Mentoring Pointers for Team Leaders

Mentoring Pointers for Team Leaders

Mentoring and coaching individual team members is essential to driving performance. However it can also be demotivating if not delivered in the right way. Here are some pointers to ensure constructive criticism is delivered in a way that motivates team members to improve.   Pick the right moment If you need to give fairly harsh criticism, avoid a long preamble and get to the point. When something has to be said, do not put it off indefinitely, hoping the problem will go away. Also, choose the moment carefully. Do not deliver personal criticism in a public forum.   Be timely and accurate It is a mistake to let a number of issues accumulate, waiting for a chance to deal with them together. You should avoid exaggerations and talk about only what you have observed. During a coaching session, try not to use absolute terms such as “always” and “never” and think carefully about how you want to express yourself. The aim should be to initiate a discussion, not provoke a confrontation.   Focus on what can be changed It makes no sense to focus on characteristics that cannot be easily changed or areas that are generally sensitive. Therefore, take special care when making personal remarks and recognise that any real or implied criticism of a person’s integrity, honesty or moral courage is potentially dangerous territory.   Avoid comparisons It might be easy to illustrate a point by making a comparison but remember that no one likes to be thought of as inferior. Comparisons often make people stop focusing on the main point the speaker wants to make and can...
Structuring the Meeting

Structuring the Meeting

All of us have attended team meetings that turn out to be a waste of time and money. This happens even when considerable effort has been made to organise things and fix an agenda. The goals may be lofty – redefining human resources policies, brainstorming about a marketing plan or reviewing budgets and forecasts – and getting people together may seem the best way forward. However, many business meetings are unable to achieve any results and even end up creating more problems than they solve. A lot of this has to do with how the meeting is structured and managed. When planning, it’s important to go beyond agenda setting, and depending on the circumstances, the process can take anything from a few minutes to a few months. Here are 9 recognised steps for making meetings more effective:   9 Key Steps Audience analysis – understand who will be present and who is critical to the meeting’s success. Set an objective – be sure about the desired outcome. Research – understand the issues to be discussed, decided, solved and acted upon. Create a structure – establish the agenda and the order of tackling issues in the time available. Get attention – start the meeting by focusing attention and explaining the relevance of the meeting. Follow guidelines – conduct and control the meeting so as to keep things on track. Summarise and confirm – make sure everyone understands the outcome and what they are supposed to deliver. Document and distribute results – ensure other interested parties know about the key decisions. Review the process – after the meeting, ask yourself what...
Using the Decision Matrix

Using the Decision Matrix

When your team is having a hard time setting priorities and making decisions in the face of too many options, a simple tool can help you to organise your ideas and focus on those that deliver the biggest impact with the least amount of effort. The decision matrix is designed to evaluate ideas that are most likely to offer the best outcomes. It is a very easy way of bringing more objectivity to the decision-making process. What leaders like about it is that it helps them to judge very different proposals against the same set of criteria. When using this tool, start by clearly defining the categories in the grid to avoid excessive debate later on about where to place different items. There should be four main categories: easy to do and yields a big improvement; easy but only a small overall improvement; difficult and yields a big improvement; and difficult but just limited progress. After debating ideas, criticisms, suggestions and possible solutions, assign them to one of the four boxes. On examining the matrix, it will be clear that items in the first category should be implemented immediately. Those in the second category also deserve a high priority. More planning may be needed for ideas that fall in the third category but there should be no delay in getting started. Anything that falls into the fourth category can be forgotten. The decision grid helps to sort out disparate ideas effectively and provides the basis for an action plan at the same time. It also encourages participation and helps build consensus among the team because everyone gets the chance...

Gen Z and Millennials Collide

A new report released by Randstad and Future Workplace entitled Gen Z and Millennials collide at work paints an detailed picture of how multiple generations collide and interact in the workplace. As millions of Baby Boomers retire and Gen X advances up the ladder, Millennials are now taking on many key management roles. Also entering the workforce are members of Gen Z (those born between 1994 and 2010). Gen Z can in many ways be considered an exaggerated version of the Millennial generation – with some differences. As these generations interact in the workplace, the Randstad report highlights some potential areas of conflict, and opportunities for development and collaboration. Millennials in management According to the study, Millennials are generally not well equipped to manage others in the workplace. Making matters worse, when Millennials oversee members of other generations, particularly Baby Boomers and Gen X, the problems stemming from inexperience are amplified. This reality has led to measurable increases in dissatisfaction and turnover, leading to what Randstad describes as a “serious crisis”. 83% of survey respondents have seen Millennials managing Gen X and Baby Boomers in their offices. Among the older generations is a feeling that their younger managers are not qualified or prepared for their managerial position. For example, 45% of older respondents felt that their younger managers’ lack of managerial experience could have a negative impact on their company. Meanwhile, 44% of Millennials reported that they felt their generation was the best generation to lead in the workplace. Only 14% of all survey respondents agreed with this sentiment. Related are some hints toward feelings of inadequacy among Millennials...