Managing diverse teams

Recognize that people are different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what it is they need from you to succeed.

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

         

Leading people who are different from you!

Recognize that people are different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what it is they need from you to succeed.

Leading people who are different from you!

I started my professional career qualifying and working as a nurse.  I can’t remember that the differences between the people were an issue in that world.  It was later on, when I moved to work in a government department, that I had problems.  Or, rather, one particular problem!

I had a very junior member of the team who was very much older than me.  She found it difficult to accept my right to lead and manage her; she preferred working for men.  Eventually, and with a lot of work by both of us, we found a way of working together, but it was never easy.  Over the years, I learned a few lessons and got better at working with people who were very different, including of different ages.  Here, are some of the things I learned.

Recognize that people are different. 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 it is they need from you to succeed.

Recognize and give credit for wisdom.  Different people bring different learning and experience.  But most will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends.  Find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.

Stand your ground, but do it 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 or duck issues that arise between team members.  Those who have the experience will see through that type behavior, you will lose their respect and unresolved conflicts fester.

Be honest with people. Most people in the world value honesty expressed with courtesy, regardless of their age, sex etc.  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.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more athttp://wisewolfcoaching.com

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The Leader with human flaws!

Fact: nobody gets everything right 100% of the time! With good governance and clear focus you will ensure that your organization doesn’t suffer a fatal fall as a result of a poor decision from you

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You are a human being!

Fact: nobody gets everything right 100% of the time!

So you are the leader! And thank goodness you are a human being too.  You can feel, you can relate and, guess what, sometimes, just sometimes, you can get it wrong.

Now because you are a leader many of your decisions have potential to resonate throughout the organization.  If you don’t have the insight to put the right arrangements in place, one bad decision can put the whole organization at risk.

But if you have the right governance arrangements in place, no single decision you make should be able cripple the organization or put your staff or customers at serious risk.

But it is up to you to put that governance in place!

If you do it well, it will not result in needless bureaucracy; nor will it erode your accountability for the decisions you need to take.  The right approach should free you up and allow you to be entrepreneurial, without undue risk.

But I believe putting governance arrangement in place is an art form – make sure you are well advised and that those in your governance structure are carefully chosen.

Then remember the old 80/20 rule – the Pareto Principle.   For entrepreneurs and business leaders this usually means:

  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spend
  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products
  • 80% of your sales are made by 20% of your sales staff

Make sure you stay clearly focused on the most significant areas of your organization – the 20% that really counts..  Find the key 20% and hone your decisions in those areas to perfection.

Then, with good governance and clear focus you will ensure that your organization doesn’t suffer a fatal fall as a result of a poor decision from you.

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 .

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Are you a good leader? Time for a Mini- Stocktake!

What’s special, unique and distinctive about you as a leader? What marks you out from the crowd – in other words – why should you be the leader? Here is a little quiz that will help you do a mini-stocktake of how you are doing as a leader

The five dimensions of Meta-leadership as deve...

We all like to think we are good at what we do, don’t we?

I usually work on the assumption that most people take stock of how well they are doing, at least occasionally.  (Sometimes I wonder, though.)  Anyway, here is my checklist for all you leaders out there.  I hope you will take part. So pen and pad at the ready;

  1. To start with – what do you think is special, unique and distinctive about you as a leader?  What marks you out from the crowd – in other words – why should you be the leader?
  2. Ok so now for results – let us start with the positive!  What impressive or striking results have you achieved over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  3. Now, let us go to the other extreme – what did you do that you regretted over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  4. So what lessons have you learned recently?
  5. When did you first become interested in leadership and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) since then?  Has this further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to leadership? What insights have you gained?
  6. What have you done with that learning and how are you managing your own self-development?  When was the last time you undertook any kind of formal self development?
  7. What are you doing to share your learning?  Have you spoken or written about your insights and how has this been received?  If you have not shared, why not?
  8. How do you go about getting feedback on your leadership style anyway?  Do you welcome feedback – would you welcome it from your own team and do they know that?
  9. Where do you go from here – is there anything you need to change about your leadership style for the future?  How will you do it?
  10. Now what are your goals as a leader over the next year? What are your development goals and what development goals do you have for your team? How will you, and they, know when you reach them – how will things be different?

I’d love to think that you would share the results of this mini-review with someone.  But that is asking a lot of a leader isn’t it?  What might happen if you showed your weaknesses?  Would the sky fall in if you admitted there is room for improvement?  Well that is a good review question in itself isn’t it.

Anyway I wish you luck because leadership is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, but in my view, it is quite the most satisfying!
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 

The Joys of Leadership – a Meditation for Monday

Being the leader can be exhilarating. When you start a new project and bring people on board, then see them start to share your vision and work towards it. You can remember those times next time you hit rough water. And, of course, if you take on tasks worth completing, you will hit rough water. But believe me there is no better thing to look back on in your career than bringing a vision into being and seeing others reaping the benefits.

I have read and written so much about the challenges and difficulties of leadership.  You can spend so long thinking about how hard it is that you just lose sight of what it is really all about.

Research shows that very few of us work for money alone.  Of course money is important; I’m not going to pretend otherwise.  But most of us take more than money into account when thinking about how we are going to spend our working lives.

Being the leader can be exhilarating.  When you start a new project and bring people on board, then see them start to share your vision and work towards it.

Have you ever had the privilege of working on something big from the sketch on the back of an envelope to seeing the work complete.  And then coming back a few years later, when everyone takes what you put in place for granted!  You know how much you, and they, achieved!  They have moved on to the next challenge . But you have the quiet satisfaction of knowing it was a job well done.

Yes, I know it can be tough when it doesn’t work out like that.  Perhaps your plan didn’t work or someone else takes the glory.  Or it just got scuppered for no really good reason, at all.  Sadly that is life, and the reality of corporate life in particular.  You just have to get over it and get on with it!

At the end of the day real satisfaction comes from inside you and what you know you have done.

Oh yes, if you are good at what you do, you will get praise on the way.  If you get lots of it, and I hope you will, I hope you do the decent thing and share the praise with your team!

You will know sometimes that the praise you receive is deserved and sometimes it isn’t – you just got lucky!  Keep the modesty in your heart that allows you to know the difference!

But believe me there is no better thing to look back on in your career than bringing a vision into being and seeing others reaping the benefits.

You can remember those times next time you hit rough water.   And, of course, if you take on tasks worth completing, you will hit rough water.  If it was going to be easy, they wouldn’t need you! An easy job wasn’t what you signed up for anyway, was it, when you chose to be a leader?


Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at 
wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439