Collaberation Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

Its within our control to fix it

All to often we get caught up in why are management not fixing this! No matter where you are in an organisation you can influence an outcome. Everyday we are held back from success, but often the things that are holding us back are not clearly laid out, for others to understand or to solve or we dont see it as our responsibility to resolve. Living in hope that someone will find a solution.

Hope is not a strategy. What we walk pass is what we accept. So how do we address? Firstly understanding the problem we are trying to solve:

1. Problem statement.

2. Get a cross section of people together to discuss

3. Brainstorm solutions to the problem.

4. Agree on the best solution.

This is a far better approach than coming up with the solution when there is no recognition or understanding of the problem you are solving. The other benefit is the owner of the solution emerges. No matter how many times you go through the process the owner always emerges, as people naturally want to help and always want to be delivering outcomes that elevate pain.

An example: a team of account managers are dealing with many questions from their customers a day. Due to the newness of the business, many questions are being asked for the first time, and then again and again by different customers. The time management and CX is very poor, as the time it takes to deal with each request is not always straight forward. The problem statement ” How do we remove the burden of multiple questions from customers to Account Managers, increase the consistency and timeliness of responses, to free account managers up to focus on driving initiatives and enablement of their customers”

Because this problem statement is broad, having a cross section of staff across the business, enables solutions to be sought and the owner emerges.

STOP saying: thats not my teams issue, as it is because it impacts your team. The team that own the solution often are unaware of the issue or size of the issue, so framing the problem statement and finding solutions together is far more effective.

It’s within our control to fix it.

Collaberation Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

Why context is so important in delivering a message

My coach always reminded me “context equals meaning”. Without context you message is lost and we leave the audience confused.

Context is so important in conversation and in delivering a message. I observe it in others but rarely identify when I am not doing it! It struck me when seeing one of the leaders from our company talking about having the critical conversation the conversations we avoid, it was a great message to leaders, but it lacked authenticity and context as there was no personal story. 

From this I learned  what was missing from my presentations. When delivering the vision for my team for the year ahead at a recent kick off I used a story to describe a customer who has mortgaged their house to set up their business, the stress of a growing payroll and the responsibility of collecting enough cash to ensure all your staff get paid, they have a billing issue that drags on for 6 months and the stress of this large bill which is incorrect. The message: Take extra special care with your customers, get the wider team involved to resolve critical issues for the customer. The feedback from the team was incredible, they said no one has made them think about the customers perspective and what they are dealing with.

Key learning is always spend more time on the scene setting, background and why you want the audience to listen, all these give context to your message.

Collaberation Influence Leadership

5 leadership skills you need to be on a Jury

Jury service is your civil duty and should be looked at, as an opportunity to grow and give back. I had the opportunity to be a juror in the district court on a criminal case.  The Jury did not know each others name, just a letter until the final verdict was given.

Here are 5 skills you will utilise:

  1. Active listening: Listening to others and understanding their insights, is an amazing experience. You all take away from a trial different aspects of the proceedings. How the jurors read into the situations presented, is as if you are all watching a different movie. Fascinating.
  2. Recognising bias: everyone has a bias that shows up in deliberation, its quite incredible, what you share when you are locked in a room for days on end.  You learn about the bias, as in most cases the juror called it out as it was based on a personal life experience. I learnt more about bias in 7 days than I have in my time in business. On reflection we can do more with our teams in business to understand biases and how they show up.  Met a leader of a business today, who told me all employees conduct a culture interview. Recently a 25 year old female interviewed a older male and  his comments were inappropriate, so the company did not hire and she had the support of the whole company.
  3. Questioning: Asking questions to draw out why someone has come to the conclusion they have, what they heard and how they interpreted the information.  Jurors shifted on the back of asking great questions that revealed information they had not considered.  A question that shifted jurors :what is the worst that can happen for a guilty or not guilty.
  4. Respect: We had a number of people with soft voices, that were uncomfortable projecting in the group. The support to ensure they were heard was phenomenal. At first they were drowned out, but soon everyone would stop when they spoke, thanking for their valuable input and encouraging more. On another note about respect, one day we were asked to get in early and three members turned in late, one apologised the other two not. I asked them to apologise to the team, as many had come over an hour to get here on time.
  5. Take your time to consider all the evidence.: Cannot consider evidence until you know all the evidence: Its tempting to start considering the evidence as you  hear it, but its not appropriate to consider any until you have heard it all.  In business we often jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts, human nature is resolve the problem, rather than get a deep understanding before acting.

Performing civil duties, develops us all as there are so many leanings.  I will look back on this time fondly as I came away a different person than the one that walked through the door. As a result of being a Juror have a huge respect for the legal system and police.