Archive for Teams

What your DiSC style might tell you about working from home

 

We’re all realizing these days that we have an increased need for clear communication. Maintaining relationships through social distancing is a major challenge. Many workers are being asked to work remotely—and wondering how to make it work for them.

The DiSC concept of “stretch,” of flexing into behaviors and mindsets not typically associated with our personality types is important right now. We might have to expend more energy, take more care, and assume the best of each other. Every personality has the ability to be productive from home, but what works for one person might not work as well for another.

Some workers will happily work from a laptop in their living room. Some will need significant technology support. Your team will need to decide when and how to communicate about business. You will also need to attend to maintaining social ties.

Consider how personalities will respond to a newly scheduled video chat with no agenda. Will the D-style feel like it will be a waste of time if there’s no agenda? Is the i-style excited about the chance to see everyone and their home setups? Will the S-style worry about how they should prepare? Is the C-style wondering why there’s any need for a video chat when you all have email or IM capability?

If you find that the challenges listed below resonate with you (even if not listed under your own style), discuss ways of addressing them. Your manager or fellow team members are probably willing to offer suggestions and support. Resources are also listed at the bottom of this article. Taking the time to set yourselves up for success is time well spent. You’ll be building team trust and showing commitment to each other—all positive signs of a cohesive team.

D style

You’re probably eager and ready for the challenge of working from home. You feel like you’ll get lots done; you’ll be able to focus your energy. But you probably wonder about being able to work with your team from a distance.

Strengths

  • You’re results-oriented and driven, so you’ll get done what you need to get done.
  • You will ask for what you need to be successful from home.
  • You’re willing to try new collaboration and communication tools.

Challenges

  • You might be tempted to take shortcuts to complete something that’s been recently stalled.
  • You might move ahead on something too quickly, or ahead of the rest of the team.
  • Your communication style might feel cold to others and leave colleagues feeling unappreciated or even hurt.

i style

You’re usually ready to try something new, so working from home might seem exciting at first. You understand that you’ll need to find new ways of staying connected with your colleagues and friends from work. You’re probably more likely than others to keep your extended work networks alive and active.

Strengths

  • You are naturally positive and enthusiastic and can use that energy to rally your team and maintain a feeling of camaraderie.
  • You won’t forget that human interaction is a human need and can make sure that times or spaces (like Slack channels or virtual happy hours) are created for socializing. You can also use tools like TEAMs for a fun group chat; it isn’t just for work.
  • You like to experiment and will probably have ideas to share with the rest of the team about how to make working from home work for all of you.

Challenges

  • Working alone can be stressful for you and you’ll be easily distracted.
  • Routines can feel stifling, but they can also be very helpful in supporting the self-discipline you’ll need to stay focused and on task.
  • You might want to charge ahead when you should be asking for more specific instructions or for clarification around communications.

S style

You enjoy friendly, cooperative workplaces and will miss the ease of collaboration that physical nearness enables.

Strengths

  • You like clear, complete, yet concise and friendly communication. You can model that for your team.
  • It might be easier for you to contribute your ideas and share your knowledge when given the extra time communicating online can provide.
  • Working alone isn’t stressful for you. You’re unlikely to get distracted from your focus on the team and its goals.

Challenges

  • Lack of frequent check-ins at a personal and professional level might leave you feeling disengaged or anxious.
  • New communication technologies might unsettle you. You’ll need to practice with them with someone you trust.
  • Others in your home, including children and pets, might want to demand your time during work hours and you’ll have to say “no” or shut them out of your room.

C style

You enjoy your independence and the space to think things through thoroughly. You might not understand the frustrations others feel about not seeing each other at your workplace.

Strengths

  • You probably have the discipline and focus to make working at home easy.
  • Your attention to detail will help you evaluate the resource needs of the team and to select the most reliable technologies.
  • You don’t require a lot of face time or feedback to know you’re doing a good job.

Challenges

  • Your quick-and-dirty or to-the-point communication may make others feel alienated from you.
  • You might be tempted to just do a task yourself, rather than delegate it or collaborate on it.
  • Maintaining warm personal relationships with colleagues could be challenging and you’ll need to find new strategies for doing so.

I have worked from home for over 10 years and love it. But it can also be challenging. I’ve had to be more conscious about my communication and socializing. I miss the level of friendships that develop in a workplace. It’s been important for me to identify my own challenges.

Let us know what you’ve learned about working from home by leaving a comment.

With acknowledgement of the great work done by DiscProfiles.com

If you would like to learn more about your disc style and how it could make you more productive – please contact me or any of the Ology team for your complimentary DISC discussion.

 

Dysfunctional Teams and How to Fix Them

 

Dysfunctionality among teams is far more commonplace than many business owners  would like to admit. You only need to take a look at recent headlines to notice the levels of it which can be found even in the most prestigious global brands. And considering the ease with which negative and potentially damaging content can be shared on social media these days, it pays business owners to be mindful of the risks and to develop coherent and effective strategies to alleviate these risks. 

A recent study by a very well-known UK on-line recruitment site suggests that 40% of employees believe a positive working culture is the most important thing their employer can provide. This imposes a duty on business leaders to build a supportive team culture and to ensure that managers within their business have the tools necessary to build and manage cohesive teams.

Considering this, we here at Ology recommend a 5 stage strategy that all managers should follow to fix their dysfunctional teams:

Ownership

If you as a leader do not take ownership of a team and its potential problems, then things will never improve. Discuss the matter openly with your team so that they feel comfortable sharing any issues they might have and make sure you set the standard of how you expect them to work together.

Honesty

If you notice your team is slowly becoming more fragmented and less effective, do not be afraid to seek out the truth. To fully understand what is going on, `remain neutral and do not cast judgement when asking for feedback from team members. Once you discover what is causing the negativity, take action and try to counteract it.

Standards

As a team leader, it’s essential that you put in place a standard of performance you expect. Therefore, you can’t have different standards for different members as this will only upset team members and provide extra ammunition for the more disruptive members of the team. Do not ignore the negative behaviour of some staff members. Make sure your team understands the repercussions of such behaviour and that it cannot be tolerated.

Agreement

You may have a plan in place that you think will help stamp out negativity, but without the backing of the team the plan is simply futile. To combat this, ensure the team meets regularly, while also keeping them informed of the standards you need them to adhere to.

Persistence

It can be frustrating when you notice that all of your efforts are falling on deaf ears and that team members continue to be disruptive and toxic. Turning your team around can often be one of the toughest challenges team leaders will ever face. It takes time and commitment. Don’t give up, be intentional and persistent to your beliefs and eventually change will happen.

And finally, be assured that you can do this. With the help of Ology’s behavioural expertise and our bespoke solutions, along with the dedicated support of one of our professional coaches, you can fix your teamworking issues.

For more information, or to discuss how we might help, contact Ology Coach Dave Preston today. (e-mail: davepreston@ologycoaching.com; or call 07539 365747)

Secrets of Leadership – What True Leaders Say to Their Teams

Leaders have a tremendous impact on their organization, because the phrases they share with their teams can either produce distrust and apathy or ignite passion and commitment. Everyone is a leader. And what you say to the people that you work with will influence their work ethic and attitude. A strong leader will recognize this, and take advantage of every opportunity to be an encouraging and inspiring flame that his people want to be near and benefit from. Yes, HOW you deliver the words are a very important part of your communication… but these are likely the 12 most inspiring things you can share with your team to ensure that they are fully invested and feel themselves to be a valued and contributing part of something larger and more significant than themselves.

1. You were right about…

Great leaders are quick to praise productive decisions or ideas. It isn’t about who is right, leadership is about deciding what is right. Instead of having to be the fountain of knowledge and wisdom for their organization, strong leadership acknowledges the contributions and comments that the people around them offer — and by doing so, you encourage future innovation and give other the gift of recognition.

2. I’m glad you are here

People don’t want to be appreciated… they NEED it. Money may be the reason they took a job, but they will leave that job when they see a chance to get more recognition and feel more valued by their superiors and peers. The simple but powerful (and FREE) action of telling your people that you are glad that they are on YOUR team can be a much more impactful phrase than you might first assume. We all want to belong, and telling your team that you are proud to have them as part of the crew can work wonders.

3. I trust you

Some people want to lead by doing everything themselves. But the more you do, the less your people feel needed or competent to manage. Part of your job as leader is to delegate and give up responsibility to those who surround you. People usually live up to (or down to) the expectations we set for them. When you trust them with something important, instead of treating them like children, you insire their loyalty and best efforts.

4. You earned it

Rewards are nice. Despite Daniel Pink’s conclusions about the ineffectiveness of carrot and stick motivation, people do want to be rewarded occasionally for their efforts. The team you lead wants recognition — but only if it is sincere and valid. Saying this with only a weak reason to may undermine it’s intended effect… but sharing a nice unexpected gift after a truly deserving performance can be incredibly powerful. What gets rewarded often gets repeated.

5. Let’s have some fun

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy — and makes your workplace a dull environment. While productivity is important, it is the job of leadership to build a culture of smiles, laughter, enjoyment, and lighthearted fun. A day away from the office together, or a fun business teambuilding event can do wonders for morale. You may be surprised to see how much that productivity improves when you encourage your people to do what they do and have a little fun along the way.

6. I believe in you

People are like certain species of fish. Their growth is determined by the tank that you place them in. If you encourage them and consistently remind them of your faith in their judgment and abilities, they will grow into the person that you want them to be. Don’t treat them as they are — help them to see the person that you see them becoming, and let your words paint a picture of the skills and traits that you know they can demonstrate.

7. That is interesting

No matter how strong or impressive the employee, athlete, or coworker — at times he or she will say something that you either don’t agree with of think is completely ridiculous. It is at times like those that you need this line. Let them know they have been heard. Let them feel that you are weighing their suggestion or comment. And let them feel comfortable and safe in offering ideas in the future by not criticizing them and killing the instinct to contribute.

8. How can I help?

The single most significant role of a leader is to give your people a job and then be a resource that is available, not hovering. If you do a good enough job of removing obstacle and allowing your people the time to work on what you have given them as a project or activity, you have been a good leader. Tell them what you want and then get out of the way — but use this phrase to let them know you are there as a supportive and helpful resource for them.

9. What do you think?

Asking for opinions is one of the wisest things a leader can do. Nobody is wise enough by themselves, and the message you send by asking for the input of your team is that they are intelligent and creative and valuable members of the project instead of just hourly employees and mindless drones. You don’t have to take their advice most of the time — the simple act of asking them about their perspective, though, communicates your interest in getting other ideas and may even provide a surprising and valuable insight.

10. Come on in

Everyone has an opinion on open-door policies. Just because you leave your door open does not mean that your team feels comfortable entering the room and sitting down to discuss things with you. A great leader connects enough with his team that people feel safe sharing their situation and ideas and challenges. When you share this phrase with sincerity, and are truly interested in having a conversation and building relationships and understanding, the loyalty and commitment your people feel toward you grow exponentially.

11. Thank you for…

If you are a leader, people are going to work seeking to please you. Your team wants to feel validated and appreciated for their efforts — especially when things are tough. Sharing a short thank you can be powerful — but I would encourage you to NEVER share a simple thank you. Always share a SPECIFIC thank you. Let them know exactly what it is they did that you appreciate, and the more detailed your thanks, the more likely it s they will really feel like you noticed their efforts.

12. Have a great day!

Attitude reflects leadership. Strong leaders accept that their people often take a cue from and are at the very least influenced by the team leader’s attitude each day .Greet your team every opportunity you have, and share a smile and a positive comment to remind them that things are good. Encourage a positive attitude and perception of things by being an example of positivity and optimism. If you are determined to make it a great day, that attitude will filter down to every one in the organization. Your team wants to be inspired. No matter how gruff or self-sufficient they may seem, every one of the people on your team remember moments in their lives when someone said something to them that mattered. You can add another moment to that list of memories if you make it a point to take advantage of opportunities to share these 12 phrases with your team. They don’t cost you anything extra, other than a bit of thoughtful consideration for those that surround you — but their impact can be tremendous. And once is never enough. Motivation doesn’t last forever. Zig Ziglar says it’s a lot like showering in that respect — that’s why he recommends it often. Remember that you do well what you do often. Looking for ways to share these 12 most inspiring phrases with your team may be challenging at first, but the impact it will have on your team culture when you start incorporating them into your conversations may amaze you.