Businesses run on their people. But sometimes those very same people cause a business problems. So how to solve this paradox? Well first off, I'll revisit a Peter Drucker quote, "what gets measured gets managed" and yes I did a podcast on this too. Way back in Ep#5, you can have a listen here. So if you have issues with people..what exactly are we managing here? I think it boils down to three things. 1) Expectations of others
2) Expectations of self
3) Communication of core mission Expectations of others.
Whether you're in leadership roles or not, there will be expectations of others. These may be their expectations of you, or your expectations of them. If others are waiting for you to do something, perhaps give permission, confirm a plan or enact a change, then is that in fact what you expect them to be doing?
Expectations of self. Do I know what others want of me? Am I clear on my assigned goals, and roles? Are they concise and achievable? Am I expecting too much of myself or too little and if so where does that leave the project if I fall behind? Communication.
In my view this last one is a fundamental cause, and also the solution, of the first two. Theres a few tips to be found here if you're looking to improve your work based communications skills Keep in mind De Bono's thinking hats. and ask yourself which one you're wearing? if there are people problems in your team, are you one of those problems? or are you finding a solution?
"Dont give me problems give me solutions" It is inevitable that when working in teams, motivation of individual members will ebb and flow. The trickiest part of running small teams is learning to skate across this, simultaneously managing your own emotions, whilst maintaining project momentum and working relationships.
We can break this down into a SMART goal style operating system of self questioning when looking at our team members. Smart, is as you'll recall, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Got someone who isn't motivated? Can their tasking be changed to be more achievable, thereby creating a motivated condition and getting the project back online? Got an autocratic and divisive manager? Are they being realistic about the team ability and skills mix? Is there a specific process in place to raise concerns ? Of course, in some cases there may be people who despite all best efforts, are simply not going commit to the core goal of the team. Parting company with a team member is seldom nice in such circumstances, but it none the less needs managing, and may be the only realistic option. In short people Problems will persist in business as long as its run by people. But the truth is, Somebody has to sort them out. And we are all some body.
As ever email me with any thoughts: Sarah@stubbornlyoptimistic.me