Tag Archive: management

  1. We get knocked down… But we get up again – the England edition

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    These insightful Tubthumping lyrics will have been heard a fair few times over recent weeks and years as we saw the England team move closer to a European trophy than we’ve seen in over 50 years. And granted, this song is more about the singers bragging about their drinking prowess than leadership success, but the sentiment still rings true…

    It’s not necessarily the leader or the team who never fail that are the most successful, but those who fail, learn, and come back again and incorporate those learnings that can reap even greater benefits than ever. As Nelson Mandela says,

    The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    One of the most important qualities of a leader is resilience. Developing resilience, combined with perseverance, will help us and our teams not only to succeed in the good times, but to learn, grow and succeed through the crises, set-backs and ever-changing landscape we navigate.

    Resilience and Perseverance – what is it?

    Someone who demonstrates resilience and perseverance is someone who persists in the face of adversity, obstacles or setbacks including effectively managing a crisis and quickly adapting to change. There are a number of supporting behavioural traits, preferences and motivations identified and benchmarked which we can consider as essential in contributing to this:

    Essential Traits

    • Authoritative: The desire for decision-making authority and the willingness to accept decision-making responsibility.
    • Optimistic: The tendency to believe the future will be positive.
    • Persistent: The tendency to be tenacious despite encountering significant obstacles.
    • Pressure Tolerance: The level of comfort related to working under deadlines and busy
    • Self-Improvement: The tendency to attempt to develop or better oneself.
    • Stress Management: The tendency to be relaxed and manage stress well when it occurs.
    • Wants Challenge: The willingness to attempt difficult tasks or goals.

    Desirable Traits

    Other traits that could be considered helpful though perhaps not as essential in building resilience include; analytical, collaborative, frank, influencing, relaxed, truth exploring, assertive, flexible and open/ reflective.

    Traits to avoid

    As with the philosophy of Ying / Yang – in that most things tend to work best when in balance – there are also a number of behavioural traits which need to be avoided that could seriously hinder developing and demonstrating resilience and perseverance such as:

    • Defers decisions
    • Inconclusive
    • Skeptical
    • Unresourceful
    • Avoids decisions
    • Blindly optimistic
    • Defensive
    • Rebellious autonomy
    • Avoids communication
    • Dogmatic

    3 reasons resilience and perseverance are important for a leader

    The world of work is filled with challenges and what currently feels like a constant need to be adapting to operational challenges, financial challenges and cultural challenges.

    1 – As a leader, it’s our responsibility to lead through the good and bad. Our team needs to know that, whatever else is going on, we are there to support them and to help them learn and grow from the challenges they face too.

    2 – Times of challenge can also be viewed as times of opportunity. Adapting to situations will require creative thinking and problem-solving. Facing and dealing with a crisis can offer a chance to show compassion and integrity. Getting through a struggle can give us a chance to develop and expand our leadership skill set and also to be a good role model for those around us.

    3 – Facing difficulties and helping our teams to develop and grow not just in spite of, but because of those difficulties will help to strengthen our relationships with our teams, and help to build engagement and trust.

     

    Throughout the Euro 2020 campaign Southgate demonstrated excellent leadership qualities, generating respect and admiration across the board. Southgate’s comments on last night’s loss epitomise these qualities:

    It’s down to me… Nobody is on their own. That’s my call and it totally rests on me… We win and lose together.

    Now he, captain Harry Kane and the team will be adding resilience and perseverance to the mix, ready to accept the disappointment of their loss, take pride in what they have achieved together, learn lessons from every match played and every shot taken and move forwards with their eyes firmly set on next year’s World Cup.

    As Harry Kane has said:

    We will look back and look at things we could have done better. That is what we have to learn from … that’s football and we have to get over it and move on. We have to build belief from this, we have a great young squad. We have to dust ourselves down, hold our heads high and get ready for that tournament.

    It’s often said that we don’t know what we are capable of until we have to dig deep, pick ourselves up and overcome a set-back, and that we often surprise ourselves with what we can handle.

    By objectively measuring our resilience and perseverance, we can explore our strengths and identify and consciously work on the areas that can help us improve it, so  it will no longer come as a surprise that we can get through the challenges we face and come out the other side even stronger.

    Well done to the England Team and see you at the World Cup next year… we’ll be cheering for you.

     


     

     

    The traits, preferences and motivations listed above have been identified and benchmarked by Dr Dan Harrison and the Harrison Assessment. Resilience and Perseverance is one of the 10 Harrison Assessment Leadership Behavioural Competencies. This framework measures people’s individual skills and areas for development against 10 essential Leadership Competencies in an objective way.

    Each competency is made up of a series of essential traits, desirable traits and traits to avoid. Development candidates complete a short, online SmartQuestionnaireTM. Responses are then mapped against each of the Harrison Leadership Competencies which can then highlight areas of strength and areas for development both for an individual and for a team.

    You can download a sample Behavioural Competency report here.

    If you would like to find out more about the Harrison Leadership Behavioural Competencies, other pre-defined competencies, or indeed about creating a bespoke competency, please call us on 07768 922244, email [email protected] or leave us your details and we will contact you.

     

     

  2. PARADOX SERIES: POWER

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    As a leader, how do you balance asserting your own needs and wants with helping your team achieve their objectives?

    The paradox of POWER – what it can look like when the balance between ASSERTIVENESS and HELPFULNESS is off-kilter, and what it can look like when balance is achieved.

    Leaders need to be able to balance these two seemingly opposite traits – one dynamic and one gentle – to achieve optimal behavioural performance and balanced versatility.

    Harrison Paradox Technology is embraced by organizations world-wide as the best means to determine leadership capability and job performance by providing a reliable map of the paradoxical balances that make or break leaders.

    Find out more or contact us at [email protected] or on 07768 922244

  3. We get knocked down… But we get up again

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    These insightful Tubthumping lyrics will have been heard a fair few times over recent weeks and years as we have seen the England team move closer to a European trophy than we’ve seen in over 50 years (fingers crossed – touch wood!). And granted, this song is more about the singers bragging about their drinking prowess than leadership success, but the sentiment still rings true…

    It’s not necessarily the leader or the team who never fail that are the most successful, but those who fail, learn, and come back again and incorporate those learnings that can reap even greater benefits than ever. As Nelson Mandela says,

    The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    One of the most important qualities of a leader is resilience. Developing resilience, combined with perseverance, will help us and our teams not only to succeed in the good times, but to learn, grow and succeed through the crises, set-backs and ever-changing landscape we navigate.

    Resilience and Perseverance – what is it?

    Someone who demonstrates resilience and perseverance is someone who persists in the face of adversity, obstacles or setbacks including effectively managing a crisis and quickly adapting to change. There are a number of supporting behavioural traits, preferences and motivations identified and benchmarked which we can consider as essential in contributing to this:

    Essential Traits

    • Authoritative: The desire for decision-making authority and the willingness to accept decision-making responsibility.
    • Optimistic: The tendency to believe the future will be positive.
    • Persistent: The tendency to be tenacious despite encountering significant obstacles.
    • Pressure Tolerance: The level of comfort related to working under deadlines and busy
    • Self-Improvement: The tendency to attempt to develop or better oneself.
    • Stress Management: The tendency to be relaxed and manage stress well when it occurs.
    • Wants Challenge: The willingness to attempt difficult tasks or goals.

    Desirable Traits

    Other traits that could be considered helpful though perhaps not as essential in building resilience include; analytical, collaborative, frank, influencing, relaxed, truth exploring, assertive, flexible and open/ reflective.

    Traits to avoid

    As with the philosophy of Ying / Yang – in that most things tend to work best when in balance – there are also a number of behavioural traits which need to be avoided that could seriously hinder developing and demonstrating resilience and perseverance such as:

    • Defers decisions
    • Inconclusive
    • Skeptical
    • Unresourceful
    • Avoids decisions
    • Blindly optimistic
    • Defensive
    • Rebellious autonomy
    • Avoids communication
    • Dogmatic

    3 reasons resilience and perseverance are important for a leader

    The world of work is filled with challenges and what currently feels like a constant need to be adapting to operational challenges, financial challenges and cultural challenges.

    1 – As a leader, it’s our responsibility to lead through the good and bad. Our team needs to know that, whatever else is going on, we are there to support them and to help them learn and grow from the challenges they face too.

    2 – Times of challenge can also be viewed as times of opportunity. Adapting to situations will require creative thinking and problem-solving. Facing and dealing with a crisis can offer a chance to show compassion and integrity. Getting through a struggle can give us a chance to develop and expand our leadership skill set and also to be a good role model for those around us.

    3 – Facing difficulties and helping our teams to develop and grow not just in spite of, but because of those difficulties will help to strengthen our relationships with our teams, and help to build engagement and trust.

    It’s often said that we don’t know what we are capable of until we have to dig deep, pick ourselves up and overcome a set-back, and that we often surprise ourselves with what we can handle.

    By objectively measuring our resilience and perseverance, we can explore our strengths and identify and consciously work on the areas that can help us improve it, so  it will no longer come as a surprise that we can get through the challenges we face and come out the other side even stronger.

     


     

     

    The traits, preferences and motivations listed above have been identified and benchmarked by Dr Dan Harrison and the Harrison Assessment. Resilience and Perseverance is one of the 10 Harrison Assessment Leadership Behavioural Competencies. This framework measures people’s individual skills and areas for development against 10 essential Leadership Competencies in an objective way.

    Each competency is made up of a series of essential traits, desirable traits and traits to avoid. Development candidates complete a short, online SmartQuestionnaireTM. Responses are then mapped against each of the Harrison Leadership Competencies which can then highlight areas of strength and areas for development both for an individual and for a team.

    You can download a sample Behavioural Competency report here.

    If you would like to find out more about the Harrison Leadership Behavioural Competencies, other pre-defined competencies, or indeed about creating a bespoke competency, please call us on 07768 922244, email [email protected] or leave us your details and we will contact you.

     

     

  4. PARADOX SERIES: COMMUNICATION

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    The paradox of COMMUNICATION – what it can look like when the balance between FRANKNESS and DIPLOMACY is off-kilter, and what it can look like when balance is achieved.

    Leaders need to be able to balance these two seemingly opposite traits – one dynamic and one gentle – to achieve optimal behavioural performance and balanced versatility and effective communication.

    What examples of leadership communication spring to your mind?

    Harrison Paradox Technology is embraced by organizations world-wide as the best means to determine leadership capability and job performance by providing a reliable map of the paradoxical balances that make or break leaders.

    Find out more or contact us at [email protected] or on 07768 922244

  5. Are you being too harsh or too permissive?

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    Managers often fall into the trap of being either too harsh or too permissive.  Both of these traits are due to an imbalance in management style.  The secret of effective management is to understand a number of  paradoxes and the ability to balance two opposing behaviours.Driving

    A number of my clients have been complaining that their managers are not keeping their eye on the ball, and letting performance slip through a lack of following up on the goals and objectives agreed with staff.  I have also encountered a couple of organisations where there is a very strong culture of ‘compassion’ or ‘caring’ for service users, this means that many managers value ‘caring’ and want to ensure that they are ‘kind’ to their people.  Addressing underperformance can feel harsh and uncaring which creates a values conflict, especially when the managers believe that the only tool they have at their disposal is the disciplinary process.  They are reluctant to use it because it feels far too harsh to address the issue at hand, and in many cases they are right.  The Disciplinary process is only to be used after you have had a number of informal but important conversations that firmly address the underperformance.  However, it seems that many managers are reluctant to even give a reprimand or informal warning.  They end up being permissive and this serves no one because standards drop, targets are not met and management will be seen to be ineffective.  This can extend to the very top of an organisation.

    I have also come across organisational cultures where there is a very firm line taken and any mistake or underperformance is dealt with very harshly.  These businesses tend to suffer from a blame culture.  It can also create high management and staff turnover because people want to feel that their line manager understands them and values them as a person.  Harshness comes from a lack of warmth and empathy and if the manager is too harsh people often feel that they are being treated unfairly.  It is interesting to note that neuroscientists have discovered that even a perceived lack of fairness triggers deep feelings of disgust in the brain and this can rapidly undermine working relationships and overall performance.

    The paradoxes of good management

    One of the paradoxes of good management is how to balance ‘Enforcing’ and ‘Warmth and Empathy’.  Enforcing is all about being able to ensure rules and standards are followed even when people don’t like it and may get defensive.  Warmth and Empathy is all about having an open heart and recognising the feelings of others.

    Driving Paradox

    These two traits may seem like oil and vinegar – they can’t mix and will always separate – but as any good cook knows if you get them in the right balance they can create a great flavour and if you add a little emulsifier like egg yolk you get deliciously smooth French Dressing.

    I’ve recently started working with a very interesting assessment tool developed by Dr. Dan Harrison.

    His background in Mathematics, Personality Theory, Counselling and Organizational Psychology has enabled him to make a unique and exceptional contribution to assessment methodology.

    One of the reports available illustrates a number of paradoxes.  The ‘Driving’ Paradox is illustrated in the graph below.  It shows that if you are high on Enforcing and low on Warmth and Empathy your behaviour will be Harsh; highlighted in red.  If you are low on Enforcing and high on Warmth and Empathy you can become Permissive; highlighted in blue.  The ideal balance is ‘Compassionate Enforcing’ which reminds me of the proverb; “Only a person with a kind heart can administer discipline that is beneficial to others”.

    However, any imbalance can also cause a ‘Flip’ when a manager is under stress.  So the Permissive Manager can suddenly become Harsh (“I’ve given you lots of chances and now you are going to see what happens when you take advantage of me . . .”).  The Harsh Manager can fall into avoiding the final difficult conversation and lead people to think that their “Bark is worse than their bite” so they get used to the harshness and continue to underperform, because there is no ultimate consequence.

    Gain respect

    There is now plenty of scientific evidence from recent psychological studies that show how Compassionate Enforcing is highly respected by people because it is perceived as fair and just.  This means that it avoids triggering defensive mechanisms that can be generated deep in our reptilian brain.  Once defensiveness is triggered, rational behaviour goes out the window, and people start thinking negatively and taking things very personally.  This is always far more difficult to manage.

    It is interesting to note that being low on both of these traits leads to ‘Cool Permissiveness’ which is very ineffective.  The studies show that it leads to people having a lack of respect for their manager and treating them with a sense of pity and disgust.

    Making a shift

    When I drew this graph on a flip chart on a recent Management Development course with the caring Managers it became clear to many of them that they needed to keep the same levels of Warmth and Empathy while increasing the level of Enforcing.  This meant making a shift in their perception and recognising that being Permissive was not serving the organisation, its end users or the staff.

    The concept behind these Paradoxes is the need to understand the principles of the opposing traits and exercise more of both.  It is not about doing less of what you naturally prefer; it is about looking at any imbalances and learning ways to improve the balance between them.  This can be achieved by greater self-awareness, being open to feedback and a willingness to improve.

    If you are interested in exploring where you and your managers stand on this Paradox and the eleven other Paradoxes in the assessment just contact Amanda at [email protected].

    Remember . . . Stay Curious!

    With best regards

    David Klaasen