocking statistic from research gathered by the Corporate Executive Board, and it is needlessly high. So, why is this happening, and what’s the solution?

When someone has great skills and a good rapport with their colleagues and then gets promoted to a leadership position, it seems strange that they’d fail, right? After all, shouldn’t they be able to just get on with it?

Of course not! When they’re not provided with the right coaching or support, a newly promoted leader is destined to fail. If someone has never been in a leadership position before, how can they be a great leader without any kind of mentoring?

“Leaders are under a lot of pressure to produce results, but they often don’t get the mentoring support they need. The thinking is that at this level they should be able to just do it.” Madeleine Blanchard, organisational coaching expert at The Ken Blanchard Companies

It’s not surprising that such a high percentage of executives fail when this attitude is so prevalent within organisations; coaching is seen as something that those below leaders need when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because someone succeeded at their role previously, doesn’t mean they can make the transition to leader on their own.

Organisational and leadership consulting firm Navalent conducted interviews with 2,600 Fortune 1000 executives and found that 76% of newly promoted executives thought the development processes their company had in place were only slightly helpful in getting them prepared for their new executive role. 55% of those interviewed also said there was little to no feedback or coaching on an ongoing basis, which meant their leadership abilities weren’t being refined, affecting their performance.

For those in HR, it can also be very challenging to manage the transition of executives into their new leadership positions. In larger companies it’s not unusual for there to be multiple executives from varying departments transitioning at the same time, which means a big amount of change across the company.

LeadershipHQ have a FREE Leadership Development Plan and Online Leadership Academy which is perfect for new leaders (or anyone).

 

 

 

HR Executives then have to manage multiple different conditions, contracts, approaches etc., which can cause ROI and quality to suffer due to the overwhelming nature of these changes. The disruption continues throughout the company, as the teams that have lost these executives now have to compensate for their absence.

If you are the HR leader or CEO in your organisation or business, don’t try and manage the transitioning of these executives on your own, especially if there are multiple transitions happening at once. Be sure to engage with the leaders of these new leaders, and have one contact person per department if needed. This way you can ensure that the transitioning leaders are all under the same approach and coaching style; cohesion throughout the executive leadership roles gives your company the reassurance that each leader understands their role and has the tools and skills to get positive results.

Another solution to ensure cohesiveness and quality with transitioning leaders is to enlist the help of an executive coaching service (LeadershipHQ!). When you hire an external coaching/training service, you’re engaging professionals whose goals are to align their coaching with your company’s objectives and get the results you need. They also provide invaluable feedback about each of your leaders, that is also objective thanks to not having ties with your organisation.

 “That’s what you are accomplishing when you bring coaching into an organization. You are ensuring that the bus is going in the right direction and all the right people are in the right seats.” Madeleine Blanchard, organisational coaching expert at The Ken Blanchard Companies

It’s almost always recommended to engage an external service for coaching rather than someone in-house, as many executives don’t often respond well to sharing thoughts with or taking directions from someone they perceive as less senior than themselves. And there is also the fear that the sessions are not truly confidential; that anything they say may be reported to management or gossiped about with coworkers.

When your transitioning leaders are given the tools to succeed in their new roles, rather than just flying blind or receiving inadequate coaching, they will feel valued and empowered, leading to the results that your organisation needs to succeed. Change the large amount of failing executives by investing in coaching for your new leaders; support them and watch them flourish in their new roles!

We want you to thrive.

LeadershipHQ have launched a FREE Leadership Development Plan which is perfect for new leaders (or anyone). If you would like to know more about our Online, One on One or Group Coaching please contact the team today at [email protected] or 1300 719 665.

5 Habits of Bad Leaders

5 Habits of Bad Leaders

Almost all of us have worked under a leader who, to put it simply, wasn’t very good at leading. When you’re dealing with a leader like this, what are the effects of their bad leadership on their team and organisation? Poor leadership ultimately impacts performance.

The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance.

Brian Tracy.

Birgit Schyns and Jan Schilling conducted a meta-analysis (referenced here) on the effects of bad leadership, and found the following:

  • Bad, abusive supervisors are not trusted and their requests are resisted by followers.
  • Bad leaders create dissatisfaction in followers and de-motivate them.
  • Followers of bad leaders are less committed to their jobs and organizations, look to leave the organisation, and may even engage in counterproductive work behaviours.
  • Bad, abusive leaders create stress in followers and can have adverse effects on their health and well-being.

Let’s take a look at some of the behaviours bad leaders exhibit, and how they can be corrected.

Being Hypocritical

If you don’t practice what you preach, then it’s no surprise that your team lacks respect for you as a leader.

Be fair, be consistent, and lead by example – none of that ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ nonsense.

Being Unclear

Bad leaders tend to be bad communicators as well, and aren’t clear when expressing expectations of their team.

If your team isn’t sure of what you expect of them, their performance is going to suffer. It’s hard to be efficient when you’re unsure of what you should be doing.

Not Recognising Team Members’ Efforts

Nobody likes to be taken for granted at work, but it happens. And if it’s happening consistently, then you’re working under a bad leader.

Bad leaders don’t acknowledge or recognise their team’s achievements, so their team stops working as hard – why would you keep putting in so much effort if it’s never even mentioned?

Passing Blame

Leaders are accountable for their team, and this is something that many bad leaders struggle with.

If your team is getting bad results then you need to look at yourself, because you are their leader. Bad leaders will blame anyone but themselves, even publically. Why would you do your best work (or stick around at all) for a boss that passes blame?

Being a Micromanager

Bad leaders are awful at delegating; they don’t leave their team to work autonomously because they don’t believe the job will be done. If a leader isn’t allowing their team to use their skills and talents, and prove themselves, then the work being turned out isn’t at the highest quality it could be – the thing that bad leaders believe micromanaging will solve!

If you’re a leader and you’ve recognised yourself in any of these points, it’s time to do some self-reflection and empower yourself to become a better leader. However, any leader should always be mindful that they aren’t falling into these bad habits, so that they can lead their team to success.

LeadershipHQ has a range of cutting-edge resources and programs that can help you become a great leader, including our Online Leadership Academy and Diploma of Leadership (BSB51915) that has seen fantastic results for those who’ve taken part. To take your leadership to the next level and iron out any bad leadership habits, find out more here. 

Image source – Shutterstock

3 Tips for Being an Authentic Leader

3 Tips for Being an Authentic Leader

Anyone can ‘lead if their idea of being a leader is old-fashioned and involves them saying one thing and doing another, and bossing everyone around!

Authentic leaders are those who are trusted and keep an open and honest atmosphere while ROCKING IT. They inspire and motivate their team every day! Leaders don’t have titles or roles, they just take charge and get it done.

But just how do you become an awesome, authentic leader?

Here are 3 tips to start improving your leadership skills:

1. Be true to yourself

This is something we should all practice in every area of our lives, but it’s especially true for leaders.

You can often tell when someone is ‘faking it’ and doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. Is that someone you would look to for leadership? Of course not!

Be yourself and show people what you believe in – don’t just tell them! Genuine people make genuine connections.

Watch More Here by Bill George on Authentic Leadership

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=r6FdIVZJfzg

2. Serve others

You need to genuinely care about others on your leadership journey, and not just focus on yourself! Being all about others should be your primary focus as you write your leadership story. You will fall down and make mistakes, but failure is a part of any journey to great leadership – so don’t let it STOP you!

3. Empower  others

We know nobody is perfect, so don’t pretend to be! People connect with those who admit their mistakes and are open about when they stuff up. Be honest, and you’ll empower your team to push through and learn from their own shortcomings and weaknesses.

If you want to kickstart your leadership journey, you need to join our Leadership Academy! We know this online program – starting from just $10 a week – will change your career or business in no time, and bring out your inner authentic leader!
Does Being Successful Make You a Great Leader?

Does Being Successful Make You a Great Leader?

You might think that sounds crazy (or that I’m crazy for saying it) but hear me out – I have a great example in mind that will really get my point across! Rocking it isn’t just about the money you make or the high position you work your way up to, and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, for example. He’s considered a successful CEO by anyone’s definition and has reached goals that any leader worth their salt should be trying to achieve in their personal and professional lives. When you think of success, many people think of the 34-year-old owner of Facebook. After all, his net worth is in the billions and he’s supremely influential thanks to his company. Just about everyone is on Facebook; it’s had an amazing impact on the way we live our lives and the way we do business.

Zuckerberg seems to have it all: wealth, a business that’s taken over the world, and a high approval rating from his employees. He’s lead his team to incredible heights – but does that make him a good leader? Not necessarily!

First, the good aspects of his leadership. Zuckerberg is open to challenging the status quo, and due to being so focused on the future, has managed to create a powerful platform for business and personal connections that are backed by a team that has their ideas and opinions valued, no matter their ‘rank’ in the company. Happy employees that feel valued will stick by their leader.

Vision, vision, vision. Anyone who works for Mark Zuckerberg, and even those who use Facebook, knows that his ultimate vision is to create a world that is connected and open. He is open about this vision and backs up his words with actions. Employees are inspired by leaders that are passionate about their vision, and actually working towards it.

Zuckerberg is also known for surrounding himself with and forming, business relationships that are beneficial to the company. When a leader can admit their faults and weaknesses, and bring in others who can fill those areas, they are demonstrating humility and are putting the business’s needs ahead of their ego – a sign of a great leader.

That all sounds pretty good, so what’s the bad side of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership? Well, for one, he doesn’t always act in an entirely ethical way, as demonstrated by his responses to scandals about Facebook’s handling of user’s data. Recently, when news broke of user data being exploited by a firm, Zuckerberg was silent for five days before issuing an apology. Being silent for so long was not an example of great leadership – leaders must have responses and contingencies in place to manage situations when things go wrong. When there’s an issue like this with Facebook, Mark issues an apology but then something similar happens again. It’s not very ethical to compromise user data in this way and has resulted in many people leaving Facebook.

His slow response after the latest scandal shows that he really needs to work on his communication skills. How good of a leader can you be if you cannot communicate effectively?

In this digital age, where we can access the latest news instantly, leaders need to be quick and decisive with their communication. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to things like this!

I’ll let you make your own mind up about whether Mark Zuckerberg is a great leader or not; there’s so much that can’t be covered in a short blog like this. Consider, though, whether a less successful (or lesser, in general) leader, would be forgiven of some of the mistakes Zuckerberg has made in his career?

There is definitely plenty to take away for your own leadership journey, both good and bad, but my reason for this blog is to remind you that even if you become successful (whatever your measure of success may be) you must never become complacent in your leadership. Always practice authentic leadership, and you will become truly successful. Finally, leadership is about Attitude, Mindset, and Behaviour – and not about title or success.

Can I share something with you – the best leaders we work with truly understand this and how this contributes to their success and significance. It could make all the difference to you too – so contact us to find out more!

Want to know more about how to be a Great Leader or build Great Leadership within your Organisation – find out more about our Group and One on One Leadership Coaching Programs here at LeadershipHQ 

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