JJ's (February '06) Tips in this issue:
1. Guiding and Exciting Teammates to Work Toward Common Goals
2. Reader's Comments & Suggestions
2. Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
How do I get another manager on our team to do what she says she'll do and stick with the goals we've agreed to pursue and accomplish? She often changes her decisions and actions to be in agreement with the person in front of her at the moment, regardless of prior commitments made to others on the subject.
This is flabbergasting to the rest of the team and it is undermining our confidence in her as well as preventing us from reaching our goals more quickly. She complains to management above me saying I am too harsh when I talk to her, and I am trying to take her job away which is not the case. I love working for this company, so what can I do to change the situation? Help!
First of all, you can't change anyone else, you can only change yourself! But when you change yourself enough, you might be able to influence others in a positive direction.
And remember, when you change, you are not losing anything, you are just giving yourself some new options to use.
If you keep doing the same thing in the same way, you will get the same results. Be willing to change enough to influence a change in the behavior of others, and make it a win-win at the same time!
Start by taking a good look at the recent situation and the people involved. What did you do to create or add to the situation. Ask yourself if you were guilty of fueling the situation or even creating it in some way.
You are the pilot of your plane (situation) and you must make course corrections as they're needed.
Ask yourself, what is the personality behavior style of the woman who waffles on her commitments? You've described a characteristic of someone who might be an Amiable and wants to please everyone. She probably does not like confrontation and will avoid direct communication when there is a problem to
You may be a Driver type who wants to make things happen quickly, and you assume all people will live up to their commitments because you do. You may also have a no-nonsense way of speaking to others when you are irritated, frustrated, disappointed or confused. This is usually intimidating to an Amiable person and they will be more willing to discuss the problem with someone other than you, the Driver, because it is less threatening to them.
This situation is not about YOU, it's about THEM! So how can your personality style FLEX to make their personality style more comfortable? Change the angry sounding, harsh way of speaking to others when you find yourself irritated, frustrated, disappointed or confused. Then some of the feelings of intimidation will disappear and communication can remain open.
Give the benefit of the doubt to the other person.They didn't intentionally change the plan, but were inadvertently influenced by another. Then coach them on how to help the team make excellent decisions by giving their input before the decision is made, and how to stand firmly on the decisions afterwards. Point out that others will respect and trust them more when they do. Also point out their strengths and your confidence in their ability to do this.
Be careful not to judge others or you run the risk of being the spectator in the stands, judging the players and even calling them names. Instead, get in the game and help them become better players using their natural strengths and developing new and better ones. That is the manager or leader's job......managing others around them, including other managers and bosses.
This is your chance to look at what is in your control and what is not in your control before you have a talk with them. Decide what you want the outcome to be. Do you want them to feel comfortable, relaxed and
unthreatened? Do you want them to feel they are your equal, feeling you understood them and the situation, and sincerely are concerned about them and how they felt?
How will you prepare for this conversation to clear up the situation and start the coaching process for behavior modification on both your parts?
What won't you do? You won't be angry, hostile, judgmental, harsh or make them feel weak, dumb or wrong. You won't yell at them, frown, mimic or talk down to them, etc.
What will you do? You will be empathetic, respectful, trusting, relaxed, pleasant, eager to listen, encouraging and giving the benefit of the doubt. At one point you might say, "I'm sure you didn't really mean that....such and such....". Show that you are eager to assume positive things about them.
This is your chance to see life through their eyes. You might say, "I know you had good intentions to follow our committed plan. I also know how eager you are to be friendly and help everyone enjoy working here too. I admire your commitment to that, so let's find a way we can make both commitments work."
Then ask them an open ended question about the situation. The most popular and useful one is, "Tell me about....what....how....". An open ended question can not be answered with a yes or no. It asks for elaboration. Now you have them talking...all in a easy, relaxed manner. Let your guard down and they will ease up with theirs...then the real communication will begin to find new ways to successfully work together and accomplish your goals.
Listen, listen, listen! Let them talk, urge them to talk. When you are talking you are not receiving what you need to learn. Choose your words carefully in a relaxed manner when you do speak. Let them be the STAR of your conversation with them! Let them feel your new RESPECT for them!
This is the most important part. Through showing your respect and willingness to listen, and actually hearing what they have to say, you build their SELF ESTEEM. Then the MENTORING and COACHING each other begins. You will grow together, so keep FLEXING to the other's behavior work style and you'll have your WIN-WIN!
Remember, it's not about YOU, it's about THEM!
There are two other basic personality styles that you may have noticed or are one yourself. They are the Expressive who likes to be around people, is talkative and a good cruise director type, and the other is the Analytical who is detail oriented, likes to take time to decide the direction to go and can be introverted and even a loner.
Of course at one time or other you will find yourself being and feeling like all four styles, but when under stress, you will always go back to acting out your main style. Your secondary style shows a lot when stress is low as do the other styles. The key to dealing with people who have extremely different styles than your own, is to FLEX your style to match theirs. Act in a way that will make them most comfortable, relaxed and cooperative communicating with you.
Make it about THEM and FLEX to their needs!
Dr. Tony Alessandra wrote a good book on the personality behavior styles called the Platinum Rule if you want further information.
"We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he
who never made a mistake never made a discovery."
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