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Quiz: Is your corporate culture Collaborative or Competitive?

Take this corporate culture quiz to see if your organization is collaborative or competitive.


 
Be sure to check out our upcoming webinar, called Make Your Culture More Collaborative.    

Try coaching employees when they bring you problems…

We’ve all had the situation when an employee brings us a problem (like dozens of times a day, right?). Maybe they say to us “hey boss, that other department won’t answer my emails about getting the data and I can’t finish my report.”

Why do employees keep bringing us their problems? Occasionally it’s because they’ve tried everything else and they’re out of ideas. But most of the time, it’s because we’ve trained employees that we solve their problems (because we’ve done it so many times before).

The irony here is that when we ask managers for their biggest complaints about employees, we regularly hear “they’re too passive/reactive” or “they need to think for themselves” or “they don’t take enough initiative.”

So I’m going to give you 4 phrases that will show you how coaching employees, instead of managing, can train your employees to start solving many problems for themselves.

Whenever an employee brings us leaders a problem, especially one that we think we know how to solve, we have a decision to make: should we jump in and solve it ourselves (i.e. managing) OR should we help the employee discover a solution that may be different or better or worse than ours (i.e. coaching)?

Many leaders choose the managing option; both because leaders often have a ready solution, even if it’s not perfect, and most leaders are type-A personalities that like to jump in and fix things.

But when leaders choose the managing approach, they deprive their employees of the opportunity to grow (ironically guaranteeing that employees will keep pestering them for more ready-made solutions). And, leaders deprive themselves of the opportunity to see if their employees can actually generate a solution that’s even better than the leader’s ready-made solution.

Let’s imagine an employee comes into your office and says “hey boss, that other department won’t answer my emails about getting the data and I can’t finish my report.” Here’s some possible responses…

The MANAGER might say “dang it, well, let me call them directly and get them straightened out.” (I know that manager sounds a bit like a cowboy, but you get the point).

The COACH might instead say:

  • Well, tell me about what steps you’ve taken so far?
  • What are you thinking about doing next?
  • How is that the same or different from what you’ve tried before?
  • If Plan A didn’t work, what might be a good Plan B?

Notice how the coach uses lots of questions? That’s because the coach (like a great psychologist, by the way) is helping the employee analyze the situation and develop alternative strategies.

This has 3 benefits:

  1. The employee is developing and honing their critical thinking skills.
  2. The boss isn’t getting sucked into every little employee problem (what we often call ‘reverse delegation’).
  3. The employee is learning how to take initiative and be proactive.

I’m not saying that a leader can never jump in and solve problems. But I am saying that there’s a lot to be gained by trying a little coaching vs. managing. The next time an employee brings you a problem, before you immediately jump right in and solve it, ask some questions. It’s ultimately less work for the leader (woo hoo!) and your employees may surprise you with some great and original ideas.

Be sure to check out our upcoming webinar, called Do More Coaching and Less Managing.  You’ll learn the latest techniques for really honing your coaching leadership style.

Does your company have entitled employees?

QUIZ: What’s your communication style?

What kind of communicator are you? Are you just about the facts? Do you like emotional connections? Are you into the big picture or nitty-gritty details?

Take this quick 6-question assessment and find out your personal communication style, and see what advantages (and disadvantages) that style holds for you…

[NOTE: The quiz starts with a few quick research questions that help our studies, and then it goes into the actual assessment].

Mark Murphy appears on CNN

Mark Murphy, Founder of Leadership IQ, was asked to appear on CNN’s “Quest Means Business” show to discuss the emails sent by the owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks…

New Data Debunks Millennial Narcissism

We’ve all heard the media reports calling Millennials (people ages 18-30) everything from “deluded narcissists” to the “me-me-me generation.” But Leadership IQ has some new data that shows that Millennials might not actually deserve that reputation.

Watch the video with our founder Mark Murphy as he shares this new data…

And for more information about Millennials, check out our upcoming webinar called THE SCIENCE OF MANAGING MILLENNIALS.

When people follow me, it’s because…

Last week, more than 7,000 people took our quiz called “What Type of Power Do You Use?” And while we’re still analyzing all the data, something interesting has already emerged.

One of the questions on the quiz asked:
When people follow me it’s because…
A. They like me as a person
B. I’m seen as powerful or influential

Overall, when we look at all 7,000+ responses, there’s a pretty even split between A and B. But, that split is not so even when you dissect the responses by how high-up the person is in the organizational hierarchy. See the chart below (and click on the different job levels to see how the responses change)…

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Well, this is not unexpected. As people gain more formal authority, they’re going to be seen as more influential. Makes sense, right? But there are two things to watch out for as you think about how this applies to you personally…

FIRST, I’m a bit worried that Middle Managers are not taking advantage of all their available influence and power. There are a lot of Middle Managers who rely solely on being liked as a means of getting their employees to do things. And while that’s okay much of the time, there are instances where you really do need to use sources of power beyond being liked (because not every action you’re going to request is going to make you ‘likeable’.)

SECOND, Senior Executives do need to ensure that they don’t lose all of their likeability. Being powerful is totally fine, but I do see occasions where executives rely solely on ‘do it because I’m the boss’ as a means of getting things done. And that act can get old pretty quickly.

So, while these results are not unexpected, do be mindful of how you use various sources of power, and try not to fall into stereotypical patterns.

To explore these topics even further, join us Friday for our webinar called THE SCIENCE OF GETTING POWER AND INFLUENCE.

Quiz: What Type of POWER Do You Use?

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