Engaging and Developing Talent

Leaders Need to Lead

You may love the people side of Leadership or view it as “management drudgery”. In either case, what you really want is to engage the people around you quickly and easily to reach your objectives.

Take a few moments to ponder and rate the following questions.

On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 is Low or Negative and 5 is High or Positive.

[   ] 1. What is your comfort level with talking one-on-one with your direct reports about their performance?

[   ] 2. What is your team’s level of performance when you are not there?

[   ] 3. Does it feel like you and your team are focused on the stuff that really matters?

[   ] 4. Do you feel confident getting (and keeping) people excited and engaged?

[  ] 5. Do you feel you have a solid sense of control and clarity?

[  ] 6. Are people able to quickly solve their own problems instead of needing you so much?

Score ______ If your scores are less than 15 performance development may be a leadership quality problem for you.

If everyone agrees that employee development requires much more than an annual employee performance review, why are performance appraisals the only method managers use to develop their employees' performance.

There is a new and great movement to change performance development programs and getting rid of traditional performance appraisal programs. We provided a new paradigm based on Neuroscience discoveries.

These discoveries help leaders understand the way people think and react to information that does not conform to their personal perspectives.

Ever have an employee react negatively to feedback

you’ve given that they didn’t like?

Organizations are filled with smart, well intentioned people and teams working very hard, long and creatively on the wrong problem. This coaching process helps create clarity and certainty about what the real challenge is, so time and energy aren’t wasted.

Let me share a story.

A friend of mine, Dr. Wayne Boss with the University of Colorado in Boulder, did a study to assess the impact of regular and consistent coaching of team members. In a study on the impact of staff members being coached by their supervisor on a regular basis Dr. Boss studied over 200 participants including CEOs and other leaders comprising 23 intact teams.

The teams were assessed pre- and post-development. The pre-assessment (A) showed low scores, after training the scores shot up (B). (see chart below)

16 of the teams participated in a three day team building meeting. After the team building meeting about half of the participants participated in regular bi-monthly one-on-one personal management coaching interviews with their supervisor. The other half of the participants did not.

Both groups were reassessed after 6 and 12 months. The group with ongoing coaching maintained performance and continued to improve performance.

At the six month mark the teams were reassessed and the team meeting with their leader continued to improve (C) and the other group dropped to pre team building levels (D). When the 2nd group implemented the weekly meetings between 12 and 18 months performance improved (E).

So what is the bottom line? Leaders—whether they are supervisors, managers, directors, vice-presidents, or the president—need to lead. This is a simple statement, yet many “leaders” are really acting like individual contributors who happen to have direct reports. They resist taking the time to lead, coach, and develop their people.

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Topic areas: How to motivate employees, definition of leadership, Employee Engagement, Developing Talent, Leadership Qualities, Emotional Intelligence