Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Every leader wants to have a productive, passionate team. But do you ever feel like your employees are just checking the boxes instead of fully engaging in their work? You are not alone! This week I’m sharing how you can increase your team’s engagement, productivity, and understanding of the vision. You’ll hear the real advice I give my one-on-one coaching clients and the dangers this advice helps you avoid.
1. People support what they help to create.
This principle is one of the greatest lessons that any leader can learn. If you want your team to be committed to implementing the plan, you have to involve them in creating the plan. When you roll out a new initiative, idea, or procedure with your staff, how do you do it? Do you have conversations with people who will be impacted by the changes? Do you ask for feedback on the unintended consequences the changes may have?
Many leaders avoid asking for feedback because they are afraid of the responses. However, asking for input makes your team feel more invested because they feel like they were a part of the decision. It will also help bring attention to some overlooked opportunities. Being proactive on the front end saves you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
Q: Describe a time when your boss or leader had you give input on a big decision. How did it impact your dedication to the new goal or process? Why do you like to be a part of decision-making? Have you ever been in a situation where a major detail was overlooked? How did it affect the team’s morale and productivity?
2. Where you spend your time is where you get your results!
I spend a lot of time helping my clients improve their productivity and time management. I like to start by drawing attention to the habits they have and where there is an opportunity to create more time.
Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself if you aren’t getting closer to your goals:
What decisions can I stop making?
What is today’s single, most important goal?
What hard thing am I not doing enough?
What easy task are you doing too much?
What is my strategy to make the needed changes in my life?
Do I have the belief in myself to do this?
Q: What daily habits do you have? How did you create those habits? Do you struggle to believe that you can manage your time effectively? Why or why not? How does the way you view yourself affect your ability to manage your time?
3. Great leaders are DOERS of the vision!
Two other practices can poison leadership effectiveness: having a vision without doing or doing without vision. They undermine the core meaning of leadership. No one is willing to buy into the leader’s vision if they believe that the leader is not walking out what they are speaking.
Believing in the vision is not enough. You have to be doing! For example, if you ask a co-worker to do something, make sure you would be willing to do it yourself. If you implement new rules, then follow those rules just as closely as you expect everyone else.
Q: Describe a time when you saw a leader who did not uphold the standard they required of others. How did it affect the team? How do you think that kind of behavior affects leaders’ reputations? What are some other signs that people do not respect a leader, and how can you address them?
When was the last time you had your team help make a decision? Whether you are a business owner, a team leader, or a parent, actively decide to involve your team in making a decision this week. Start with something small, like choosing the next reward milestone together. If you are concerned about what they will choose, put boundaries around the decision like a budget or take their suggestions and pick two that they can choose from. As you do, your team will be more excited about reaching the milestone and holding each other accountable.
One way to add new habits into your life is called habit stacking. Consider one thing that you want to add to your daily routine. There are some things that you do every single morning and every single evening. These are great times to add new habits to your life! For example, if you want to start taking a vitamin, choose whether you want to take it in the morning or night. Then pick one of the things you do every day during that time, like brushing your teeth, and use that habit you already have as a trigger to do your new thing. Maybe you send emails as the first thing you do at work every day. Use that as a trigger for the next habit you want to establish, like reviewing your planner or setting goals. Choose one habit and add it into your routine by using habit stacking this week!
Are you just talking the talk, or are you walking the walk? If you do no already, create a feedback system so that your team can hold you accountable to your standards and give you feedback on how you are being perceived. Sometimes you are unaware of how you are coming off until you allow others to speak into your life. If you do have a feedback system, take a look at that feedback. Ask a trusted mentor, close friend, or spouse to give you feedback on how well you hold yourself to the standards you set for others.