Leadership Tips for Discovery in Action Alumni + network
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February 2017

Firstly, a warm welcome to our new subscribers. We are delighted to have so many new people subscribing over the last couple of months - from so many different parts of Australia, and other parts of the world!  And 'hello' to our DiA alumni and everyone else who has signed up to receive our newsletter. We appreciate that it can be overwhelming receiving too much information in our inboxes - so we hope you find our 'once a month'  'bite-sized' chunks of practical leadership wisdom valuable.

In this edition of our newsletter we share :
We post the blogs in this monthly leadership tips publication on Linked In. Please feel free to forward this email to people in your network who you think may find it helpful...

We also use the content we share each month, in the work we do in our consulting practice. Feel free to get in touch to find out more about anything in this newsletter or other blogs on our website.  Enjoy!

Melanie and Paul Eyres

How well do you delegate?

How effective are you at delegating? Which column sounds more like you…?
Column A

  • I clearly communicate the desired outcome and my expectations about standards of performance
  • I am delegating whole pieces of work or an entire job rather than simply tasks and activities
  • I clearly define limits of authority that go with the delegated job (For eg: budget constraints, what can and can’t be changed?)
  • I have confidence that the person to whom I have delegated will deliver the outcome that has been agreed
  • I seek feedback and review progress at appropriate, agreed checkpoints
  • People are coming to me with options and suggestions when a problem exists rather than just asking me for the answer
  • People are willing to put their hand up and take on further challenges
Or Column B
  • My people are continually checking with me about what I have requested
  • The work isn’t being completed and deadlines are being missed
  • I am continuing to work longer hours and not confident of a way forward to rectify this (Am I doing too much myself?)
  • I am regularly correcting the final work I have delegated
  • I am frequently telling people not just what needs to be done, but also how it needs to be done
  • I am delegating things that are not appropriate for others to do, eg performance appraisals and difficult conversations
  • I am frequently checking on where things are up to – more than we had originally agreed

If you answer with mostly ‘yes’s on the first column well done! You have some of the fundamentals in place?

If you answer with mostly ‘yes’ to the second set, these may well be warning signs that something is amiss…

Being an effective delegator is a critical skill set, and one you can develop by paying attention to a simple process.

Want some help?

What follows is firstly, a link to our DiA tips and hints guide on delegation. It provides some practical things you can do right now to improve your delegation capability. It also outlines a simple 5 step delegation process, and has a template you can use when you are next planning and managing a delegation.

Then – why don’t you download this one page visual which helps remind you of these key delegation steps. Print it out and stick it somewhere as a reminder.

Give it a try! Like any skill – effective delegation just takes mindful attention and practice! Click here to see the larger image.

What is the ideal praise to criticism ratio?

Which is more effective in improving team performance: using positive feedback to let people know when they’re doing well, or offering constructive comments to help them when they’re off track?

Research suggests top performing teams give each other more than 5 positive comments for every opportunity for improvement.

Medium performing teams had a 2:1 ratio of positive to negative.

Low performing teams had 3 negative comments for every positive one.

praise to criticism ratio

So what happens in your team?

And what do you role model?

Click here to access the link to the HBR research.

3min video showing qualities we should strive to improve - how do you compare?

We recently came across a great, 3 minute video from Enterpreneur.com showing 22 qualities that make great leaders.

People often ask us what we think are the most critical qualities that make up a leader. As seen in a previous post, we typically answer this question, without referencing a list of specific qualities – rather we think it boils down to

  • who they are (their unique specific traits, qualities and characteristics) and
  • what they do (their actions, reactions and behaviours – how people experience their leadership).

Many leaders have the potential to be a great leader – and be quite a different leader from the next person; but just as effective – so long as they truly own the role.

We believe an ‘ideal leader’ is a ‘real’ one.

A great leader is one who a) wants to be a leader and b) wants to be a better one!

Still – it can help when finding ways to reflect on ourselves as leaders, to have some well considered prompts! Sometime this week set aside 6 minutes to reflect on yourself as a leader.

  • Spend 3 minutes watching this video showing 22 qualities some think we should strive to improve as leaders…
  • Then spend 3 more thinking about which of these qualities are important for your team in the context if what is happening right now.
    • Which qualities are current strengths?
    • Which have you been using as part of your practice?
    • And which of them need further attention?
    • What would others say? Is it worth getting some feedback?

Our answer to what makes a great leaders … those that a) want to be one, and b) want to be a better one! Where do you need to focus energy to help you become a better one?
Click here to see the video link.

The Golden Circle – why some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t

Why is it that some leaders are able to inspire when others aren’t? Simon Sinek explores the relationship between the way we communicate and the results we get.

He calls it the ‘Golden Circle’. The Why, How and What.

Most people communicate from the outside in – everyone knows WHAT they do, some know HOW they do it, but very few know WHY they do it. ie. the purpose, the belief, the reason – Why does this matter to me? Why does this organisation exist?

why how whatInspiring leaders communicate from the inside out. They firstly connect to the WHY.

If we communicate from the inside out, starting with the WHY, we connect directly to the part of the brain that controls behaviour, decision making and emotion (the limbic brain). This part of the brain, the area that makes decisions doesn’t control language. Instead people get a ‘feeling’ – a ‘gut’ feel.

If we then move to the HOW and WHAT,  we allow people to rationalise things by the words we use – the tangible things we say and do. (This is the neocortex which controls rational + analytical thought, language etc.)

So how do you communicate with your team? Are you connecting to the WHY?

Click here to see the video by Simon Sinek.


Some recent assignments

  • Facilitated a process mapping and improvement workshop
  • Facilitated a strategic planning workshop for a State Government Advisory Council
  • Designed a workshop to support new mentors
  • Designed and facilitated a team planning day for a local government team
Click here to access the Eyres & Associates website to find out what else we do!

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