Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2013 Contents Set the standard for
One proven way to develop effective leaders
is to focus on the behaviors you expect them
to display. Spell out these activities personally
with your top team - not through consult-
ants, facilitators, or how-to books.
In these conversations, discuss what a
leader in your organisation should do---for
example, act as a role model or motivate
others---and describe each behavior with
enough specificity to inform selection, train-
ing and evaluation.
Be precise, real and action-oriented. By
describing these qualities as behaviours
(rather than as character traits) you ll under-
score two messages: It isn t worth much to
have an attribute that you don t display; and
if you fall short of what the best leaders do,
you can still close that gap. Emphasising
behaviour over traits also opens the door to
style differences, as long as leaders maintain
the standards you ve set.
(Source: "How Should Your Leaders
Behave?" by Kevin Sharer)
Be yourself without
A rise in team-based workplaces has
heightened the demand for managers who
are "authentic" and "instantly intimate." But
sharing your thoughts, feelings and expe-
riences at work can sometimes backfire.
Here are a few pointers for effective---and
Consider relevance. Before sharing personal
information, ask yourself if it s germane to
the situation. Make sure it contributes to
the overall goal of building trust and engen-
dering better collaboration.
Understand the context. Some societies
are more inclined than others to disclose
personal information. Investigate regional
and organisational norms about sharing so
that you ll know when it s best to keep quiet.
Delay or avoid very personal disclosures.
In some workplaces, you will eventually find
it safe and helpful to share; in others you ll
realise it s unwise to do so.
(Source: "Be Yourself, but Carefully" by
Lisa Rosh and Lynn Offermann.)
Tailor your coaching to
specific learning styles
An effective coach meets people where
they are. As you coach your employees to
develop their skills or improve their per-
formance, set them up for success by under-
standing how they learn best and adjusting
your methods accordingly.
Some people may prefer learning in the
moment, through intense experience and
goal-directed action. Others may favour
retaining information reflectively, through
sustained meditation and analytical thinking.
Coaching will likely involve some combina-
tion of these two approaches.
With people who prefer an active style of
learning, for example, communicate dynam-
ically and encourage on-the-job experiments.
With reflective learners, communicate
thoughtfully and allow adequate time for
them to rehearse quietly on their own.
(Source: "HBR Guide to Coaching Your
with these 3 tips
All organisations are slowed down by
unnecessary behaviours that choke produc-
tivity. These practices can help you clear
some of it away:
Pick up the phone. An e-mail chain can
be a useful reference, but it frequently takes
more time to write an email than to have
a conversation. Conversations can get your
questions answered immediately and prevent
future back-and-forth messages.
Encourage streamlining. Ask your employ-
ees: What meetings can we eliminate? What
reports can we stop doing? What steps in
a process can be removed? Let your team
know that their suggestions won t be taken
as complaints but as creative ideas for
Stop reviewing low-impact work. Review
thoroughly any documents being sent to
potential clients, but not all work products
are mission-critical. Tell your team that it s
their responsibility to ensure their own quality
control - and that you trust them to do a
(Source: "To Simplify, First Clear the Under-
brush" by Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell)
Build the right
Even though most management systems
focus on individual performance, it s critical
to reward and recognise your team collec-
tively. As a team manager, support the right
Encourage collaboration. Talk about your
people as a team, not as a set of individuals.
Instead of talking about individuals contri-
butions, praise the common behaviors that
contribute to the team s overall success.
Evaluate team performance. Every six
months or so, take a close look at the group s
progress. Don t mention individuals in this
appraisal but focus on what the team has
done---and can do---together.
Use rewards. If you are able, tie a portion
of your organisation s discretionary com-
pensation to team performance. If you don t
control the purse strings, try recognising
your team s hard work in a public way---
through a departmental e-mail or even dis-
playing their picture in a common space---
or giving them exposure to senior leaders.
(Source: "How to Reward Your Stellar
Team" by Amy Gallo)
BG16 | COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 2013 • WEEK ONE
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
What do you fail to notice when
you're hard at work?
83%: Of two dozen radiologists who
were searching for a lung nod-
ule, 83 per cent didn't see the
white outline of a standing gorilla that researchers
had inserted into a computed tomography scan,
even though it was 48 times the size of the average
nodule, says a team led by Trafton Drew of Harvard
Medical School. All of the participants reported see-
ing the gorilla when, after the experiment, they were
shown the CT scan and asked if they noticed any-
thing unusual about it. Past studies have demon-
strated that people who are engaged in a task often
fail to notice unrelated images and occurrences; the
current finding suggests that this "inattentional
blindness" affects even experts.
(Source: Psychologcal Science)
Don't tidy up before you do your
5: Research participants in a room where pa-
pers were scattered on a table and the floor
came up with five times more highly creative
ideas for new uses of ping-pong balls than those in a
room where papers and markers were neatly
arranged, says a team led by Kathleen D Vohs of the
University of Minnesota. A disorderly environment
seems to aid creativity by helping people break from
tradition, order and convention, the researchers say.
(Source: Psychologcal Science)
Under certain circumstances,
a warning label can boost sales
6: Smokers who saw a cigarette ad that also
warned about the risk of smoking bought
fewer packs than those who hadn't seen the
warning, unless they were told the packs would be
delivered three months later. Under those circum-
stances, people who saw the warning bought six
times more packs than those who hadn't seen the
warning, says a team led by Yael Steinhart of Tel
The warning message increased the ad's trust-
worthiness, an effect that became more pronounced
when there was a long time lag between the warn-
ing and the behaviour it was aimed at; the higher
trustworthiness boosted sales.
(Source: Psychologcal Science)
@2013 Harvard Business School Publishing
Corp. (Distributed by The New York Times
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