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That feeling of dread and impending doom when you realise you’ve made a complete howler at work is quite like nothing else. Whether it’s offending the boss at the Christmas party, sending an email to the wrong recipient or letting slip something you shouldn’t have, the most important thing is to limit the damage – and get on with business.
Is there an elephant in your room? When you gather your team for your team meeting is there, as the saying goes, an elephant in the room that no-one is talking about? If all leaders were to answer this question honestly, in the vast majority of teams the answer would be YES. The “elephant” may take many forms: the under-performing team member that the rest of the team resents, the conflict simmering between two team members, or the difficult conversation that the leader is putting off having because it is just too….
“Everybody needs feedback” (Doug Lowenstein), “feedback is the breakfast of champions” (Ken Blanchard), “the road to self-insight runs through other people” (David Dunning). These are all feedback platitudes that see us nodding along in emphatic agreement…so why does feedback remain such an underused tool? When it comes to feedback why are we still not giving, and getting, enough? Firstly we may not have developed the right feedback mindset - many people have come to fear feedback and to therefore dread rather than welcome the phrase “can I give you some feedback?” This is understandable when many organisations have fallen into the habit of delivering what is in fact criticism, dressed up as “feedback”.
Should your organisation learn a lesson from The Army? It seems strange to suggest that civilian organisations look to The Army for inspiration for their own operation, but when it comes to training and development there may be a valuable lesson to learn. The Army expects all of its personnel to undergo further training ahead of each new promotion; training that provides the skills the individual needs to be successful on the “next rung up”.
Ever hired someone who you think is just the perfect recruit? Someone who you think will hit the ground running, could soon be challenging for employee of the month and seems like a natural fit with the existing team. Only to have their evil twin turn up and have the opposite effect to the one you’d hope they’d make? Our experience has shown us that you probably didn’t spend enough time during the interview really getting to know your candidate.
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