You can do this! I have confidence in you!
In my continued journey through the course, Results that Last: 7 Roles Every Manager Must Master, I’m learning about various “hats” a good manager has to wear.
This week, the hats of Connector and Galvanizer were my focus.
A connector helps their team tie together the big picture with the everyday tasks, and a galvanizer energizes the team to carry out that vision. Unfortunately, when a manager is overwhelmed with the minutia of every day tasks, these two roles can take a beating. Who has time for explaining the vision? Who wants to bother with energizing activities? That’s understandable, but you’re defeating yourself if you don’t take a few extra minutes to engage your team in conversation and cheer them on. Here are some concrete examples of how you can do so without over stressing your full calendar and task list:
1. Regularly remind your team (or yourself) of the bigger picture. Work it into staff meetings, walking down the hall conversations, and over coffee or lunch. I’m not talking about preaching to them, but ask questions like, “How does this task tie into our core value of ____________?”
2. Do energy-building activities on a regular basis. You don’t have to plan elaboarate retreats (although those are great) but you can do weekly or monthly energizers. For example, incorporate into standard staff meetings a 5-minute ice breaker. Set up a puzzle for the team to work on a few minutes at a time (see my post about this here.) Start review meetings with an energizing question. (For more ideas on having fun with your team, see my book about Boosting Workplace Morale.) These little ideas do not take a lot of time or effort, but they pay off in a big way.
3. Don’t trickle down the stress. If you are receiving stress packages from your manager, don’t deliver it down to your team the same way. We tend to pass the stress along but it has to stop somewhere. Be the bigger person and figure out a way to give potentially stressful news to your team in an upbeat way. (In the course, there is a role play that reveals a great sample of how to do that.)
Connector and Galvanizer are perhaps the two roles that resonate well with me, because they align with one side of my personality. I have good memories leading a team and incorporating fun elements into the workplace, and I love to do hands-on energizers when I teach business soft skill classes. But whether or not these roles come naturally to you, you will be helping your own productivity and stress-management if you take some time to get better at them.
One way to get better is to enroll in Karin’s course! (And you bless HOPE Unlimited at the same time.)
PS: Remember the freebie Karin is offering us! Download her free e-book about Mentoring Millenials below: