• Do you start what may seem a difficult improvement conversation with your employees and find you’re softening it by using the word potential? Honestly, that word is problematic. Your workforce is likely internally shrinking when the word “Potential” crosses your mouth or that of a senior leader. It’s a setup term intended to encourage while preparing an employee for what’s coming next. You know, that unpleasant revelation addressing an area where your employee is missing the mark. It is a precursor of an improvement necessary dialogue. Most employees prefer a well-thought-out, emotionally intelligent, direct, example-specific discussion. And by the way, they like you to have these correction-directed conversations when they are small rather than waiting until the expected adjustment is significant.

    Conversely, the concept of Potential works when used as your internal motivational voice, encouraging you to generate significant and courageous steps for your future. You know the “I think I can” “I know I can” self-talk from the “The Little Engine That Could” story.

  • A fundamental expectation of managers is the skill to motivate their people. I unreservedly disagree. Individuals choose to be engaged or motivated… managers can only create a culture for these attitudes to emerge. What does that look like:
    • Gallup surveys tell us that when your employees are tapping into their strengths, they are six times more likely to be engaged and eight percent more productive.
    • Your DNA needs to be all over your employees, which occurs through mentoring/coaching/and correction conversations. How do you do this? By catching your employees doing something right and also by sitting them down while you calmly have improvement conversations. In the middle of your busy days, such attention may seem impossible, yet you must find time to make them possible. And by the way, your abilities in this area are vital to you moving into senior leadership roles because you’ve learned how to enroll people into your company’s profitable future. The big lesson…Stop Waiting.
  • There’s no question that acknowledgment generates positive work results. Our corporate workforce is craving appreciation, and women understand this better than anyone. This fact is well-documented and researched. Studies confirm that acknowledging work-well-done leads to satisfaction, increased productivity, innovative advances, as well as improved engagement.
    • Your appreciative feedback must be honest and sincere, and specific. Anything less will read false and do more harm than good.
    • Gallup studies share: that engagement scores improve by 26 percent when employees receive recognition, no matter at what level of the organization the person resides.
    • Business author Jim Kouzes’ research reveals that 97+ percent of respondents to his survey indicated they perform better for the organization when their contribution is acknowledged.
  • As a manager, your primary assignment is to develop skills that meet employee requirements for both today and also prepare them for their future. And communication is the single most critical ability you can assist them in acquiring. Employees who have strong communication expertise advance more rapidly and contribute more to organizations than those who don’t possess such skills

    How? Train them to regularly check their communication patterns (You might want to do the same.). After one-on-one interactions or meetings with a group, do you pause to analyze, “Was it….?”

      • Trust Building is fundamental to any relationship. Were you authentic? Were you sensitive to the needs of others? Were you accountable? Without this relational element, communication breakdowns are going to occur.
      • Receiver Centric conversations are incomplete when the focus is only on what you want, think, or concern you. Did you speak their preferred style—not merely yours? Did you sincerely ask for feedback?
      • Body Language can be out of sync with the results you intend to achieve. Please understand that it often isn’t the way you’re saying something that is causing you setbacks. You can craft a message to perfection. However, if your body language isn’t in alignment, they won’t be receiving your hoped-for communication. What’s your body language saying—or sometimes screaming—without you ever knowing? Equally important, what is theirs saying to you? Knowing this will aid you in choosing the right words and approach…so pay attention to the nonverbal language both yours and theirs!
      • Active Listening is essential for a powerful communicator. Especially as research reveals forty percent of your salary is credited to listening. Why? Keen listeners garner enormous benefits for themselves and their companies. With this skill, you gather more information, reduce conflict, inspire others, increase trust and respect, inspire others, show respect, gain a new perspective, build strong relationships, acquire clarity, solve problems, better understand issues, and people will like you!!
      • Value-Based, are you still communicating with your values in mind and what you believe to be true? Re-examine them regularly. Sometimes our business cultures seep so deep into our thinking that we’re no longer working and treating others with integrity.
      • Diversity Sensitive in today’s marketplace is job critical. Each of us wears biased lenses—gender, race, age, national origin, etc.—which have you believing you see reality. Your point of view may so blind you in the eyes of others that you appear ignorant to them. Just think of the massive disruptions we’ve experienced when the women’s (#metoo), and the blacks’ (#blacklivesmatter) voices rose in protest. Whether you interpret these movements as positive or negative, you can’t deny whole groups shook the population, saying: “No, you do not see me accurately!” Is your discernment open to including more than only you!?

By the way, one big hint that you haven’t made the management leap you’d thought:

    • Your boss assigns you the bulk of the improvement projects you work on…particularly ones you already suspicion are problems. If you’re committed to expanding your responsibilities and position, this is a sure sign you’re missing the mark and may be facing a stuck career. It doesn’t matter your role what you always want to be is seen as the leader of your position, and to be identified as the future of your organization.2

This supplemental information, “Hints For Expanding Your Staff,” was initially created for the ThriveWithNancy Podcast 44, “2 Dangerous Tipping Points,” but time ran out to share everything. If you’d like to hear the rest of the story and haven’t already listened, CLICK HERE