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What great managers do: develop a team to performance (Proceedings)
A manager's guide to developing a performance team
Are they happy?
• Most employees want to say they have ; "the greatest boss in the world" but most do not.
• Bad bosses are the number one reason employees leave organizations.
• Lots of literature and studies about the qualities of great bosses and the differences between managers and leaders.
• Veterinary medicine does not create good bosses.
• What do good bosses do?
One outstanding characteristic
• All great managers have the ability to discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.
• Average managers play checkers, great managers play chess.
• All the pieces are uniform and move in the same way.
• They are uniform.
• A need to plan moves but all the players move at the same pace and on the same path.
• Each piece moves in a different way and you can't play unless you know how each piece moves.
• You won't win unless you put considerable forethought in to how the pieces move IN ADVANCE.
Leader or manager?
o Turn one person's talent into performance.
o Managers succeed only when they can identify and develop the differences in people.
o Challenge each person to excel in their own way.
o Discover what is universal and capitalize on it.
o Cut through differences and focus on the needs that we all share.
Great managers are...
• Quick to capitalize on unique strengths of employees.
• It costs much less to work with a person than to have a revolving door.
• It saves a lot of time which is a commodity in all hospitals.
• Capitalizing on strengths forces team because it makes people need one another.
• You introduce a healthy degree of disruption to your practice.
Disruption? disturb the peace?
• Shuffle existing hierarchies.
• Shuffle assumptions about who can do what.
• Shuffle existing beliefs about where true expertise lies.
• Great managers do these things because they can't help it! They are astute and managing the needs of people.
Classic symptom of "no team"
• You've spent months training and coaching your team to better performance but you are not seeing results.
• We seem to talk about the same things in all of our meetings.
• The same person/persons are in charge of the hiring process and tend to draw the
• So, what do we do?
• Identify unique talents
• Embrace eccentricities
• Help them use their personal qualities to excel.
• Emphasize that the culture appreciates differences. Celebrate the uniqueness of each employee.
• CONTINUOUSLY tweak roles to capitalize on individual strengths.
• Pull the triggers that activate employee's strengths.
• Tailor coaching to learning styles.
• You save time.
• The team takes ownership for improving their skills.
• The team learns to value differences.
Capitalizing on individual strengths
• Identify each employees strengths.
o What to they like the best about their job?
o What tasks do they look forward to and what tasks do they avoid?
o What was the best day you had at work in the last three months?
o Listen for activities they find intrinsically satisfying.
• Weaknesses don't mean lack of skill...it can be any task that drains our energy or is an activity that all you can think about is stopping once you start.
• What is the worst day you have had in the last three months?
• For the purpose of this management task we want to downplay discussions of weakness.
• Offer training to help them overcome shortcomings stemming from lack of skills or knowledge.
Strategies for addressing weakness
• Find the employee a mentor/partner with complementary talents.
• Think about the mechanics of your business and reconfigure work arrangements. Don't be afraid to be unconventional.
Psychology of "weakness"
• Self Awareness vs. Self Assurance
• Do we want an employee armed with the knowledge of their limitations or do we want them confident in their abilities. Focus on strength.
• In other words, people get more reward from knowing they are doing a job well than from understanding what parts of the job they are weak at.
• `Some would argue that employees can get too confident. Perhaps?
• It is the managers job to simultaneously communicate the importance of their tasks and the real complexity obstacles that they will need to overcome to be successful.
• Your objective is to create a state of mind in the employee—a realistic assessment of the obstacles and difficulties associated with the goal combined with the confidence to take the goal on. (Optimism)
• Unless the failure is attributable to factors beyond the employees control, they must accept that failure was lack of effort on their part. (psychological pressure)
• This obscures self doubt. It is not that you are not capable but perhaps it is because you didn't develop enough skills or you didn't try harder?
• Apply more training to lack of knowledge or skill. If the employee does not respond it is because they do not possess the talent or skill to do the job.
• Manage around their weakness to neutralize it but don't keep exposing them to failure.
• Find them a partner/mentor that is strong where they are weak.
• Rearrange the employees work world to render the weakness irrelevant.
• Time of Day? Night or Day strengths?
• Time with boss? A little or a lot?
• Most powerful trigger is recognition.
• Activating Employee Strengths
• Source of Recognition
• The Boss
• Others with similar experience
• Type of Feedback
• Publicly celebrate achievements
• Tell them privately but vividly why they are such a valuable team member.
• Give them a professional/technical award.
• Pose a photo of them and the "best" client."
Coach to the learning style
• If their learning style is...
• ANALYZER: they require extensive information before accepting a task and they hate making mistakes.
• DOER: they use trial and error to enhance skills while grappling with tasks.
• WATCHER: hones their skills by watching other people in action.
• Coach them by...
• Give ample training time, role play, give them time to prepare for challenges.
• Assign simple tasks, explain desired outcome and then get out of the way. Gradually increase the complexity of tasks to be assigned.
• Have them shadow top performers.
The art of success
• At the heart of great managers success is the ability to appreciate individuality.
• But great managers need other skills as well:
o Be able to hire well
o Set expectations
o Instinctively interact with others in a productive fashion
• Great Managers "play chess."
• Define expectations and outcomes.
• They encourage individuality.
• Hope (or assume) that all of their employees will be motivated by the same things and driven by the same goals.
• Define behaviors and tell them to work on skills that do not come naturally.
• Encourage sameness and view their job as transformation rather than development.
• Don't try to change a person's style.
• Know their employees will differ in how they think, build relationships, how altruistic they are, how patient they can be, how much of an expert they need to be, , how prepared they need to be, what challenges them, what drives them and what their goals are. Whew!!
• Differences of trait and talents are like blood types; they cut across superficial variations of race, sex and age and capture each person's uniqueness.
• Like blood types these traits of people are enduring and resistant to change.
• Your most precious resource is time. Why waste it pushing a rock up a hill?
• Great management is about the RELEASE of talent and skill, not the transformation .
• It is about constantly tweaking the environment to allow the employees unique contributions and styles to develop.
• Success as a manager depends almost entirely on your ability to do this.