Archive for the 'Collaboration' Category

What does a good leader look like?

Many years ago (and I mean many) I was on a change management course; one of our exercises was to draw what we think a good leader looks like – bringing out their main characteristics. Once the group moved beyond the hysterics about drawing we were given a powerful lesson in understanding our own biases and stereotyping. The Alpha male came out strongly in all our drawings yet, as we were soon to learn many great leaders don’t have these characteristics.

With the benefit of this and many other lessons over the years it is very apparent that a leader doesn’t always have the characteristics of the alpha male. One area where a strong leader needs to excel is with their communication, this is relevant to any personality style.

In the Kandula Konnects newsletter article we looked specifically at the EQ/ IQ balance, including the stats that nearly 60% of the employers who responded to a study by the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS) stated that there is a greater focus in the workplace on open communication.

Thinking about open communication in a leadership context is sometimes confusing. I think it’s split in to a number of different areas and a strong leader needs to understand and excel in all these areas:

1. Using appropriate methods and channels of communication to tell the organisations story – this is particularly relevant for the CEO and Executive teams

2. Role modeling exemplary interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate with groups and individuals to strengthen working relationships

3. Creating the environment for others to communicate, this could involve driving a culture where collaboration and cross team communication happens

Often a leader would see their role as doing only one of these 3 things. I would encourage organisations to look at how well they are delivering on all 3 pieces. Auditing communication within an organisation should look beyond the channels of communication and look at behaviours and the culture. Only by addressing all 3 areas will true leaders excel as communicators.

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The pace of life in organisations today is taking its toll.

Expectations put on people in organisations to perform seem to be mounting. The pressure to answer all your emails in minutes, the pressure to work to tight deadlines, the pressure to deliver, deliver and deliver some more – it’s all taking its toll.

And one area that seems to be suffering in particular is the ability to have strong working relationships. It seems odd to me that there is a wealth of evidence that shows that strong relationships make a difference to our productivity yet less and less time can be given to building these relationships in the work place. Building relationships takes time and effort, it involves talking to people having (productive) face to face meetings and getting to know the people you are dealing with. Continue reading ‘The pace of life in organisations today is taking its toll.’

To decide or not?

If you were a fly on the wall in your meetings what would you see happening? What is the quality of the discussion, how are decisions made and what is the likelihood that these decisions will actually be actioned?

As an observer at a series of meetings recently I was able to see how an Executive team interacted and the impact this was having on their decision-making and the companies’ performance. Being aware of some of the hazards of decision-making and what to do about it is a starting point for success.

Where does it go wrong? Continue reading ‘To decide or not?’

Is there space for collaboration in the workplace?

How many times have you heard in the last year or so that collaboration is going to be all important in the workplace over the next few years? And when you hear these statements what happens to you?

For some the idea of collaboration fills us with joy; with thoughts of engaging people in idea generation, making decisions and gaining a sense of involvement and commitment. Time spent collaborating is seen as useful, enjoyable and without doubt the way to get things done.

Does that describe your response? Or is this more like it…… Continue reading ‘Is there space for collaboration in the workplace?’