When are you going to take charge of your team?




A new client and I started working together recently; and one of their key challenges was hiring and retaining team members.

A number of great people would start, yet most left within a week… One lasted about 2 hours.  The business owner was at a loss as to why they couldn’t find any decent people.

Before I carry on, maybe you can guess who the problem was.

Yes, you got it; it was the business owner who was the problem.  Their attitude to team members needed re-setting.

A great mantra is ‘you get the people you deserve’.

Assertiveness is not about being bossy.  It’s often just about listening to the other person’s point of view and being flexible.  Yet, keeping everyone’s focus on the end goal.

In my career at Aerospace, during the development and implementation of an ISO9001 Quality Management System, I learnt that there are many ways to word a procedure and still get the same results.  Much better to get the people who use the procedure to write it.  With guidance and support, the end results of systemising and efficiency are achieved with a process that the user will actually buy into – it’s theirs!  We achieved the end goal as a team.

Back to my client.

He had asked a team member to train another in producing a product.  As he walked past, he noticed that the approach was not right. The product would not be properly made.

So he intervened and told the ‘teaching’ team member off.  The team member then started to argue; probably because they were embarrassed in front of the new starter.

It didn’t go well, with the business owner storming off saying, do it your own way then. Hmm, no assertiveness here then.

Once we had worked on resolving that conflict. We worked on the business owner’s assertiveness and after a few weeks, things got a whole lot better.  The team are happier knowing what is required, the values and expected behaviours.  Respect is growing between all the team members.

A great resource is a book titled ‘Assertiveness, how to be strong in every situation’.  Well worth a read.

It is one of the titles regularly chosen by clients on their Learn to Earn program – Find out more

About Alex Petty

Blogger, runner, mentor
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