Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition

Creating a powerful group to lead your change

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

Creating a powerful guiding group is perhaps the most challenging element of leading change. No one person on their own, however competent, is capable 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 throughout 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. Sometimes 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. If you need advice, 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

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

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 – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

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

Performance review – lots of organizations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging and managing good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people even question whether carrying out annual performance reviews does actually impact on the quality of performance.

Performance review – what the person being assessed usually thinks about

Let us think a little about what the person being assessed usually thinks about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

Performance review – what the manager thinks about

A manager thinks about the performance review in a different way;

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

If you are the manager, you are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. You hope they will feel more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happier in the job!

On-going and constructive review

Given the difference in perspectives, holding just one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet either sides expectations, does it? Surely what you need instead is a relationship that includes on-going and constructive review?

No, you don’t want spend every day discussing performance. Although there is much to be said about commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship and an open discussion about the quality of performance is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works and a well developed relationship, it becomes much easier to discuss career development and the opportunities for progression.  And guess what, in this climate potential threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues and so everyone benefits.

Good luck with your performance review and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at work and as a manager.

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

Tips For New Managers

Management: 6 Simple Tips For New Managers

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

Tips For New Managers – all managers have a first day in the job.  And it is never easy!  So here are some tips to help you on your way;

  1. Understand your organization; its rules and culture.  Your team is part of a wider organization and you need to understand that wider context. How do people behave – what are the rules (written and unwritten)?  Spend some time finding out and talk to your HR department about what they expect of you as a manager
  2. Understand the work requirement.  What are you there to do and by when do you have to do it? Be clear about the objectives of your own manager and their expectations of you.  If you don’t have anything written down yet, try to agree a time to do that.  What do your team, and each member of it, think they are there to do?  Does it line up with what the organization needs and the team objectives?
  3. Tips for new managers – be consistent – firm but fair.  Don’t have favorites and treat everyone in the same way.  Try to be consistent in how you behave – don’t let your bad mood or your “off day” be reflected in how you behave. If you do it will confuse and de-motivate your team.  Above all reward or penalize the same things over time. Do your team understand the standards set for their work? Does your behavior reflect them?
  4. Kindness goes a very long way – kindness engenders kindness – show and encourage appreciation.   Being kind doesn’t mean you become a “soft” manager that people can take advantage of.  Kindness is an extension of being fair.  Do you treat people as you,  yourself, would like to be treated?  You will be surprised what a difference to your life as a manager it will make when you have your team’s support. Kindness will help gain you that support.
  5. Work on you own confidence – confidence inspires others.  Learn how to look and sound confident even when you don’t feel it.  This will hep your team to feel more secure and able to give their best work.  Do you have a problem maintaining your feelings of confidence? If so work with a coach to learn some techniques to help – my contact details are below.
  6. Learn to make quick and effective decisions – dithering bosses lose the confidence of their teams.  Do you know how to identify relevant information quickly and then to weigh evidence to help you make a decision. Be willing to take risks – making decisions means being prepared sometimes to take a risk.  Giving someone the benefit of the doubt or even delegating effectively requires you to take risks.  Do you understand risk and how to take it? Learn about risk and how evaluate how much of it you are taking and how to manage the consequences.  At the end of the day,  as the manager, you “carry the can” and that is something that good managers learn to live with.

Good luck with your new role and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed as a manager.

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

Unpleasant and Demanding Managers

Unpleasant and Demanding Managers

Management: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

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

Unpleasant and demanding managers – as a life and career coach I often work with clients who are unhappy at work. This can be for all kinds of reasons.  They may be in a job that doesn’t give them an opportunity to use their knowledge, skills and experience and they feel frustrated.  Or, perhaps,  they have been promoted to a new role that is a stretch too far and they are struggling.  Having too much to do and feeling stressed is a regular..  And of course we have all encountered difficult colleagues, to say nothing of unpleasant and demanding bosses.  But there is a point when an unpleasant and demanding boss can slip over the boundary into something much worse; the boss becomes just plain cruel.

Most of us have read about the vile over-seers in the factories of the industrial revolution. Certainly, in the UK, employment law has made their kind of cruelty a thing of the past.

No, what I’m referring to here is a new kind of callousness!.

The economic conditions of the last few years have put great pressure on organizations. For many, the ability to survive in the market place has become the overriding priority.  And the values of the organization become the values of their key employees.

Hard decisions have had to be made!  It can be difficult to hang on to your finer feelings when you have to grapple daily with who to keep and who to let go. For some, feelings for the staff they manage have coarsened.

 Unpleasant and Demanding Managers and Personal Survival

Treating the team as something to be exploited to ensure your personal survival sounds pretty outrageous when put into words.  And there are lots of ways you can avoid facing up to what you are doing . But that is what I am hearing about from some of my clients.

People are being asked to cope with larger and larger workloads in often more unpleasant conditions.  For example, what started out as poor but passable accommodation for a call center now houses as well much of company administration including HR.  For some, natural light is becoming a luxury!

When you complain or ask for help, the manager or supervisor doesn’t want to know – they have their own problems keeping senior management happy.  You risk finding yourself on next week’s hit list of people about to leave.

But it is short sighted really! Bad times will come to an end. When the good times come, what do you, oh mighty manager, think those employees are going to do? Well, they are not going to hang around when they have other opportunities, are they?

At the very least give your employees a hearing and if you can’t do anything right now, have the grace to apologize. And next time you are about demand something from  an employee you know is outrageous, stop and think!  Is the short term gain really in your long term interest?

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

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

 

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

Dealing with Difficult People – Three ways to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague

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

Realising you need to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague can make you feel uncomfortable. 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. Or you sense that someone really doesn’t agree with what you just said but they say nothing. Sometimes they just make you feel subtly undermined.

Passive aggression can have a number of results including eroding confidence and 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 or shows some other signs, try this approach.

Three ways to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague

  • Talk to them. Find a quiet private space and explain to your colleague what you’re seeing, hearing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you. Listen to their response and then make 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 all meetings make sure you ask everyone (not just your difficult colleague) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.

Passive aggression usually means someone doesn’t have the confidence to assert themselves clearly. It usually reflects an unhappy state of mind. If you get to know this person a little better you just might be able to help them feel more confident at work.

Career coaches and life  coaches like me are around to help you thrive and succeed in challenging times at work or at home. Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

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

 

What is empathy?

What is empathy?

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

What is empathy? Empathy is the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes for a What is empathy?while and to see the world though their eyes! It means being able to suspend judgement, share their values and see things from their perspective. Empathy is different from sympathy and doesn’t mean feeling sorry for them. But it does mean being able to understand what they are thinking and feeling. You are able to establish trust.

Four different levels of Empathy

Usually empathy is described as being at four different levels of closeness.

Level 0

Level 0  is when there is no evidence that you understand  other person’s thoughts or feelings. This can be despite the efforts of the person to explain what they are thinking and feeling. It can be shown most obviously by callous and unthinking remarks

Level 1

Level 1 is when you have some understanding but at a very superficial level. There is only partial understanding and the other person can feel confused and be lacking in trust as a result.

Level 2

Level 2 is when you show understanding and acceptance. But you don’t have complete understanding or acceptance. Perhaps you don’t “approve” of an opinion the other person expesses instead of quietly accepting that that is their view even though it isn’t yours.

Level 3

Level 3 means you have complete understanding and acceptance for another’s feelings and thoughts. Accepting that someone thinks and feels in a particular way, does not mean that you automatically approve of all behaviour they think is justified as a result. But it does mean that you can communicate with them and may be able to influence them in a positive way. It provides a basis for trust.

You cannot be truly empathetic with someone without listening and observing verbal and body messages.  You then show through your own voice and body language that you have understood. In other words you have to listen actively.

The ability to show empathy is important in building strong relaionships at home and at work. An empathetic manager is far more likely to lead their team to success and to create a happy workplace.

Career coaches and life  coaches like me are around to help you thrive and succeed in challenging times. Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

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

 

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

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

Giving feedback – in all kinds of situations you may need to give feedback to someone about something they have said or done. This could be an employee, a work colleague or a business partner. Here the  advice is targetted at giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate. But most of the advice holds good in other work situations.

1. Prepare for the discussion. Be clear about what you want to say and make sure you can support it with evidence.
2. During the discussion think before you speak! Don’t make ad hoc remarks that imply, for example, that you personally would have made a different decision.
3. Stay positive. This doesn’t mean not giving constructive criticism about gaps but do make sure you balance criticisms with clarity about what you did like.
4. Be specific. Avoid general comments and try to be as clear and simple as you can!
5. Focus on evidence presented of competence and not the person and their personality.
6. Stay in the neutral ground emotionally but accept that it is reasonable for the candidate to feel disappointed.
7. Own the feedback. If you have been part of the interviewing panel, then own the feedback, it is about “we” not about “the panel.”
8. Empathize. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes! Think how you would feel receiving the same information! No room here for humiliation!

Giving feedback – are you advising a job seeker?

Are they stuck in their job search? Have they have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some they will need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

giving feedback
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 workbook. 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 job search. 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 

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of How To Get On With The Boss and The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Leading Teams Through Conflict – when a new group comes together all kinds of tensions may arise. Team members will begin to debate how to go forward. What are the priorities going to be?  Who is going to take which role in the team? What systems and processes will you put in place? At this point your leadership skills are important.

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

Leading Teams Through Conflict – where to start

So what can you do? The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues. Some compromises will need to be made. You will need to help them find the middle ground. 

A good way to start is to make sure that all are clear about the goal. Show them the real benefits of what you are trying to do. There needs to be lots of communication. The group has to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles. 

If all is going well, the group will move on to agree some “norms” for working together.

If you still have tensions

But, if you still have tensions, set down the ground rules for group behaviour.  Get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect. You will need to 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. They will not learn to work together very well if you suppress debate. This is where planning social events can help. These give people an opportunity to see each other in a more rounded way. 

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets. Get the group to focus very sharply upon them. Make sure they understand the benefits which will be lost if people are not ready to compromise and reach agreement. If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup. This is so that new relationships can be established. 

With your leadership, the team will come together and meet their goals. 

Other resources to help you

You will find lots of other tips on team leadership on my blog. Try this link.”

Leading Teams Through Conflict
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.

If you are looking for a new job, you can find help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” 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 you be successful. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

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

 

People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

Managing People Who Don’t Like Managers

There are people who don’t like being managed. If everybody were the same, life would become dull pretty quickly. People Who Don’t Like Being ManagedHowever, plenty of managers wish they could pick staff from a standardized ‘worker’ box. Barring complete automation of the workforce, this isn’t going to happen.

Managers need to be able to handle all manner of people in order to get results. So, what do you do with those awkward souls who are supremely talented but see management as authority to kick back against? You use the following tips, that’s what! Let’s get started.

Tips for Managing People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

1) Put yourself in their shoes

Seeing things from the other party’s perspective may give you an insight into why they are so difficult to manage. Firstly, check whether they have always acted in this way. Is it something that has started recently or have they always found authority difficult?

If it is a recent thing and there could be an external cause for the difficulties. Perhaps it could even be your particular management style! You need to be open and honest. It is important to work out what is happening. May be it isn’t the employee who needs to change.

2) Embrace conflict

This doesn’t mean you need to enjoy getting into squabbles with your staff. Far from it! But you do need to make sure that you are addressing it in the right way. Conflict is inevitable in management. If the thought of it fills you with dread then you are likely in the wrong job.

Handling conflict in the right way means being fair and direct. Do not avoid it. And definitely do not steamroller your way through it. Listen to the issues being presented and look for a constructive outcome. Look for an outcome that will resolve the problem at hand.

3) Make work goals laser focused

In order to remove any ambiguity that could result in a disagreement, it is important to set clear goals and objectives for your staff. Failing to do so leaves things open to misinterpretation. And that could result in a member of staff feeling as though they are being poorly treated.

If your goals are clear-cut there is no room for argument. They’ve either been met or they haven’t. Setting proper targets for your staff lets them know where they stand. It makes the job of evaluating their performance that much easier.

4) Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em

Computers in Personnel can help with the recruitment process but it takes time to find out exactly how someone operates in the field, as it were. Regardless of their talent, staff still need to be able to listen and heed what they are being told to do. If someone is being overly problematic, you will need to check whether they are becoming too much of a liability to the organization as a whole. It doesn’t take long for discontent to spread in an office environment. So you need to take action as soon as possible.

However, this doesn’t mean behaving like a dictator either. It simply means that if a member of staff has been given a as much help/support as you can and still continues to cause problems, you have to assess their worth to the organization. Of course any action needs to take account of your HR policy and Employment Law.

5) Be aware that management is never plain sailing

My last tip is not so much one for handling others as it is for handling yourself. Knowing that management is a tough job will give you a better perspective. Management isn’t easy. But that’s why you are getting paid more than your team. Simply being aware of this fact can lighten the load considerably. It can free you up to do what you do best, managing people.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. Get in touch at the email 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. 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

         

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

job interviewJob Interview – say thank you after by email, letter or even by text but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos. If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

Working with a coach really can make your job search zing! Get in touch at the 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