MGW #24 - How To Fire People


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MGW #24 -  How To Fire People

Welcome back to the newly relaunched Mighty Good Work with your hosts Aaron Schmookler, Co-founder and Trainer of The Yes Works and Kristin Adams, Co-director of Startup Grind and first time founder of ALL2.  Last episode we discussed shifting both the thought process surrounding, dialogue about and facilitation of people quitting their jobs and this episode we are focused on the other side of that equation - how to fire people compassionately.  

While one might think that goes without saying, you’d be surprised what still occurs in the workplace on the regular.  As a podcast dedicated to leaders and aspiring leaders who insist that work should be good, even in the toughest of circumstances, we’d argue that a refresher course is in order.

There's a common saying in the startup world the one great hire and the one great fire.  Both are inevitable milestones – rites of passage in one’s career, if you will – so knowing what you should and should not do is pretty key. 

Firing DOs:

  • Healthy company cultures champion continuous performance improvement
    • PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans) used solely as a means to document and justify dismissal are not typically effective in managing an under-performing individual back to successful contributors 
    • Timely communication, immediate feedback, resetting clear expectations and outlining consequences in the moment are key; summarize and document for the benefit of both parties to follow through
    • Open and encourage dialogue that helps get to the root cause of the performance issue (i.e. not having access to the right tools, inefficient processes, unrealistic expectations, improper staffing, lack of skills or interest, personal issues or life events, etc.) – some may be overcome, others not but determining that together can facilitate a smooth/mutual exit 
    • Individuals being fired for cause should know well in advance of the actual termination because of the open and frank discussion leading up it
  • Pre-plan and coordinate the timing of both the internal and external communication/messaging
    • Put it in writing and practice what you are going to say to the individual (i.e. don’t wing it/ad lib)
    • Cut to the chase – no need for a long preamble; start with the statement and acknowledge the difficulty of the situation (NOT how hard this is for you)
    • De-personalize the situation.  Keep the focus on the big picture and if you do say something off-script, stop (apologize if warranted) and come back to topic 
    • Be authentic; if it makes sense to acknowledge their positive contributions, say they will be missed, etc. – do it
    • Explain what happens next
  • Keep it conversational 
    • Let them speak, ask questions – stick to your speaking points, do not argue the details/circumstances leading up to, etc.
    • Discuss what they are looking for in their next job, provide constructive direction advice if asked
  • Be their advocate to the extent it makes sense
    • Most terminations are rooted in some kind of disconnect (skills, pace, life circumstances, etc.).  This does not make them a bad employee – just the wrong fit
  • Be generous when possible 
    • Severance, extension of benefits, etc.
    • Ensure they get home (or to their preferred destination) safely (pay for car service, call friend or family to pick up, etc.)

Firing DON’Ts:

  • DON'T fire on a Friday or the end of the day, ideally early in the week around lunch hour
    • Gives the individual the weekend to feel miserable, stew, get angry without recourse (i.e. puts them in a holding pattern until the following workweek)
    • Gives time for the rumor mill to churn whereas a firing followed by a full work week provides the ability to ask questions and return/adjust to the new routine
  • Take security precautions but DON’T perp walk if not necessary
    • Stakes are higher than letting one person go; the performance of remaining employees often suffers if the message/statement being made is one of fear and/or reprisal
    • Preserve the individual’s dignity; embarrassment breeds resentment & fuels gossip
    • Give the individual a choice about when/how they want to collect personal effects, the option to do so without an audience
    • Give the individual an option to say goodbye
  • DON’T hide out after you’ve fired someone 
    • Take time to compose yourself if needed but be present, be visible, engage others – show you CARE
    • Make yourself available for questions, concerns – allowing folks to process/vent will prevent other negative outcomes
  • DON’T call a company meeting for the sole purpose of announcing the departure
  • DON’T burn bridges, especially in today’s connected world

While today’s topic doesn’t seem to align with workplace happiness, the fact is that as tough as it might be in the moment, the outcomes are usually quite positive.  When handled correctly and with compassion, firing an individual can lead to happier people – both the employees who remain with the company and those who left in their new 

Folks, thank you so much for your time and attention. If you have questions, want to argue the merit of anything we’ve proposed today, have other ideas to contribute, etc. – we are happy to engage as long as the gloves don't come off. ☺ 

Kristin Adams: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinadams/

Aaron Schmookler: https://www.linkedin.com/in/schmookler/

This has been Mighty Good Work and you are mighty good folks for joining us. Thanks for listening.

 
 

MGW #23 - How to Retain Talent


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MGW #23 - How to Retain Talent

Welcome to the Mighty Good Work relaunch. The focus hasn’t changed – this is still a podcast for people who want to make work a place worthy of the time we dedicate to it and for leaders and aspiring leaders who are committed to inspiring the same.  We’ve tweaked the format, including a permanent new co-host, in the hopes of adding diversity of viewpoints, experience and topics for the benefit of our listeners.  We are excited to share version 2.0 with you and on that note, let’s get started!

In this episode we focus on shifting both the thought process surrounding, dialogue about and facilitation of people quitting their jobs. With tenure averaging 18-24 months (and dropping), if you're thinking about why and how people leave their jobs in the right way, you have an opportunity to actually do something to retain your best and brightest longer.

Conventional wisdom is that people leave their jobs – having outgrown the role.  The latest data would tell you that people leave people, more specifically, their managers.  We contend that this is not an either/or situation, but rather people leave “bad experiences” and as such leaders must address the issue more holistically.

  • If you think about a workplace version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, successful leaders fulfill those needs by creating a sense of community, providing opportunity for development and growth and communicating the value of their employees’ contributions.
  • Recognition, appreciation and critical feedback are key to how people interpret their experience (i.e. positive or negative), growth (i.e. improvement or stagnation of work product/process) and contribution (i.e. perceived importance of), making all three critical parts of the feedback loop.
  • An oft cited reason for leaving is a lack of meaningfulness/purpose in their work.  Find ways to tangibly connect individual contributions to outcomes.
  • Strong leaders think big picture and balance methodology with results.  Do physical butts in seats matter if objectives are being met?  When is it ok to make process allowances if outcomes are achieved?  Conversely, when is it not?  
  • We all have fear based reactions at times but how we address those slips matter.  A private apology may not be sufficient, as public acknowledgment goes a long way towards demonstrating a commitment to the company’s mission and values.
  • Promotions to management positions should not be made lightly.  Tenure and the ability to perform hard skills consistently at an individual contributor level are not sufficient.  Introducing an unskilled/unsupported manager into your ecosystem can quickly lead to employee unhappiness and subsequent turnover. 
  • Contrary to conventional wisdom, people do not necessarily have to be good at specific hard skills – be it writing code, accounting or creating content – to be leaders.  Recognize the ability to communicate vision and strategy and give those folks opportunities to lead/influence. 
  • Don’t be so quick to dismiss the first-alerters – those you might chalk up to being hyper-sensitive or whiners.  They often can signal early warning signs of problems that if addressed at that point won’t manifest as bigger issues.
  • Strong leaders do not think in terms of a static employment contract, but rather on that allows for change over time.  As employees’ lives evolve, what they need from work to support those changes also evolves.  If the role or the company’s needs do not allow for that, then understanding those limitations and being prepared to gracefully facilitate that transition is key.
  • Strive for better than average tenue.  Nobody goes into a relationship with a predetermined end date in mind. You wouldn’t accept average product/service quality, sales results, etc. so investing in the things that keep your people engaged longer is just good business.  Find ways to measure and improve.

How you handle attrition factors into retention, as this communicates/models how others can expect to be treated.  While it may seem counterintuitive, a common recurring theme revolves around the exit.   

  • Depersonalize the situation.  Whether viewed as good or bad attrition, neither should it be viewed as an act of betrayal nor an opportunity to malign.  Your ability to facilitate genuine, amicable separations and relay that to your staff will strongly factor into others’ decisions to stay or go.  
  • Exit interviews – the ability to give someone a chance to be heard – are important.  Better to get the information first-hand and be able to address it head-on rather than via social media or open forums (Blind, Glassdoor, etc.). 
  • Strong leaders should view every employee exit as a way to create an ambassador of goodwill.  You never know where paths will intersect, whether as a boomerang employee, advocate, customer, or partner.  The ability to reengage with someone years later is a good litmus test of a successful exit.  
 
 

Empathy Without the Pity Party Pitfall

Empathy is a relatively new buzzword in discussions of corporate leadership. And it’s a good thing.

Without empathy, leaders cannot profoundly effect employee engagement, motivation, and performance. With empathy, they can.

Empathy alone can be disastrous.

It’s important to be able to relate to one another’s feelings, to understand where one another is coming from, and to be able to predict what stimuli may lead to what responses.

Without other emotional intelligence ingredients, empathy can lead us to a pity party. I know what you mean. And, I feel for you. Moreover, I feel your pain. Of course these circumstances are hard. Those statements lead to connection. Left alone, they can lead to inaction and ineffectiveness.

And… Empathy + commitment to purpose = compassion.

Check out this video.

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Compassion is a key element of successful high-performing culture. And culture shapes and defines the destiny of your company. Adeptability Training helps build leadership habit that supports communication, collaboration, and innovation. And fun. Book a call today.


How can you boost your company’s profits by an average of 24%? HR Magazine says spending $1600 per employee can do just that.

Where to focus your training efforts

The present matters. And largely, it’s taking care of itself. The future of your firm relies on innovation. Not necessarily innovation with a capital “I”. It could be that you simply need a steady flow of micro-innovations. Certainly, without a doubt, change and adaptation are a more and more salient obligation for any company wishing to be around next year and the year after that.
In their recent blog, Exago observed, “Fostering trust and collaboration, the building blocks to creating a culture of ongoing innovation, is a key part of the innovation leadership role.”

When to start deliberate work on team dynamics

You may have been thinking about how to further improve dynamics on your team, improve communication and collaboration effectiveness. And you’ve likely been putting it off because of all the pressing projects and deliverables on your docket.
This is one of the easiest things to put off, and you cannot afford to do that.
Team culture, team effectiveness, teaming skill… Pays dividends.
You’re losing talent. At what rate, of course, you know better than I do. 85% of the workforce are dissatisfied with their jobs. Ouch! Who says? Gallup’s poll of 2017.
If you’re reading this blog, then you’re clearly among the top few leaders who’re deliberately and actively improving things. So, your team is likely more satisfied at work than the average. And, even if only 20% are dissatisfied, that’s still a painfully large number.
Those folks are not only more likely to leave their jobs. They’re also killing the vibe in your workplace. They’re increasing the likelihood that their team mates are becoming or will become dissatisfied as well. And they’re anti-enthusiasm creates a social pressure against enthusiasm among others.

It’s a vicious cycle.

And every day you wait to begin is a day you delay reaping the rewards. And not just… The heights you could reach by investing today you will never reach if you put off the investment until tomorrow.

Why? Ask Albert Einstein. He called compound interest “the eighth wonder of the world.” And he wisely said…

He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.
Take 2.5 minutes to watch this video.
The time to take action is today. Or at the latest, tomorrow.
If you’re ready to start investing and taking advantage of the power of compound interest, let’s talk.


To Succeed In Change Management, Take a Lesson From the Kite

“The only thing that is constant is change.”

— Heraclitus

 

If change is so constant, why do we suck at change management so badly? Right now around the country, change initiatives are failing by the dozen. A few of these initiatives fail because they are ill conceived notions. A few fail because they’re poorly planned.

Most fail because of execution. The idea is good. The plan is good. And, somehow, the change just doesn’t happen.

With a good idea and even a half-decent plan, it stands to reason, a change initiative should succeed. So what happens in the execution to scuttle a change effort?

FRICTION. MENTAL FRICTION.

“Here we go again.”

“This’ll never work.”

“I don’t want to.”

“We’ve always done it this way.”

“We tried that in 1983.”

When people say these things, it’s an expression of the fear of uncertainty. We’ve all got that fear. The difference between those of us who resist change and those of us who charge ahead is how we manage that fear, and how we approach the thinking part of the change management puzzle.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS FEAR MANAGEMENT

As leaders of change, it’s our job to support people to embrace what scares them. It’s up to us to help them respond healthfully and think constructively in response to uncertainty — so they can manage their fear and perform.

Change management is not about battering people into submission, and it’s not about coddling them and allowing them to let fear rule the day.

The people side of change management is about setting expectations, and holding consistent and high standards with compassion.

So, here’s a simple tool you can employ to help guide people through a high-performance change execution.

I call it…

THE KITE PRINCIPLE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT

The simple kite is a very resilient operator. It can fly in a wide range of wind speeds. It can weather the gusts. If the wind switches, it shifts. Quick, easy, the kite doesn’t complain. And it twitches and wobbles only momentarily before regaining its equilibrium.

A lot people think that the purpose of a kite string is to keep the kite from flying away. Nope. If the kite had no string, then even in ideal wind conditions, it wouldn’t fly at all. If the string breaks, the kite falls.

The purpose of the string is to anchor the kite to make flight possible.

It’s this anchor point that allows the kite to keep its head in the winds of change. It permits the kite to make its quick shifts, to bob and weave. The anchor point gives it the ability to maintain an attitude of flight whatever happens.

So what can we learn from the simple kite about change management?

LEADING CHANGE TIP

Don’t tell people only what will change. Change arouses fear and anxiety. And the fear of uncertainty can interfere with people’s equilibrium and their productivity.

Tell people also what will stay the same. When you tell people about what they can count on, you quiet some of those alarm bells. The constant that you tell them about can already be obvious and still be effective for helping people face the change. There’s nothing that’s too obvious that it goes without saying.

Telling people what will stay the same — what’s dependable — gives them that kite-string anchor-point that allows them to maintain an attitude of flight.

EXAMPLES

“Even with all the change we’re going through, I’m going to remain your direct supervisor.”

“Even though we are going through a major reorganization, our mission, vision, and values will not change. We’ll continue to strive for the same culture of transparency we have now. You’ll continue to do the same job you do now, and the company will be able to support you better in your role.”

NOTHING IS TOO OBVIOUS

Nothing is too obvious because the Kite Principle is not necessarily about telling people things they don’t know. It’s not just about the information. It’s also simply about the neuro-chemical response to change, and managing that brain chemistry.

“Hey folks, we’re changing things.” Boom. The brain is flooded with the stress chemical cortisol. Performance declines.

Tell people what anchor they can count on. You can even tell them, “The sun will rise in the morning, and gravity will remain constant. And, you will have the same ergonomic chair to sit in tomorrow and the day after that.”

Hearing even these painfully obvious things can help to reduce cortisol levels and improve performance.

So, next time you announce a change — no matter how small — also announce the constants. Thanks to this little-known secret of change management, you’ll hear fewer objections. Fewer people will drag their feet. Your change executors will draw strength from that anchor, and it’ll be the best executed change initiative you’ve ever been a part of.

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Communication and collaboration are some of the hardest things to get right in any company culture, and the difficulty increases exponentially as you add more people to the team. Adeptability Training gets teams communicating and collaborating effectively as a matter of habit and mindset. Book a call today.


Help me leadership development hotline

A Leadership Development Tool for an Independent Problem-Solving Team

People often undermine their own leadership development by looking to established leaders for help solving problems that they can solve on their own. It’s a part of human nature, and a personal-risk mitigation play. “If I ask the boss for the solution, I won’t be responsible for any failure.” Put another way, “I won’t get it wrong.”

Usually, that’s an unconscious process. Consciously, it’s much more like, “I’m not sure how to solve this. I bet Boss does.”

The way we respond as leaders will determine the future of our team’s performance.

Here’s a tool that will help insure that your people will grow, improve, learn, and lead in their own right. It’ll free you up and leverage your experience so you’re enabling greatness at all levels of your organization.

It’s leadership development gold.

The Problem

Change happens. Surprises arrive. Problems arise. As leaders, our own response to the fear of uncertainty is often to step in. Take it on. Offer our opinion. Tell folks what to do. Control the situation.

Sometimes this deep executive involvement leads to a better resolution of the problem — not always. Almost always, it leads to an undesirable outcome. Instead of breeding confidence, capability, and independence, this style of leadership leads to dependence and self-doubt, and inhibits learning in our direct reports. It retards the leadership development of our team distracts us from the higher-level work we could be doing.

Here’s a valuable alternative.

The SMART Model

SMART is — I admit — a cheesy acronym — The cheese helps you remember, because if you don’t remember, you won’t do it.

So… The SMART Model.


S – Slow down. Giving them the answer may be quicker in the short run, and it will insure that you’d approve of the solution. It’ll also insure that they remain dependent on you for all their problem solving needs. This step is critical because by slowing down, you create the possibility of solving YOUR problem. The problem that people are coming to you. Giving them the answer is the easy thing. It’s addressing the symptom rather than the root cause.

 

M – Make it theirs. Try something like, “You’ve got a problem? Thank you for identifying that problem before it got out of hand. Keep me posted on your progress.” This communicates not only that you view the problem as theirs, but also that your expectation is that they’ll solve it on their own. You even seem to think they must only be informing you, because of course they’re not expecting you to bale them out.

 

A – Ask. Before they go, ask if they’ve considered this variable or that factor. Ask what resources they intend to employ. Ask to be kept in the loop. That way, you insure they’re thinking about the things you want them to be thinking about.

 

R – Reflect. Reflect some of what your experience has taught you. “Look out for this. Be sure to get input from here. When we did X once before, Y happened.” By reflecting your experience, you give them the benefit of your expertise in a way that supports their autonomy instead of usurping it. And they learn to think of you as a resource for learning rather than solutions.

 

T – Trust their judgment. At first, their solutions may not be as good as yours. Trust them to be good enough. You didn’t hire no fools. If their initial solutions are 75-80% as good as yours, you’re still ahead because your time is better leveraged doing the things only you can do. And as they learn and gain confidence by acting with autonomy, they’ll become more and more valuable to the team as their skills grow. And soon, their solutions will be better than yours. That’s the inevitable outcome of sound leadership development.

Your Challenge

Each leader faces their own challenge with one or more of these steps.

Some (like me) get impatient out of the gate. We don’t want to slow down. Giving the answer is so quick. Today. Tomorrow, when someone comes back again for our solution to a problem they can solve, it’ll be quicker again to give them the answer. And those times add up.

Giving over the problem to someone else is hard for some of us. Relinquishing that control opens up a world of uncertainty. Finding the questions to ask that help lead our people to their own best thinking is an advanced skill. Reflecting our experience without handing them the answer is also a fine distinction. And it gives others some of the power we’ve fought hard over a career to build up.

And Trust… Trust is a doozy for a lot of folks. “Prove yourself, and I’ll trust you,” we say. Problem is, no one can prove themselves if we don’t invest our trust in them in the first place. Trust is a verb. Extend it. Feel it later, when your people reward your trusting them by delivering results.

The Leadership Development ROI

Expect big things. Demand greatness. Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown — world renowned leadership development experts — call leaders who are willing to build the capacity of those around them “multipliers.” In their HBR article, “Managing Yourself: Bringing Out the Best in Your People,” They observed, “Under the leadership of these “multipliers,” employees don’t just feel smarter, they become smarter.”

The people on your team are smart. And you’re smart too. With a SMART leadership response to people who come ask you to solve problems for them, everyone’s smarts will soon be working full strength to help advance your company.

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Leadership behavior shapes and defines culture. Culture shapes and defines the destiny of your company. Adeptability Training helps build leadership habit that supports communication, collaboration, and innovation. And fun. Book a call today.


Unexpected Link Between Dress Code and KPIs

There’s a link between your company’s dress code and the performance of your team. It’s not what you think. It’s not that there are standards of dress that lead to greater performance. It’s much better than that.

The Dress Code Situation

For years, General Motors had a dress code in their employee handbook that was 10 pages long. Whoa.

“What’ll I wear today?” Glancing through the closet. “Wait a second, wait a second.” Sitting in the reading chair and picking up a ten pound employee handbook. “Gotta do a little source research before I dress myself today.”

What’s the unrealistic part of the short story above? It’s the part where someone reads a 10 page dress code. Almost no-one reads a 10 page dress code. Chances are, yours isn’t as long as that. Chances are, yours is between 1 and 2 pages long.

Chances are, even at 1-2 pages, you haven’t read it. If you have read it, you don’t remember what it said. And it’s not just the dress code that you haven’t read. You’ve only glanced through the entirety of the employee handbook.

There are employee handbooks in every workplace in the country simply gathering dust.

The Problem

The important problem here is not that your dress code has gone unread. It’s not the wasted paper or shelf-space. The important problem here is that even when you don’t read a 10 page dress code, it does profoundly convey a message deep into your brain. Two messages, actually.

  1. We don’t trust your judgment. You don’t know how to behave at work. You can’t even be trusted to pick out your clothes for work. So we’re going to spell out our expectations for you in exacting detail.
  2. We’re covering our butts in case we need to discipline, fire, or otherwise protect ourselves from you. The time may come when we’ll need to make a decision in response to your bad behavior. When that time comes, we’ll need to be able to quote chapter and verse so we can prove that you’ve been out of compliance.

The Solution

Mary Barra became the CEO of GM in 2014 and made an adjustment to the dress code that she called, “the smallest biggest change,” she’s made. She shortened the dress code to two words:

Dress appropriately.

When I suggest changes like this one — shortening the employee handbook, setting descriptive policies instead of prescriptive ones — my clients sometimes object.

  • People will interpret this policy wrong.
  • I will have to talk to people about these policies — talk to them about what they’re wearing, etc. I’ll be wasting my time.
  • Each manager may interpret these policies differently.
  • Managers may interpret these policies differently in different circumstances and with different people.

That’s right. each of these objections is true.

The ROI

Each of these objections is primarily a benefit.

  • When people interpret the policy wrong, that’s an opportunity to talk with them about the present circumstances and explain the impact of their interpretation and decisions. Meanwhile, you’re strengthening the relationship if you speak to them with respect, and you’re building their capacity to have strong judgment, influenced by yours.
  • Talking with people about the policies and impacts of different interpretations has the above benefits. That leads to greater engagement, better future decisions, and the incidental development of a leadership bench.
  • Different managers making different interpretations isn’t a problem. It’s flexibility. Small companies with strong cultures often falter as they become big companies. Part of this is centralized leadership that’s far from the front lines. Descriptive policies permit “local leadership” and “local culture.” While the culture is largely consistent because the policies and values are the same, it’s also flexible, permitting greater fit for the smaller climates within a larger company. And managers have a sense of ownership and pride that comes with decision making.
  • While there is some space for discriminatory interpretations and applications of subjective policies, that in turn is an opportunity to reveal the unconscious prejudice for an opportunity to address it. All of this increases feedback and growth. It doesn’t come without some risk. And profit always comes as a benefit of smart, calculated risk taking.

In an environment shaped by principle instead of rules, people are engaged and their performance improves.

So, if I were to make this recommendation in two words…

Principles first!


Collaborator's "Bad Idea" Response Tool -- Teamwork Kicker

You have the power — using one simple tool — to help others get the nuggets of gold from even their least usable ideas. This teamwork tool will not even take up any space in your pocket.

The Teamwork Challenge

People say things to us all the time that don’t seem to make sense.

The easy thing, the automatic response, for so many people is to respond with:

  • That makes no sense.
  • You make no sense.
  • What are you talking about?
  • You have no idea what you’re talking about.
  • That’s a terrible idea.

The Teamwork Cost and Alternative

These are destructive responses. They tear down the team.

One of the principles of Adeptability we stress in our training program is: It’s never about the Thing. It’s always about the Relationship. I’ve said it before. When we focus on how the idea is flawed, we degrade the relationship.

Contrary to what some people like to say, we’re not surrounded by idiots. And each of us is sometimes inarticulate. Each of us sometimes misses an obvious and important factor.

When others face that difficulty, we can shut them down, or we can help them find the gold in their inspiration.

That’s another Adeptability teamwork principle: Make sense of the nonsense.

When we look for what makes sense in what someone else is saying… When we help them find the inspired core of their thinking… We’re playing an invaluable role as a team mate. That’s extraordinary teamwork.

The Teamwork Tool

One of the best ways you can help someone make sense of the nonsense is a simple tool you don’t even have to make room for in your pocket. It’s a sentence.

Tell me more about that.

Performance expert, Michael Bungay Stanier, says, “Stay curious longer.” Tell me more about that. That’s an expression of curiosity. It prompts your team mate to think further, deeper, longer about what they’re saying.

Here’s the thing. Using this tool takes discipline. Even when you’re sure your team mate is out to lunch, disciplining yourself to a steady practice of, “Tell me more about that,” can be very illuminating.

Try it.

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Communication and collaboration are some of the hardest things to get right in any company culture, and the difficulty increases exponentially as you add more people to the team. Adeptability Training gets teams communicating and collaborating effectively as a matter of habit and mindset. Book a call today.


Why Most Corporate Training Doesn't Work, and What to Do About It

There are a number of factors contributing to the prevalence of mind-numbing corporate training programs out there that don’t lead to change.

In this video, 4 reasons and remedies.

It’s not a lack of great information. And it’s not a shortage of well-meaning corporate training providers. I blame school. It’s the model we all have for information transfer. So school is what most training programs are modeled after.

Here are the reasons most training doesn’t work.

1) It’s not training. It’s teaching — an information dump with a bit of practice for good measure so you KNOW how to apply it. Training involves reps, exercise, solidifying the principles and strengths required to “DO” in the field. KNOWING how to apply the learning is less important than having the experience and habit of using the tools to actually practicing what you’ve learned in real-life.

2) It doesn’t inspire emotion. Our brains have evolved to dismiss as unimportant anything that doesn’t inspire emotion. We need to remember the things that scare us, delight us, excite us, cause us pain, make us laugh. Emotion is the brain’s signal that I may need to avoid or repeat what’s happening now. So I’ll need to store it for future reference.

3) It doesn’t create community reinforcement. Habits are powerful things. Community can help us shift habits over time by providing feedback and modeling. Without encouragement and feedback, we all revert to easy, established habit.

4) It doesn’t effectively answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Like it or not, our brains are deeply concerned with this question. It’s hard to get the brain to resolve to maintain a new direction without a clear reward in sight. An abstract and distant reward doesn’t change behavior as fast as a clear and present one that’s directly tied to the desired change.

Want your training to be impactful, effective, memorable? Address these 4 shortcomings, and reap the rewards.

 

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Imagine your team operating with great effectiveness and efficiency. And imagine a sense of community among you to fuel that performance. Trouble is, reading an article doesn’t often change behavior. That’s why we created Adeptability Training for your team for a communication and collaboration culture as a matter of habit and mindset. Want an Adeptable team?

Book a call today.