Archive for April 2012

Use DISC To Build Team Trust

April 27, 2012

If you Google “importance of trust in teams” you’ll receive about 16,800,000 results. Seems everyone agrees trust is important for high-performing teams. In his book The Speed Of Trust, Stephen Covey says “trust is the one thing that changes everything. If you promote a high-trust environment where you have capable people who do what they say they are going to do, in my experience, anything is possible.”

Psychologists and effective leaders have proven over and over again that trust is gained within a team after team members demonstrate a vulnerability or openness in a safe and supportive environment (remember the classic exercise where someone falls backwards into the arms of team-members). The easiest way for a team to develop trust is to use behavioral assessments.

DISC is a quadrant behavioral model based on the work of Dr. William Marston that examines the behavior of individuals in their environment. Having team members complete a DISC assessment and sharing the results within the team produces a common vulnerability in a secure and productive way. The team benefits by not only developing greater trust but by also understanding how to leverage each team member’s behavioral strengths.

Empower your team with a DISC assessment and the team will be more successful.

Stay In Touch With Your Future New-Hire After Your Offer Has Been Accepted

April 20, 2012

You just finished following your selection process and you are ready to make an offer to a superstar. The superstar accepts your offer and commits to starting in two weeks. Now what do you do?

If you found a superstar, someone else is about to lose one. Expect the superstar’s current employer to try to keep them from leaving by offering increased pay, more responsibility, or a promotion. You are at a disadvantage here as the superstar has some allegiance and may have second thoughts. All your hard work and expense following your selection process may be for naught if the superstar decides to rescind their acceptance.

 After your offer is accepted, stay in touch with the future new-hire. Coach the superstar on how to handle their company’s offer to stay. Ask them, “What is your current boss likely to offer you to get you to stay? What are you going to do if you are offered more money to stay? What are you going to tell your boss if s/he offers you a promotion?” Give them tips on how to answer. Simply planting these seeds will help your chances of not losing your superstar. Additionally, regular emails and calls are essential to letting the superstar know you really want them. Meeting for lunch before the new hire starts working for you is a good idea. Your superstar will be excited after deciding to come work for you; keep that excitement from wearing off and avoid the risk of losing them.

Empower you future new-hires for success and your career will soar. 

Great Teams Start With Great Hires

April 13, 2012

Right now there is a team working on the next “iPhone.” There is a team working on preventing Alzheimer’s dizease. There is a team working on a car that gets 100 miles per gallon. What teams are going to achieve their objective? What makes for a successful team?

Patrick Lencioni in “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” developed a model of high performing teams that includes five key characteristics: inter-team trust, healthy conflict, team member commitment, team member accountability, and team results orientation. But before someone can be a high performing team member, they need to have been hired into the organization.

In all likelihood a new hire will be assigned to a team sometime in their career. Hiring managers should screen for teamwork skills along with other job requirements.

Here are some questions to ask the candidates to understand how well they will perform in a team setting:

  • Describe a team in which you have participated that you feel was effective. What made it a good team? Describe a team that was less effective. What was the difference between the two?
  • Have you ever seen someone violate a trust relationship with another team member? What was the trust issue that was violated? What was the result? How could it have been avoided?
  • Give me an example of a group or team decision that was made and you felt that it was wrong or was something you disagreed with. How did you handle it? Were there others who agreed with you? What was the end result?

Empower teams with new hires who will make great team members and you’ll experience more success.

Apply Impulse Control To Become A Better Leader

April 6, 2012

In 1972 the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment was conducted by Walter Mischel, at Stanford University where he studied a group of four-year old children.  Each of the children was given one marshmallow, but promised two if they wait twenty minutes before eating the first marshmallow. Some children were able to wait the twenty minutes, and some did not.  Mischel then studied the children into adolescence and found that those children able to delay gratification were psychologically better adjusted, more dependable persons, and better students.  Bottom line: delaying gratification resulted in more success.

Good impulse control is considered a positive leadership characteristic and as psychologist Daniel Goleman indicates, an important component trait of emotional intelligence.  Leaders are under much pressure to deliver results faster and often forsake greater future success because they choose today’s immediate gratification.

We see this in leaders who hire problematic candidates who can immediately contribute over high-potential candidates needing some grooming.  We see this in leaders who choose to complete a task themselves today instead of delegating it to a developing direct report because it gets done faster.  We see this in leaders who fail to prepare a succession plan for their direct reports because it takes up too much time today and figure they’ll just deal with it later.

Empower yourself to control the impulse of today’s short-cut and you’ll experience greater success tomorrow.