Archive for January 2014

The Metiss Group Profiled on Metromode.com

January 31, 2014

The Metiss Group Profiled on Metromode.com

The Metiss Group was recently profiled in the online publication Metromode.com, highlighting our consistent success and growth, particularly in recent years.

Metromode is published by Detroit-based Issue Media Group, L.L.C., and profiles job growth and development in Southeast Michigan.

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Beware Of The Impact High Dominance Types Have In Team Sessions

January 27, 2014

Susan Cain, in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, describes a series of experiments by psychologist Solomon Asch in which volunteers were grouped into teams and asked to take a vision test. He showed them a picture of three lines of varying lengths and asked questions about how the lines compared with one another. His questions were so simple that 95 percent of participants answered every question correctly. But when Asch planted high dominating actors in the groups, and the actors confidently volunteered incorrect answers, the number of participants who gave correct answers plunged to 25 percent.

The impact persistent, aggressive dominating types have on group decision making is astounding and can send teams in unproductive and inaccurate directions.  Stating incorrect facts forcefully and relentlessly doesn’t make them correct, but can eventually make them believable.  Teams that are aware of this when making decisions, are comfortable challenging dominating team members, and have dominating team members whom are comfortable admitting they may be wrong are much healthier.

Today, more and more work is being done in teams, and those teams risk being knocked off track by certain team members.  But, teams that understand each other’s problem solving styles and have a common language for identifying the various approaches are equipped to make better decisions.

Empower your teams to understand their workplace behaviors and avoid being unduly influenced by the high dominating team members and they’ll be more successful.

Own Hiring Mistakes

January 20, 2014

If you google “how to sell customers”, you’ll get about 835 million results.  Googling “how to write business plans” returns about 409 million results and “how to raise capital” about 222 million.  Oddly, searching for “how to hire employees” only yields 146 million results (“how to fire employees” returns even more at 199 million).

The fact is, leaders are not taught to hire employees as much as other business practices.  As a result, leaders should not expect to always make great hires (even if they were well trained it’s impossible to do every time).  Most hiring managers will make at least one hiring mistake sometime in their career.  That’s fine, maybe even encouraged.  What isn’t okay is not correcting the mistake.

Good leaders recognize when they make a poor hire, admit it, and correct it.  Though a good selection process and reliable assessment tools increase the odds of a successful hire, nobody expects hiring managers to be perfect.  But the team does expect leaders to fix their mis-hires.  The team will respect the leader for admitting and correcting their error.

Empower your hiring managers to correct hiring mistakes and you’ll have a more successful team.

Use Your Team’s Workplace Behaviors to Challenge You

January 13, 2014

We are naturally attracted to people who agree with us and confirm what we already believe. It makes us feel better and less stressed.  However, disagreement, not consensus, leads to better decisions. Unfortunately, few leaders are comfortable seeking out differing opinions.

People with different behavior styles approach problems and offer solutions from different perspectives.  Your forceful, aggressive team members will give strong, no-nonsense answers.  The fun loving, high energy team members will offer optimistic, conflict free approaches.  Easy going, steady team members like logical and empathetic solutions.  And the rigid, compliant types prefer analytical, data driven options.

First, take time to evaluate how your team typically solves problems and use some psychometric assessments for additional insight. When you understand everyone’s strengths and approaches, encourage the team to challenge you from those different perspectives.  Once given permission and inspiration to contribute using new solutions in this way, the team will naturally make better decisions.

Empower your team to challenge your positions by using their strengths, and you’ll experience more success.

Begin With The End In Mind

January 6, 2014

It’s the New Year, so as Steven Covey recommends in his 2nd habit: Begin With The End In Mind.  What do you really want/need to accomplish this year?  What about your direct reports?  Is there a development goal they have that you can support?

Empower the success of direct reports by asking each what they really want to accomplish as a development goal this year.  Together, set a plan with clear expectations, set some milestones for discussions about resources, restrictions, obstacles, and progress toward the goal.

As a team, identify a goal or two that supports organizational goals and set similar plans.  Discuss exactly what success looks like, what resources the team will need, any restrictions, and set the first few milestones with clear level of authority.  By creating clarity around these borders and boundaries, you empower the direct reports to attain the goal without micromanaging how exactly they get there.  Keep adjusting the milestones and level of authority as needed, and you’ll all be energized by the success.

Empower the success of your direct reports by beginning with the end in mind and setting the borders and boundaries around identified goals.