How do we teach our leaders to be assertive decision-makers with their people without coming across as abrupt? It's a fine line to walk and we want to put in place some training and/or guidelines as a primer.
—High-Wire Act, manager, health care, Middletown, Connecticut
The subtle way intent is communicated through behaviors like tone of voice, eye contact, facial expressions and body language, can diminish the productivity of others.
Leaders often focus on what’s expedient and a lower upfront money and time investment, as opposed to what method will most effectively address challenging learning problems.
Our company soon must replace a number of senior-level boomers nearing retirement. How do we develop younger high potentials to take over as senior executives? Does it take a different approach than we used in years past?
— Our Future Is Our Past, senior organizational development officer, financial services, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Leaders' their vision begins with the organization’s overall mission and the values that will drive how team members work, treat one another and serve their markets or consumers year after year.
How does management style affect someone’s ability to lead? We’re wondering if we should promote people with certain styles of leadership (autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire).
—Always in Style, office coordinator, government, Washington, D.C.
Q: We have been stressing accountability as a cultural value. What is a good way for us to take the concept of accountability beyond the performance appraisal? We want employees to embrace accountability but not feel threatened by it (i.e., no raises, discipline etc).
—Performance Is the Thing, education, Pune, India
We are currently engaged in the process of training all of our managers in the principles of exemplary leadership. To support this effort, we want to move away from a "control and compliance" approach to performance management. How do we redesign our tools to promote employee ownership, accountability, and commitment through a set of shared values and goals?
—Culture Warrior, senior vice president human resources, financial/insurance/real estate, Sarasota, Florida
We have a manager who feels that “motivation” should be in the form of criticism – to encourage the employee to “work harder.” If indeed this is his style, what is the best approach to giving constructive criticism to employees as a motivator?
—Providing Constructive Feedback