Do you have brilliant team bonds and good followship in your team?

Good follow-ship helps teams to advance their effectiveness

Good followship helps teams to advance their effectiveness (1)

Conversations with Managing Directors, senior leaders  and their people often reveal that they feel good ‘followship’ helps teams – at all levels – to advance their effectiveness. Good followship, especially by team members, is an ability to: promote team bonds, take direction well, actively support the team tasks, and deliver what is required.

 

The importance of both leadership and followship – and therefore, effective teamwork – is powerfully encapsulated by Rudyard Kipling in the first stanzas of his poem ‘The Pack’:

Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and true as the sky,

And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

J K Kipling

J K Kipling

Kipling neatly sums up the importance of social bonds and social cohesion to team performance. His poem underlines that repercussions from poor team social cohesion can be far reaching, fatal in fact.

Thejunglebook_movieposter

Jungle Book Poster (2)

J.R. Kipling (1865-1936) is a well known late Victorian poet and story-teller. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907. All Kipling’s major work remains in print. Kipling’s writing for children is still popular perhaps best represented by ‘The Jungle Book’ (1894) and inspired the film by Walt Disney Productions in 1967(2).

 

 

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
    1. Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. “Thejunglebook movieposter” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thejunglebook_movieposter.jpg#/media/File:Thejunglebook_movieposter

Why does a positive emotional climate lead to creativity and innovation?

A positive team vibe is essential for team success

A positive team vibe is essential for team success

A positive team vibe or emotional climate* is essential for team success. Perhaps you haven’t thought about this? But it is a characteristic of high performing teams.

A positive, engaging workplace provides psychological safety and helps develop team commitment. It helps people to speak up and collaborate and take risks together. The result: a team works well together. Other people also notice and are attracted by the warm atmosphere. A positive team vibe makes for popularity.

Teams create their emotional climate through a shared history, their work context and members’ characteristics.

Surprisingly, almost every team, even those in highly regulated call centres (as in our research study*) are creative to some degree. Opportunities for creativity, for example, open up when dealing with uncertain customer problems and inquiries.

Often such complex customer interactions are satisfied best when the team involved collaborates. Successful teams lay the groundwork for responding to such uncertainty by their use of positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love (see my previous blog post for more information about these http://ow.ly/Lv6GQ ).

Positive emotions help us open up and also make us receptive to new ideas and experiences. They encourage our interest in connecting with other people and provide us with the resources to strengthen personal resilience. A positive team climate raises productivity.

Here are five actions you can take to build a positive emotional climate in your team:

  1. Use positive emotions consciously to help develop the feeling that people are a part of their team and their organisation
  2. Make it safe for people to speak up and influence decision making
  3. Show clearly that people are treated evenly
  4. Provide opportunities for people to learn and master new skills – and to share these with other team members
  5. Address interpersonal conflicts, and conflict between different teams

*Peralta, C.F. et al. (2015) Innovation processes and team effectiveness: The role of goal clarity and commitment, and team affective tone, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, vol 88, part 1, March

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level

Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Photo by stockimages. Published on 19 January 2014

How to bounce back from hard times

You can improve your resilience, making you more capable of dealing with setbacks

Pride (2)

Positive feelings, such as joy, interest and pride, are pleasant to experience

Positive emotions build resilience to setbacks, improve relationships and help to us be healthy.

Positive emotions build resilience to setbacks, improve relationships and help to us be healthy. We know this from a wealth of psychological research.

Positive feelings, such as joy, interest and pride, are pleasant to experience. Our bodies relax and our heart-rate lowers. When we are in a positive emotional mind-set we sit up and smile, and we want to share the associated positive experience. We open up to other people, adopt a wider point-of-view and feel more like participating than when a negative emotional mindset is in play.

On the other hand, negative emotions, such as anger, fear and anxiety, make our bodies tense up. We tighten our jaw and our heart-rate increases. We pull inwards, close down and narrow our point-of-view. Often memories associated with these feelings turn into mental videos that are difficult to halt. Have you noticed that the positive emotions are also more subtle and quieter than negatives ones?

Negative emotions pack an intense emotional punch as they are hard-wired into us as protection from hard knocks and danger. This means a high number of positive moments is needed to offset the negative mindset that results from just one negative moment.

So, negativity is characterised by intense impact, and positivity the need for frequent such experiences. This difference in how we experience positive and negative emotions means we perceive negative emotions strongly, resulting in a natural bias towards negativity. Even so, a high volume of positive emotions can offset this bias.

Positive emotions offset negativity as they create resources within us that we can draw upon in more challenging times. A positive mindset generates resilience, improves relationships and helps us to be healthy. This means that work becomes more manageable and we have more energy available. This, in turn, helps us to control and adjust to the impact the world has on us.

Both positive and negative emotions have their place; they make us human. However, positive emotions need attention if we are to readily benefit from them.

The positive emotions, all 10 of them, are listed in the table below:

Lookout for and savour positive emotions to build resilience

Lookout for and savour positive emotions to build resilience

Explore positive feelings and emotions with the aid of these two tips:

  1. Keep a list of positive experiences. Perhaps note them down on the way home from work or shopping, or over a bedtime drink at the end of the day. I bet you’ll be surprised at just how many there are.
  2. Revisit them in the morning to energise your day, savour them and enjoy them. In a year’s time look back at them again.

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

T: 07779 345 499

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

Providing positive emotional support – ACT – during change through ‘values’

CT aligns individual and team values with organisational goals

ACT aligns individual and team values with organisational goals

During changing times, many people, leaders especially, find it hard to let go of the learnt ‘control’ behaviours that have brought them success in the past. Moving away from such behaviours towards new ones isn‘t easy. ‘Change support’ can help greatly. It offers people at all levels methods by which they can:

  • work effectively and productively with change, to achieve workable outcomes they can live with
  • use everyday psychological processes in a constructive way, to develop different leadership styles and organisational behaviours

The use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one way of doing this. It emphasises personal and team values by encouraging people and teams to behave both consistently and in a way that reflects their values. In this way, ACT aims to:

  • advance psychological flexibility
  • help maximise everyone’s potential
  • enhance vitality and reduce suffering

Aligning everyone’s goals

ACT has been used to help people and organisations during times of change and also as an ongoing part of employee wellbeing and engagement activities. It aligns individual and team values with organisational goals. It also recognises the distress and emotional disturbance that often comes with change. But it doesn’t have a great title, does it? However, the acronym ACT summarises the approach well:

Accept your reactions and be present
Choose a valued direction – do what matters
Take action

Together these build psychological flexibility. It is very valuable for individuals involved in and affected by change. ACT looks at a person’s character traits and behaviours to help develop a coping style. It addresses issues such as: how committed you are to making changes? And how do you stick to your commitments and goals?

It is not an antidote to emotional disturbance and pain. It is not about avoidance. Rather, by encouraging value-driven action, it both helps build acceptance and enhances personal effectiveness in difficult moments, such as when your job is insecure or when specific job demands are made. Perhaps for greater speed against tightening deadlines?

Such circumstances can leave you feeling you’re not good enough or are being coerced. You can also feel unsettled about the future. When many people and teams start to feel like this it has a destructive effect on an organisation’s productivity. It can estrange people from both the organisation and the team.

ACT has been shown to help individuals and teams in these circumstances. For instance, it can alter feelings as in the examples below:

From To
I’m not OK I’m OK; you’re OK
Defensiveness and feeling threatened Openness and curiosity
Stuck, rigid and reactive In touch with emotions; able to manage emotions
Harshly self-critical and, generally, judgemental of others Self-acceptance; acceptance of others

ACT enhances wellbeing by overcoming such negative thoughts and feelings. It starts by using meditation or ‘Mindfulness’ for a short time every day (see previous blog post). This post provides hints and tips to help you try mindfulness out. You can see the blog post here: http://mwrconsulting.co.uk/?p=9139

Anyone can learn Mindfulness. It’s simple yet challenging. And you can do it anywhere and at any time – the results have been shown to be life changing.

Please get in touch with Marjorie Raymond, on 07779 345 499, or email m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk, if you would like to talk about ACT and Mindfulness.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Certified ACT practioner
  • Support if you are being bullied, or have a member of your organisation who has made a bullying complaint
  • Certified Mediation practioner, to address workplace conflict,
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments

 

5 Reasons to Use Appreciative Change – Be the Best You Can Be

to be the best by appreciating their strengths

Appreciative Change  leads organisations’s to be the best by appreciating their strengths

Appreciative Inquiry is effective. It helps people hold conversations, dialogues, and tell stories that identify what they are good at. It also makes it easy for people to express the ways in which they work best, including processes, systems, techniques and, knowledge. Appreciative Inquiry has been, and continues to be, successfully used within organisations for specific teams and for coaching individuals.

At a meeting recently a senior business leader said:

“There is something wrong with my people they don’t like change, they don’t get it”

He was frustrated and was continuously trying to sell change to his employees, with no avail. However, during our conversation we talked about ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ and he accepted that his assumptions almost guaranteed resistance.

He asked me what may work instead. For me, collaboration and crafting the way forward with those who will be most affected has always proven to be effective, owing to:

  1. Co-creation and crafting the future: uses the knowledge and experience of people who are likely to have the greatest impact. They test out the thinking with one another and typically create even better solutions.
  2. Participation: actively self generates energy, enthusiasm and commitment. People ‘get it’ as they understand the context and need for something to happen rather than be told to change. Implementation quickly follows.
  3. Involvement of people: to design and refine the detail. This develops deeper commitment and people begin to spontaneously share progress and invite others to help refine the design.
  4. Strengths of people, systems and processes: are harnessed and people shine a light on what the organisation, teams and individuals do best.
  5. Problems are replaced by innovation as conversations increasingly shift toward uncovering the organisation’s (or team’s/community’s) positive core.

So why don’t all organisations work this way? Appreciative Inquiry requires leaders and their organisations to demonstrate a different style of leadership. They need to ‘let go a little more’ as a leader once said to me, and “become focussed and genuinely interested in helping the organisation to be the best by appreciating their strengths”. She saw her job as “generating hope and helping my people to travel hopefully and optimistically’. It was great to see her people do just that.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

How do you engage your people during organisational change?

New approaches to mentoring means it is not old hat

Mentoring is certainly not old hat

I’m asked quite often whether mentoring really works as a way to engage people during organisational change.

My answer goes something like this:

  • Research shows that organizations who establish a mentoring programme will see a significant effect on levels of employee engagement.
  • However, employee engagement during times of change is important. It builds understanding. It builds commitment. As a result, people see their organization positively and they will ‘go the extra mile ‘.
  • The old hat model of ‘mentoring for high-flyers’ is overturned by being most effective with the bottom 20% of performers.
  • Mentoring delivers higher levels of engagement and is valuable.

These days mentoring is a much broader approach.  Rather refreshingly it now applies to everyone.

Mentoring is for everyone

Mentoring is for everyone, it builds skill and confidence

Mentoring is especially useful in virtual teams, project teams and during organisational change. Nowadays mentoring is about learning and advising. When carried out in this way it raises levels of knowledge and skill, builds competencies and develops confidence.

If you need to introduce a change to how people work, then consider using mentoring to help people engage in the change and sustain it in future.

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Does your Social Media activity motivate your people?

Using Social Media can increase the motivation of your people

Using Social Media can increase the motivation of your people

Evidence suggests that an organisations external Social Media activity has a hugely positive impact on employee motivation. Specifically, organisations are finding that their external Social Media platforms most notably, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, are of interest to their own employees. These individuals frequently and enthusiastically support their company’s Social Media activity through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’. Why you may ask? Well, this helps employees feel empowered; by breaking down traditional organisational silos, it allows all employees to not only see what is going on within the company but to also feel part of the business through supportive social media activities. In a nutshell, employees value being in touch with external communication messages, giving them an internal importance that was not possible before. This is also a benefit to businesses, having social media support from their staff allows brand messages to be spread much further and thus these employees quickly become important internal communication assets! This is good news for employee communication; active use of social media has resulted in employees reporting higher levels of commitment and attachment and as a result has added more value to their own job. Surprisingly perhaps, researchers did not find that Social Media use increased employees own ‘sense of belonging’, also referred to as social cohesion.

Employees sometimes 'favourite' their firms external social media communication

Employees sometimes ‘favourite’ their firms external social media communication

However, organisations need to learn how to harness positive outcomes from their Social Media activity and link it to their internal communication strategies. Therefore, it is worth investing in the new Social Media skills and competencies required for success. Consideration should also be given to how HR strategies can be developed and communicated using the kind of communication techniques that may, until now, have been the focus of marketing activity for customers. Implications for not engaging or motivating people in your organisation may not only result in lost opportunities, but may also create much more damaging reputational consequences.

 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499 E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people. Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Coaching your call centre people can increase sales by 10 per cent

Coaching frontline call centre people inceases producitivity and engagement

Coaching your call centre people can increase sales by 10%

Call centre supervisors who coach their staff not only improve productivity and employee engagement but convert this into strong bottom line results – typically a 10 per cent increase in sales and a 25 per cent rise in customer compliments.

That’s right compliments – not complaints.

A recent study found a clear productivity benefit – a saving of one second on each call – as a direct result of coaching.1 And, in my experience, the strong bottom line results mentioned above are not uncommon.

In the call centre world, time spent talking to customers is sensitive. It has to be gauged just right. Every second really does count. Each call has to be judged just right – neither too long nor too short. Eliminating verbal clutter, so as to reduce call time, is a prized achievement. As the research study mentioned above showed, reducing call time by just one second enhances the customer’s experience, making for real quality interaction, and increases productivity.

But, sometimes supervisors were unwilling to coach. This usually happens when they haven’t been encouraged to:

  • advance their coaching skills
  • coach staff, rather than concentrate on administration
  • develop their confidence

From an effectiveness and an efficiency point of view, it makes sense to equip supervisors to coach their staff.

Even when organisational hierarchies are flattening, the evidence indicates there is a need for supervisors to play a central role in employee development – and in performance management too.

Supervisors really are the ideal people to deliver call centre training.

1 Liu, A and Batt, R (2010). How supervisors influence performance: a multi-level study of coaching and group management in technology-mediated services. Personnel Psychology, 63, pp265–298. 

Reach us at 07779 345 499, m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499

E: m.raymond@mwrconsulting.co.uk

We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.

Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Personal development activities
  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations