Staff can often seem to let you down, behave in ways that appear to be inefficient, conflictual or disinterested and this is only an additional and unnecessary burden on top of all the other issues you face at work.
Although it is easy to point a finger and blame a particular staff member, it is also a good idea to look at where you can take responsibility for how your staff behave and help to bring about changes.
The 5 tips below have been used repeatedly by management in organisations when working with their staff; following implementation, the feedback I’ve received has always been positive and inspiring.
1. Be consistent - if your behaviour is erratic and unreliable then your staff will find it hard to take you seriously. When we demand or expect consistent, reliable, responsible behaviour from people who work for us, we need to set the example. Otherwise it creates feelings of resentment and reactive behaviour which is not conducive to a positive, efficient, working environment.
2. Follow through - if you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! The biggest repetitive area this crops up in is PDRs (Professional/Performance Development Reviews). So many times the staff member finds the appointment for their PDR is put off for weeks at a time. Again, feelings of resentment and not being valued are typically reported when this happens.
3. Show respect - if you behave in a way that is respectful to people around you, including those who work for you, you’ll find that they will behave similarly back to you. It is human nature to mimick behaviour and we tend to respond to others in a way that reflects how they are to us.
4. Listen to them - listening is a totally free and easy tool to show someone respect and interest. You may not agree with or act on what they say, that’s OK. What IS very important is the act of paying attention, listening without interruption, without being distracted, and responding appropriately. People feel valued when they are listened to.
5. Recognise and acknowledge their thoughts, opinions and visions - this is the natural follow-on from the tip to listen to them. By giving them the time and opportunity to voice their thoughts, opinions and vision they feel respected, acknowledged and worthy. And you never know, sometimes your staff member may come up with a fantastic concept that is of huge value to your team, department or the whole organisation.
In conclusion, we are emotional beings and we respond positively when treated well and we react negatively when we feel devalued.
Knowing this you can apply any or all of the 5 tips above and you will find that your staff respond to you better than ever before. Be a true leader and you will see that those who work for you have more to give than you ever imagined.
All the best,
Hani Al-Qasem and
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