How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work?

How do people engage at work? Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Kingston University Business School’s Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society (CRESS) has shown that people engage for vastly different reasons. The research has emphasized the distinction between people who do their job mainly to earn a living and others whose emotional attachment is much wider. Their engagement can extend to the organization itself and to colleagues, line managers and customers.

Those engaged primarily with their jobs may well enjoy and take pride in their individual work. But they just want to do it and get on with rest of their lives. It is interesting that the study found that these people who are mainly interested in the technicalities of own work (transactionally engaged) report higher levels of stress. They seem to have more difficulties in achieving a work-life balance than those who are emotionally engaged with the organization.

It can become more complicated when, for example. someone is emotionally engaged mainly with their profession and perhaps even their clients. However they are only transactionally engaged with their current role and the current organisation.

This presents some interesting challenges for those leading change. How they communicate about the change to meet the needs of such a complicated audience.

A change that is being made for the perceivable good of the organization is more likely to be supported by someone emotionally engaged with that organization. The well being of colleagues may well be will be seen to be a priority and so will a clear commitment to manage the change well.

However, a change that threatens the work of an individual who is transactionally engaged may present a much greater risk. Most change managers have encountered the committed and brilliant technical specialist who decides they have no alternative but to subvert a change for the good of their work.So how can you respond?

Well, for a start you need to understand your group. Have a care with the results of engagement surveys which may not distinguish between different kinds of engagement.

What kind of people are in your group and what kind of work do they do? Walk the talk – get out there and meet them. Have conversations and be prepared to listen and to deal with feelings and anxiety.

When you communicate the change be aware that the impact will be different for different kinds of people. Take those different needs into account when you are planning the message. Then recognize the risk that different kinds of engagement might present. If your change threatens the organization itself then you need to manage the risk that presents for those committed to it. But handled the right way they will come with you on the journey.

Those committed mainly just to the job may well simply remove themselves. You risk losing their precious technical skills if they can see nothing in the change for them. If their skills are critical to the organization you may need to consider incentives to stay. These could range from money to opportunities for professional development or even enhanced technical facilities.

As with all change programs, success lies with inspiring people to follow the vision. But that inspiration may come with different strokes for very different kinds of folks

If you need the support of a coach in developing your career as change leader or change manager, then 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

         

Adjourning and Mourning: Tuckman Part 5

Managing Team Performance: Team Work 101

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform and Adjourn.

Tuckman Part 5 – Adjourning and Mourning

Adjourning and Mourning is the last part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams Adjourning and Mourningdevelop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. And, this includes a fourth and main stage when the group actually delivers the task. So, understanding the Tuckman model can help you lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively. Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Unfortunately, stages can seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed

This short series of posts is about how you can lead your group through the Tuckman stages to achieve a good result. My post on  Stage 1, described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. Stage 3 meant people began to experience a sense of group belonging. Stage 4 was about managing team performance.   Now, in Stage 4 Adjourning and Mourning,  the group breaks-up with its purpose, hopefully fulfilled.

Adjourning, and mourning

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 4, the group will now have delivered the task.  The members can move on to new things carrying forward learning from this experience into their new work. But for that to be done successfully there is a change to be managed.

The break-up can be hard for members who have come to enjoy team routines or who have developed close working relationships with other team members.  People may feel very insecure and anxious about finding a new role.  It is important to celebrate and document what has been achieved and to make sure that all have a chance to share the learning from this group experience. Some group members may need particular support in moving forward. It can be a stressful period, particularly if the group is being broken up before its task is complete.

Leading the group through Stage 5 

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 5, there is an opportunity to use a whole range of management skills.  You are dealing with conflicting emotions in yourself as well as in the team. These can include happiness and pride in a job complete, sadness at the dissolution and, even, anger if the group is being disbanded for less than noble reasons.

There may be some mundane but important tasks to complete. These may include archiving and record keeping for governance purposes. But team members may find it difficult to find the motivation to complete them,. Also encouraging honesty and sharing around lessons learned by the group during its lifetime, means you need to keep the members’ trust. A positive outcome means you lead them to acknowledge the task is complete, accepting the best and worst of the process. Then you help them let go and say goodbye

What could be problems in Stage 5 Adjourning and mourning?

Team members may well have feelings of dislocation and loss.  People deal with their feelings in different ways.  You may find some lose motivation completely and start to avoid the necessary work.  Others may argue over minor details and you find them reverting to storming – old arguments re-surface.  Others may deny or try to pretend that isn’t really the end and find excuses to prolong the process. Leading/managing means being vigilant, identifying what is happening and intervening with understanding and support.

This is the last in this series on the Tuckman Model – Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing and Adjourning.  But I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions. If you need advice on implementing the model, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Managing Team Performance: Tuckman Part 4

Managing Team Performance: Team Work 101

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform and Adjourn.

Tuckman Part 4 – Managing Team Performance

Managing team performance is an essential part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams Managing Team Performancedevelop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. And, this includes a fourth and main stage when the group actually delivers the task. So, understanding the Tuckman model can help you lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively. Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Unfortunately, stages can seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed

This short series of posts is about how you can lead your group through the Tuckman stages to achieve a good result. My post on  Stage 1, described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. Stage 3 meant people began to experience a sense of group belonging. Now, in Stage 4,  the leader should not need to be involved in the day-to-day work of the team. People are working effectively as a group.  If this stage is reached, the group are high-performing, motivated and achieve effective and satisfying results.

Stage 4 – Managing Team Performance

 

Let us be honest; not all groups are able to reach Stage 4.  Perhaps, they achieve the task but without ever truly excelling. And they will need pretty constant supervision and guidance from the team leader. But, if the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving on from Stage 3, there is good chance the group has reached Stage 4. Now, the group will be delivering the task with a high degree of openness, trust, confidence and autonomy.

The work itself is carried out to a high standard and the group take pride in their team results and superior performance. Problems are seen as opportunities and they are tackled constructively.

The group can make decisions and solve problems quickly. And, people may challenge each other; there are can be healthy differences of opinion. But these are resolved in a friendly manner. The group has the confidence to review and revise work processes if necessary. Now, new ways of doing things are considered and incorporated.

Leading the group through Stage 4 – Performing

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 4, the leader does not need to be involved in decision-making, problem solving or the day-to-day work of the team. People now work effectively as a group. Therefore, the leader role is to monitor progress and celebrate achievements; this helps to maintain morale and the performance of the group. And, the leader is also the conduit for any strategic decisions which need to be made at a higher level, for the group to complete their work.

What if they don’t stay in Stage 4 – Performing?

There remains a possibility that the group could revert back to an earlier stage. For example, if someone leaves or new members join. Perhaps, one of the existing members has started to work independently or outside the rules/norms (formal or informal) subscribed to by the rest of the group. It is possible then for the team to revert back to an earlier stage. And, this will last until they have come to term with the change or the issues are resolved. If the team slips back, the leader should become more actively engaged again.  And, this could mean more close supervision for a while. Also encouraging them to have the confidence to go back to trying out new ideas and working independently, while remaining part of the group. So, they need you to be a cheerleader again – encouraging your group and recognising them for the good work they are doing.

Now we are moving towards completion of the task – the next post will be about Stage 5 Adjourning and saying goodbye!

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Handling Resistance

Handling Resistance

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Handling resistance and fear is the fifth step in the Kotter model. This is handling resistanceabout empowering action, over coming resistance and getting rid of obstacles to change. This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph.

The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change and Step Four: Communicate Your Vision

Now we are reaching the point where your investment in Stages 1 to 4, begins to pay dividends. Kotter himself states that when Stages 1 to 4 are skipped, resistance is inevitable and this can destroy your change.

People resist change because they fear loss.

They believe they are defending something they value which feels threatened.   This can include loss of security, power, resources and overall loss of control.  Most of us fear the unknown.

If you have followed the earlier Kotter steps when you reach this point, you will have been talking about your vision and building up buy-in from all levels of the organisation. Hopefully, your group will want to get busy and be out there achieving the benefits that you’ve been promoting.

But there may still be some resisting the change!  There may be people (individuals or groups), processes, structures and even organisations that are getting in the way? You not only need to put in place the structure for change, but check continually for barriers and blockers to it.

Handling resistance and removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision and it certainly helps them move the change forward.

Handling resistance! To remove obstacles you should;

  • Identify, or hire, change leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change.
  • Look at your organisational structure, job descriptions and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with your vision.
  • Recognise and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify people who are resisting the change and help them see what’s needed.
  • Take action quickly to remove barriers (human or otherwise).

When people are resistant;

  • Help them understand the logic behind the change.
  • Give them an opportunity to contribute – to help design and implement the change (e.g., ideas, task forces, committees).
  • Provide facilitation & coaching to help them adjust to the change.
  • Offer incentives to those who continue to resist change.

If all else fails, and this change is critical to the organisation, you may need to use authority to get people to accept the change or move them sideways and, sometimes, even out of the organisation. Do it with as much respect for their dignity as possible – those remaining will be marked by how your respond .

This can be one of the most challenging stages for the Change Leader but – as I’ve written here many times before – no one told you change was going to be easy!

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Managing Team Norming: Tuckman Part 3

Managing Team Norming: Team Work 101

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform and Adjourn.

Tuckman Part 3 – Managing Team Norming

Team norming is an essential part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams team normingdevelop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. And, this includes a third stage when the group agrees what norms are to apply later in their work. So, if you understand the model it can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

This short series of posts is about how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result. In my post on Stage 1, I described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. Now, in Stage 3, people begin to experience a sense of group belonging. And, there is a feeling of relief that conflicts are being resolved. They agree the ground rules.

Stage 3 – Norming.

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 2, the group will now be resolving any conflicts. This will mean people become much less defensive. Therefore they are willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented. They ask questions of one another. Leadership starts to be shared. Cliques break up in the light of new information and new relationships. And a sense of group belonging emerges.

People share feelings and exchange ideas. So, they explore possible actions for reaching the goals and creativity is high. And, they are on their way to being organised so that they can achieve their goals.

Trust builds and information flows well! As roles and responsibilities become clear, they are accepted. And big decisions are made by group agreement. While, smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. This means commitment and unity are strong.

Leading the group through Stage 3 – Norming

What is the role of the leader?  Well, the leader facilitates, enables and makes sure that data keeps flowing between group members.  As well as that, the leader encourages the group by congratulating them when they listen to each other and work cooperatively. Now is the time to make sure they put in place detailed plans and systems, and standards, for completing the work. Encourage them to work together to achieve the task.

What if they get stuck in Stage 3 – Norming

Some groups stay in Stage 3 and complete the task with a degree of dependence on you as the team leader and others in the group. The main danger of Stage 3 is  that members may begin to fear the inevitable future break-up of the group, so they may resist change of any sort. This can mean they may not find novel and original solutions to problems. Encourage the group to try out new ideas, and approaches, and to develop the confidence to work independently while remaining part of the group. Be a cheerleader – encourage your group and recognise them for the good work they are doing.

Now, we are moving towards excellence  – the next post will be about Stage 4 Performing

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Forming the Team: Tuckman Part 1

Forming the Team: Team Work 101

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.

Tuckman Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage

Forming the team is an essential part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams Forming the teamdevelop. Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. If you understand the model it can help you to lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively.

Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Some stages seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But if you go through them, it means a more cohesive and efficient work-group is formed – a group that allows everyone to contribute their best!

A skilled manager can observe the stages happening and help the process along. That means you get the best outcome for all in the least time.

In a short series of posts, I’m going to discuss how you can lead your group through the stages to achieve a good result. You can find the second post in this series on Stage 2 Managing Storming Teams at this link.

Forming the team

When they first come together in a group, people are cautious.  Usually, they want to get to know each other and get on with the task.  But, they might be a bit anxious.  They are usually tentative and tend to check each other out. Generally, they are polite and somewhat reserved.

The group wants to work out how they should behave.  At this stage, they are not likely to challenge each other or you, as their leader. They want to understand properly why they are there – what is the task and what is this really about?  The group wants to know what they are being asked to do and how they are expected to do it.

No one feel very comfortable. Perhaps there any hidden agendas.

They are looking for the “ground rules”.

This stage can feel frustrating for the leader, because things can feel as if they are moving very slowly.

Lead the group through forming the team

So what can you do?  Well, you need to provide a safe environment in which the group can operate and you need to set some goals for them to achieve.

But let then have some time to get to know each other! Therefore, allow people an opportunity to share their hopes and their anxieties.  You might recognise now why trained facilitators put so much store by ice-breakers.

If you pace the group carefully, they will move through forming the team and not get stuck.  Encourage them all to contribute.

What if they get stuck in Stage 1 – Forming the Team

If they get stuck then you will need to become more directive.

  • Involve them in setting the goals
  • Let them air their reservations.
  • Get those ground rules out in the open air
  • Get people to agree the ground rules.
  • Support anyone who shows reticence so that their confidence develops.

Then stand by because you need to go through Stage 2 Storming before the real work begins. Stage 2 can be turbulent. Information on how to handle that stage will follow here shortly.

Other posts on the Tuckman model are to follow.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leading Change – Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition

Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Creating a powerful guiding coalition is perhaps the most challenging element of the Kotter model. I’ve written quite a bit here about the Kotter approach to leading change and I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series.  This post deals with that difficult Stage Two; forming a powerful coalition to lead and manage the change. Links to the other stages are in the next paragraph.

After 30 years of research, Dr John Kotter believes that most major change initiatives fail mainly because organisations don’t commit to seeing the change through and don’t take a holistic approach throughout.   He has demonstrated that his 8 step process provides the most credible way of delivering and embedding large-scale organisational change. This series of posts will consider his steps in greater detail. we have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency, Step Three: Creating a Vision for Change and Step Four: Communicating Your Vision.

His method elaborates and enlarges upon Lewin’s simple Freeze Phase, three stage approach – square, blob, star.  The underlying principles are the same.

In a world requiring ultimate flexibility, an organisation’s ability to deal successfully with change is a key ingredient in its overall success.

Step Two – Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition

No one person, however competent, is capable single-handedly of completing all the tasks required in leading a large organisation through change. The tasks include;

  • developing the right vision,
  • communicating it to vast numbers of people,
  • eliminating all of the obstacles,
  • generating short-term wins,
  • leading and managing dozens of change projects
  • anchoring new approaches deep in an organisation’s culture.

Putting together the right people to lead and manage  the change is critical to its success. It needs visible support from key people through-out your organisation. You must find the right people, instil in them a significant level of trust and develop a shared objective.

Those people need to have the right credibility within the organisation.  Otherwise things will go limp and the change will simply go to pieces and fritter away. This will leave the organisation weaker than it was before.

Create a  team of leaders and managers that can act in concert and make productive decisions. The decisions need to be taken seriously by all the group! Managers in the team will keep the process under control, while leaders drive the change. Some times people can both lead and manage but don’t assume you will find both talents in the same people.

An effective guiding coalition

An effective guiding coalition should have;

  • Position Power:  Enough key players on board so that those left out cannot block progress.
  • Expertise:  All relevant points of view should be represented so that informed and intelligent decisions can be made.
  • Credibility:  The group should be seen and respected by all so that the group’s pronouncements will be taken seriously by others.
  • Leadership:  The group should have enough proven leaders able to drive the change process.

Creating a powerful guiding coalition means the team needs to develop trust in one another. They need a shared goal so that they can make the needed change happen, despite all of the forces of inertia and resistance they may find.

Meanwhile…

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

N-Plants

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the personal development mindset.  A key part of the mindset is self-belief.  But before you can believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself; particularly your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.  This is particularly important if you want to be successful at managing others!

I have important news for you – there are no perfect managers.  Managers have strengths and all of them have weaknesses too.  You are no different to the rest.  There will be things that you are good at and there will be other things that you might prefer not to talk about, or even to admit to yourself.  And every one of us has our own quirks of personality.  Believe me, you need to understand yours!  If you want to succeed as a manager, you need to be honest and, not least, with yourself.

Being a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or to know everything.  But, you do need to be good at covering the gaps; that only works if you know where the gaps are.  Then you have options.

You can:

  • Put together a team that includes people who are what you are not and can do what you cannot. Sometimes this can be a challenge – often our first instinct is to recruit people just like us! If you are putting together a team for an important, business critical, task,  you need to have all the bases covered,
  • Outsource/buy in the ability you need, when you need it, for example, HR advice when faced with a large-scale organizational change.
  • Adapt the task so that it uses the skills and experience you have available. This may be negotiable more often than you think.  But without an honest appraisal of your own strengths and the strengths of the team, that would not be possible.

If you would like to understand yourself better then “Personality: What makes you the way you are” by Daniel Nettle comes well recommended.  Also, there are lots of free personality tests on line – HumanMetrics provides one of the more widely used ones.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Know Yourself!

Know Yourself!

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

Know yourself

Know yourself – I’ve been writing a lot recently about the personal development mindset.  A key part of the mindset is self-belief.  But before you can believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself; particularly your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.  This is particularly important if you want to be successful at managing others!

Know yourself if you want to manage others successfully. I have important news for you – there are no perfect managers.  Managers have strengths and all of them have weaknesses too.  You are no different to the rest.  There will be things that you are good at and there will be other things that you might prefer not to talk about, or even to admit to yourself.  And every one of us has our own quirks of personality.  Believe me, you need to understand yours!  If you want to succeed as a manager, you need to be honest and, not least, with yourself.

Being a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or to know everything.  But, you do need to be good at covering the gaps; that only works if you know where the gaps are.  Then you have options.

When you know yourself you can:

  • Put together a team that includes people who are what you are not and can do what you cannot. Sometimes this can be a challenge – often our first instinct is to recruit people just like us! If you are putting together a team for an important, business critical, task,  you need to have all the bases covered,
  • Outsource/buy in the ability you need, when you need it, for example, HR advice when faced with a large-scale organizational change.
  • Adapt the task so that it uses the skills and experience you have available. This may be negotiable more often than you think.  But without an honest appraisal of your own strengths and the strengths of the team, that would not be possible.

If you would like to understand yourself better then “Personality: What makes you the way you are” by Daniel Nettle comes well recommended.  Also, there are lots of free personality tests on line – HumanMetrics provides one of the more widely used ones.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Managing diverse teams

Managing diverse teams

Managing divers teams – I believe that diverse teams are powerful when well managed provide. They provide individual team members with an energising and exciting place to work. Here are some tips on managing diverse teams.

Recognize that people come with different needs. People are different for all kinds of reasons; age, sex or ethnic background being just the start.  But don’t assume that just because they are old/young, male/female, black/white etc that they will be different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what each one need from you to succeed.

Recognize and give credit for wisdom.  People bring a variety od learning and experience.  All will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends.  Take time to find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.

Stand your ground, but do so with respect for difference.  If you are the leader and accountable for results, do your job. People will be looking for you to lead and they can, quite rightfully, feel resentful if you leave them lost and without leadership.  But lead with respect for all.

Be ready to learn from them. Be honest when you don’t know how to do something.  If someone does have the answer, be humble enough to let them show you. It’s okay that you have some things to learn. We all do! You will be respected for your honesty.

Don’t avoid issues or fail to handle conflict. Don’t be tempted to make  excuses for not knowing something, pretend you have more experience than members of your team. Don’t duck issues that arise between team members.  Unresolved conflicts fester. Deal quickly with any indication of bullying.

Be honest with people. People value honesty expressed with  care and courtesy.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Practice patience.  People may be more or less culturally, technologically, or trend, savvy.  That doesn’t mean they will not be valuable.  Take time to find out about them, then train where necessary. Different kinds of people may need different forms of communication or you may need to explain something in a different context.

Above all, enjoy the experience that working in a team with people from a mix of backgrounds brings. Their strengths will make for a powerful team

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