How to get the team to move well through difficult times

Difficult times are common in large projects and long pursuits. The team that set out to achieve the set goals, might falter under pressure.  A key dependency or module going not as per plan can jeopardize entire program. Defects discovered through every-cycle of test can add more fuel to the boring issue. This is the time, you need a stronger bond with the team to wade through and deliver well.

Great leaders move us. They ignite passion and inspire to deliver the best even in tough times. Is it their strategy, vision or experience that helps them achieve this? Though this helps, the primary difference stems from the approach, how they do it. Great leaders connect with people, emotionally. Though they focus on the task at hand, they drive emotions of people in the right direction. Emotions play a significant role at work in ensuring remarkable results for all.

Keeping a large project and longer pursuits on-track require you to engage with the team emotionally and gracefully. You have to become part of the team in every respect. Followup and carry out all your actions to reinforce the value of responsiveness. Help those choking due to pressure with clearer / definitive work with less dependency. Discover heroes and support them to carry a little more load. Respond to queries, concerns, and suggestions through participative discussions weighed-in by the emotional intelligence. Emulate a war-leader. Lead with emotional intelligence. Your team will sail well and craft becomes remarkable.

be a #dreamerdoer

Let your team guide you to be effective at work

Fully engaged workforce is one of the dreams senior leaders hope to see in reality. On an average they find that seven out of ten employees are not fully engaged in the workplace. Under half do what is expected of them but feel undervalued and are unwilling or unable to put in any extra effort. When business value creation is your job, employee engagement becomes the most powerful lever.

Most employees know what is expected of them, but the opportunity to grow and develop new skills and try new things drives engagement. People want to feel they belong to a community that shares their values. When the values of the organisation and the employee align, and when employees see organisational behaviours that reflect those values, they are engaged.

Take a quick look at the value system you are practicing. You might find some valuable tips to improve engagement. If feedback is a tool you are using to build and reinforce a participatory culture, check how open you are to receive unsolicited feedback from your team. They watch you everyday through your words and action. Also, they exchange notes amongst themselves. Being closer to the craft they are building, they know the possible impact of mis-direction and course correction options. When employees feel that their managers add little or no value to their work and are not open for feedback, they disengage slowly and steadily. If you are on a big-initiative, new business or at the beginning of a new organisation structure implementation, you will be busy and have all chances of missing the right, timely tips from your fellows. Catch their valuable insights and build on to make your journey remarkable.

If you just inherited a new team or turning-around a tough project, consider setting-up a grey-suggestion-box on your desk. Let your team drop their feedback into it routinely, whenever they feel so. Let it be anonymous. Take note, review and take action. When they see how seriously you take what comes in your way and deal-with gracefully, they feel part of making it work for you. They get firmly engaged at work.

Letting your team guide you to be effective at work is a powerful lever, you should incorporate gracefully.

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How to find a friend at work

Social Networks and digital tools claim to help you find a friend. Many times those you left association longtime in the past. Friendship seems like a time-based phenomenon. Depending on the situation, opportunity and place, the chances of developing or leaving a relationship shapes up. We have a tendency of calling anyone we meet more than three times, a friend. At work, you meet a lot of people, quite a number of times. So, everyone around is a friend? Hard to accept.

Finding a friend and being one at work, is hard work. Though you are part of a team and expected to cooperate to deliver a common set of objectives, what prevails amongst peers is a competitive spirit. Because you will be judged for your performance and contribution. Performance appraisals and reward systems based on relative contribution might make it tougher for you to find and be one good friend. There are chances of a team winning and individuals failing. The other way is also possible. Great individuals not-necessarily make a good team. You call your peers as colleagues and members of the team – teammates, not friends.

Friends are those you can depend on – for your betterment. Not associates for water-cooler-talks. Friends are associates who you can learn from. When your acquaintances become your subtle teachers, they turn out to be good friends. People who understand you as an individual and respect for what you are and how you are, qualify to be your friends. What draws us to others, ordinarily, is our own interest. When the interest earns mutual respect, friendship prevails the test of time. Friendship at work should not be a nexus. It should be a bridge to better and sustained performance. When your peers and teammates turn into friends, chances of a freewheeling relationship is very high. Nurture quality relationships that make you feel good and deliver higher performance. Friends take you places! Find and keep good friends by being one.

be a #dreamerdoer