What’s keeping your team?

What’s keeping you from achieving more, being more motivated, completing that task or project?

Each one of us will have their own answer, but in an organisation, the most common answer must be meetings.

Meetings without an agenda and a list of actions to follow up with.

Meetings that are updates.

Meetings that should have been an email or a Slack message.

Meetings to give feedback on a piece of work you have never seen before.

Meetings that are workshops that aim at fixing a problem with participants who have no idea what the problem is, let alone the skill set to fix it.

If you are a manager of people, your first responsibility should be to rid their calendars of meetings.

Completely off

The way people will think of you does not depend on how productive you are, on your job title, on your responsibilities, on how much money you make, on the number of meetings you attend, on how often you share your opinion.

The way people will think of you does depend on how you make them feel when you are around.

How supportive you are.

How helpful you are.

How kind you are.

How listening you are.

How empowering you are.

Our set of values is often completely off the mark.

Polling employees

Making decisions using employee polls is about one of two things.

One – Management and leadership think the decision is not important enough to deserve their time.

Two – Management and leadership don’t want to have that specific responsibility.

One way or the other, it’s a bad idea. Instead, find somebody who is competent and talented, and put them in charge of figuring that particular thing out. Help them collect the opinion of those who have something to contribute, and make it clear that it’s eventually up to them to decide on the course of action. Support the final decision, measure success, and help them improve.

Polls don’t motivate, but this approach might do just that.

Communication tools

It’s all great that companies have so many ways to communicate, share information, ask and answer questions nowadays. But as it’s often the case, new tools don’t fix old issues.

Like assuming that communication happened just because you have communicated something.

Like expecting an immediate answer to trivial or unimportant questions to placate your anxiety.

Like spreading information left and right with the hope that those who need it will get it and absorb it, while others will forget about it.

Communication is a skill and it needs old-fashioned training, not new tools.

Edge

Out of an audience of 100 people, seeking advice on how to get started with a project, when the speaker – who has extensive experience with that project – invites the audience to connect, this will happen.

90 people will do nothing.

7 people will send an invitation to connect.

2 people will send an invitation to connect and a personal message.

1 person will send an invitation to connect, a personal message, and ask a question that will help them get started with the project.

The points being:

  1. If you are one of the 90, remember that time is an extremely valuable asset, and your time in particular.
  2. Getting an edge on the other 99 is so easy.