Monday, June 16, 2008

Thought for the Week - 6/16/08

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.” -- Sam Walton

As the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” In other words, you will get far more from your employees by catching them doing what’s right, rather than catching them doing what’s wrong. Praise and encouragement will do far more to reinforce desired behavior than criticism ever will.

However, we must be genuine and timely in our praise in order for it to have any real positive impact. If you can not be genuine in your praise, you might as well save your breath. Too many employees have been burnt in the past by false praise and have learned to question the motives of the people giving the praise.

Genuine praise is a critical tool in both developing and maintaining positive employee morale and engagement. However, praise alone (i.e., general statements of appreciation, “pats on the back,” etc.) often falls short of the mark. Moreover, if given continuously or without specific examples it can seem shallow and/or contrived. What’s worse, it may even send the message that you really don’t know specifically what the individual does or how they are actually performing.

On the other hand, providing “encouragement” in addition to praise can go a long way to building self-esteem and pride in one’s work. For example, being specific about a positive interaction you see between an employee and customer or between two employees not only tells the employee that they are doing a good job, but it also lets them know that you are noticing what they are doing.

How often do you praise your employees?

What are some of the ways you encourage your employees?

What do you believe to be the difference between praise and encouragement?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thought for the Week - 6/9/08

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. -- John F. Kennedy

If you’ve hired someone for a particular job, you must have believed they were capable of doing that job. So why not get out of the way and let them do it? You hired them because you believed they were going to do the job, and you need to maintain that belief and treat them as such. The day that you believe that they can't do the job, is the day that you need to start doing something different, possibly even saying this is not the right place for them.

Empowerment has been defined as the process of enabling employees to reach their own potential in ways that help the team or organization. This definition focuses less on control and power and more on the effective use of autonomy and delegation. This allows employees both controls over and responsibility for the work they have been assigned.
Unfortunately, many managers and supervisors struggle with the act of delegation. Effective delegation requires being very specific about what you want, setting clear parameters and timelines, making sure the resources are available to accomplish the task, setting up regular “touch base” meetings to check on progress (if necessary), and being available for support if requested.
One of the most critical rules of delegation is making sure you set appropriate limits, establish necessary ground rules, and clearly stating your expectations. If you can only spend a certain amount of money and you have a limited timeline, share that up front.
As long as those you delegate responsibility to meet the criteria that you gave them, you need to accept whatever they come back with. The worst thing you can do as a supervisor is send them off, let them work for two months, and when they come back and have met your criteria, you say that it's not what you wanted. You will kill morale.
We have all probably been in that boat where we asked “why didn't you just do it yourself the first time then, and save me the two months of work if you already knew what you wanted?” Your job is not to do the work for your employees. If that were the case, why would you need them in the first place?
Effective delegation not only instills independence in your employees, it also frees you up to do the job you were hired for. As suggested earlier, your role as a servant leader shifts from “managing” the productivity and progress of employees to coaching and mentoring their continued growth and development.

Have you ever been micromanaged?

How did it feel?

Did you like it?

Did you feel respected?

Did you respect the person who micromanaged you? I

t is always interesting to us that no matter how many people we ask, almost all have been micromanaged, but no one likes it!

So who is doing all the micromanaging and why?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thought for the Week - 6/2/08

It has become dramatically clear that the foundation of corporate integrity is personal integrity. --Sam DiPiazza

We all have a set of values and beliefs that drive and motivate our actions. Values are at theart of all great organizations. They define what we stand for, what we believe in and what people can expect from us.

Everything we do in life is based on what we think, feel, and believe. Whenever we make decisions, take a new direction, change what we are currently doing, or create something new, we must first be inspired by something or someone. By clearly articulate your organization’s values, it is possible for members of your organization to focus on whats really important and work from your vlaues as opposed to working out of habit. Without understanding your core values, you would have a difficult time aligning your actions and decisions with what you believe.

At Rising Sun Consultants, our core values are:
  • Integrity - We believe in taking the High Road.
  • Trust - We believe in the importance of having Faith in Ourselves and Others.
  • Family - We believe our Families are our First Priority.
  • Service/Love Above Self - We believe in Serving Others.
  • Excellence - We believe in Quality.
  • Celebration/Fun - We believe Life is Worth Celebrating.

What are your core values?

What do you believe in?

What do you do to live out these values?