How To Give Negative Feedback To A Dominant Individual

 

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How To Give Negative Feedback To A Dominant Individual 

How to lead dominant team members is mystery for many managers. The situation gets worse when faced with the task of giving negative feedback to what is considered to be “difficult people.”

I share some practical steps with related case study extracts to guide you to effectively give negative feedback to dominant individuals.

Using my DISCerning Communication principles, persons who come across as dominant are placed in the red, Outgoing-Task-oriented quadrant of the DISC Framework. One foundation principle of DISCerning Communication is that we have four tool-kits to navigate through life and cope with its challenges. While we have access to all four tool-kits we tend to have preferences and it takes more energy and focus for us to use some of the tool-kits.

The four DISC tool kits are:

Dominance (D-Style) – direct, driven, determined, decisive, daring

Inducement (I-Style) – innovative, inspiring, inter-connected, influential, impulsive

Steadiness (S-Style) – steadfast, stable, supportive, service-oriented, single-minded

Conscientiousness (C-Style) – cautious, compliant, critical-thinking, consistent, curious

How to give negative feedback to D-Style behavior

Giving negative feedback to someone who has a preference for using the D-style is NOT as risky as you may think. One key is to be reflect on the context in which the feedback is framed.

  1. Context

 I suggest that you use the competitiveness of the D-Style user as the starting point and position the feedback in the context of winning.

Re-state agreed objectives and related rewards and reinforce why keeping the feedback loop open facilitates winning. Achieving the objectives takes preeminence and all of us need to look beyond personal issues in our quest for success.

NOTE: It is important to ensure that the D-Style user has bought in to your objectives and is committed to its achievement.

Securing buy-in and vision alignment is the single most important key to effectively leading individuals who have a preference for the D-Style.

Case study

 D operated a small family business. He had a major challenge in getting negative feedback from his employees. They interpreted his take charge approach as an indication that he did not want any interference. Some feared they would lose their jobs if they appeared to be criticizing D. Meanwhile, D lamented that he only had yes men in his employ. D knew that honest feedback was essential to getting a competitive edge.

2. Privacy

Take care to present negative feedback in private. This should apply to all styles but is especially important for D-Style users. Think back from your time in school about the student that would endure punishment rather than back down in order to save face. I suggest that you avoid the issue of saving face by making sure that there is no audience.

Case Study

D gets a visit from her boss. On leaving he stands at the open door and makes a comment in the hearing of D’s staff that she believes undermines her authority. D makes a decision right then to quit the job. She points out to the boss in the exit interview that his lack of respect for her was the primary cause of her leaving.

3. Pulling rank

 Do not make the error of confusing a passionate attempt to challenge your conclusions and to justify their personal actions as a lack of respect or insubordination.

D-Style users will tend to put up a strong defense of their actions. They will tend to be animated in the discourse and this is often seen as dominating the conversation. Too many managers feel insecure at those times and seek the security of their positions to control the dialogue.

The interesting consideration is that more animated defenses are really a show of respect. The D-style recipient respects the person giving the feedback and desperately wants to correct the negative impression that they seem to have! Be more concerned if your negative feedback is accepted without any pushback. You probably have lost that D-Style team member.

Case Study

The CEO decided to intervene directly after yet another employee was about to be sacked for insubordination by the same line manager. The manager had an old school approach that forbade “talking back”. The CEO figured that it would not be long before they would lose all their D-style employees.

 4. Cause

Establish the underlying reason why negative feedback is necessary.

  • If the D-style user is keen to win and is driven by achieving objectives, then why is there a deviation from that path?
  • Are the instructions clear?
  • Are the necessary resources in place?
  • Is there an element of resistance and if so, what is the cause?

Case Study

The D-style Plant Manager had developed an unorthodox but seemingly successful strategy for giving feedback to his under performing D-style staff. He would pull out a copy of the Organizational Chart and mark an X on it. He would write You are here beside the X. He then proceeded to explain what being here meant in terms of the performance requirements. He would close the interview by pointing out that the X would be erased if their performance did not meet the requirements. Most of the D-Style employees took a “Don’t test me” approach, comfortably exceeded the requirements and walked with a swag in the presence of the Plant Manager.

Application

Take time to consider strategies for effectively giving negative feedback to D-style colleagues in situations that are directly related to your normal activities.

Discuss your ideas with a colleague.

Join me as the Training Magazine and Sales & Marketing Magazine sponsors my live webinar: “Is Your Coaching Truly Effective? Let’s Change That”.  Thu, Jul 06, 2017 at 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern http://www.smmconnect.com/events/1157?gref=SMMCtwitter

Trevor E S Smith develops high performing teams and certifies leader-coaches using DISCerning Communication techniques. The Success with People Academy is the home of the revolutionary FinxS Platform from Extended DISC. Hire Smart, Conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys, 360 Performance Evaluations and Team Reports using logistics-friendly technology.

Contact: E-mail: info@swpacademy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belonging – An Essential Feature Of High Performing Teams

 

Belonging – An Essential Feature Of High Performing Teams

MathFormulaForTeamwork

A lack of cooperation is one of the challenges that frustrates effective teamwork. The absence of a sense of “belonging” goes to the heart of the issue.

Brackets

As in Algebra, groups apply brackets when conducting their affairs.

The brackets represent both inclusion and exclusion. It indicates that the things within the brackets have something in common that sets them apart from things outside. It also dictates that the things within the brackets should be given similar treatment.

Let’s now take the leap from the abstract to the real live challenge of working cohesively with others.

Belonging”.

One common problem in dysfunctional teams is the failure of members to identify with the team. They don’t see themselves as being part of the whole that is bonded by common objectives and shared goals.

The brackets say – there is a bond that ties us together. The on the ground reality is that many speak of their teams in terms of they instead of we.

Another tell-tale sign that the brackets are meaningless in terms of inclusion, is the fact that team successes are not celebrated as personal successes. It is like a disgruntled defender coming home to report that they won the match. From the bench he does not see himself as belonging in the team.

Do a bit of investigative work over the next days and listen carefully to the dialogue of colleagues – your team and other groups. See how often you can detect pride in the accomplishments of the group to which the individual belongs.

In cohesive and functional teams the pride comes from just being a part of the team. Members champion the cause of the team as a whole and each member individually. Team member Jenny’s graduation is ours. In a real sense it might be because we helped so much with her research projects and proof reading her submissions!

That is the spirit that fuels high performing teams and tightly connected groups.

Meanwhile, back in dysfunctional land, Desmond has been like a zombie since he was passed over for the Team Leader role. He might not openly tear down what Martha puts forward but his lack of interest cannot be missed. It is also noticeable that people who were close to Desmond and who felt that he should have got the promotion are also not engaged.  The separation is not only mental as they have now started to eat as a clique in a corner of the lunch room.

This team is on a downward spiral and the impact will soon be evident in their key performance indicators (KPIs).

Unfortunately, it is Martha’s responsibility as Team Leader to solve the problem. She may not have appointed herself but now it is her job to get the best from her team.

She needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with Desmond. She can share that she has observed that he is not the dynamic, vibrant person of three months ago and she would like to discuss the change. She needs to steer clear of even a hint of accusation with respect to his lack of support.

One strategy that might work well for Martha is for her to find some solution – a role, maybe – that helps Desmond to save face and feel better about himself. Could she identify a discrete part of her responsibility and invite him to take charge of it without weakening her authority?

That could produce the benefits of getting Desmond engaged once more while giving her the opportunity to focus on other areas. Of course, if Desmond messes up that would provide grounds for another conversation.

Join me in the Training Magazine and Sales & Marketing Magazine sponsors a live webinar: “Is Your Coaching Truly Effective? Let’s Change That”.  Thu, Jul 06, 2017 at 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern http://www.smmconnect.com/events/1157?gref=SMMCtwitter

Trevor E S Smith develops high performing teams and certifies leader-coaches using DISCerning Communication techniques. The Success with People Academy is the home of the revolutionary FinxS Platform from Extended DISC. Hire Smart, Conduct Employee Satisfaction Surveys, 360 Performance Evaluations and Team Reports using logistics-friendly technology.

Contact: E-mail: info@swpacademy.com

 

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How To Deal With Cliques

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How To Deal With Cliques: A Mathematical Formula For Great Teamwork III

We are using the BOMDAS formula to strengthen teamwork.

BOMDAS is an acronym for Brackets| Of | Multiplication | Division |Addition | Subtraction

Under Brackets we established that Belonging is essential if the team is to achieve high levels of success – in our homes, in our workplaces, and in any group. We placed responsibility for achieving bonding and cohesiveness on the shoulders of the Team Leader.

While the brackets signify inclusion, they also indicate that some things should be kept separate. Including what should be excluded produces the wrong result!

Leaders must exclude anything that negatively impacts their teams.

Culprit #1: Cliques or Informal sub-groups

Among the greatest challenges to the smooth running of a group is the presence of a clique. The clique is a small set within the group that looks to a source other than the official leader for leadership. Cliques have the tendency to undermine the influence of the team leader — deliberately or as a by-product of their agenda.

What can a team leader do to limit the influence of cliques?

The first thing to note is that a clique should not be ignored as it could present a major challenge if allowed to grow in influence.

Note also that threats, ostracism, imposing muzzling rules and any method that relies on coercion will not produce sustained positive results. At best they drive the clique underground and set the stage for guerrilla warfare.

A clique exists because there is the perception of unmet needs – voices not being heard; unhappy with treatment or an aspiration for a greater share of power etc.

A leader’s effectiveness is enhanced by their capacity to uncover unfulfilled needs and then address them to the satisfaction or acceptance of the affected parties.

Here are some steps in your plan to address the challenge of a clique within your group:

Step 1: Review the issue of shared vision, goals and objectives.

  • Use information gathering techniques – surveys, focus groups, informal discussions – to glean information on the aspirations of team members.
  • Work to identify key areas of alignment of team member objectives with formal team objectives.
  • Carefully isolate factors that are not aligned and have the potential to be disruptive or distracting.

You should recognize that the quality of the information received from this exercise is directly related to the environment that has been created. Where there is low trust and a sense that leadership is not committed to the empowerment of team members, people are likely to suppress their true feelings. No matter who is responsible, as leader you must sell “I am different. This initiative is different”.

Step 2: Camp out on identified shared objectives

Place laser-focus on things held in common.

Effective leaders latch on to 2 – 3 shared objectives. They then package and sell them such that they are seen as the glue that holds the team together. If the objective is to win the Gold Medal in the relay then get the stars to run their assigned leg without fuss.

Leaders in every sphere must meet the challenge of identifying goals and objectives that can serve as the glue that holds the group together. When teams are guided into uniting around shared purpose their capacity for high performance is unlimited.

But it is not all milk and honey.

One particularly difficult clique arises when someone believes that they are better equipped to lead the group or for some reason refuses to embrace the leadership of the official leader. Ostracizing that individual and their supporters does not provide a sustained solution. Finding a mutually acceptable role for the individual in the process is a more viable solution. Reconcile rather than exile!

Leadership requires a transformed mind-set.

Our upcoming SHRM accredited “3-D Leader Certification” addresses dimensions not covered in traditional leadership training.

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy which is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM Certifications.

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Home of the ICF-accredited “Certified Behavioral Coach Award”.

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Cohesiveness: How We Use Maths To Improve Teamwork

I002_Man&WomanArmWrestling

 

We are using the BOMDAS formula to strengthen our relationships in teams.

It is an acronym that depicts the order of operation:

Brackets| Of | Multiplication | Division |Addition | Subtraction

We are dealing with Brackets. Brackets speak to inclusion; belonging.

Belonging is essential if the team is to achieve high levels of success – in our homes, in our workplaces, and in any group. Groups experience different levels of bonding, unity or team spirit – what I call cohesiveness.

Yet, cohesiveness plays such a critical role in the life they experience.

History is replete with records of sports teams that triumphed primarily on the basis of their cohesiveness while the loser’s column is filled with those who were caught up in on and off the field strife and disunity.

Why is cohesiveness – bonding, unity, team spirit – so important? The oft used –Together Each Achieves More applies. Group work is more effective that independent individual effort.

It is useful to examine what is a team and why they add value.

My preferred definition is:

A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals and approaches for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

What can we learn from this definition?

A. People with complementary skills.

Team work incorporating Team Cohesiveness does NOT mean that everybody has to be same. Successful teams need people to bring different talents, perspectives and ideas to the table.

One sign of a successful team is the fact that it helps its members to achieve self-fulfillment. Team leaders must empower team members.

B. People who are committed to a common purpose.

The glue that holds the team together is the commitment to the common purpose. Without the commitment to the common purpose the team loses its compass.

Without the commitment to the common purpose, members do not have any point of reference that can hold them together. It is like using rubber bands to tie a team of wild horses together.

Commitment has two distinct and critically important components:

1. There must be a clearly identified purpose that is understood in the same way by all the members of the team.

2. The second component is that all the members of a functional team commit to the same understanding of the common purpose.

One indelible sign of a dysfunctional team is the fact that some members are wavering in their commitment to the common purpose.

C. People who are committed to a set of performance goals and approaches.

  •  Successful teams know where they are going. They also know how they are going to get there. In addition, they know if they are on track.
  • Successful teams are clear on the strategies and the activities that will lead them to the achievement of the common purpose.
  • Successful teams have guidelines and yardsticks that indicate to them whether they are on course or not.
  • ​Successful teams do not lose bearing and lose momentum because they have set performance goals that keep them on track.

In successful teams members:

  •  Know and commit to the performance goals. They understand that the guidelines and yardsticks are tied to the attainment of the common purpose.
  • Understand and buy into an agreed approach that is tied to performance goals that lead to attainment of the common purpose.
  • Do NOT come up with their own approaches and guidelines as they deem fit. This issue of the importance of commitment to the team and its values is not widely understood and accepted. That is why there is so much conflict and lack of cohesiveness in households, in work groups, in organizations, in communities and the wider society.

D. Team members must be mutually accountable.

Without accountability things fall apart. Great teams accept the need for discipline and team members are open to receiving feedback.

LEADERSHIP has a critical role in addressing these issues.  The upcomingSHRM accredited 3-D Leader Certification deals directly with those challenges among others. It deals frontally with successfully leading difficult, dominant and diverse team members.

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy which is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM Certifications.

Home of the ICF accredited “Certified Behavioural Coach Award.”

Joint venture partner Extended DISC/FinxS

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How To Use A Math Formula To Improve Teamwork

MathFormulaForTeamwork

 

At school I learned the life-saving BOMDAS formula without which solving Algebra problems would be impossible.

The order of operation should be:

Brackets | Of  | Multiplication  | Division  | Addition |  Subtraction

Here is an example:

Solve: 7 + (6 + 3) x 5 – 4 ÷ 2

Step 1 [Brackets]:  7+ 9 x 5 – 4 ÷ 2

Step 2 [Multiplication & Division]: 7 + 45 – 2

Step 3 [Addition]: 52 – 2

Step 4 [Subtraction]: 50

Answer = 50

I want to explore with you its application in the realm of teamwork and healthy relationships. Applying the BOMDAS rules creatively could help address some of the challenges that produce a lack of cooperation in groups at a time when effective teamwork is critical for success.

Brackets

The brackets represent both inclusion and exclusion. It indicates that the things within the brackets have something in common that sets them apart from things outside. It also dictates that the things within the brackets should be given similar treatment.

Let’s now take the leap from the abstract to the real live challenge of working cohesively with others.

The first concept is “Belonging”.

One common problem in dysfunctional teams is the failure of members to identify with the team. They don’t see themselves as being part of the whole that is bonded by common objectives and shared goals.

The brackets say – there is a bond that ties us together. The on the ground reality is that many speak of their teams in terms of they instead of we.

Other tell-tale signs that the brackets are meaningless include the fact that team successes are not celebrated as personal successes. It is like a disgruntled player coming home to report that they won the match. After investigation you realize that it is actually his team that won. From the bench he does not see himself as belonging in the team and so he refers to his team as they.

Today’s crisis of low employee engagement has some of its roots in the fact that some team members feel like bystanders rather than being actively engaged in the field of play.

Do a bit of investigative work over the next days and listen carefully to the dialogue of colleagues – your team and other groups. See how often you can detect pride in the accomplishments of the group to which the individual belongs.

In cohesive and functional teams the pride comes from just being a part of the team. Members champion the cause of the team as a whole and each member individually. Team member Jenny’s graduation is ours. In a real sense it might be because we helped so much with her research projects and proof reading her submissions!

That is the spirit that fuels high performing teams and tightly connected groups.

Meanwhile, back in dysfunctional land, Desmond has been like a zombie since he was passed over for the Team Leader role. He might not openly tear down what Martha puts forward but his lack of interest cannot be missed. It is also noticeable that people who were close to Desmond and who felt that he should have got the promotion are also not engaged.  The separation is not only mental as they have now started to eat as a clique in a corner of the lunch room.

This team is on a downward spiral and the impact will soon be evident in their key performance indicators (KPIs).

Unfortunately, it is Martha’s responsibility as Team Leader to solve the problem. She may not have appointed herself but now it is her job to get the best from her team.

She needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with Desmond. She can share that she has observed that he is not the dynamic, vibrant person of three months ago and she would like to discuss the change. She needs to steer clear of even a hint of accusation with respect to his lack of support.

One strategy that might work well for Martha is for her to find some solution – a role, maybe – that helps Desmond to save face and feel better about himself. Could she identify a discrete part of her responsibility and invite him to take charge of it without weakening her authority?

That could produce the benefits of getting Desmond engaged once more while giving her the opportunity to focus on other areas. Of course, if Desmond messes up that would provide grounds for another conversation.

Leading teams is a challenging endeavor that requires a cross-section of well-developed competences. Formal ongoing professional development is essential.

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy which is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM Certifications.

Home of the ICF accredited “Certified Behavioural Coach Award.”

Joint venture partner Extended DISC/FinxS Caribbean …world leading behavioral assessment solutions.

 

 

 

A Revolution in Behavioral Assessments

The Extended DISC platform of behavioral solutions has been transformed and is ready to alter how organizations address assessments in the future.

This is truly revolutionary.

It is a blank canvas on which to paint virtually anything your mind can conceive.

Below is a sneak peek of a sample comparative analysis for multiple persons applying for a Client Services position.

CSR Role Fit (Extract)

This Sample Report Extract shows the direct comparison of the results of multiple parties with respect to a battery of situation-specific behavioural competencies.

This will give you a sense of what you will be able to do with the platform. This is the type of situation/target specific report that can be produced in short order. The limits are defined by our joint creativity.

This then opens up huge possibilities for use in recruitment and coaching for performance improvement. You can customize the competencies and factors to be used in the evaluation and present the results for all candidates one below the other in the same report. Alternatively, you can produce individual reports.

There is an increasingly large library of behavioral competencies to choose from when creating your reports.

At the same time, it is our work with the development of high performance teams that evokes the highest level of acclamation from Extended DISC clients across the globe.

The Team Maps provide instant insights into the orientation of the team (and entire organization) to current and future demands. They are also invaluable in guiding decisions with respect to the roles that team members are best suited to play.

For more information contact: trevor.smith@swpacademy.com

How Psychometric Testing Aids Recruitment

Psychometric Testing In Aid Of Recruitment

A simple case study

Let us assume that you want to hire a general purpose handy-man. You want someone who can use a paint brush, a trowel, a screwdriver and a chisel. As you screen applicants your choice will be influenced by the level of dexterity of the candidate with the tool that is most important to the completion of your job. If painting is your top priority then the guy who is most handy with the paint brush would get the nod – other things being equal.

Similar thinking is applied to any job selection process. The person you choose to serve as a sergeant major for the war in Afghanistan is not likely to fit the role of being the guidance counsellor at a high school for girls.

Why psychometric testing?

Each job requires the use of certain behavioural tools to achieve best results. Like handy-men, while we may use a variety of behavioural tools, we tend to be more comfortable using some than others. Some behaviours take more energy from us. We can perform them but they wear us out more quickly than behaviours with which we are more comfortable.

Hence the role of psychometric testing. It assists us in aligning jobs with individuals who are more comfortable using the behavioural tools that are important to the successful completion of the related tasks. The goal is not to use psychometric testing as the sole criterion for selection. However, it provides some insight into areas in which applicants will need more or less energy to get given tasks done.

One of the great benefits of psychometric assessment is the fact that it provides employers with a guide as to how to get best results from new hires. It can take months by trial and error until a new hire finally settles in and performs at their best. A sophisticated behavioural profile equips employers and new hires with the information to enhance performance from the first day at work.

Grounds for resistance to psychometric testing

However, there is a school of thought that suggests that psychometric testing should not be used in the recruitment process because of a concern that employees are more likely to lie at that time than at any other period of their association with the organization. The concern then is that the psychometric assessments might influence the organization to make decisions on the basis of faked results.

It should be noted that the research does not claim that most applicants will lie during the recruitment process. It only suggests that if one is going to be dishonest, it is most likely to happen during the recruitment process. If a high percentage of your organization’s applicants feel disposed to lie then avoiding the use of psychometric tests is hardly the answer to a much bigger problem.

Also, we should consider the logical extension that applicants who are given to cheating on their psychometric tests are also likely to lie in the interview and maybe even with their documentation. However, organizations still interview and opt to ramp up their interviewing skills.

The great news is that there are assessment instruments that structure their questionnaires in such a way as to make cheating risky and very difficult to pay off. These more sophisticated tools also produce reports that reveal two profiles of the individual. One profile reflects the image the individual thinks s/he ought to portray. The other profile is the individual’s natural (or hidden) profile. This kind of assessment has a high degree of correlation with the behaviours that are exhibited post-employment.

Why psychometric testing still adds value

There is another important consideration.

Best practice in performance coaching advises individuals to adopt certain “roles” that are best suited to achieving desired results in given situations. “Act as if…” becomes the key philosophy. No successful coach advises individuals to “always be yourself” in the work environment. That would be a prescription for chaos.

Role playing is a key to successful performance on the job! Organizations expend much effort in getting team members to play appropriate roles when at work.

What does this mean?

Organizations that use psychometric testing as an aid in the recruitment process will either be selecting individuals who genuinely display the behavioural preferences that are desired or who have been able to fake them.

Since, playing the right role is what is required of all team members, the organization that uses psychometric testing is ahead of the game because new hires will either be naturally inclined to play the desired roles or are clever enough to identify and mimic the in-demand behaviours.

Organizations who fail to use sophisticated psychological assessment tools are left to rely on intuition and periods of feeling out new hires before creating the conditions that maximize performance. Being spooked by a small percentage of potential cheats is not a good enough reason to miss out on the overwhelming benefits of psychometric testing in recruitment.

TrevorESSmith

About the author

TrevorESSmith is a Joint-venture partner with Extended DISC International. He is a founding director of the Success with People Academy and the INFOSERV Group. The Success with People Academy provides performance enhancing solutions for individuals, teams and organizations. It facilitates success with and through people.