Newsletter for Discovery in Action Alumni and network
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December 2014

Welcome to our final Discovery in Action newsletter for 2014! For many, the lead up to Christmas is a busy time, and our old habits can creep back in! We hope this correspondence finds you well and, despite the 'busy-ness' you are still continuing to make progress in your people leadership efforts.

In this edition of our newsletter, we share
  • a new tips and hints guide that explores the issue of workplace fatigue and shares some practical ideas to help avoid and manage fatigue and burnout
  • a simple framework that gives you 'TIPs' on how to structure the feedback you give people
  • some interesting insights and practical suggestions to help leaders focus on both results and people, and
  • a simple model for reflection, to help you see how your mindset about the people in your team could actually be self-fulfilling!
Thanks again for the positive feedback about the newsletter, and for taking the time to read it. Please feel free to forward it on to other people in your network who you think may find it helpful...

Wishing you all - and your families - a safe, restful and enjoyable Christmas season, and a wonderful 2015!

Paul and Melanie Eyres

DiA Tips ... Avoiding and Managing Fatigue and Burnout

Some of our 2014 Discovery in Action program participants have been leading teams who have been working for extended periods towards a key outcome or deadline. The reality of our busy work lives means there are times when we work with extreme peaks and on the rarer occasions, an occasional trough.

Sometimes these busy periods can be exciting; when teams really gel and find creative solutions, but finding outlets for stress and finding ways to care for the wellbeing of your team members when there are extended peak periods is critical, both personally and professionally.

Click here to access our newest DiA Tips and Hints guide - for some practical suggestions on how you can manage this leadership challenge...

Mindset - Do you mine for Gold?

What mindset do you have about the people in your team? A recent blog post by Trish Cloete in HR daily entitled ‘Performance is in the eye of the beholder’ reminded me of a concept I was introduced to some years ago – represented by these two pictures.

How do you see each person in your team?

Do you see the shiny external surface where everything looks ok, but – if you were really honest – on the inside you think there is something ‘NQR’ and you are waiting for them to come unstuck or let you down? (the picture on the left.)

Or – do you recognise this person is less than perfect – and in fact accept these imperfections – but know there is something more there – some ‘potential’ for excellence – if you just keep looking for it…or better still, help them realise it? (the picture on the right.)

Do you think about people in terms of their potential – not just their current performance?

It is frightening to appreciate the impact your thinking has on you and your dealings with people. What you believe about a person can have a profound effect on what they do, what they don’t do, and even how they see themselves…
Click here to read the rest of this blog

Results or People? Where should a leader invest their energy?

Source : HBR blog network, Matthew Lieberman, Dec 27, 2013

In 2009 a survey of over 60,000 employees examined how different characteristics of a leader combine to affect employee perceptions about whether their leader is ‘great’ or not.
Two characteristics examined were results focus (analytical skills, intense motivation to move forward and solve problems) and social skills (communication, empathy).
  • If a leader was seen as having only a strong results focus, the chance of them being seen as ‘great’ was only 14%.
  • If a leader was seen as having strong social skills, he or she was seen as a great leader only 12% of the time.
  • For leaders strong on both results focus and social skills, the likelihood of being seen as great was 72%!
  • In a study to see how often a leader scored high on both, the results were astonishing. Less than 1% were rated as high on both results and people…

So if so few leaders are seen to have a balance of ‘task’ and ‘people’, what needs to change?

Click here to learn more...

Simple 'TIPs' for providing feedback...

When providing feedback to people - reinforcing feedback about what is working, developmental feedback about opportunities to improve or corrective feedback about what is not working, it helps to have a simple 'hand rail' to guide you.  An often used technique is the 'TIP' technique outlined in this blog.

It helps if you

  • are specific about the situation or behaviour that has been observed,
  • explore the impact that this has had, then
  • agree a plan moving forward.

Click here to access more information and see practical examples to implement the TIP concept.

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