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Tag Archives: Change from within

Can you win your team’s trust by blaming the upper management?


Blaming managementAs a line-manager, it becomes really tempting to distance yourself from your own superiors. It seems an easy option to win the hearts of your employees by blaming aggressive deadlines, overtime, and new process changes to the upper management’s initiative. Isn’t it? Does this mean that you have discovered a gold mine to develop a trust relationship between you and your team?

It’s not quite that easy. If you want to create bonding with your employees then there are other avenues to do so instead of creating this bonding over being a victim of the upper management together. By blaming all the unfavoring decisions to your upper management, you are eventually damaging the confidence of your team. Some of the side effects may be…..

1. High turnover: Your team will feel that they can’t trust the organization anymore, and hence, they will start looking for their next career move.

2. Team stagnation: Due to the negative perception of the upper management, your team will think that their inputs are not valuable in the organization. Thus, they will stop providing their valuable inputs to you, and hence, they won’t be able to provide any value to the organization.

3. Loss of respect: Even though you started blaming the upper management for all the negative decisions to build the trust between you and your team, you won’t be able to help yourself from losing the respect of your team. Due to your negative publicity of the upper management, your own team members will think that you are weak and powerless in the organization. And hence, their respect for you will decrease over time.

Thus, when you think that the easiest escape from your team’s negativity is to blame the upper management, then think twice. Don’t ever use phrases like…..“I don’t know why we’re doing this”, “no one ever consults with me on these new initiatives”, “I disagree with this upper management’s decision as well” etc.

A true leader should have the courage to represent the upper management and their views. If you disagree with their decisions, then instead of blaming them in front of your team members, confront them, try to understand the reasons behind those decisions. And remember……by blaming your superiors, you are not going to build any relationships, you will only lose respect of your team.

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How can you cultivate a team of innovative employees by modifying your behavior?


Lead Your Team For InnovationIn order to change your employee’s behavior, your behavior should change as the manager. I am a strong believer of “Lead by example”. And hence, in this blog post, I will provide you with few tips on modifying your behavior to encourage innovation in your team.

Listen to your employees: Listening intently to your people is sometimes the most sincere compliment you can give to them. By listening to them, you are signaling them that their feedback is very important to you, and you are willing to experiment with their ideas. This behavior will not only accelerate innovation in your team, but it will also give you some insights that you might otherwise miss. I know, it is very difficult to listen to someone, when you don’t agree with them. I would suggest you to note down those disagreements in your notepad or OneNote, while having these conversations. By doing this, you can clearly understand their viewpoint, and still be able to address your disagreements after they are done talking.

Withhold judgment: You can’t cultivate a team of innovators without cultivating your trust relationship with them. Your employees will stop coming to you with their ideas, if you hold their poor performance in their past projects against this new idea. Listening with an open mind will encourage your people to generate and evaluate their own solutions. So, next time when you hear a new idea from a poor performer, keep an open mind. First listen to his/her idea before neglecting it. Even if you don’t agree with their idea, disagree respectfully by clearly laying out your concerns. In this way, they can understand the clear reasoning behind your decision, instead of making up some story of their own regarding this rejection.

Ask questions: While listening to your employee’s ideas, make sure to ask lot of questions. Asking appropriate and effective questions will typically result in less defensiveness and resistance from them. These questions will not only give you an opportunity to understand their idea better, but it will also provide them an opportunity to reassess their idea from a different perspective. And make sure to take longer pause, while asking this questions. This behavior will provide your employee with some time to respond, and it will help you to show them you are listening to their input.

Embrace failures: Obviously, with highly innovative projects, your frequency of failures will increase. After all, not every innovation will work out, and give you positive results. Right? During these situations, you need to embrace your failures. I would recommend you to have a post project meeting to address these concerns for the future projects. During this meeting, you need to ask your employees some questions like……”What have you tried?”, “What worked?”, “What have you learned so far?”, “What would they do differently next time?”, etc. These questions will not only give you the perspective for the failure, but it will force your employees to rethink their strategies for the future innovations. I am sure, this self-realization will help them in the future. And hopefully, they won’t come to you with their ideas, unless they find out a way to deal with these concerns in their future projects.

By encompassing above changes in your behavior, you won’t be just improving the trust relationship with your employees, but you will be encouraging them to think on their own to become better innovators. So……..what else would you modify in your behavior to encourage innovation in your team?

Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.

 

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