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Checklist for leading one on one meetings

This is the second in a series for people who want to use one-on-one meetings as a great tool for leading the efforts of their team members

A structured but flexible one-to-one meetings approach is probably the best way you’ll find for managing and motivating the work of your individual team members. But sometimes it isn’t easy to know how to go about doing that effectively, or to make sure that it will get the results you’d want – such as switched-on and fulfilled team members and tasks that get done well and on time.

If you right-click the image above and then select “Save as…” you can download your own copy of the checklist.

Life as a manager can often be very busy and quite complicated, so if that’s the case for you – use this checklist as a way of getting started, in this order:

  1. Take stock of which items on the checklist you already have in place or already know the answers to?
  2. Once you’ve done that, which is the most straightforward item on the checklist for you to work on next?

If you need more information, you can read the rest of the tips when published here. They’re essentially a summary of my short ebooklet.

Or go ahead and grab your copy from Amazon here – free to Kindle Unlimited members or otherwise £1.99

I wrote that short ebooklet when, in the space of a fortnight, three separate coaching clients mentioned that they were struggling a little with running their one-to-one meetings with their individual team members. It’s easy to cover those kinds of issues in a coaching session, but it seemed to me that it would make better use of my clients’ time in our sessions if I could also just give them some simple guidance to take away and use as and when they wanted. I hope that the booklet has been useful – it’s been slowly working its way up the independent management books charts anyway. The next in the series will cover Delegation.


What’s essential for you, when running your own one-on-one sessions with your team members? Either leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach.

Download a free copy of this useful checklist for running great one-on-one meetings with your team members. No sign-ups etc required #leadership #management. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Don’t talk about Doom and Gloom – Act!

Why it’s so tricky to talk about problems and risks in a way that people will listen to. And how it might actually be better to just take guerrilla leadership actions instead!

Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach

What’s been your experience of trying to talk to people about risks and problems and things that could go wrong?

Don't talk about doom and Gloom - take guerrilla leadership actions instead! Click To Tweet

 

How to get your mindset right for leading one on one meetings

This is the first in a series for people who want to use one-on-one meetings as a good tool for leading the efforts of their team members

It’s based on my short ebooklet available from Amazon here – free to Kindle Unlimited members or otherwise £1.99

You can read the rest of the tips when published here. They’re essentially a summary of the booklet.

By way of introduction, I wrote that short ebooklet when, in the space of a fortnight, three separate coaching clients mentioned that they were struggling a little with running their one-to-one meetings with their individual team members. It’s easy to cover those kinds of issues in a coaching session, but it seemed to me that it would make better use of my clients’ time in our sessions if I could also just give them some simple guidance to take away and use as and when they wanted. I hope that the booklet has been useful – it’s been slowly working its way up the independent management books charts anyway. The next in the series will cover Delegation.

All great management starts with the manager’s own mindset. To make a good management process work well, it isn’t enough to know what to do and how to do it, you also need to know what attitudes of mind are likely to get the best results for you. Here are the most important ones for running great one-on-one meetings:

  1. Empowerment as an outcome of your managementyou’ve got to want to inspire people to get more done under their own motivation and responsibility.

It’s a bit like having teenagers, they need to learn how to do stuff for themselves. Until you’re prepared to adopt this as part of your mindset, you’re likely to be spoon-feeding people and picking-up after them long after they could have learned to do it for themselves. I think the trick here is to actually include empowerment as one of the outcomes you’re after. Put it up there alongside the tasks that you want this person to achieve and give it as much, if not more, weight as all the other important stuff you need to ensure gets done.

  1. Coaching as a leadership stylewhere you put a big chunk of your leadership energies into the longer-term development of others.

It’s not the only leadership style you’ll need to use, but it is very effective and very rewarding for you. It’s also a good partner to empowerment. You could think of a coaching leadership style as being NOT about you as leader having the answers, but about guiding people to find their own answers to things.

If I had to encapsulate it in a single phrase for leaders to use, it’d be something like:
“How about trying this…?”

  1. The transition from doing to leadingthe more your responsibilities increase, the more you need to shift from actually doing stuff yourself, to getting stuff done by acting through others – by leading.

If you’re like most people, you’ll have got to your position at least partly because you’re good at what you do. And so this can sometimes be a tricky transition to make, or even to be aware of its significance. It’s also quite scary because of course it takes you outside of what you know you’re good at doing, into possibly new territory – and people are often much more complex to understand and influence than the tasks themselves.

But this is a really important place to get your head into. Take a deep breath, stop doing stuff yourself, and start making sure that you act through others.


Let me know what kind of mindset works well for you, when running your own one-on-one sessions with your team members please? Either leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach.

To make a good management process work well, it isn’t enough to know what to do and how to do it, you also need to know what attitudes of mind are likely to get the best results for you. Click To Tweet

 

 

 

Which Team are YOU on?

Managers and Leaders should make sure they’re being a teammate at work on the RIGHT team – and not confusing Leadership with Team Membership

At first sight, that might seem like a dumb thing to say. Surely everyone knows which is their team? But I’m seeing more and more people who fall into difficulty at work because they don’t quite get this distinction right.

Perhaps it’s an easy mistake to make, especially if you’re a loyal, principled leader.

I’m constantly talking about how leaders should role model the kind of behaviours they want to see. This is particularly important if you want your teams to behave more like a team. And one of the behaviours to get really clear about role-modelling is which team you’re actually on.


Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re ON the team that you lead. I’m not a big fan of sporting metaphors, but that would be like saying that Eddie Jones plays rugby for England – he doesn’t, he’s (currently) the team’s Head Coach. Or that Jose Mourinho plays football for Spurs – again, he doesn’t, he’s (currently) the Head Coach.

 

If you want the teams that you lead to be more team-like, then show them how you are a great member of the team to which you belong.


What do you notice about your own attitude towards teams, colleagues and those who work for you?
Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach

Make sure you're being a teammate at work on the RIGHT team - and don't confuse leadership with team membership. Click To Tweet

 

Slower, Lower, Weaker

8 ways to deal with managers who aren’t top performers

[to download a copy, click and select the image above and then right-click and select  ‘Save image as … ‘]

The Olympic motto is “Citius – Altius – Fortius”, better-known as ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’. But what about the opposite – what about those of us who might be Slower, Lower or Weaker in our potential?

How organisations regard the people in their teams and leadership positions who would never make it to the management Olympics says a lot. I believe it actually speaks volumes about the attitudes of those who shape an organisation’s culture. In particular, how they regard others (and perhaps therefore how they also regard themselves) along two key dimensions:

  • Whether the fact that not everyone will make it to the management Olympics is a Risk or an Opportunity; and
  • Whether people’s innate capacities are either Fixed or Flexible.

I’m not entirely convinced that it’s best to think of there being a right or a wrong way to regard this issue, more that senior leaders and organisations should be aware of the choices they’re making and do so consciously and strategically.


Which is your organisation’s typical response when managers might not be candidates for the Olympics?

Please leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach

Slower, Lower, Weaker - what should you do if people in your organisation aren't going to make it to the management Olympics? Click To Tweet

You Cannot Pour From an Empty Cup

As we go into the Covid19 bounce-back phase, how Bruce Lee can help us to top-up our Resilience, Willpower and Empathy

More from my series of short videos about things that have inspired me, helped me overcome challenges or just helped me to get through difficult times.

Lots of the personal qualities that are so important in leading and managing others are like a cup – their contents get depleted over time and need to be topped-up. After all, As Bruce Lee famously said,

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach. Tell me about what inspires you, or gets you through challenging or uncertain times? Click To Tweet


Three Bullet Leadership

How leaders can set the agenda, focus attention and create momentum – in three easy bullet-points

This is such a favourite leadership technique of mine and something that I work on with lots of clients. Rather than write a long version, I’ve practised what I preach and written the short, bullet-point version here too.

This is one of the best tips you’ll read, for any leader who wants to really set the agenda or has big changes to implement. It’s great way to focus people’s attention and help them to establish priorities. Use it at the start of something important or if you want to give it more momentum or if you need to get something unstuck.

This is also a good way of not getting too involved in the hands-on doing yourself. It’s a straightforward way of setting out your stall, of influencing what happens by being absolutely clear what the priorities are and conveying that with unwavering precision.

Here’s the technique in three easy to remember bullet-points of its own:

  • Write down your top three priorities on a wide Post-it note, in succinct and plain language, not jargon or shorthand;
  • They can be actions that need achieving, culture that needs adopting, changes that need making, or a mix of the three;
  • Say them out loud, and keep on saying them, in that same succinct and plain language whenever and wherever you can, as often as possible.

That’s it – go out and make stuff happen!


As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach. How do you set out your leadership priorities?





Too much to do?

Slow is Smooth; Smooth is Fast. The 3S’s of making hard work easy.

This is a saying that I like to remember whenever I find myself frantically trying to catch-up on too much at once. Slow is smooth; smooth is fast.

I couldn’t find any definitive reference for where it originally comes from, although it often gets attributed to US Special Forces and even Napoleon is credited with saying something alone the lines of “Dress me slowly; I’m in a hurry.”

I first heard it listening to a talk from Formula racing drivers – it’s apparently a good mindset for winning races and not spilling off the track in a corner!


The principle is easy to understand.

Rushing into things gives you less chance to assess the ultra-important 3S’s:

  • Sequence (what’s the best order in which to do things);
  • Strategy (what’s the best way to do them); and
  • Simultaneity (what’s the best number of things to be doing at once).

Over the years I’ve tried to figure out if Slow is Smooth; Smooth is Fast is best applied to either standard or non-standard tasks, but I think it works equally well both with things you’re familiar with doing (but have a lot of) and tasks that are unfamiliar.

Getting into the mindset of doing this well is similar to a flow-state (the subject of a future article on this website), in that it’s not something you push or try hard at. Instead, it’s about relaxing into things. As Yoda might have said: “Don’t try too hard; just do.”

Similarly, instead of trying to catch the racing car in front of you, it’s about making sure that you take the best line through the next corner, and the next corner and the one after that. That is fast.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Become like water.”

Bruce Lee

As usual, please leave me a comment if they’re still open below, or tweet me @NickRobCoach. What’s your approach when you’ve got way too much to do and not enough time to do it?





Leading from the Light Side

One change that makes all the difference to your leadership, management and personal fulfilment

Please click the image above and then right-click to download or save your copy.

One great way to really up your game, as a leader, a manager or personally, is to regularly check-out which side you’re coming from. Is your motivation coming from the Dark Side, or the Light Side? The Dark Side isn’t bad – it can be useful in the short-term and in some circumstances. But it rarely gets people what they really want. The trick is to become conscious of our Dark Side motivations and use them to initiate a change of approach. Then we can actively choose a Light Side motivation for something that we really want to achieve.


As usual, please add a comment below if they’re still open, or tweet me @nickrobcoach – how do you make sure you’re not leading from the Dark Side?


Seven Essential Leadership Tools

If you’re a visual person, you’ll love this. My seven most essential leadership tools – but can you name all seven?

Each of the images in the set above represents one of my most essential leadership tools. But I haven’t named them. The challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to correctly identify each of the seven leadership tools using only the image and your own brilliant perception.


As usual, please add a comment below if they’re still open, or tweet me @nickrobcoach – how many of the seven essential leadership tools could you name; what would you add or change?