Give them Permission to Speak their Minds

 
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When people feel safe enough to speak their minds in meetings, everyone benefits: Employees get to be honest, and managers get to hear what their team members really think.

Leaders can invite candid conversation by doing two things.

  1. Focus on permission. Give people permission to say or ask anything they want. Sometimes in meetings it’s unclear who is allowed to say what, or which topics people can and cannot ask about. Discuss these things with your team up front.

  2. Create psychological safety. Everyone has had the experience of not feeling heard or respected; show your team that won’t happen in your meetings. Ask the group to devote their full attention to whoever is talking, to not interrupt each other, and to highlight the value in other people’s contributions.

Tip: Keep your team on track to keep their attention — call on people who haven’t spoken, keep the conversation on track, and hold people back if they’re talking too much.

How do you make sure team meetings are engaging?

Did we need this meeting?

 
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Whether you’re getting your team on board with a new change, relaying critical messages from the top, or forwarding yet another unrelated email, how you communicate is essential to your team’s success.

How do you check your own communication?

To find out if you’re being transparent enough or checking in way too often, just ask your staff!

  1. At your next huddle, ask how you’re doing. Are you overloading them with information or leaving them hanging?

  2. Ask how they prefer information. There might be a certain way your team has the highest level of understanding.

  3. Set the precedent for future communication practices. “If I want to tell you about an upcoming meeting, I will put it on the calendar, and then invite you via email. If you don’t RSVP online by the next day, I will reach out via email.”

Need help refining your communication? Contact us!

All for one, and one for all

 
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When cheering “go, team, go!” during the project process turns into “me, myself, and I” at the awards podium, teams can understandably feel resentful and bitter.

Be their coach and biggest fan!

  • Recognize their work the next time everyone gets together- such as at the start of a meeting or workday.

  • Thank them publicly- have a team lunch, send a mass email, or put their names on the sign next to your award on display.

  • If there is a podium, make sure you mention your team’s part in your success.

Giving glory and credit to your team isn’t about taking away from your individual success; it’s about unity...AKA strong and loyal teams.

You’ve got this – together!

"Fail" is not a 4-letter word

 
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Whether it’s missing a deadline, falling short on a sales goal, or accidentally hitting “reply all” on an email – oof! – no one is perfect.

Hard work (and being human) comes with peaks and valleys, but your outlook can be the difference between a setback and an #epicfail. When you embrace and learn from failures, you will:

  • Build an open and honest team, because who needs fear and shame?

  • Promote creativity and risk-taking. Play big, win big.

  • Help your team to see failures as opportunities and rally.

So how do we come back from failure? Here’s how:

  1. Own up. “I apologize, I had the deadline for this project set to the wrong date on the calendar.”

  2. Offer suggestions. “We can either work late to make this deadline or ask for an extension.”

  3. Make a change. “How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

When L’s become W’s, there’s no better comeback story.

We want to hear one of yours! Share it with us at ann@wardcertified.com.

Delegate like a Boss

 
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Are you suffering from the common but deadly condition of micromanaging? You can tell if your team seems less productive, morale is low, or… if someone has told you.

Here’s what the doctor ordered:

  • More delegating and mentoring. Challenge yourself to “give away“ one task today. What can they take off your plate?

  • Let go of control over every process and outcome. If the task isn’t urgent, don’t check in until you said you would.

  • Trust ‘em! You hired them because they’re skilled and competent. Have a check-in meeting to see how projects are going, then step back to let them figure things out.

Remember this: By not stepping in, you’re helping your team learn, grow, and be more confident for your company and mission.

What worked well for you? Share it with us at ann@wardcertified.com.

"Celebrate Good Times, C'mon"

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Ready to be a rock star leader? Setting big goals gives us the fire we need to make amazing things happen. But don’t lose sight of all the small victories it took to reach your crowning achievement!

Great leaders know celebrating successes along the way, however small, has big benefits like:

  • Increasing productivity.

  • Curbing burnout on long projects.

  • Creating a positive work environment that recognizes growth and progress.

Yea, I want to work there!

Ex: Send a “thank you” email when a team member helps you last minute, bring in breakfast for an early morning meeting, or send a cheesy GIF like the one we used to give “kudos“ to someone who went above and beyond.

Step back for a minute today- How is your team is contributing to the bigger picture?

A Virtual Team is still a Team

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Just like in the physical office, remote employees and coworkers like to bond about topics outside of work. Don’t forget to engage them in the same ways you do your in-person team members.

Here’s how:

  • Have team members create profiles of themselves. What are their areas of expertise, hobbies, and outside interests?

  • Deliberately discuss non-work related topics during team meetings. At WC, we start each team meeting by asking, “What’s one exciting thing going on in your life right now?”

  • Celebrate birthdays and holidays in virtual rooms (See how in our Virtual Party Post). 

How do you keep your virtual team members on board?