Best Practices in Management

The following concepts and tools are discussed in the Best Practices in Management I Leadership Development Series.  Enroll for this 6 month series via the Learning Management System.

Select the “I Want To…” items for tools and strategies you can implement immediately with your team. 

I Want To.....

Improve Trust

Understand Personality Types

Understand Team Dynamics

Lead a Better Meeting

Address Disruptive Behavior

Understand Team Member Concerns

Hire High Performers

Increase Accountability

Provide Feedback and Coaching

Formally Counsel a Team Member

Respond to a Formal Grievance

Develop a Team Member

Recognize a Team Member

Improve Trust

M.R. Covey explains that trust breeds confidence while distrust breeds suspicion.  High trust increases the speed in which things can be accomplished.  Low trust slows things down.  “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices.  But when it’s absent everybody notices.” – Warren Buffet

Complete The Speed of Trust personal assessment to determine the level of trust your peers, friends and others have of you.  Use this yourself or hand it out to your team prior to engaging in thoughtful dialogue.

Review Steven M.R. Covey’s 13 Trust Behaviors and determine which behaviors you are willing to modify.

Use the Trust Workbench as a guide when you want to build trust with someone else.

Understand Personality Types

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Have you ever found yourself thinking:

  • “Would you mind doing this my way?”
  • “Doesn’t anyone care about what I want?”
  • “Would you please look with your eyes instead of your mouth?” 
  • "But if it works, why should I change?”

Take an online assessment to determine your personality type

Everyone responds to stress differently.  What is your style under stress?

Understand Team Dynamics

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Teamwork comes down to mastering a set of behaviors that are common sense, but not common practice.

According to Patrick Lencioni author of The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team the five causes of team dysfunction are: Absence of Trust, Fear of Conflict, Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountability and Inattention to Results.

Use the following tools to:

Lead a Better Meeting

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The goal of all meetings is to ensure that all who attended feel that their time was well spent and that the goals are in progress toward being achieved.

Understand Team Member Concerns

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Various strategies can be used to mine for information or data on issues employees are concerned about or struggling with.

Inquiry Techniques - Inquiry is an active and intentional way of listening.  The leader consciously employs inquiry techniques to discover the nature and source of the participant’s experience and point of view.  By suspending judgment and hearing the true meaning of what the participant says, the leader fosters mutual understanding and genuine agreement.

  • Stop, Start, and Continue – This strategy is best used to address items which can be impacted by the manager or the team
  • Visualize a Solution – This activity is best used when the issue is outside the manager or employee’s control
  • One to One Meetings - This activity is best used when you need to explore confidential issues in private rather than a public setting.

Hire High Performers

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We want all new employees to feel they made a great decision to join our organization.  It is critical to everyone’s success when new employees feel welcomed, informed, and engaged from their first communication with us, through the interview process and during the first year of employment.

Increase Accountability

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How responsible are you for your own choices, behaviors, and actions before you know how everything will turn out?  How empowered are you to take the risks and actions you need to get what you want?  How accountable are you for the results of your choices, behaviors, and actions?  Use this tool to measure all of these areas and then determine what areas you will strengthen.

Provide Feedback and Coaching

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There is no one correct communication or leadership style.  Each situation is different and every manager has his/her own unique way to approaching difficult conversations.  There are specific communication strategies which can lower the recipient's defensiveness and make them more open to feedback.

Defining Performance Expectations - Use this guideline to help define for your team what "Exceeds Expectations" performance looks like.

Use the Step-By-Step feedback model to approach difficult conversations.

When providing & receiving feedback, keep the following in mind:

  • Control you defensivemenss
  • Listen to understand
  • Suspend judgment
  • Summarize and reflect what you hear
  • Ask questions to clarify
  • Ask for examples
  • Provide clarification
  • Be approachable
  • Check with others to determine reliability
  • Decide what you will do

Formally Counsel a Team Member

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The progressive Performance Improvement Counseling process involves 4 steps:

Step 1: Informal Counseling

Step 2: Formal Counseling

Step 3: Performance Warning/Suspension

Step 4: Termination/Demotion

Respond to a Formal Grievance

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Call your HR Consultant for specific instructions and guidance to successfully navigate this process.

State Grievance Procedure and required forms

Develop a Team Member Back to Top

Developing others lets you bring out the best in them.  When you develop others you are helping to expand capabilities and gain confidence to they can tackle new challenges, make decisions, and solve problems on their own.  A developmental conversation involves active listening and asking clarifying questions rather then telling someone what to do.

Identify a developmental opportunity

Recognize my Team Members

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Uniting and engaging employees to achieve performance excellence, reinforce behavior which aligns with our organizational goals/values, maintain enthusiasm in recognition programs and activities, and cultivate employee commitment, loyalty and pride. 

Check out the Uteam Celebration Toolkit to achieve this and more!