leadercommunicator blog

Management by Walking Around, a.k.a. Leadership

Posted by David Grossman on Tue, Dec 30, 2014

If you want to know what’s going on with your team, ask.  Schedule time to walk around and ask questions. It’s been called Management By Walking Around (MBWA); I prefer to think about it as Knowing What the Heck Is Really Going On (KWHIRGO). Or, you might just call it leadership because it’s a strategy that effective leadercommunicators employ.

Your visibility shows you care, and chances are, you’ll learn a ton from your conversations that you otherwise wouldn’t know.  Typically, the biggest barrier to walking around is the fear of doing it, and specifically, knowing what to ask.  Not to mention the myth of time: “I don’t have time to do it.”  The reality is that if you thought it was important, you’d make the time (and then make the most of that time).

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Tags: Leadership Communication, Leadership Effectiveness & Planning

Weekly Round-Up: On Tips for Developing a Leadership Mindset, How Empathy Makes Us More Productive at Work & 5 Practices of Values-Based Leaders

Posted by David Grossman on Fri, Dec 19, 2014

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • 7 Tips for Developing a Leadership Mindset
    By Jane Perdue, SmartBlog on Leadership 
    These methods require maintaining an equilibrium between analytical thinking and conceptual mindsets—a fundamental necessity for leading as well as managing effectively. If your career…”
  • How Empathy Makes Us More Productive at Work
    By Laura Vanderkam, Fast Company
    Whatever your role, to get anything done, ‘everybody needs to be able to drive consensus,’ says Jon Kolko, author of the new book...”
  • 5 Practices of Values-Based Leaders
    By Shawn Murphy, Switch and Shift 
    Are your personal values personal? They shouldn’t be if you want to make a difference. Something personal is not often discussed. It’s rarely discussed, and held close to the chest. Your values need to be…”
  • How Are You Reacting to Feedback?
    By Liz Kislik, Business 2 Community
    It can be even tougher to accept feedback than it is to give it. It’s never easy to hear that your idea, behavior, or effort didn’t have the desired effect or wasn’t well received…”
  • The Questions Good Coaches Ask
    By Amy Jen Su, Harvard Business Review
    “In the HBR Guide to Coaching Employees, executive coach Ed Batista defines coaching as a style of management characterized by asking questions. With those questions you can move away from…”
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Tags: Weekly Round-Up

Starting Thought: 5 Items on Every Employee’s Holiday Wish List

Posted by David Grossman on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

It’s officially the month when we’re all talking about which “hot” items are on everyone’s holiday wish list. Stores and online retailers create wish lists for every type of person you could ever need to shop for: for teens, for sports fans, for the cook in your family, for the outdoor person, etc. This flurry of wish-list making got me thinking about a different category that we don’t hear much about: employees. If employees developed a collective wish list, what would be on it?

From my experience working with employees around the globe, a few common needs rise to the top:

  • Opportunities to give feedback- Create an environment where employees feel safe to have a candid conversation with you. Listen, listen, and listen some more. By helping employees feel comfortable giving feedback, you let them know that their views are valued. You’ll also gain valuable information that can help you lead and communicate better. 
  • Less BS and more humanity- Enough beating-around-the-bush or, even worse, “spinning” of messages. Employees want to know what’s happening and why in a direct way.  Tell them what you know when you know it.  Don’t wait until you have all the information to communicate. Doing so is a sure-fire way to feed the rumor mill. Chances are you’re waiting too long to give employees key information.
  • Understanding of your expectations- People rise to the expectations set for them.  Many problems in business are caused by a lack of understanding of expectations or a misunderstanding of what’s needed and expected. Unless you’ve taken the time to share your expectations with employees in a formal way, you’re limiting their chances of success.
  • Empathy- Pause and imagine how employees are feeling.  The desire to be heard is a basic human need. Employees want to know they’re being heard, and they want you to know where they’re coming from. The payoff is an employee who knows you care, and at the same time, you gather information that’s useful to motivate that employee
  • More listening- Stop talking so much.  Ask for input and feedback.  What employees help create they are more likely to support.  Employees don’t want monologues but instead, real, two-way conversations.
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Tags: Internal Communication

Standing Tall: Ways to Improve Your Body Language and Communicate Better

Posted by David Grossman on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

It’s a truism – how you say something often trumps what you say.

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Weekly Round-Up: On Proven Ways to Earn Employee Trust, 5 Practice of Values-Based Leaders & Giving Useful Feedback

Posted by David Grossman on Fri, Dec 12, 2014

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • The Importance of Creating a Culture of Why
    By Art Markman, Fast Company
    Good knowledge is at the core of innovation. The more that people understand the way the world works, the more that they can develop novel solutions to problems. This type of knowledge is called…”
  • 5 Practices of Values-Based Leaders
    By Shawn Murphy, Switch & Shift
    Are your personal values personal? They shouldn’t be if you want to make a difference.  Something personal is not often discussed. It’s rarely discussed, and held close to the chest. Your values need to be unleashed, visible in your actions, apparent in your words...”
  • Proven Ways to Earn Your Employees’ Trust
    By Carolyn O’Hara, Harvard Business Review
    “Trust is often talked about as the bedrock of a company’s success. Most people think about the issue in terms of customers: They have to believe in you and your products and services. But trust within the organization…”
  • What Makes a Piece of Performance Feedback Useful?
    By Young Entrepreneur Council, SmartBlog on Leadership
    When asking or giving feedback, it’s important to be specific. We like to follow the format of SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. Rather than saying, “You need to track accounts better,” it’s better to say…”
  • Why Leadership Should Be Hard
    By Tanveer Naseer
    “With the arrival of this last month of the year, I’ve been finding myself in a mixed state of mental exhaustion and reflection, which considering the work involved in bringing my first…”
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Tags: Weekly Round-Up

The Four Fs of Feedback

Posted by David Grossman on Tue, Dec 09, 2014

If you were to give yourself a grade for how effective you are at giving feedback, what grade would you choose?  Many of the executives I work with are brutally honest and give themselves an F. They don’t make giving feedback a standard part of meetings and discussions; they give general (“good job!”) versus specific feedback (“Here’s what you did extremely well on this project….”); they often don’t give feedback at all or wait too long to give feedback; and they would have a hard time giving their boss feedback.

Chances are, most of us can be even more effective if we gave others feedback sooner and more regularly. Feedback helps all of us be better, recognize blind spots, know what to keep doing that’s effective, and helps build relationships with those who give us the gift of feedback.

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Tags: Feedback/Trust

Weekly Round-Up: On Creating a Results-oriented Culture, Understanding When to Give Feedback & Actions of Transformational Leaders

Posted by David Grossman on Fri, Dec 05, 2014

Welcome to my weekly round-up of top leadership and communication blog posts. Each week I read and tweet several great articles and on Fridays I pull some of the best together here on my blog. So in case you’ve missed them, here is this week’s round-up of top posts.

They’ll provide you with tips, strategies and thought-starters from many of the smart folks in my network. So whether you’re a new leader or an industry veteran there’ll be something here for you.

  • Two Vital Steps for Fixing Your Employee Engagement Problem
    By Kevin Cope, Fast Company
    Recently I was working with a Chief Human Resources Officer from a large Fortune 500 company and, a little frustrated, she asked me for some ideas around employee engagement. Not surprisingly, this is a topic that has come up quite frequently…”
  • Need to Cut Costs?  Deliver a Better Customer Experience
    By Jon Picoult, Watermark Consulting Blog
    If you want to deliver a great customer experience, you better be prepared to pay up…  right?  Maybe not.  Conventional wisdom suggests that with an enhanced customer experience comes greater expense.  But that’s not always...”
  • How to Create a Results-oriented Culture
    By Lou Adler, Inc.
    “Creating a results-oriented culture doesn't start by finding people who are results-oriented. It starts by defining the results you want to achieve and then finding people who are capable and motivated to achieve them…”
  • 5 Actions of Transformational Leaders
    By Luis Gallardo, Switch & Shift
    As a business leader, inspiring people to follow you in pursuit of your company’s mission is your job.  After all, your personal success is directly linked to the success of the company. If the top and bottom lines don’t…”
  • Understanding When to Give Feedback
    By Harvard Business Review
    “Providing feedback is not merely a hoop to jump through when the time for performance reviews rolls around. It should be an ongoing process woven into the fabric of everyday work. That’s not to say that every behavior…”
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Tags: Weekly Round-Up

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