Are you a good team leader? Take my test.

Are you a good team leader?

Are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Are you a good team leader? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to give serious answers to all these questions.

 

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How ready are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the ability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be ready to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you ready to ask your team how well you are communicating?
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Managing Office Politics

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Politics – A definition – “activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization” Oxford Dictionaries
This is a re-post, with some slight amendments, of something I wrote a while ago. But I think it is useful and I hope you will agree!

Managing Office Politics – I don’t play chess.  I admire those who do – for me the game is too slow to enjoy.  But I do know the rules!

For me, managing office politics is just like that.  You may decide not to ‘play’ but you do need to know how the game works.

This is true in most work situations but particularly if  you lead or manage a vital project or programme.  If you don’t manage your stakeholders, your initiative may be shot down in ways you never expected.

Stakeholder management (managing those with an interest in what you are doing) doesn’t work if you don’t make sure you understand the politics of the organisation and your particular part of it.

Wherever you have a group of people, you will have a degree of politics operating.

People will usually jockey for position, form alliances, decide who they do like and who they don’t!  They will come to the group with different personalities, sets of values and opinions. Over time a group/team develops a set of norms or standards and ways of working. They develop a pecking order – a hierarchy of status and influence.  This may not necessarily reflect the organisation chart.  For example, the person who controls the stationery cupboard can have quite a lot of power to disrupt their colleague’s day, if they choose to do so, in lots of offices!

If you don’t understand the influence-hierarchy you can find it difficult to get things done, particularly if you are new to an organisation.  And the hierarchy will change over time, as people strive successfully and unsuccessfully to achieve greater influence.

You need to understand the office politics, even if you find the concept of managing office politics distasteful.

And, you will be very lucky indeed if someone actually tells you the rules of the game! It is far better to understand what is going on and  adopt a strategy to keep the negative effects of office politics on you and your work to a minimum.

In reality, it is useful to be regarded as inside the influence group, rather than outside looking in. What you are probably best to aim for is to manage any effects of office politics that directly relate to you!  Then turn them in your favour, or at least minimise any possible harmful e effects on you and your work.

Office politics in its crudest form usually occurs when one, or more than one, person holds (or is seen as holding) a significant amount of power within the office.  This may be formal power – the CEO’s private office is usually a hotbed of office politics – or informal power. Formal power is pretty easy to read.  And, for example, PAs to top managers, who may all wield considerable power,  are fairly easy to discover.

Informal power can arise in a number of ways! Someone with depth of knowledge of the organisation, the key subject matter expert, can accrue significant amounts of informal power.    And sometimes this informal power can be abused; for example, the ‘office bully’ or those in a relationship with someone holding formal power who are unscrupulous players of the office politics’ game.  You need to listen and observe the group you work with and its surrounding organisation to find out more about these!

What can you do to make office politics work for you?

  1. Try to get to know the politically powerful within your organisation.  Don’t be afraid of them – they are often much, more receptive to people who aren’t intimidated by them!  
  2. Make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve.  Deal with their reservations and make sure they understand that you are taking on board their views.   
  3. If someone does try to undermine you, don’t get drawn in. Simply be bold and assertive, but not aggressive.  Make your points clearly and offer good will.  If their negative behaviour persists, then ring-fence them – make sure they have as little as possible to do with your work.
  4. People often play office politics because they are unsure about their own abilities and achievements.  They try to conceal what they believe are their shortcomings behind a façade and to make others feel they are less worthy. Don’t let them undermine your self-esteem – be proud of your own accomplishments and make sure that your efforts are recognised by those who matter. 
  5. Don’t get into direct competition if you can avoid it – it’s a waste of your time! If people know you are doing a good job consistently there is far less opportunity for you to be undermined. 
  6. Forming alliances with senior managers and using them as sponsors and champions for your work can increase your own informal power.  If you have a formal sponsor, make sure they are well informed and really up to date with your project or programme and can talk about it fluently to their colleagues.   As with all stakeholder management – targeted communication of  good quality of information is key to you and your project or programme’s success.

If you want to know more or do want to play the office politics game then here are some books that might be useful!

‘Office Politics: How work really works’ by Guy Browning   http://amzn.to/efTzjO

‘100+ Tactics for Office Politics (Barron’s Business Success)’ by Casey Hawley   http://amzn.to/hkBR6r

For the really evil!

’21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Win at Office Politics’ by Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey http://amzn.to/fFMHQ4

If you would like some more advice of thriving at work, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Women Leading – Quotes

Women Leading – Quotes

Women leading – here are some quotes to inspire you!

Women Leading
Glass lotus at the Indira Ghandi museum (Photo credit: yumievriwan)
    • Clearly no one knows what leadership has gone undiscovered in women of all races, and in black and other minority men. Gloria Steinem
    • Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach! Rosabeth Moss Kantor
    • Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right. Jane Goodall
    • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. Rosalyn Carter
    • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
      Margaret Mead
    • If you have a sense of purpose and a sense of direction, I believe people will follow you. Democracy isn’t just about deducing what the people want. Democracy is leading the people as well. Margaret Thatcher
    • Leadership that brings peace is far more courageous than the one which opens fire and goes for war. Asthma Jehangir
    • Whether there are innately female leadership styles… is not really the right question. It is more important to ask why there has been so little attention paid to women leaders over the years as well as why the styles of leading more often exhibited by women are particularly useful at this critical moment in history.Charlotte Bunch
    • You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization. Anita Roddick
    • I’ve been a woman for a little over 50 years and have gotten over my initial astonishment. As for conducting an orchestra, that’s a job where I don’t think sex plays much part. Nadia Boulanger, Conductor [on becoming the first woman to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra]
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Quotes On Trust

Quotes On Trust

Finding trust

Trust – the ability to have trust and the ability to be trusted are key components in human happiness.

Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao T...
Lao Tzu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
― Stephen R. Covey

“Because you believed I was capable of behaving decently, I did.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.”
― Alison Croggon

“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

“In this world, there was nothing scarier than trusting someone. But there was also nothing more rewarding.”
― Brad Meltzer, The Inner Circle

“Either we’re a team or we aren’t. Either you trust me or you don’t.”
― Ally Carter, Heist Society

“It isn’t an easy thing to give your loyalty to someone you don’t know, especially when that person chooses to reveal nothing of himself.”
― Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

“If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.”
― Lao Tzu

“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Working with a coach really can make your life zing! Get in touch at the email email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

What Makes A Good Boss – Quotes

What Makes A Good Boss

Quotes – What Makes A Good Boss

What Makes A Good Boss – some quotes to help you decide!

A good boss makes people realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could. Charles Erwin Wilson

One of the great things we do is recognize people. Those things are greatly appreciated by family and friends and colleagues. It’s so hard to define every certain instance. We have to use our own good judgement. Carl Persis

A good boss is a person who can tolerate my complaints and still manage to say hello to me every day. Byron Pusifer

My boss… always stands by me if I get in trouble. He always stands by my decisions. He is very polite and intelligent. Kristina Smulkstyte

She encourages her staff to participate in decisions that affect the workplace and come up with ideas to make things run more efficiently – and then turns those ideas into practice. She has an almost magical ability to get people to “go beyond” and do more than the job requires. Anon

He makes others feel valued and appreciated. He enjoys helping others become better people and better employees. He does not jump to conclusions; he gets all the facts and lets it simmer before taking any action. He listens to everybody’s input on the company and reminds us it’s our company too. Anon

I really want to know what they need from me …. not all employees need the same things from their manager. Susan M. Heathfield

Keep your own office door open most of the time, but respect your employees’ need for privacy when busy or with clients. Anon

Developing and sustaining self-awareness ought to be at the top of the list for every boss. Anon

In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way. Tina Fey

 

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How To Get On With The Boss

How To Get On With The Boss

How To Get On With The Boss – are you having difficulties getting on with the person in charge at work? Lots of people seem have problems with bosses. For one reason or another they can’t get on with them. But bosses How To Get On With The Bosshave a huge impact over as large parts of your daily life. And unhappiness and stress at work usually leaks out to affect the rest of your life.

Bosses are human! If you’re lucky they will be understanding, supportive, encouraging and inspiring. But, being human, they will probably have at least one characteristic that makes them difficult at times.  And if you are really unlucky they might be lazy, unmotivated, weak, over-emotional and sarcastic – all at the same time.

You’re not a powerless victim

Even in very difficult circumstances you can usually do something to help the situation. In most cases you really can learn how to get on with the boss. And, you’re more in control than you think. So, it’s a case of understanding what makes them tick, why they react as they do, and then approaching things in a way that gets the best out of your boss.

There has been a lot of interest in this subject and I’ve received a lot of questions. So, I wrote a concise and practical eBook on how to get on with the boss. And, in it you will learn how to make a great first and lasting impression at work. How to Help your boss help you. Don’t be made unhappy, suffer stress and lose confidence because you cannot get on with the person in charge. Poor relationships at work can damage life at home as well as your career. There can be long-term effects on health and on your motivation.  My little eBook can really help you avoid the pitfalls and build a strong, positive, relationship with your boss.


How To Get On With The Boss covers;

•What it means to get on with the boss
•Why it matters
•How to know whether you get on with your boss
•Getting it right
•What your boss really wants
•How requirements can change over time
•Making a good first impression
•Keeping respect once you are experienced in the role
•What to do when things go wrong
•Bosses with problems
•Demon bosses
•Putting things right
•Moving on when it is time to go
•Bullying

Here is a link to the book

And if you would like a coach to support you as you deal with your boss, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Communications When Things Go Wrong

Communications When Things Go Wrong

Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

How you handle communications when things go wrong is important.  Bad communications when things go wrongthings happen in all organisations. Sometime the problem lies within the organization. Sometimes it is the environment outside that causes a crisis. To respond well as a manager, you need a strategy that will do the following

  • Deal with the problem causing the crisis;
  • Assist any victims and those directly affected;
  • Communicate with, and enlist, the support of employees.
  • Inform those indirectly affected; and
  • Manage the media and all external stakeholders in the organization.

Seven dimensions

For communications when things go wrong, there are seven dimensions to consider. These will be  important if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage. Particularly to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons. But, the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

The seven dimensions to consider for communications when things go wrong

  1.  Candor. A public acknowledgement that a problem exists and a commitment to put it right, usually wins trust. And it will win respect for the organization.
  2. Explanation. Explain promptly and clearly what went wrong. Base this on the knowledge available at the time and any legal constraints. If there is not yet full information, make a commitment to report regularly. Tell people when they can expect more information. Continue making reports until full information is available or public interest dissipates.
  3. Declaration. Make a clear public commitment to take steps to address and resolve any issues raised by the incident.
  4. Contrition. Make it clear that you, and those in charge of the organization, are sorry for what has happened. Show empathy and regret. If there is reason to be embarrassed, then show embarrassment about what has happened and for allowing it to happen.
  5. Consultation: Ask for help from pubic authorities and anyone else who can provide it, if that will help those hurt or prevent this from happening again. Do this even if it means accepting help from opponents or competitors.
  6. Commitment: Be prepared to make a promise that, to the best of the organisation’s ability, similar situations will never occur again.
  7. Restitution: Find a way to quickly pay the price, compensate and make restitution.

Go the extra mile

Show in your communications that you are prepared to go beyond what people would expect, or what is legally required, to put things right. Adverse situations remedied quickly, usually cost far less. They are controversial for shorter periods of time.

This is the gold standard. The closer you get to it, the more respect there will be for you, and your organization. Plus the sooner the public are likely to forgive, if not forget.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Women Who Inspire

Women Who Inspire

Monday Quotes – From Women Who Inspire

Some words from women who inspire to help start your week.

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.- Eleanor Roosevelt

It is  is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. – Rosalynn Carter

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. – Mother Teresa

Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person. – Mary D. Poole

Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing. – Indira Gandhi

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller.

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it – Erma Bombeck.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. – Maya Angelou.

The most effective way to do it, is to do it. – Amelia Earhart.

Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. – Oprah.

Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience. – Sonia Choquette.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Maya Angelou.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Energy Drainers

Energy Drainers

Making a change – those who drain your energy

Energy drainers – if you are involved with any kind of change you will find it drains your energy. Energy will drain as you come to terms with new situations. energy drainersand deal with confusion. You will have to deal as well with anxiety – your own, and other people’s.  You will find yourself giving out lots of your energy in support of others.  But some people seem to take just a little too much – more than you can afford to give if you are going to stay fit for the task ahead.

We all feel insecure in the middle of change but energy drainers are usually people who are insecure and negative in their everyday life. Quite often they find it difficult to tolerate their own company. You may find people like this start to depend upon you to help them make all kinds of relatively simple life decisions.  They may phone or text you several times a day on any pretext – they can eat you as well as your time and sap your life force!

Energy drainers don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive

Very often these sad people are stuck in “Survival Mode.”  They don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive. Like children, they haven’t accepted responsibility for their own lives. But they find many ways, including emotional blackmail,  to persuade you to give them the emotional support  and the reassurance they need.  Life is frightening and they are very scared indeed!

We all know people like this. They might be old friends, family or work colleagues. You want to help but their needs are overwhelming.

So, what do you do?

Keep in mind that you may need to conserve your energy to manage a complex change.  If they are part of the change, you are certainly not going to be in a position to cut them out of your life.  Anyway, at the end of the day, most of us would actually like to be in a place to help.

The stance you take depends upon your relationship with the person and the level of your energy reserves. However, your first responsibility is to yourself. You, too, may have to adopt a “Survival Mode” attitude.

It is certainly much easier to deal with someone who is an acquaintance or a work colleague. You have no personal commitment to them and you have every right to say goodbye when you finish work.

Dealing with energy drainers

Always try to stay in a neutral space when talking to them.  Give neutral responses and try not to get drawn into their, or your, emotions.  When you deal with them, imagine you are wearing a breastplate to defend your energy – withhold your energy behind your breastplate. Deliver a neutral, and deliberately, low energy response. Offer no more and no less than is necessary to carry out the transaction.

As a personal survival technique, this approach is also applicable for family and old friends. However, you may choose to take a more compassionate and supportive stance by demonstrating “tough love.” Your goal here is to move them on from negative to positive. You want to move them back into using their own energy resources. In this way, you can help them to become self-sufficient.  Get them to think through their own options – to make choices and plan.  When they do so give them lots of quiet praise – move them on from whining to thinking about concrete ways they can help themselves!

Dealing with emotional blackmail

Be aware, though, that energy drainers will resort to many forms of subtle emotional blackmail to get access to your energy. Don’t let them! Let them know, through your actions, that your energy is no longer accessible to them. Encourage them to make decisions on their own and to enjoy their own company by simply not being available: physically or emotionally.

It will not be easy for you or them. You are breaking established patterns of behaviour and setting a new precedent. But eventually a new dynamic should be established. They should begin to take responsibility for their own life and their own decisions.

You may have to support them through a change as part of your role but do so in a managed way! With friends and family, if they will not take action, success will be impossible. So recognise when you have banged your head once too often against that proverbial brick. It may be the wisest step is simply to “let go.”

If you need help dealing with your energy drainer, please get in touch

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link