Listen—With your ears and eyes wide open, listen to what is being said as well as what is not being said, especially during times of stress. Determine the true problem with interoffice squabbles, client upset or project derailment. Take the time to fix it at that moment.
Examine—Think through all problems and look at them from everyone's perspective. Never play favorites and never jump to conclusions. Arm yourself with all the facts, and aim to find the solution that is best for the individual and the group.
Assist—Help others to turn mistakes into learning experiences. Don't chew people out for their errors—go over what went wrong, where others could have helped and how the situation should be handled in the future.
Develop—Implement fair policies and solutions. When you need to make a tough call, take time to explain how you arrived at your decision and why you think it is best.
Encourage—Provide every employee with the tools, resources and assurance to do the best job. Give people extra responsibility and gently push them to advance into more demanding roles. If you allow people to grow, they'll reward you with better performance and increased loyalty.
Recognize—When deserved, praise the positive in every worker. Do not overlook flaws, but give approval whenever possible. Let people know when you like what they are doing.
SOURCE: Executive Communications Group, Englewood New Jersey, September 22, 1999.