With Christmas over for another twelve months and a bright New Year stretching before us, it’s the traditional time for making changes.
While it’s easy to make a wish list of glib ‘resolutions’ in January, it’s often much more useful to decide on the outcomes you’d like and then put procedures in place to change the things necessary to achieve these goals. What this really means is taking effective action to ensure your desired outcome – after all, it’s often said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
The same approach can be used to review your team members. Who needs to change? Not necessarily in terms of their results (they may be producing great work) but in the way in which they achieve those results. The most infuriating staff members are those whose work is great but whose attitude and behaviour is appalling. It is easy to feel resentment and anger towards such people but please remember they probably are totally unaware of how they come across because so many managers struggle to deliver feedback on attitude or behaviour. Yet it can be done – and simply done at that!
Start by collaborating with your team to define how they want to behave towards each other. Lead discussions and gain agreements on what, for example, the team means by the term ‘respect’ and how they can demonstrate respect or, more importantly, what behaviour they consider to be disrespectful.
Encouraging the team to set the parameters of appropriate behaviour is the best way to introduce and address these issues. Your team will begin to provide feedback on bad behaviour and you’ll have achieved the ultimate aim: a self-monitoring team! If and when you do have to step in to provide formal feedback to an individual, you’ll already have an opener: ‘As you know we have all agreed to behave professionally and sadly I need to discuss with you an occasion on which your behaviour fell short of our agreed expecations’. In this way, you’re not just reflecting and upholding your own values but the shared views and standards of the team itself. Easy!
Naturally, for this to work, and for you to maintain the respect of your team, you also have to ensure your own behaviour is at all times respectful too – no shortcuts!