Does your organisation or parts of it feel siloed?
Has this got worse - or better - during the months of WFH?
If so, you can start to change it - or at least take responsibility for the bits that you can influence and change.
Silos are most often created when we only see our needs and perspectives or the purpose and priorities of the organisation are not clear or they’re in conflict.
I often see ‘silo mentality’ in leaders who are hugely loyal to and want the best for their teams so they’re blind to the bigger picture. A kind of ‘we’re right and you’re wrong’ mentality kicks in.
Their intention is often positive but the impact it has is not.
Years ago I worked in a siloed organisation - one part of it working to ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ and the other on providing a quality, exciting, affordable experience for our customers.
Sometimes we were able to do both and it worked brilliantly
But much of the time we didn’t.
Currently, I’m working with a self-confessed micro-manager. (I’ll call her Sam).
Sam knows this behaviour has got a lot worse during the pandemic with her team WFH.
She knows this is getting in the way of good leadership and she’s also finding it exhausting - but she feels nervous about being ‘hands off’ and (in her words) ‘losing control and not knowing what’s going on’.
And that’s the problem - we tend to look at things as either/or.
Either I’m a micromanager or I’m hands off.
But as you know by now (do I say this enough?!) we can take one step at a time to change any behaviour that’s not serving us or others well.
There’s a lot to explore with something like micromanaging - and we’ll be digging deeper into this I’m sure as Sam and I work together.
But she wanted to do something practical to make a start.
So this is what we did:
I asked her these questions to get to the root of her micromanaging...
Do you remember an ad some years ago for 02 (other brands are available) called Be more dog?
I‘ve been thinking about this recently because we’ve ‘acquired’ a cat.
Or rather he adopted us - and despite lots of effort to find his owners (no collar, no microchip) nobody is fessing up.
So for the moment he’s ours.
I’ve never owned cats before - I’ve always had dogs (my lovely old border collie Poppy is definitely this woman’s best friend).
I love the difference:
Poppy - love me, stroke me, I’m so happy to see you, unconditional love, wag, wag, wag. I miss you when you’re not here, I want to please you, dependent.
Cat (that’s his name for now) - feed me, I’ll do my own thing thank you very much, indifferent except when I’m hungry or I want to be stroked; I’m the boss. Everything on my terms. Independent, indifferent. ‘Whatever’.
(He’s still lovable of course in his own way).
I love the nuances of language.
In fact, languages were the only thing that really interested me at school.
And it wasn’t just because my French teacher was rather handsome (can I say that? Probably not but I’m saying it anyway. Language, eh?!).
I love how one or two words can make a difference to our messages and how they’re received.
‘That piece of work is not good enough’ diminishes the listener whereas ‘I would like to help you make this piece of work even better’ lifts her up.
I find it fascinating that what is unspoken is sometimes more telling than what is spoken. The elephant is there but nobody quite knows how to approach it – often because they can’t find the right words or fear the impact of those words. (Much of my work with teams helps them with this).
When I first trained as a coach back in 2001, I learned how much I was ‘interpreting’ rather than really listening to what the other person was saying;...
Here are 7 things to do next time.
Make it outcome focused (not a talking shop).
Check in half- way through – what’s gone well in the first half and what should we change in part two?
Make sure everyone’s voice is heard – ask people to come prepared to discuss x; use chat, use polls, share ideas in advance. Not everyone is a natural ‘vocaliser’ on Zoom or Teams.
Stop the endless repetition – if you agree with what someone else has just said, say ‘agree’. You don’t need to say it again.
Start and end on time. Every time. No discussion.
Cameras on – be present.
Block out space afterwards to reflect, make your notes and do any follow up.
If you haven’t banned back-to-back meetings, then PLEASE STOP NOW.
They’re killing your productivity.
PS: Want to be an effective, inspiring, confident leader? Here’s how I can help you get started in September.
You’re probably familiar with the proverb “a journey of 1000 miles begins with a simple step”.
And once you’ve taken that first step you’ve got to keep moving forward.
(Have you ever started something – an exercise regime, a diet, a self-study programme – but then ‘life’ got in the way and you gave up or didn’t finish?).
We’ve all been there, right?
I don’t know about you but I’m much more motivated to take those steps when there’s someone doing it alongside me - for support, encouragement and a kick up the backside when I need it (which I do).
Sadly, knowing what step to take first is often the place we get stuck.
Moving from Point A to Point B seems too big a journey to contemplate (or, let’s be honest, our ‘not good enough’ voice kicks in and stops us in our tracks.)
Well, you can change this pattern if you really want to. (Do you really want to?)
Recently I got some feedback on one of my promotion emails for my upcoming Lead with Confidence programme.
It wasn’t pretty.
It was along the lines of ‘programme looks great but…….’ And then some comments about how I’d advertised it. (You probably got the email so you may have thought something similar).
But I was delighted – because if I’m missing something, I’d much rather know.
We all have blind spots.
When I read his feedback, it was completely obvious what I could have done to be much more effective.
It was one of those ‘duh’ moments.
But now I know, and I can be better next time.
Feedback is always gold if it comes from someone who has your best interests at heart.
From someone who has positive intent.
And from someone who wants to succeed.
Wouldn’t you rather know?
As my friend succinctly put it ‘if your skirt is tucked into your knickers, you’d definitely rather know’.
PS: The next...
What three aspirational words describe the leader you want to become?
I’m asking you this because, as one of my mentors always says, ‘what you focus on gets done’.
Here are my words - they’re things I need to improve to make me more effective:
I’ve written these on a post-it note and stuck it to my screen.
I am focused
I am organised
I am strategic
And because these words are visible to me all day long it focuses my mind.
At the end of each day, I can ask myself :
How did I live my three words?
Was I successful?
How can I improve tomorrow?
I’d love to know what three words you would choose.
Enjoy your summer.
A quick reminder that the Early Bird price for my Lead with Confidence programme expires at 3pm (UK time) today.
The programme runs through until January, the group element of the programme kicks off in September and you can get started straight away with the bite-sized online learning content.
AND you’ll create your plan in a 1-1 with me to get focused and into action from the get-go.
In fact, when you join today you’re getting an extra 55 days of my support at no extra cost.
It’s a no brainer!
If you show up, follow the steps and take those steps one at a time you’re guaranteed to get results.
You can read about the programme here including success stories from previous attendees, monthly payment options, online learning content, 1-1 coaching , implementation and Time to Breathe Sessions, live masterclasses…… yep, it’s a comprehensive programme – experiential, practical, actionable.
One of the many things I teach my coaching clients is the ‘joy’ of doing a pilot.
Too many of us don’t make things happen because we’re trying to make it perfect.
Case in point:
One of my coaching clients was obsessing over getting the slide deck looking gorgeous before launching her staff wellbeing programme.
I suggested she run a pilot with one test group, ask for feedback and tweak from there (and as you and I both know, they couldn’t give a damn about how pretty her slides were).
Her programme has now been run several times and she tweaks and improves as she goes. And her confidence in this programme (and herself) has skyrocketed as a result.
But more important?
People are genuinely cared for which means they are happier and more productive.
It’s so easy to obsess over the things that make no difference whatsoever. (If you know that’s a habit of yours, I can help).
My Lead with Confidence programme looks very different now from the...