Category Archives: teamwork

Find the Coaching in Criticism


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Image from Forbes Magazine: The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback

Read original article “Find the Coaching in Criticism” from by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone HBR Magazine, March 2014

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Learnings from the article:

What makes receiving feedback so hard? The process strikes at the tension between two core human needs—the need to learn and grow, and the need to be accepted just the way you are. As a result, even a seemingly benign suggestion can leave you feeling angry, anxious, badly treated, or profoundly threatened. A hedge such as “Don’t take this personally” does nothing to soften the blow.

The skills needed to receive feedback well are distinct and learnable. They include being able to identify and manage the emotions triggered by the feedback and extract value from criticism even when it’s poorly delivered.

Six Steps to Becoming a Better Receiver

1. Know your tendencies

2. Disentangle the “what” from the “who”

3. Sort toward coaching

4. Unpack the feedback

5. Ask for just one thing

6. Engage in small experiments

After you’ve worked to solicit and understand feedback, it may still be hard to discern which bits of advice will help you and which ones won’t. We suggest designing small experiments to find out. Even though you may doubt that a suggestion will be useful, if the downside risk is small and the upside potential is large, it’s worth a try.

See on hbr.org

Related article:

The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback

 

Is Humility A Universal Leadership Value Across Cultures ?


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Humility in leadership can be defined as the ability to understand yourself and bring the best from other people. You must first know your talents and limitations, then recognize that you have to rely on others and empower them to discover their own strengths and manage their weak points to focus on achieving a common goal.

Global leaders and managers working in multicultural teams must manage conflicts, poor communication and lack of teamwork as a result of misunderstandings and wrong assumptions from people driven by different internal core values and beliefs.

What we know, from the work of Professor Geert Hofstede on dimensions of national culture is that some countries have high power distance such as Russia that scores 93 on a scale of 1-100 and others have a low power distance dimension like United States that scores 40.

What it means, is that in Russia the power is distributed unequally and highly centralized with 80% of the financial potential concentrated in Moscow. It also means that in high distance countries people believe that power and authority are facts of life and inequality is institutionalized. Leaders are therefore expected to have a top-down approach to solve conflicts and take important decisions. Subordinates will simply comply with their leader.

For doing business In Russia, you must understand that hierarchy and status are important and that Russians respect age, rank and position as well as technological expertise. Russians see negotiations as win-lose and compromise as weakness.

On the other hand, in lower power distance countries such as the United States, there is a preference for consultation and collaborative leadership. Subordinates are encouraged to be independent  and contribute to problem solving. In the United States. business communication is informal and based on a win-win negotiation style.

If you are coming from the U.S. or another low power distance country when you have to deal with high power distance countries like Russia, you need to take your time  to understand who has the power of making decisions, otherwise nothing is going to happen especially when dealing with the administration and its very complex bureaucracy. For Americans, “time is money” but trying to force Russians to take quick decisions will only delay the processes and decrease trust.

So in a sense, humility in business negotiation is highly valued by Russians in general as humble business leaders have patience, try to understand first  and at the same time are strong enough to deal with conflicts without showing any sign of arrogance or superiority.

Most of the studies on humility as a value in leadership have been conducted in the United States and therefore it is difficult to separate the empirical and anecdotic from the real science-based evidences.

Leadership is a question of character (integrity, confidence, curiosity), not temperament (biology and genetics), therefore it is possible for global leaders and expatriated managers to learn cultural differences and the benefits of humility, holding judgment and avoiding placing one culture above another.

The role of effective intercultural leaders is to shape the corporate and local cultures of their organization to be understood and embraced by individuals of all races, ethnicities, religions, and genders with a minimum of misunderstandings. 

Related Articles:

What motivates us at work? 7 fascinating studies that give insights


Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach:

  • The less motivated an employee is, the more money he is asking !
  • If employees are not intrinsically motivated chances are very high that they are not creative as well. and won’t work hard enough as passionate people do.
  • Being passionate is coming from the inside-out. You can break somebody’s motivation very easily but it is very hard for leaders to inspire people to give happily the best of what they have to offer if they don’t want to and don’t have trust in the management.

The Three ‘E’s of Engagement: Engage, Empower, Enable:

Engage

leaders must provide a clear view of the company’s future, connect the company values with the individual life purpose, identify individual contribution to a higher level than self . Employees who feel good about themselves and think they belong to a team get the intrinsic motivation to deliver performance.

Empower

Let people decide how to set goals, how to get the expected results. Increase their personal power in making decisions at all level of the organizations. The leaders’ role is to coach and mentor individuals and teams to remove self-limiting beliefs, provide immediate feedbacks and develop strengths while minimizing the impact of weaknesses

Enable

Provide highly personalized support and enough resources. Lead teams based on matching personal communication, behavior and management styles of each team member. Provide talent development programs.

Related articles

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Dan-Ariely“When we think about how people work, the naïve intuition we have is that people are like rats in a maze,” says behavioral economist Dan Ariely in today’s talk, given at TEDxRiodelaPlata. “We really have this incredibly simplistic view of why people work and what the labor market looks like.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1706]When you look carefully at the way people work, he says, you find out there’s a lot more at play—and a lot more at stake—than money. In his talk, Ariely provides evidence that we are also driven by meaningful work, by others’ acknowledgement and by the amount of effort we’ve put in: the harder the task is, the prouder we are.

During the Industrial Revolution, Ariely points out, Adam Smith’s efficiency-oriented, assembly-line approach made sense. But it doesn’t work as well in today’s knowledge economy. Instead, Ariely upholds Karl Marx’s concept that we care much more about…

View original 1,168 more words

De Bono Six Thinking Hats Method Summary


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Quote from the book: “Six Thinking Hat can help you think better, make right decisions, explore new ideas. De Bono Unscrambles the thinking process”

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Excellent Method For Managing Brainstorming Group Sessions

See on www.slideshare.net

Are Sociability And Klout Scores Related To Innovation ?


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

In the past decade, the word “friend” became a verb, the word “like” became a noun, and “tweet” became more than a birdsong.

In the original article “Do You Hire For IQ Or Klout Score? I have extracted the following interesting questions related to the shift FROM a knowledge economy TO a social economy

-How do you currently evaluate and place prospective employees?

-Do you consider the social influence of new talent in your recruiting process?

-Do you have a process for evaluating which types of projects should be managed collaboratively (socially) versus individually?

-Where appropriate, how do you encourage and foster social networking across your organization?

-How do you encourage and foster external collaboration outside of your company and across sectors of industry?

-What incentives and performance management systems do you have in place to encourage “creative teaming” vs. “functional innovation”?

-What are you doing to help your leaders understand their role in transitioning from a knowledge economy to a social economy

Here my comments:

I think we should start by evaluating the skills and personality types needed for each function and working environment.

Being social is just one skill that alone can’t make someone  or an organization creative or foster innovation.

I think good analytical thinking and judgement is very much-needed in a social economy as we are totally overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge we can get for free from the internet.

Too often people forget the facts and favor sensationalism or sentimentalism, even journalists don’t check their sources they find on YouTube or other social networks.

This article does not convince me that we have enough proofs to conclude that being social and having a high Klout score is linked with creativity and innovation.

Are you ?

See more on www.fastcompany.com

Why White Men Can’t Lead ?


I have read an article “White Men Can’t Lead (everyone) from the  American Management Association  and I basically agree with the ideas:

  • Today’s leadership models, although they may differ from person to person and method to method, generally have a common bias toward Western or European-influenced ways of thinking.
  • We’re leading as if our companies are filled only with white men and, quite clearly, that’s no longer the case.
  • Contemporary leadership theories exclude the enormous contributions, potential learning, and valuable insights that come from leaders in diverse communities.
  • Multicultural leadership encourages an inclusive and adaptable style that cultivates the ability to bring out the best in our diverse workforce and to fashion a sense of community with people from many parts of the globe. (reference: www.techrepublic.com)

Although this article was written in 2007, nothing really changed. This “white men” leadership style is still highly prevalent in multinational western companies and how they manage their local affiliates.

In most headquarters in America and European countries, the “non-invented’ here syndrome makes management ignoring local consumer tastes and cultural values thinking that what works home works everywhere (ethnocentric management style).

Recently an article published in Forbes “ Sayonara Sony: How Industrial, MBA-Style Leadership Killed a Once Great Company. demonstrated that Sony, a market leader for 40 years with its strategy of innovating new markets, has now lost money for 4 year because they adopted the western industrial strategy based on volume and cost obsession.

After two years of study the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (in America) released its report in 2011 on efforts to create more diversity among the top military brass, in the article,  Are There Too Many White Guys Leading Our Military? , The report notes that 77 percent of active duty senior officers are white, 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women. Those numbers have to change in order for the military to reach its goals concluded the report.

In  previous post I introduced the concept of “Third Culture Teams” that has been used to describe  how to create  congruence of three cultures:

1-The Corporate culture: Company explicit and implicit rules and guidelines, leadership style, ethnocentric or diversity-centered, cultural traits of the country where the Headquarters are based

2-The local country culture: Language (verbal and non-verbal), religion, cultural values and  norms, communication style

3-Each individual team member’s own culture, values, beliefs, set of norms

The idea of third culture teams is based on the human need for belonging: People like to feel that they can relate to someone and those who share similar interests.

You can be a white man and a great global leader but you need to be a chameleon who is able to change its  color to reflect its environment. Effective multicultural team leader must create trust regardless of ethnicity or country of origin by actively listening to everybody’s ideas before making a decision concerning the introduction of a new product or service in a foreign market.

What skills Do You Think Are Most Important for Global Leaders ?

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