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April 2, 2015
5 Steps To Turn Bad Coaching Aroundby Jack Zenger
We all get bad feedback from bosses – but sometimes undeservedly so. That’s when it hurts. And when unfair feedback comes from out of the blue, it is very tough to respond in a way that corrects the record and fixes the problem.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article my colleague Joe Folkman and I shared an example of a customer service manager in a tough situation. A very important customer had requested some product modifications and was unhappy with the answers the manager gave him. Soon a senior business development executive, after hearing negative feedback from the customer, chewed out the customer service manager. Naturally, the executive isn’t pleased to receive the complaint, but he wrongly assumes the manager is at fault.
Imagine, for a moment, you are in this manager’s position. This senior executive isn’t your boss and probably hasn’t inquired about what might have gone wrong. But he assumes it’s your fault, that you’ve treated the customer poorly, and that you’ve seriously damaged the company’s relationship with the customer.
From your perspective, the feedback is unfair. But the executive is clearly agitated. What’s the best way to proceed? The key is preparation. Continued on Forbes.com.
March 23, 2015
8 Ways To Get Work Done Fasterby admin
John Maynard Keynes, a famous economist in the 1930’s, predicted that his grandchildren would have a three-hour workday. Sadly, it did not happen–In fact, we now have the reverse! Organizations are looking for ways to do more with less, the population is aging, and the pace of work is increasing.
When Zenger Folkman polled a group of more than 1,600 leaders, 81% felt they are often expected to move faster and do more. In the chart, you can see the perceived number of “hurry up” messages executives receive every year. A Harvard Business Review study found that in the 1970’s executives received about 1,000 messages per year. If you contrast that with the 30,000 messages executives received in the 2010’s, you can see the expectations emerging through more than 120 messages per workday. Clearly there is a great need for speed in today’s workplace.
As organizations look at competition and shorting deadlines there is a great need for increased speed. In our survey we asked respondents the impact of increased speed. When we looked at the data we examined the differences by position (e.g., Top, Senior, Middle and Supervisors). Continued on Forbes.com.
March 6, 2015
As a fellow researcher of strengths based development McQuaid’s newest endeavor, the 2015 Strengths@Work Survey with the VIA Institute on character, caught my attention as well.
Inspired by various findings on how much more engaged employees become when managers recognize and appreciate their strengths, McQuaid initiated a new study. In a nutshell, yet again, the evidence shows profoundly that recognizing and honing in on a person’s greatest strengths is far more effective than grinding in on their greatest weakness (unless, of course, the weakness is a fatal flaw.) Continued on Forbes.com.
March 4, 2015
What To Do When the Boss Gives You Baseless Feedbackby Zenger Folkman
Suppose you’re a customer service manager and you’re getting chewed out by your boss, the head of customer service. He’s heard from a key customer who’s unhappy about answers he’s received to a request for product modifications. Naturally, he’s not pleased to be on that end of the call. He probably hasn’t made any inquiries into what might have gone wrong. Nevertheless, he assumes it’s your fault, that you’ve treated the customer poorly and now have seriously damaged the company’s relationship with him.
You don’t agree. From your perspective, the feedback is wrong and unfair. But your boss is clearly agitated. What’s the best way to handle the situation? Preparation.
We suggest several steps:
1. Don’t react immediately. Certainly don’t erupt or summarily reject the feedback. Assume that there will be a follow-up meeting for which you’ll be fully prepared to respond, but don’t even think about doing that at this moment. Act as calmly and respectfully as you can. Nothing is gained by showing anger or escalating the issue even more. Continued on Harvard Business Review.
February 26, 2015
You Have to Be Fast to Be Seen as a Great Leaderby Zenger Folkman
That’s easy to say. But is it so? Is there a correlation between speed and perceived leadership effectiveness?
In a word, “yes.”
We recently analyzed 360 feedback evaluations on more than 50,000 leaders to assess the impact of speed on their colleagues’ impression of each executive’s overall leadership effectiveness. For this purpose, we created a “speed index” that measured speed in three simple ways: how well a leader can spot problems or trends early, can respond to problems quickly, and can swiftly make needed changes. (If you would like to evaluate your own pace and see how you compare, take our Pace Assessment by clicking here.)
We then looked to see how high scores on the speed index correlated to overall leadership effectiveness ratings by focusing on the exceptional leaders in the pool (those rated in the top 10% in leadership effectiveness by their colleagues).
What we found was that of these 5,711 top leaders, 2% were judged particularly fast but not exceptionally effective (that’s about 114 of them); 3% (some 170) were judged to be highly effective (that is, people trusted them to do the right thing) but not particularly fast. And fully 95% (that’s more than 5,400 of them) were judged both particularly effective and particularly quick. That is, being good is only marginally better than being quick, but the fact is both are necessary, and neither alone is sufficient, to be perceived as an exceptional leader today. Continued on Harvard Business Review.
February 20, 2015
5 Business Payoffs For Being An Effective Coachby Joe Folkman
As I look over the landscape of leadership development, here’s my conclusion: nothing much is new in the way of leadership principles. There are new tactics, but not many new principles. A good friend of mine used to say, it’s like “Old wine and new bottles.” And despite the sizable amount of research that exists on the tactics to improve leadership effectiveness, there are still many leaders who don’t feel compelled to learn.
This reminds me of a county agent who went out to a farmer to invite him to attend some classes on better farming techniques. He gave the farmer the times and place and said, “Will I see you there? “
“ Nope,” said the farmer.
“Well, why not,” asked the county agent.
“Well, you see,” said the farmer, “I’m not half as good a farmer as I know how to be. So why should I learn anything more? “
This describes us all to a large degree. We’ve been talking about the advantages of employee involvement and participation for decades, yet sizable portions of our leaders don’t follow through. Why should they be interested? From our research, here are at least a few of the payoffs feedback and coaching can bring. … Continued on Forbes.com.
February 12, 2015
The Question That Improves Leader Effectivenessby Jack Zenger
Most of us would like to be seen as highly effective at whatever job we have. Beyond that, as we continue in any line of work, we’d like to know that we are not just treading water, but that we’re moving upstream and actually getting better at our work.
There are strong forces, however, that converge to put our habits into a rut. One of Newton’s Laws is that bodies at rest stay at rest until we apply major force. Likewise, bodies that are moving slowly stay slow until something serious kicks things up a notch.
For example, a study of clinical psychologists tried to discover why some excelled over others, and why some psychologists get progressively better while others performance is stuck. What made the difference? … Continued on Forbes.com.
January 27, 2015
If Your Boss Thinks You’re Awesome, You Will Become More Awesomeby Zenger Folkman
If your boss thinks you’re awesome, will that make you more awesome? This question came to us recently, when we were working with the top three levels of management in a multinational. When asked to rate their direct reports on 360 evaluations, some managers consistently rated everyone higher, and others consistently lower, than the average. We wondered if this was a result of bias, and what effect it had on the people who worked for them.
To understand this better we looked at a larger set of 360 data to identify 50 of the company’s managers who rated their direct reports significantly more positively than everyone else on a five-point scale (that is, they gave a higher percentage of their subordinates top marks than their colleagues did, skewing the curve to the right, as in Lake Woebegone, where everyone is above average). We also identified 31 managers who consistently rated their direct reports significantly lower than their colleagues, skewing their curves to the left.
The difference is stark: Only 18.4% of the people working for the “positive-rating” managers, or the easy graders, were judged as merely “competent” (that is, just average) compared with fully 51.4% of those working for the “negative-rating” managers, clearly the harder graders. While neither group judged even 1% of their workers as truly problematic and in need of significant improvement, almost 14% of those working for the negative-rating managers were judged to need some improvement compared with only 3% of those working for the positive-rating bosses. … Continued on Harvard Business Review.
January 15, 2015
Great Leaders Can Double Profits, Research Showsby Jack Zenger
To some extent, the connection between leadership and the bottom line has been made. Yet most evidence on this point comes merely from the personal treatises of famous and successful executives. While interesting, the variety of opinions we hear on leadership’s role in profit creation are incomplete and even contradictory. As a result, my colleague Joe Folkman and I have gathered research that supports the bold claim that leaders, good and bad, directly affect the bottom line of the organization
First we analyzed a substantial database of some 500,000 feedback instruments (commonly called 360-degree feedback reports) that pertain to approximately 50,000 managers. Our premise was simply that if you want to find out the effectiveness of a leader, ask the opinions of those who are led.
Through a study of these reports commissioned by a division of a Fortune 500 commercial bank, we discovered compelling evidence of the dramatic effect of leadership effectiveness on net income.
Fortunately, this was an organization in which the profit analysis was relatively easy. In this case we were able to isolate many of the external factors that exist for most of its leaders, clearly revealing the significant impact leadership had on its bottom line. … Continued on Forbes.com.
January 7, 2015
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Infographic: 9 Habits That Lead To Terrible Decision-Makingby Zenger Folkman
Posted on Business Insider January 5, 2015
Pizza or salad?
Buy or sell?
Expand or cut back?
Our choices define us. And for those running countries or companies, routine decisions can have dramatic effects on people’s lives. So how can we ensure we’re making the best possible choices for ourselves and the people we influence?
The folks at leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman decided to study how people make decisions. Using feedback from 50,000 leaders and a statistical analysis, they uncovered the habits that lead to terrible decision-making. They are illustrated in the below graphic.