Bringing in a new team leader

Team Work – bringing in a new team leader

Bringing in a new team leaderThere will be times when you need to bring in a new team leader. This can disrupt an existing team and impact on their performance. Here are some tips for a smooth transition.

Has your existing team leader had to leave suddenly?  Perhaps they have found a better opportunity elsewhere?  You might have decided it was time to make a change? Whatever the reason, now, you have to bring in someone new to lead the team.

The top priority is to explain what is happening. You don’t want to paint the old leader in a negative light – you know there are loyalties. But you want them to accept the change and the new leader.  Here are some top tips for bringing in a new team leader.

  1. Give the team a clear and honest explanation for the change. If things have not been going well, be careful about attributing any failure specifically to the old team leader. But you can be clear about why a new approach is needed. Then emphasize the background and experience of the new team leader.
  2. Honor the past. If good progress has been made and the old team leader left on good terms, there is something to celebrate. This should be done as part of the change to the new team leader. Again, if the old team leader has been taken ill, it is important to recognize the contribution that they, and the team, have made so far.
  3. Tell the team about the new team leader before they arrive. Give them as much information as you can on why this person has been chosen. Show that that both the team and the new team leader have your confidence. Make sure the team are clear about their roles and your expectations.
  4. Make introductions. When the new team leader arrives introduce them to the team yourself. It is great if this can be over coffee or lunch so that there is an opportunity for some informal chat as well as formal introductions.
  5. Have an induction program. Make sure someone takes responsibility for showing the new team leader round. If you want to minimize any glitch in performance make sure that there is an induction program. The new leader needs to meet key people and know why they are important.
  6. Follow-up. Remember to check back. Don’t wait for the next formal board or project meeting to find out how the new leader is settling in. A short phone call from you asking how the new team leader is settling in will make them feel them feel appreciated. It will also give you early warning if all is not going well. Touch base with the team themselves sometimes to show you haven’t abandoned them. But be careful not to undermine the new team leader when you do it.

If you need support transitioning between team leaders, get in touch. Working with a coach can help a team make the change without disruption.

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

         

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

         

Managing Storming Teams: Tuckman Part 2

Managing Storming Teams: Team Work 101

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform and Adjourn.

Tuckman Part 2 – Managing Storming Teams

Managing storming teams is an essential part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams Managing Storming Teamsdevelop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. And, this includes a second stage when the group works out 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 last post (at this link) I discussed Stage 1 Forming. In Stage 1 I described how the group look for some ground rules. Stage 2, as you will see, means they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be.

Managing Storming Teams

Some group leaders find managing storming team uncomfortable – it can be challenging to handle. Tuckman stages can seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means that a more cohesive and efficient working 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.

Stage 2 – Storming.

If you have taken the advice set out for Stage 1, the group will now have some goals.  But, they are not yet organised so that they can achieve them. Though, by now they should have been together long enough to stop needing to be on their best behaviour.

They may begin to debate how they should go forward. For example, what are the priorities going to be and who is going to take which role in the team?  Do you know what systems and processes are going to be put in place?

Differences of opinion and beliefs lead to conflict and they may begin to jockey for position. Therefore, power struggles break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead. And, they may begin to challenge you as group leader and cliques form.

Leading the group through Stage 2 – Storming

So what can you do? First, you can focus the team on its goals to avoid them becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues.  Probably, some compromises need to be made and you need to help them find the middle ground. Now, start selling ideas and the benefits of what you are trying to do.  There needs to be lots of communication. Make sure they understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles.  If all is going well, the group will move quickly through this stage to agree some “norms” for working together.

What if they get stuck in Stage 2 – Storming

In managing storming teams, you may need to set down the ground rules for group behaviour and get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect.  So, keep a close eye on the debate – if it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But, if the debate becomes personal, then you will need to intervene.  Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate and not learn to work together very well. Social events can help individuals begin to see each other in a more rounded way.

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets!  So, get the group to focus very sharply upon them and the benefits which will be lost if people are not prepared to compromise and reach agreement.  Possibly, cliques have formed. Therefore, put people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup so that new relationships can be established.

Now, we move towards the real work. And the next post will be about Stage 3 Norming. You can find the post on Stage 1 Forming the team here.

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

         

Do You Enjoy Your Work?

Do You Enjoy Your Work?

Do You Enjoy Your Work? Does your team enjoy their work?

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

Do You Enjoy Your Work? One of the reasons I chose to move out of management consultancy and into coaching was because I loved the coaching part of my job.  There were lots of other things I liked about what I was doing such as problem solving. But I found the most satisfying part of problem solving was working with people to help them solve problems for themselves. And if they had solved problems at work, they were usually happier there. Often this was because it meant they had a hand in bringing about change.

In Western Culture work is seen often as just something we have to do. And it isn’t necessarily meant to make you happy. Sometimes we find ourselves working under duress and sometimes we work only because we need to feed ourselves and our family. For some, it is about being able to buy things that are supposed to make us happy. Unfortunately, and all too often, work is not regarded as contributing to personal expression and satisfaction.

Do You Enjoy Your Work? Why it matters.

If you think about it, most of us spend at least one-third of our lives at work. So, being unhappy in what we do, means we spend at least one-third of lives feeling miserable. And if you are very unhappy at work, you probably spend a large amount of the rest of your waking hours thinking about your misery at work. Feeling miserable at work over a period of time can lead to stress and that has an impact on health and on life away from work.

Finding happiness at work, or at least content, isn’t really that hard. But for many of us happiness at work isn’t wholly within our own control.  Most of us work for someone else.  And we may very much depend upon being empowered by them to find satisfaction. If we can’t find satisfaction and don’t feel engaged and empowered, we become stressed. That puts a big responsibility on managers, not only for physical well-being of their teams, but also for their emotional health.

If you need support as a manager in helping your team feel engaged and empowered please get in touch. If you are an employee who is unhappy at work, I would be very happy to talk to you about how you can improve the situation.

Resources to help your job search or career development

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Stress-free Job Search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

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. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Colleague

Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Colleague

Dealing with Difficult People – Three Ways to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

Dealing with a passive aggressive colleague can be very challenging. For example, it can be very frustrating when someone you work with agrees with a plan of action and then goes off to do their own thing. This can have a number of results as well as not being good for harmony in the team.  But it is frequent and it can mean that you do not achieve your own goals. When you have to deal with someone who says one thing and does another, try this:

  • Talk to them Explain to your colleague what you’re seeing, hearing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you and provide your suggestions for how they might change.
  • Focus on work, not the person. You need to get the work done despite your peer’s style, so don’t waste time wishing they would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead.
  • Ask for commitment. At the end of a meeting ask everyone (not just the troublemaker) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.

Adapted from “How to Deal With a Passive-Aggressive Peer” by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins.

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

         

Dealing with Difficult People – Three Ways to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

 

Dealing with Difficult People

Three Ways to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

It can be very frustrating when someone you work with agrees with a plan of action and then goes off to do their own thing. This can have a number of results as well as not being good for harmony in the team.  But it is frequent and it can mean that you do not achieve your own goals. When you have to deal with someone who says one thing and does another, try this:

  • Talk to them Explain to your colleague what you’re seeing, hearing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you and provide your suggestions for how they might change.
  • Focus on work, not the person. You need to get the work done despite your peer’s style, so don’t waste time wishing they would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead.
  • Ask for commitment. At the end of a meeting ask everyone (not just the troublemaker) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.

Adapted from “How to Deal With a Passive-Aggressive Peer” by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins.

Team Skills – Are There Any Followers Left?

Team skills – today we have a guest post from Lauren Smythe who works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

Are There Any Followers Left?

I am a follower. There are not many of us. It seems everyone wants to be a leader. Whom will you lead if there are no followers? As a follower, I believe I have some expertise in defining the kind of person I prefer to follow. These are just a few of the characteristics I look for when I am trying to find someone worth following.

    • I want a leader to lead by example. I do not like people who delegate all the work and disappear. We are supposed to be a team. If we are all in this together, I want my leader to be there, as well. A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A manager manages. A leader leads.
    • If you lead, I will follow. If you do not know where you are going, neither will I. A leader has to have vision, a plan and the ability to communicate both. I like to think I am going somewhere when I follow someone.
    • I want a leader I can trust. It is impossible to have confidence in someone who does not feel the need to earn my trust. I can forgive a mistake, but I cannot forgive or forget a lie.
    • I want my share of the reward for the effort I put forth. As my leader, that means I would appreciate your appreciation. Let me know you are happy to have me on your team. Tell me I am doing a good job if I am. I need your feedback, so I can improve my performance. I do not mind your letting me know when I am not doing what you need, but I want you to let me know you have faith in me and believe in my ability to do what you are asking of me.
    • Treat me and all team members the same. We are all part of the team. We should respect each other. That is only possible if you respect all members of the team. We will work better together when we know we do not have to compete for your approval.
    • Ask for my help. I want to be there for you, but I cannot if you do not make the request. I want the team to succeed, so I want to do what you ask of me.
    • Admit your mistakes. We are all human. If something happened, it will not be a problem. If you do not let me know, I will feel you do not trust me. You need to earn my trust just as I need and want to earn yours.

If you are a good leader, you have every right to feel confident. When you have confidence in yourself, it is easier for me to have confidence in you. Someday I, too, may be a leader. I will learn what I need to know from you.

Lauren Smythe works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

  • What is Transformational Leadership?

  • How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

  • Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

  • Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.

Are There Any Followers Left?

Today we have a guest post from Lauren Smythe who works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

Are There Any Followers Left?

I am a follower. There are not many of us. It seems everyone wants to be a leader. Whom will you lead if there are no followers? As a follower, I believe I have some expertise in defining the kind of person I prefer to follow. These are just a few of the characteristics I look for when I am trying to find someone worth following.

    • I want a leader to lead by example. I do not like people who delegate all the work and disappear. We are supposed to be a team. If we are all in this together, I want my leader to be there, as well. A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A manager manages. A leader leads.
    • If you lead, I will follow. If you do not know where you are going, neither will I. A leader has to have vision, a plan and the ability to communicate both. I like to think I am going somewhere when I follow someone.
    • I want a leader I can trust. It is impossible to have confidence in someone who does not feel the need to earn my trust. I can forgive a mistake, but I cannot forgive or forget a lie.
    • I want my share of the reward for the effort I put forth. As my leader, that means I would appreciate your appreciation. Let me know you are happy to have me on your team. Tell me I am doing a good job if I am. I need your feedback, so I can improve my performance. I do not mind your letting me know when I am not doing what you need, but I want you to let me know you have faith in me and believe in my ability to do what you are asking of me.
    • Treat me and all team members the same. We are all part of the team. We should respect each other. That is only possible if you respect all members of the team. We will work better together when we know we do not have to compete for your approval.
    • Ask for my help. I want to be there for you, but I cannot if you do not make the request. I want the team to succeed, so I want to do what you ask of me.
    • Admit your mistakes. We are all human. If something happened, it will not be a problem. If you do not let me know, I will feel you do not trust me. You need to earn my trust just as I need and want to earn yours.

If you are a good leader, you have every right to feel confident. When you have confidence in yourself, it is easier for me to have confidence in you. Someday I, too, may be a leader. I will learn what I need to know from you.

Lauren Smythe works with College City as an online instructor. She also works as a consultant teaching team skills for small and mid-sized companies.

  • What is Transformational Leadership?

  • How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

  • Starting a new project – are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

  • Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.