Archive for August 2015

Three Positive Interactions For Every One Negative

August 28, 2015

2.9013 to 1 — that’s the ratio of positive comments/experiences/expressions for every one negative exposure to make a team successful.  Psychologist Marcial Losada bases this data on an extensive mathematical model.  A 3 to 1 ratio or more is needed to create a positive atmosphere, and according to other research, a 6 to 1 ratio for teams to produce their best work.

Leaders need to ask what their positive to negative interaction ratio is for each of their direct reports.  The positive interactions can be quite simple.  A “great job” comment, a quick “thank you” email, a smile when passing by, or a “good morning” welcome all add to the positive interaction tally.

Leaders spend countless dollars on performance training and incentives but simple, genuine positive interactions will do more to increase success than any other influence.

Empowered leaders deliver at least three positive interactions for every one negative, and increase their leadership effectiveness for success.

Prepare For A Productive Phone Screen

August 21, 2015

One of the first steps in any effective selection process is the candidate phone screen.  To get the most out of this crucial activity, hiring managers should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Schedule phone screen – don’t just call out of the blue; setting a time to talk to the candidate helps them prepare and allows them to give their full attention; schedule 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Set expectations – let the candidate know early in the conversation this is just the first step and additional information will be gathered and the plan is to talk to other candidates; this gives the hiring manager the opportunity to end the call quickly if they realize it is not a good match and prepares the candidate for the selection process.
  • Review salary requirements – get the money piece on the table early; if the candidate’s salary requirements fall outside the hiring range, move on, no sense wasting time.
  • Confirm resume accuracy – cover the highlights of the resume; confirm the accuracy and probe for consistencies.
  • Ask the same questions for all candidates – consistently asking the same questions helps to compare candidates.
  • Ask two to three job-related behavior based questions – most of the job related questioning comes in the first interview, but asking some basic “deal breaker” questions upfront can save time with a first interview; drive for specifics and make there are good reasons for moving forward.

Phone screening doesn’t need to be time consuming and complicated and should be a productive step in the selection process.

Empowered hiring managers prepare before the screening and have more successful candidate interviews.

Direct Reports Can Be Treated Differently

August 12, 2015

Any parent with more then one child knows how different they are (pet owners know this, too).  In sports, most of the great coaches are successful because they know each of their players require a different type of leadership.  Unfortunately, many leaders have one leadership style they apply to each of their direct reports and expect their direct reports to excel.

Everyone has different behavior styles and workplace motivations.  Some direct reports respond best with a firm message, others with a gentle nudging, and others with lengthy conversations.  Some people are motivated by recognition, others by money, and others by altruism.  The best leaders take time to understand their direct reports’ differences and tailor their leadership approaches to each person.

Empowered leaders understand their direct reports’ behavioral styles and motivations, apply unique leadership approaches, and are more successful leaders.

When Communicating With Others, Consider Their Communication Style

August 9, 2015

Whether a leader is providing feedback to a direct report or a sales person addressing a prospect or client, think about the style and communication needs of the receiver when communicating.  People have very different needs and preferences in the way they process communication, and in their natural style of delivering it.

As an example, a gregarious extrovert wanting to spend time bonding by talking about the big game or last weeks’ current events may frustrate a strong-willed task-focused individual who just wants to get down to business.

Too often leaders get caught up in the message they want to deliver and fail to recognize the needs of the receiver. As a result, they communicate in a way they would want to have someone speak to them when so often those very attributes can turn off a listener with a different style.

Leaders should help direct reports explore their own behavior style and recognize the behavior style of others; that will allow them to experience much greater success in their interpersonal communication and relationships.