Keep People From Feeling Left Out

Keep People From Feeling Left Out

Social rejection is hard in any setting, including at the office. When people feel excluded, they can’t be productive, innovative, or collaborative. As a manager you need to create a work environment that discourages rejection. Here’s how:

  • Prime the room for trust. To downplay hierarchies, start meetings by stating that all viewpoints are welcomed, desired and valued. This will ease fear of rejection and put people into a more collaborative and giving state of mind.
  • Start with a shared reality. Send agenda items out before a meeting or give team members an article to read – and ask them for input. This signals that you care about what they think.
  • Encourage candor and caring. Use open, non-judgmental language and listen with respect in all conversations. Thank people for sharing, and make sure that there are no negative repercussions for doing so.
  • Do something with their input.  Provide feedback regarding the value and benefit of the input suggested or the lack thereof because it doesn’t align with business need.  Ask for suggestions about how to best implement or act on their input or ideas.  Encourage them to be involved with the execution or planning for the input.
  • Measure progress.  Create a graph, timeline, milestone chart or some form of metric for tracking progress on ideas and projects.  This reflects your interest for implementation and sustainability.  If it is important for the business, it is important enough to follow.

The more you care about and demonstrate your interest in receiving input and support from your workgroup or team, the more they will respond as a partner and collaborate with you.

Let us know if you would like additional coaching with how to engage people in the workplace.

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LEADERS / MANAGERS; One Aspect of These Overlapping Roles

I’m just finishing an Introduction to Management course online.  The course work is almost finished and some students are writing their final paper that compares and contrasts management and leadership roles; similarities and differences”.

Yes, management is about focusing on utilization of things.  And, leadership is about engaging people.  But, beyond this I always enjoy reading about the gray area that falls between the roles.  How wide is it, and where is the overlap?  What is the domain of management and what is the domain of leadership?

A lot of the gray area discussion in these papers comes down to the person and their choices (or not) for how work should get accomplished.  Sometimes it is the person who determines the role and sometimes it is the role that determines the person.  In other words, their beliefs about themselves, others, time, quality, cost, service and priority.

  • Self & other beliefs
    • Inward (self-serving) versus outward (other-serving),
    • superiority-equality-inferiority,
    • judgments of rightness versus wrongness, …
  • Time beliefs
    • Short versus long term perspective,
    • immediate versus future,
    • speed versus methodical, …
  • Quality beliefs
    • Perfect-acceptable-okay,
    • right versus wrong, …
  • Cost
    • Too much-just right-too little,
    • value adding versus maximized margins,
    • cheap versus inexpensive, …
  • Service
    • Satisfaction versus not dis-satisfied,
    • engaged versus complying,
    • Wow versus okay, …
  • Priority
    • Everything-some things-nothing,
    • planned for versus in the moment,
    • balanced versus random, …
  1. How do these choices impact others perceptions of our management and leadership practices?

  2. How do these choices differentiate managers from leaders?

  3. How do these underlying beliefs cause us to take unconscious actions focused on getting work accomplished with and through others?

  4. How does the organization within which you lead and manage assign value to these factors?

What if, we made proactive, conscious and intentional choices regarding each of these areas prior to getting caught in erroneous belief traps on a day-to-day basis?  It may help us be more ethical in our decision-making(?)

What would your choices be?  Mine are highlighted although I struggle at times in-the-moment to live them…

I do find in my consulting and coaching that many individuals have never thought much about, or consciously made decisions regarding many of these factors.  The result of this non-decisiveness is obvious in many of the problems they are experiencing as leaders and managers at work.

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