PL is about 5 key things that you can see from the equation illustration below.
Does your performance affect the performance of others and the overall performance of the team?
My performance affects how other individuals within the team perform. It also affects how the overall team performs together. Each individual can look at this in the same way and if we are all aligned and thinking the same about the part we play, the way in which we behave and act and what we are aiming to achieve it will have positive affects as to how the overall team performs too.
Quality, credible, sound performance is judged differently by each person. What looks good to one may look very different to another. However, within Ricoh we align to objectives as a matter of course through our Power 2 Perform (P2P) process to ensure that objectives are agreed and met by specified deadlines, thus giving us an ability to measure performance against these agreed outcomes.
However, there are 5 elements to achieving sound performance.
- Emotional Intelligence
I believe that understanding yourself is the first step on any individuals’ road to positive output & performance as an individual, leading ultimately to individual and team success. Understanding how I tick allows me to recognise a varying array of things in a proactive way rather than reacting at the time something occurs or after the horse has bolted.
Emotional Intelligence is about understanding yourself; our strengths, weaknesses, how one learns best, what triggers emotional response, how one reacts and behaves and how that may affect us and other people. Certain aspects of what we do and don’t do, how we behave, how we react and how we work has an effect on us in terms of how we are perceived, how we are approached, the trust others have in us and ultimately can affect our progress and success.
Ultimately, understanding ourselves and all of these things mentioned and more will highlight what any individual needs to work on, improve or do more/less of. When an individual isn’t operating subconsciously and delivering consciously, mindful of how their actions or non-action may be perceived by others, this gives them the power to make informed decisions about next steps to take in order to benefit themselves and others.
Engagement covers many things. Engaging people, personally and professionally in work, really understanding them, what motivates them, how they best learn, how they work, what achievements they desire and even how much interaction they want with you.
On an individual basis, as a leader I have to engage on a personal and professional level to ensure mutual understanding and alignment. No least, as a leader I should know my team members, take a genuine interest in them and want to see them achieve their goals as much as bring them on my journey to achieve our wider team objectives, goals and vision. As Richard Branson quoted; ‘I must train my teams/people well enough that they could leave the organisation but treat them so well that they simply don’t want to’, aside from operational objectives, as a leader, I see this as my role. I’ve heard some people say ‘that’s fake behaviour’ and that frankly they are more interested in delivering objectives than knowing what their team did at the weekend. Frankly, you won’t achieve the objectives without them and this interaction. We need others to help us achieve the operational objectives and besides, isn’t this interaction part of wider engagement, building rapport and ultimately mutual respect and trust?! It is a case of treating people as individuals, as human beings and treating them how you wish to be treated.
Without a group of individuals we have no team. Individuals, like myself do not have all the answers thus it is important to engage people on as many aspects of the task at hand, to develop our vision and direction and determine how we will achieve it. Buy in, engagement and collective interaction on vision, objectives and goals and then how we achieve these things together ensures everyone has ownership and feels included and empowered to play their part in its success.
Getting these things right will support individuals to feel valued, that they contribute and understand how so. As a leader I must also ensure that people have access to the tools and training that they need and want in order to achieve their personal ambitions and improve in day to day operations. It matters more to me that people achieve and progress than I achieve and progress. As a leader this is my role and as a result of such action I achieve purely by being a part of the journey.
Communication in this regard plays a huge role. 1-2-1 and group communications, verbal, face to face and everything in between. Without communication engagement isn’t achievable. Learning to engage in the right way means listening. Too much speaking means little listening and no hearing. If you’re not hearing the other person, how can you best adapt your style/approach or support their needs. This goes directly against engagement.
I believe coaching comes next as once an individual becomes emotionally intelligent and how that has helped them to improve and progress they can use that experience to coach someone else in the same vein. This isn’t a journey that will have a definite end point that, at which point one will be able to coach. Lessons and realisations will be apparent regularly, maybe even every day once a person becomes conscious of themselves and how they operate. Conscious of what triggers certain behaviours/reactions and as these lessons are learnt the individual can coach on such points. Equally coaching can come from experience, sharing that experience, thought provocation, suggesting other or new ways of doing things and highlighting the consequences or benefits of doing so.
Being open to the fact that everyone is different, learning to listen and apply change to your coaching approach or your approach in general is a valuable lesson. Adapting to each person and their specific needs makes all the difference over sticking to your preferred method/trait. Flexibility in approach is important to support people and their direction thus improving team culture, direction, delivery and building mutual trust.
As example; a past colleague was using the same approach daily with a member of their team, never flexing that approach and not realising that a change in their behaviour and approach toward the other person may yield better results. Sometimes it isn’t everyone else that is the problem, sometimes we are the problem!
- Positive Change
Positive change follows, it has to, because all of the above activity leads to this. Positive change in oneself, in others and in team coherence will occur and continue so as long as the approach and deliverables remain consistent. A continual process of engage, review, coach, support, enable in order to ensure continuous positive change.
I believe that people need to feel good about such positive change. They may know it is positive themselves but recognition from others goes a long way. Celebrating success, rewarding, sharing positive outcomes and how individuals or teams have contributed are important for wellbeing and engagement as much as it continues to grow a positive, engaged team of aligned individuals.
Ultimately everything we do should be leading to improved business delivery, whatever that may look like for the particular team or area of the business.
Trust is built by doing all of the above and more. I believe that everyone begins with a level of trust and trust is then further forged or there to be broken. No-one is hired into our teams, particularly if you do the hiring, without there being a level of trust in that person from the get go! People we meet day to day, if we leave the stigma’s at the door trust is already there, it is the individual who must then uphold or lose that trust by the first and lasting impression they leave with you. It may even be how they behave or carry themselves from afar that helps to create a positive of negative perception of themselves!
Being open and honest, transparent, behaving consistently and fairly to each team member/person while always supporting them and promoting their worth will build trust between you. Lead by example, never do the opposite to what you preach to others! Never promise, never go back on your word and always provide reasoning, information, understanding, ‘the why’ something has occurred the way in which it has to the other party. It is these approaches that secure respect and trust from others.
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