Did You Pick Up Some Bad Habits in 2020?
by Kim Clist Fons
A quick internet search will bring up endless articles about the habits of highly effective teams. And most of them will not be very surprising. Knowing what great looks like is often the easy part. Even I can recognize an epic slam dunk, despite having a 3 inch vertical leap. The hard part is in knowing how to pull it off. The harder part is recognizing the bad habits that get in the way of that slam dunk. Perfection is not realistic, however, our habits define just how often and consistently we can perform at our best. This past year has been a perfect storm of circumstances to create not-so-helpful teaming habits. So letís take a look at few of the little things that may have gotten you through 2020 but should definitely be purged from your new normal.
Operating off check lists
When everything is in upheaval, simply putting one foot in front of the other is a pretty good strategy to keep going. But it is not the best way to be strategic about where you are going. Now is the time to take a step back and reconsider the bigger picture. Reevaluate those goals and make sure the tasks are still getting you where you want to go.
Better yet, stop and think about where you are headed and if that is still the right direction for your team. So much has changed Ė have you and your organization changed too?
Many of us will continue to work from home at least some of the time and that distance can be unnerving for some leaders. While it is important to check in with remote workers regularly, the focus should be on what they need for success, not double checking they crossed everything off those lists. If you trusted your people when they worked in the office, you can probably trust them equally from home. Micromanaging almost always backfires.
Giving people the autonomy to complete tasks their own way, empowering them to take ownership of their processes and outcomes builds trust and motivation. With autonomy comes more reliable staff but mistakes will follow. Treat mistakes as teaching opportunities and watch people grow and learn far beyond your expectations.
While the new work-from-home dress code has bolstered the pajama industry and given way to more flexible clothing norms, the pandemic has not done us any favors in communication. If you find your emails looking more like text messages and your presentations sounding more like a coffee chat, it might be time to dust off some of those soft skills.
Brevity is good, but not at the expense of clarity. It is hard enough to maintain relationships and trust at a distance without added truncated messages in the place or rich conversation. Punctuation does matter and remember that someday you will have to put a napkin in your lap during for that lunch meeting once again.
Putting yourself last
Iím quite certain I am not the first person to tell you this. Developing a self-care practice is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your work performance, leadership skills, and over-all health.
Unsure what to do? Start by turning back time a bit. What did you love to do 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 20 years ago? Did it bring you joy, help you relax, or jazz up your energy? Consider why you stopped and what you can do to re-start. Think about what you can take from that memory and implement today.
When you check these off your list and are ready to take a deeper look at improving your leadership and team performance, give us a call. We would love to help you assess where you are now and help you create a plan to take it to the next level. Call 608-290-8064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org