We are all busy. Work can easily overwhelm the moment and, at times, stress can make us say things that are unproductive. As a leader and one who manages others, it is our responsibility to manage the work and the stress to ensure that others around us feel appreciated and, in turn, are as productive as they can be.
These four simple steps can be used, when appropriate to show your employees you appreciate them and to manage any negative comments towards them in times of stress:
- Take a deep breath – It is not uncommon to get engrossed in a discussion (sometimes heated) and say things that you may not really want to say, or in a way you do not want to say them. I have often thought back on discussions that did not go as I would have liked and thought to myself – if I only took a deep breath and collected what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, my message would have been more impactful. People respond better to rational thoughts communicated in a rational way; they will appreciate the direct, honest communication and view it as positive rather than negative. Their mindset will make them more engaged in their work and, thus, more productive.
- Always take the time to teach (and to learn) – No one knows everything, regardless of what you may think! The “open door policy” has become too much of a cliché. Arrange your team and your schedule to ensure that you have the time to help your team be their best. Inevitably, they will need instruction. In doing so, you may even learn something new, or a better way to do what you do. Don’t be intimidated by this thought – two minds are better than one, three are better than two, etc. Different ways of thinking result in a better end product, even if it sometimes takes longer to get there.
- Don’t be afraid to say you are wrong – This seems to escape people in the work place. For some reason, what is more common in people’s personal space is a sign of weakness in the work place. Don’t let it be. Your team will have more respect for you if you admit when you are wrong and you work to correct it. They will be more willing to help you fix a problem if you admit it was a problem to begin with. And while you are at it, don’t gloat when you are correct!
- Say “THANK YOU” and mean it – It is simple and self-explanatory. It is surprising how far this will go.
We would all say these are common sense, but we often forget about them when we get caught-up in the moment. We don’t need to hand out gift cards and prizes to motivate teams – we just have to treat them with respect. I know that I have not always acted in line with the ideas above, but I wish I did and I continue to work towards applying them regularly.
Prism Partners International can help you unlock the potential and capacity of you and your people by aligning people to, and assessing people’s performance against, your organization’s culture and strategy. The result? A more engaged workforce, a notably enhanced customer experience and improved financial returns.