Our discussion with a former coaching client, Florian Bankoley who is leading an 8,000+ person international organization through this crisis. Learn how he is operating, what he is doing effectively and, what he may have missed.
I was backstage about to give a speech to a large group of CLO’s who are seeking new ways to engage top talent while improving organizational performance…a difficult balance to achieve.
I spoke about how to keep high performers happy, largely through giving them a collaborative environment in which the best ideas often win. This gives your organization a Competitive Advantage.
Unfortunately and as humans, we are not wired to let the best ideas win. As humans, we are emotional first and rational second. This means that we usually fight when we feel like fighting, even if that is not the right time and/or person to be fighting with. Another way for you to think about this is to remember that we often fight because of how we feel, not because fighting may lead to the best outcome for the team.
You have a process for most things you do at work. Think of this is a 3-step filter for knowing when to and also, when not to fight.
We’ve got clients in more than 80 countries so let’s focus on a sign that all of us know, the traffic light. Red means stop, yellow means slow down, and green means go. In the context of fighting and in the spirit of leaving the room with the best idea, please use the traffic light in the following way:
In short, know when fighting will serve you and also, potentially hurt you by following our traffic light process.
The concepts we published in our Amazon Top 10 book, Step Up Lead in Six Moments that Matter have been covered by Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., the Washington Post and others.
Today I’m talking about when to fight, make sure you check out our other blog called “Get Angry, Not Stupid” so you know HOW to fight.
As always, we appreciate your time. For additional ideas, follow me on twitter:@HenryJEvans
There’s an old saying that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
When I deliver keynotes to leaders explaining why Emotional Safety® is the key to making smart decisions, I point out that if people don’t feel safe bringing you bad and/or challenging news, they won’t do it.
Now, on the surface, that might sound pretty nice. You only have to hear about the good stuff. But let me challenge you to think about it another way: You can only make decisions based on the information you have. If people aren’t bringing you the truth about what is happening in the organization, it means you are making decisions with extremely limited information.
Your perspective alone is almost always incomplete.
Getting people to feel “just okay” bringing you “bad” information puts you at a below-average level. You have to strive for more than that. You need people to have the Emotional Safety® to bring you any and all information that could affect your decision-making process.
In our book Step Up, Lead in Six Moments That Matter, we outline the steps to achieving Emotional Safety®. Let’s take a look at how you could put into practice one of the first steps, which is to give the people around you the gift of your invitation.
You might say something like this:
In the past, I may have acted in a way that made you feel I was resistant to bad news — and you know what? Maybe I was. That may have led you to think you should just tell me what I want to hear. Moving forward, please tell me what you think I don’t want to hear. It could be about a customer or vendor problem, an internal issue, or maybe you need to openly challenge a decision or offer feedback on my leadership style. I rely on you to be a second set of eyes and ears for me as I make decisions. So, going forward, please make it a habit of telling me what you think I don’t want to hear.
The more consistently and frequently you ask people to tell you what they think you don’t want to hear, the more they will be willing to try. Make them feel rewarded for doing it, and they will generate a constant flow of what you need to make smart decisions: the truth.
Try giving the people around you the gift of your invitation in one of your next conversations with your team members. Because the reality is, it’s what you don’t know that will usually come back around to hurt you.
If you want to learn more about the value of building Emotional Safety®, check out our post, “Get Angry, Not Stupid™.” You can also take the complimentary “Step-Up Assessment” at dynamicresults.com. For even more practical tools and a deeper dive, consider enrolling in our Emotional Safety® eSchool.
3 ways to engage difficult people and build collaboration.
Think of a discussion that you know is important to have and that you have been avoiding. Perhaps you have given up on it because you don’t feel listened to. Maybe you are not addressing the issue because, in the past, you have had a bad experience with the person you need to speak to.
Sometimes bringing up an issue, challenge, or offering constructive feedback to your another is a sensitive task and requires a thoughtful approach. With your boss, it can be outright dangerous, or something we call a CLM, a “career limiting move”.
How do you do it? In our Amazon Top-10 business book, Step Up Lead In Six Moments That Matter, we talked about using a “permissive approach”.
This means that you ask the boss (or challenging co-worker) to tell you what time and place would be good to have a discussion. Here are three approaches for you to consider.
Find the one that works for you;
1. If I had a topic that I thought was important for you to hear, and may also be difficult for you to hear, what would be the right time and place to offer my observation?
2. I know I may be completely wrong and still, I think we have a roadblock and would like to brainstorm a solution with you. What could be the right time and place?
3. I’m hearing a buzz that may be of interest to you. It involves the way some people perceive you. If you are interested in hearing more about it, what would be the right time and place?
For all of these options, don’t suspend your intuition when using this approach. Remember what Einstein said, good decisions are a combination of head and heart. When approaching this person, if your intuition tells you that the time they picked is not a good one, believe your gut and reschedule. For example, if you said “when would you want to talk about this and they aggressively said “right now is GREAT”, clearly, this is not the right time.
If this happens, try saying something like, “thanks for being so flexible. I actually didn’t organize my information yet and would like to. What time tomorrow or the day after might work?” You could also say, “wow, you’re fast, thank you. Let me go collect some more information and how does tomorrow look on your calendar?”
Mostly we want you to avoid the suckers’ choice of thinking, “should or shouldn’t I have this discussion?”. Instead and using the techniques we just gave you. We would rather hear you ask, “what is the most intelligent way for me to have this discussion?” or “what is the right approach to having this discussion in a successful way?”
The best leaders rise above the anxiety of having a difficult discussion and practice ways of doing so effectively. We hope that today, you picked up at least one approach that works for you.
What makes the highest performing organizations better than the rest?
When I’m giving keynotes or working with some of the world’s leading companies, I’m often asked that question. The answer is way too big for a short video and I don’t proclaim to have all the answers.
With that said, our clients achieve extraordinary results by driving Accountability and Emotional Safety® into their interactions and the way they measure and communicate their results.
Competition is like the Olympics: you see levels of performance from some individuals and teams that simply outperform their competition. Culture is a complex and primary ingredient of success. Today, let’s focus on this one aspect of culture and performance, the creation and communication of good metrics.
I see a lot of “thought leaders” trying to sound impressive with complex explanations, let’s keep ours simple.
If you don’t have metrics and use language like “let’s do better” or “let’s try harder”, you simply don’t get a medal.
Please note that this last metric is subjective, and subjectivity is something I see many leadership teams resist. The fact is, in most industries, the consumer experience is your most important metric and….it is often completely subjective.
Gold medalists embrace this subjectivity and they take a stand, applying specific measurements to subjectively measured achievements. Gold medalists have the courage to commit, even when an outcome is uncertain.
Your success journey will need all three kinds of medalist experiences, Bronze to get started, with Silver and Gold as you go. Using this formula, our clients implement their strategies at 8x the rate of most organizations, something we hope you will do too.