Leading is a State of Being: Effective Leadership Skills

Length: 60 minutes
Category: Leadership Skills, Recorded Webinars, Topics
ID: WR-1040


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Ask any leader about effective leadership they’ve witnessed, and they can probably name a favorite teacher they would choose to emulate. That’s because great leaders are born through experience and mentoring. But to become great, leaders need more than a positive role model. They need training. And with all of the complex leadership theories, models, and trends swirling around today, sometimes we forget to start at square one.

Join us for Leading is a State of Being: Effective Leadership Skills, the back-to-basics webinar that focuses on the what – and the how – of effective leadership. You’ll understand how to recognize the characteristics of effective leadership, spot behaviors that undermine performance and discover how to lead with impact. As a result, you’ll leave with a solid understanding of how to develop aspiring leaders.

Want to learn more? Read: Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Leader.

Participants Will Learn:

  • The key characteristics of effective leadership
  • How leaders can build trust and confidence with their employees
  • The behaviors that undermine leadership performance
  • How to act decisively and demonstrate leadership during crisis

Who Should Attend:

  • Training and HR professionals who deliver training
  • Independent consultants
  • Managers delivering training

Sara Lindmont: Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, Leading is a State of
Being: Effective Leadership Skills. Hosted by HRDQ-U, and presented by
Katy Tynan. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The
webinar will last about an hour. If you do have any questions, go ahead
and type them into the chat area on your GoToWebinar control panel,
and then, we’ll either answer them as we can, or after the session by
email. Today’s webinar content is from our reproducible training library
title, Leadership 1O1. If you are interested in delivering this training at
your organization, please contact HRDQ.
Sara Lindmont: Our presenter today is Katy Tynan. Katy is an expert in leadership and
organizational development. She’s the author of Survive Your
Promotion, and her most recent book is, How Did I Not See This
Coming?: The New Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Total Disaster. She is
the founder of Liteskip Consulting Group. Welcome, Katy, and thank you
so much for joining us today.
Katy Tynan: Thank you so much, Sara, and thanks everyone for joining and being a
part of this webinar today, on a topic that I’m just really personally
passionate about. It’s where I do a lot of my work, is developing these
effective leadership skills to help all of us become better leaders and
become better at getting our teams to work together and to focus on
their goals. I’m excited to talk about this topic today. We are going to
move through the slides relatively quickly, but certainly, as Sara
mentioned, if you have questions, pop them in the chat, we will try and
leave some time for Q and A at the end. And we’ll also have my contact
information available. And as Sarah mentioned, there are other
resources and tools around this topic, and there will be the ability for
you to get a copy of the slides as well afterwards, so you can review the
information that’s here.
Katy Tynan: Hopefully you’re comfortable and ready to go, let’s get started. As Sarah
mentioned, my name is Katy Tynan, and I am a leadership development
and organizational effectiveness consultant. And I spend a lot of time
working with people, specifically, at this leadership level. Because, you
cannot implement your organizational strategy, if you don’t have
effective leadership within your organization. So, leaders are really the
people in the organization who drive the bus in terms of getting your
organizational strategy delivered. Here’s what we’re going to talk about
specifically today. Our agenda is to talk about those characteristics of
leaders, what the leaders do that help organize and operationalize the
things that an organization is trying to do?
Katy Tynan: And then, how do we build trust? And trust is an essential element of
leadership. How does trust develop? What are some of the things that
erode trust? And how can we really be more mindful and thoughtful
about how our communication skills are helping us build that trust with
employees? How do we avoid some of these behaviors that undermine
our leadership? We’ll talk a little bit about some of the don’ts on the
leadership side. And then, we’re going to talk about promoting
teamwork, helping people work together, how to be decisive and what
to do if you’re leading through a crisis? It’s a lot of great stuff, there’s a
lot of content here. And as I said, we are going to go through it relatively
quickly, but I think, these are some really important high level skills and
thought processes, that you need to have as you think about your own
leadership skills, or, if you’re responsible within your organization for
developing the leaders in your organization. These are great places to
focus your time and attention.
Katy Tynan: Let’s start with, what the purpose is of leadership? Why is it important?
Why does it matter? And we have up here, this definition of leadership.
The idea of positively influencing others to accomplish a specific goal.
And one of the things I like to talk about here is, if you guys have ever
been to one of those dolphin shows, or one of those aquarium shows,
where they have these animals performing. And they’ll tell you, the
trainers will tell you that every single thing that those dolphins learn, is
taught to them through positive reinforcement. So if I could just start off
with one idea and one message about what leadership is all about, it’s
about focusing on the positive, on developing the skills, the strength,
the capabilities, and creating an environment, a culture of enthusiasm, a
culture of excitement around accomplishing a specific goal.
Katy Tynan: That’s what leadership is. Now, why it’s important is because, at the end
of the day, that’s what we do in organizations. We’re trying to
accomplish goals together and we’re trying to help people get better at
what they do, so all of those things are what wrap around what
leadership is, and why it’s important in an organization. This quote, just
sort of encapsulates all of that. This idea that, “If your actions inspire
others to dream more, to learn more, to do more and to become more,
that’s what makes you a leader.” We hear a lot of people asking about
whether their managers or whether their leaders, what the difference
between management and leadership is? I just want to take a second
here to talk a little bit about that, and say that management and a
manager, is typically a role within an organization. Someone has a title
of manager.
Katy Tynan: And a manager is someone who organizes work, who sets goals, who
gets things done. A leader on the other hand, it can be any one of us.
And in fact, many of us leaders, even if all we’re doing is leading
ourselves. Remember that, regardless of your role within an
organization, leadership skills are something that every single person
should have and develop and think about. And then, management skills
overlay that a little bit, in terms of your role and your function within an
organization. But at the core, leadership is about inspiring others. And
so, I want you to keep that in the front of your mind as we go through
and talk about some of the more tactical things that are involved in
Katy Tynan: I just want to do a quick poll if we can. And Sarah, if you can pop this
poll up. I just want to ask the question, do you consider yourself a
leader? And I’ll give you a few minutes to answer. The poll is over on the
right hand side of your webinar control panel, and just pop it open and
share with us in an anonymous way. Really, do you consider yourself a
leader? Is that how you think about yourself when you wake up in the
morning? We’ll just give people a couple more seconds to answer that
question. And really, more than anything else, the purpose of asking this
question is just for you to think for yourself, where you are in your
leadership journey? And whether or not you embrace that role?
Katy Tynan: Okay, and Sarah, I don’t know if you can show the results of that poll. If
we can, that’s great. And if not for right now, it’s just to think about
yourself and your leadership skills. Okay. When we think about
leadership, I now know that you’ve identified whether or not you feel
like you personally are a leader. I want you to think about someone in
your life that you think of as a teacher. Whether it was someone who
taught you when you were actually in some sort of formal school
setting, or whether it’s somebody who you relate to that shares their
skills, their knowledge, their experience with you. Think of someone
who’s a great teacher. And then, write down a couple of things about
that person. A couple of ideas about, why you felt like they were a great
teacher? Why you felt like this was someone who had a big impact in
your life?
Katy Tynan: I’ll just give you a second or two to do that. And just again, write down a
few words, a few phrases to describe someone in your life that you feel
like is a great teacher. Why did I just ask you to do that? Why are we
talking about teachers in the middle of a webinar about management
and leadership? Well, teaching and coaching are fundamental skills of
management. When we think about somebody who is a teacher, that’s
somebody who has a vested interest in helping other people develop,
helping other people get to and achieve their goals. And we think about
this a lot when we talk about servant leadership. Servant leadership is a
whole idea of how leaders work to improve the lives and serve others in
their work. And then, that approach is a really effective leadership
Katy Tynan: In the working world, when we think about how to become a better
teacher, a better coach, a better servant, what does that look like? Well,
here’s a few elements of what we see in the working world, when
leaders really come together and think of themselves as teachers and
coaches. A great leader has a vision, an idea of where we’re going. And
they share that vision, and that picture of a better future, a better place
that we could be. They pursue excellence and communicate effectively.
They’re trustworthy, you believe that they have your best interest at
heart. They build confidence, they’re enthusiastic, they’re excited about
that vision, and they work to serve others in the work that they do.
We’re going to dig into each one of these seven elements and talk about
them, because they are the fundamentals of management.
Katy Tynan: But again, as I talked earlier, the idea of helping to have others develop
and grow is fundamental. Thinking of yourself as a teacher and a coach,
as opposed to someone who bosses other people around, those are the
ways that we think about management and leadership today.
Katy Tynan: Let’s dig into the first one, having and sharing a vision, and what’s that
all about. Think for a minute about somebody that you’ve worked for, or
with, at some point in your career, or maybe an organization that you’ve
been a part of, that was really clear about what they wanted to achieve
and do. Think about that idea for a minute. And that’s the idea that
we’re trying to wrap our heads around with this having and sharing a
vision concept. A vision is this idea of having the ability to imagine the
future. And then, inspire others to get on the bus and work together
towards that future. A fundamental task of a leader is to create that
Katy Tynan: Now, sometimes you do that independently, where you as the leader,
come with that vision, and you share it with others and inspire them to
get on board. But in other cases, that visioning process is something you
do with your team, you do with the people in your organization to help
define what that future looks like. And then, to have buy-in that
everyone agrees that, that symbolize we all want to go together. Either
way is fine, but that function of having a vision, sharing that vision and
focusing on those outcomes. We’re all working hard because we want to
get to this place, which is great and which is where we want to be, is
what drives outcomes and drives success.
Katy Tynan: Let’s look at a couple of examples of organizations that have vision
statements that help inspire the people that work there. The Girl Scouts,
and I want you to take a quick look at this. Even if you’ve never been a
Girl Scout, you’ve probably interacted with the scouting organization, or
at least, you bought their cookies, like I have. What’s the purpose
behind that? Are they in business to sell cookies? Absolutely not.
They’re in business to help girls build their courage, their confidence and
their character, so they can make the world a better place. That’s
inspiring. And that’s the sort of statement that you want to think about
when you’re developing a vision. Cirque du Soleil is about invoking
imagination, provoking the senses and evoking emotions. That
statement encapsulates everything that they do in that organization.
Katy Tynan: And finally, this last one is just a local grocery store. And it’s really
simple, but it gets right to the heart of it. “We help families live happier,
healthier lives. We provide the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious local
produce. And here’s a really specific element, from local farms to your
table in under 24 hours.” You can really see how those kind of vision
statements can help a team set priorities and goals. And it can really
encapsulate when you’re making decisions day today, what you should
do. If you’re struggling or your team is struggling with a challenge, you
can step back and look at that vision and say, “Which choice? Which
solution? Which decision will help us get closer to delivering on our
vision as an organization?”
Katy Tynan: That’s a big part of the purpose of a vision, is it does help you make
decisions. A vision then gets translated into your everyday activities. It
tells you where you should be, it tells you when you should be there and
how to get there. And it helps you decide how to allocate resources,
how to concentrate effort, and how to make sure that you’re all on the
same page. Even if you’re not all in the same room at any given time,
you still have the ability to work together and to have the same
outcomes and goals, which is what helps a team really operate in a
smooth and seamless way, even if they’re not sitting right together all
the time, which some of us are not. That’s vision, that’s the first big one
of these seven chunks that we’ve been talking about.
Katy Tynan: The next one is pursuing excellence. Why does excellence matter? I
mean, at some level, I think we all want, when we take a new job, or
when we think about our careers, we want to pursue excellence. But
what does that mean? Well, let’s dig into it a little bit. Leaders pursue
excellence, both for themselves and for their students. And this is the
key, they set expectations. I’ll just take a little different tack on this and
say, have you ever worked in an organization where nobody cared? Or
where your boss didn’t care? Where there was no expectation? It’s very
demoralizing to go in and try and do work, when it doesn’t matter what
the outcome is. This idea of pursuing excellence, is the opposite of that.
It’s assuming that we want to do the best we can do, that we want to
have great outcomes. We want to set the bar high, and then, we want
to be really excited when we achieve it.
Katy Tynan: And a big part of that is communication. How do we communicate and
give feedback, so that we can all get better all the time? Pursuing
excellence is internal in yourself, but also, external that you’re setting
and holding the line on those high expectations. And not just saying,
“Man, I guess it’s good enough.” But really saying, “No, it’s not good
enough.” We should do our best and we should be proud when we put
out a work product, when we help someone, when we do those things
that we’re here to do. That’s what pursuing excellence is about at a high
level. Here’s what it’s about, really, at a tactical level. It’s about thinking
about doing things right in the first time. It’s about being really open to
improvement and to change, it’s having that continuous improvement
idea. And if any of you have ever worked in either a lean or a six sigma
organization, they are relentless about this idea of pursuing
opportunities for improvement.
Katy Tynan: But even if you’re not in that kind of environment, you still want to be
stepping back and looking at your work, and thinking about how you can
get better every day. It’s about this thing called growth mindset. Growth
mindset is the idea that we can always get better, we can improve,
we’re not fixed and stuck the way we are, but that we are continuously
growing and learning all the time. Pursuing excellence is about that idea
of growth and of getting better, and always thinking about how we
make the most of new opportunities, being willing to take some risks
and asking for feedback. Thinking about pursuing excellence as a leader,
is just an important element of how you approach and how you have
the right mindset, both in terms of yourself, and in terms of your team.
And I will say, as a leader, you’re going to be a role model, you’re going
to be the one that has to sometimes take the first step and say, “Gosh, I
didn’t do this very well. I’d love to hear your feedback, help me get
Katy Tynan: And by modeling that, you’re going to help the people on your team also
feel comfortable and safe saying those things. Saying, “I didn’t do it
quite right this time, I’d love to get better, I’d love to hear your
feedback.” That’s just another important element here, is the idea of
modeling that pursuit of excellence, rather than just trying to force it
down on the people that you work with.
Katy Tynan: I want to move now to the third piece of the seven core things, which is
this idea of setting expectations. And these elements tied together,
right? What we’ve talked about is pursuing excellence, setting a vision.
And then, now, we’re moving on to clarifying these expectations.
There’s a flow here, right? First you have the vision, then you set the bar
high. And now, what we’re doing, is really setting these abundantly clear
expectations, so people know how to be successful. How do we set
expectations? And what does it mean to set expectations? Well, have
you ever had a goal that somebody set for you that you knew you
couldn’t possibly achieve? Maybe it was a sales target and your average
number of new clients in a month was typically five, and then, the next
month, the sales target was 100, right? Those are unrealistic
expectations. But people are motivated when they see the opportunity
and believe they can be successful.
Katy Tynan: When you’re thinking about setting expectations, those goals need to be
a little bit of a stretch, but not so much of a stretch, that they feel
impossible. And that’s why, when you think about, first of all, the clarity
of your expectations, that they’re specific, that they’re understood, that
they directly relate to people’s daily tasks and activities, and that they
are achievable. We’re not going to specifically talk about smart goals in
this session, but you could look up and it’s available, I’m sure on HRDQ’s
library, but also in other places, this idea of setting goals that are
specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. When you’re
setting expectations, that’s a good place to start and to think about
making sure that those expectations are something that people can
actually achieve.
Katy Tynan: Let’s dig into some of the details of those expectations. When we talk
about the specifics, we’re talking about things like time, how long is this
going to take? Cost, resources, what do we need in order to produce
this? How are we going to measure it? Is it satisfaction? Is it financial?
What’s that bottom line benefit? When we’re setting an expectation
about a goal or an outcome, we want to go through these parameters of
time, cost, satisfaction and financial metrics, so that we can set that
expectation in a very clear, specific way, and say how we’re going to
measure it. How are we going to know when we achieve that goal? How
are we going to know that we got to the finish line? And I think that’s
another important element when you’re thinking about making sure
people feel like they’re set up for success, is that they know and you
know, when the finish line has been reached. And that way, you can
celebrate that success.
Katy Tynan: Okay, we’ve talked about having a vision, right? We’ve talked about
setting people up for success and focusing on excellence. We’ve talked
about setting expectations. Now we’re going to talk about
communication, which is one of the most fundamental elements of
what managers do, right? At your job, when you’re thinking about what
a manager does, as opposed to what an individual contributor does,
almost all of that work can be encapsulated under the heading of
communicating. Whether you’re one on one with individual members of
your team talking about their goals and challenges, whether you’re
presenting to a group of stakeholders to talk about your vision and
where you’re trying to go, whether you’re working with someone to give
them feedback, all of those things are wrapped up in communication.
Katy Tynan: Communication is just this fundamental skill that all managers are
always working again to improve and to get better at. There isn’t an end
state where you’re going to be a perfect communicator and you can put
a check mark next to that, but there are some things that you can do to
work on your effective communication. Here are just a few quick bullets
to think about how you communicate effectively. The first one is
passion, show that you care. And again, just calling back to that idea of
pursuing excellence. Part of how you pursue excellence, is how you
show up every day. And when you’re communicating and showing that
things matter and that you care, you’re passionate about this work,
that’s a great way to set the stage with the people on your team, that
what we’re all doing is important.
Katy Tynan: You also want to be clear, logical and convincing, when you’re putting
ideas and opinions together. If you’re just tossing off the cuff ideas and
there’s no data to support those ideas or they don’t tie into some larger
mission or vision, you’re not going to be very effective. But when you’re
communicating, it’s important to think about your audience, who are
you talking to? What do they need to hear? What’s the message that
you want them to take away? And make that as clear as plain as it
possibly can be. And we all know that as human beings, we’re inclined to
this idea of storytelling. And so, a lot of times when you’re
communicating, it can be very helpful, if you incorporate what you’re
trying to communicate into a story, an anecdote, something that
resonates with people and help them have that aha moment of, “I get it,
I understand.”
Katy Tynan: And then, checking, checking for understanding. Once you’ve presented
a piece of information, pause, ask people to repeat back to you, what
did they think they heard. What do they think that takeaways are? How
are they going to use this information? Check that your message really
got through clearly. And the only way you can do that, is asking and
finding out whether people really understood, whether they have
questions, whether they need clarification on any points before you
move forward. I also think it’s very important to note here, this idea of
multiple vectors of communication. Some pieces of information are best
delivered in person, others can just be a quick email. Sometimes you
need to have a meeting, sometimes you need to post things on
collaboration sites. We have so many ways that technology allows us to
communicate these days, so it’s important to think about what the
correct vehicle is for delivering your message.
Katy Tynan: And this is particularly important when you’re thinking about meetings,
because you’re pulling together people and you’re spending that
precious, precious time in the room together, you need to make sure
that you’re using that time as wisely as possible. And same with emails,
we all get deluged in emails all day long, where our email boxes are just
getting fuller and fuller and it can be overwhelming. What do you need
to send an email? Versus, what can you just post on Slack or on a
collaboration site, like a SharePoint or a Basecamp or something like
that? How can we make the very best use of the tools that we have, in
order to be efficient, but also, in order to make sure that the message
gets through. We could do a whole hour or more on effective
communication, but for now, just focusing on these key points and
remembering that communication is the tool in the toolbox for
managers. That’s the thing that managers need in order to get things
done. It’s a great place to focus on for your own development.
Katy Tynan: Now let’s talk about the next element in our list, which is trust. And
when we talk about trust, when we think about trust, here, we’re
framing it as being trustworthy. And I want to hit a little bit on that trust
worthy element, that trust isn’t something people just hand you,
because you have a title or because you’re in this role of manager. Being
trustworthy means you’ve done something to earn that trust. And here
are the three elements that are the most important to developing that
trust. The first is consistency. If you behave in a consistent way, then
people know what to expect of you, and then, you start to develop
trust. If every day you come in, and you’re like a completely different
person, it’s very hard to develop trust. So consistency of behavior,
consistency of your demeanor, not flying off the handle one day and
then being buddy, buddy the next day. But really having a consistent,
calm, positive demeanor, really helps build that trust.
Katy Tynan: The second is competence, right? We all have more trust in somebody
who seems like they know what they’re doing. It is totally fine to say and
to admit that you don’t know something. But at a basic level, you need
to be competent at your role and at your job, and understanding of your
organization as a whole, in order for someone to put their trust in you.
And finally, it’s about compassion and empathy. Understanding the
person who’s sitting on the other side of the table from you,
understanding that you were all going through the same thing, and
being able to show that you understand, that you care, that their
development and their well being matters to you. Those are the three
core elements of how to be a trustworthy person to begin with.
Katy Tynan: Then, when we think about the tactics of that, how do we build that
trust? Some of these, I think, are really obvious, right? If you say you’re
going to do something, do it. You don’t want to say, “Oh, yeah, I’ll get to
that on Tuesday.” And then, Wednesday rolls around, and people have
to come ask you about it. You need to be clear about what
commitments you’re making, and then, you need to make absolutely
sure that you deliver on those commitments. And you need to
communicate very clearly and openly. These next two, honesty and not
circulating rumors, these are really big. We all typically work, if we work
within an organization, in a somewhat political landscape, where people
are trying to achieve their own agendas and to get to their own goals.
Katy Tynan: In an ideal organization, the vision and the alignment of goals is very
transparent, and people are working together and everything is very
aboveboard and honest. But you need to be a big part of that, you need
to be a transparent person that makes sure that you’re staying out of
those political behind closed doors conversations. You’re not circulating
rumors, that you’re delivering factual information to the right people at
the right time, as opposed to having cliques of people who know things.
Building trust is very much about transparency. It’s also about praising
people more than you criticize. And you might say to me, “Katy, that’s
not a trust thing,” but it is a trust. It’s an element of building trust, is,
again, creating that positive environment, where people aren’t afraid to
tell you something, because they think that you’re going to come down
really hard on them. Making sure that you’re a positive influence as
opposed to somebody who’s more negative, who’s going ahead and
criticizing and dumping down on people, and making people feel
worried or anxious or bad.
Katy Tynan: And then finally, practicing what you preach. When you are asking
people to be honest, you need to be honest, and the same, when we
talked about pursuing excellence. You need to be the model, the person
that comes out and shows how to do some of these things, like
admitting when you’re wrong or communicating difficult information in
a transparent and clear and honest way. The more that you practice and
model those elements, the more your team and your stakeholders and
other people in the organization are going to become confident in you.
We just have a couple of quick questions and ideas here for you to think
about. Let’s say, you are in a situation where you had to implement a
policy, or an action that you know is going to be unpopular. You have to
cut budget, or maybe you have to cut a specific project that people have
been working on and feel really invested in. How could you do that?
What are some of the elements and practices that you could do to
minimize trust?
Katy Tynan: And I’m going to let you think about this a little bit, and then, we’ll come
back to it a little bit later and talk about what some of those ideas are
that you might do. But again, just putting yourself in that situation of
thinking about how to build trust, even in difficult situations where
you’re being asked to do something, that maybe has a negative
perception, which is something that managers have to do all the time.
Okay, we’ve talked about setting the bar high, we’ve talked about
communication, we’ve talked about trust, we’ve talked about being
effective and setting a vision and all of those things. Now, we’re going to
move on to talking about confidence. And part of this, is your own
confidence. We talked about that as the one of the elements of being
trustworthy, the idea of being consistent and competent. But, now I
want to talk about building confidence in other people.
Katy Tynan: Part of your role, again, going back to the manager, as teacher, as coach,
as somebody who builds people up, it’s your job to take the people on
your team and the people you’re interacting with, and help encourage
them to grow. And help them find new skills, try new things and
experiment a little bit, take some risks. What does that look like in
practice? In practice, it looks like paying close attention to how people
are feeling about their work. Asking some of those questions when
you’re in one on ones with people, to really understand where
somebody’s at with their confidence level. Do they feel like they’ve got it
all under control? Or do they feel like they’re not quite there yet? Paying
attention, asking those questions and really getting a deep
understanding of where people are, and then, building on successes.
Katy Tynan: Setting that goal, setting the bar high, and then, when somebody
succeeds, celebrating that, because that’s very important. But then,
being able to build on that. Okay, we’ve had a great success, we’ve
achieved a goal, that’s good. Now, what’s the next level? Where could
we go from here? And there is a balance here, right? Which is that, we
want to take the time to celebrate, we also want to show progress, but
we also want to make sure that people who are mastering some of
these skills, are then able to use them and leverage them as strengths.
Being able to celebrate those successes, and then, being able to have
someone maybe become the go to person for that, is a great way to
build confidence, and to build confidence within your team as well.
Katy Tynan: Making it safe to fail. This is a little bit of a nuanced topic, and I have a
couple of clients in the financial services’ industry, and we talk a lot
about this idea of failure. On the one hand, it’s easy to say, oh, you learn
from failure, that’s true. But there are some situations where it’s okay to
fail, and other situations where it’s really not. I think what you really
want to do here as a manager is create some safe zones, some sand
boxes. Let’s say, somebody is trying to develop their skills as a
presenter. Well, you don’t want to put that person in front of the board,
in a really high impact scenario as their first time presenting, just
because that’s a challenge. You want to be able to have that person
build up to that moment in time, and maybe they have some failures
that are internal to the team, where they got nervous and they forgot
what they were going to say.
Katy Tynan: Making it safe to fail means creating environments where people can
fail, without there being a big negative impact, and then, being able to
learn from those failures in a safe way. And then finally, not comparing
employees one to the other, we all have different strengths. And one of
the key things that managers do, is bring together a team of people with
different skills and different capabilities, who can then help each other
progress to the next level. Building confidence is a key element … too
Katy Tynan: Another key element, and there’s just two more that we’re going to talk
about here, being enthusiastic, being excited, being passionate about
your work. We talked about this a little bit before, the idea that you as a
manager should be the most enthusiastic person in the room most of
the time. Now, that doesn’t mean you should be wildly and
unrealistically optimistic, but it does mean that you should be thinking
about and focusing on the positives, and focusing on solving problems
together. Just a quick example of that, when there is a problem or a
challenge, instead of framing it as, you did this wrong. You can frame it
as, here’s a challenge that we have, we need to do this better. How can
we find a better way to get this thing done? And maybe that’s you, and
maybe that’s someone else on the team, but how do we do that
together? Enthusiasm shows up as that positive approach, always
coming to the table with a positive mental attitude about the work
you’re doing, and how you can progress.
Katy Tynan: When you’re enthusiastic, other people naturally want to follow you.
And people are more excited, they have more energy, you have this
contagious idea of success that surrounds you. There are a lot of great
outcomes of being enthusiastic and positive.
Katy Tynan: And then, the very last element of the seven things that we talked
about, is just the idea of serving others. Servant leadership is the idea of
having a sense of responsibility for the outcomes that you and your
team create, committing to meeting those needs, and really willingness,
having that willingness to make sacrifices to help employees achieve
their goals. Again, servant leadership is a huge topic that we don’t have
time to cover here today, but it is certainly something you might want to
take a look at, as you think about your leadership development style.
Here are just a few quick things that tell you that you’re in a servant
leadership mode. Listening, responding, engaging with people, and
really at the end of the day, caring about those outcomes, caring about
how people do and what people are doing with themselves and with
their lives.
Katy Tynan: Okay, now we’re going to hop over to a little bit of a negative topic, this
idea of behaviors that undermine leadership, so these are the don’ts.
And the first big don’t, is having a hidden agenda, lack of transparency.
This really erodes that confidence, it really erodes that idea of people
being able to trust you. So, you don’t want to be unpredictable, you
don’t want to have double hand standards, and you certainly don’t want
to have a hidden agenda. The second piece here is just under the
heading of communication. You can talk a lot, [inaudible 00:37:59] not
be communicating. As a leader, you also want to think about talking
less, listening more and really focusing on making every piece of
communication that you deliver, more effective. Instead of having more
quantity communication, you want to focus on quality communication.
Things that impact people, like changes that are coming in the
organization, or projected productivity service levels, the business plan,
client information.
Katy Tynan: These are the kinds of things that you want to focus on, making sure
that people are in the loop, that they’re aware, that they are able to
connect and understand what’s happening. Because, that’s really what
allows them to focus on their work. When you’re thinking about
communicating as a leader, you want to think about what you’re
communicating? And then, how you’re communicating it? And then,
what the impact of that communication is on people? Here’s a little bit
of the meat, right? Do you ever feel like your employees only hear from
you when there’s a problem? These are behaviors that really undermine
your ability to be seen as a leader. If you only show up when things go
wrong, that’s a big problem. Or if you spend all your time managing up,
and not enough time focusing on the individuals on your team, that’s
not going to help people feel engaged with their work. And especially, if
they’re hearing things from other parts of the organization, and they’re
not hearing them from you.
Katy Tynan: We’ve talked a lot today about communication, but this is just a great
point to hit on, that it’s about proactive communication, about being
the first person to share information, as opposed to waiting until people
are hearing things through the grapevine. And then, finally, having no
real interest or idea of what the people on your team are capable of,
what their goals are. A big part of your job as a leader, is really to have
one on one conversations with your team on, at least, a couple times a
month basis, ideally, a weekly basis, and to ask these questions. Where
do you want to go? What are some of the things you want to do to
develop in your career? What are some challenges that I can help you
with? Those are the ways that you engage people on your team. These
are the things that undermine leadership and will make you less
Katy Tynan: Here are some things that help you be more effective. Actively engaging
your employees, making sure that you are proactively going out, not
hiding in your office, helping people understand what’s happening in the
organization, understanding each of those individuals, career goals, how
they’re aligned with the organization’s goals. And developing a
relationship, so that you know, and other people know, what the next
steps are? How things are going to develop? And what they need to do
to be successful? If you just ask this one question to your direct reports
on a regular basis, or even yourself, “Do I know what I need to do to be
successful? Am I 100% confident every day, that I know how to succeed?
Do I know what I’m being measured on? Do I know that I have the tools
and the resources to be successful?” Those are some of the things that
great managers do to engage their employees.
Katy Tynan: This is another negative one, right? Unwillingness to change, focus on
the past. “We’ve always done it this way, so we should always do it this
way. We don’t want to do anything new because that’s scary.” As a
manager, again, you need to model this idea of taking risks, the idea
that other people might have ideas you haven’t thought of. And allow
people to present those ideas, and to try them, to pilot them, and not
just a shut everything down, because you’ve never done it that way
before. Now, there are going to be times when you do know that a
certain new approach isn’t going to work for one reason or another.
Maybe it has been tried before, but you still want to approach how you
respond to that, in a way that helps that person who’s bringing that idea
to the table, understand why you might be saying no. Being really open
and willing to innovate, to change, to try new things, is, again, that
growth mindset that we talked about before. Being in that constant idea
of, how do we get better?
Katy Tynan: Just sort of wrapping up on this whole topic, and I know we’ve talked a
lot today about these ideas of, how to become a better leader? How to
do some of these hard things that leaders are asked to do? I want to talk
about the impact, why do we do all of these things? Why do we want to
work so hard to be great leaders? And what are some of the ways that
we’re doing that? As a leader, you have the most impact, when you’re
influencing other people. I think a lot of people think of leadership and
of management as telling people what to do, right? That’s the common
misconception. That managers are the boss, and they boss people
around. But the truth is, very few good managers, actually, are out
issuing orders on any given day. What they’re doing is, communicating
that vision, being flexible and patient, understanding motivation,
understanding why people want to be part of these conversations.
Looking at your own motivation, are you frustrated? Are you happy in
your job?
Katy Tynan: And then, using a variety of approaches to help get different types of
people, on the bus, at the table, and willing to collaborate with you. And
finally, one of the biggest keys here is promoting teamwork. As you’re
facilitating a team to do great things, to do interesting things, what you
need to do is create an environment where people are working
together. Here are some tactical ways that you can do that. First of all,
be accessible, be part of the team. Don’t separate yourself from your
team and say, “I’m the boss, I’m over here, and you guys are the worker
bees and you’re over there.” Be part of that team. Set those
expectations and observe what’s happening before you jump in and
criticize. Make sure that you understand before you speak and before
you start to critique. Make sure that you understand all of the elements.
Katy Tynan: And then, create teams that maximize trust, that help people cooperate
and collaborate. Help people work together and really encourage that
idea of going out, and talking to and building relationships with other
parts of the organization. To get rid of those silo mentalities of, “This is
my team, this is your team. We are in the same company but we don’t
talk to each other.” Really encourage it, and by that, I mean, model it.
Go out and develop relationships. Encourage the people on your team
to develop those relationships. Pitch in, be part of the work, be part of
the work product. And get people together when you’re not necessarily
all about work all the time. Make sure that people are having a little bit
of time to be social, to remember that we’re all human beings. Because
in a lot of ways, that helps us work better together.
Katy Tynan: Thinking about leadership in a crisis, which is our last element here, I
want to talk about being decisive. And a lot of times, and we talked way
back and I asked you to think a little bit about this question that I posed
earlier, the idea of if you had to communicate a piece of information
about something negative. A lot of times as leaders, we are asked to
lead through challenge. How do you do that? And here are some of the
ways that good leaders act decisively, even when they don’t have all the
information. You do need to ask a lot of questions, but understand that
you won’t necessarily know everything there is to know. How do you
gather that information? And how do you turn that information into a
solid decision?
Katy Tynan: This is where good leaders separate themselves from mediocre leaders.
Because at some point, you’ve got to make the choice, and then, live
with the consequences. And know that that choice is not going to be
perfect, but that you made the best decision with the data that you had
at the time, and that you were thoughtful about what data you chose to
consider when you had to make that decision. Let’s say we’re talking
about that scenario where you have to cut a project that people were
really passionate about. First, you want to understand and ask the
questions of the leadership. “Why are we cutting this project? Is it
because it doesn’t have a good revenue stream associated with it? Is it
because we checked with our customers and they don’t really want it,
even though we think it’s a great idea?” Being able to gather that data,
so that then you can go back to your team, and say, “Hey, here’s where
we are. Here’s some of the reasoning behind this. Here’s what’s going to
happen and here’s what we’re going to do.”
Katy Tynan: Again, getting that right amount of data, communicating it in a
meaningful, powerful, clear way. And then, providing clear directions for
what’s next, “What are we going to stop doing? What are we going to
start doing? And how are we going to move forward?” When we think
about some of these things, just as we wrap up this idea of showing
confidence, that the solution is going to be positive. That ultimately,
we’re getting to a better place. Coming up with options for how we’re
going to move to that place, spending time with some of the people
who are frustrated or challenged. Maybe if we’re talking about that
canceling project example, that you’re going and bringing together the
people who were working on the project with the people who decided
to cancel the project, and helping them share that information. Both,
why you canceled it? And what the impact was on those people? So
that, everybody feels like they’re heard.
Katy Tynan: And then, letting go, moving on and moving forward to the next level. I
know we’ve covered a lot today, and a lot in this 45 to 50 minute
session. We have talked about the many things and qualities and
capabilities that leaders possess. How to lead through a crisis? How to
avoid some of these behaviors that undermine leadership? And I think
it’s a lot to absorb in one session, but certainly, at a fundamental level, if
you want to take anything away from this session, the things you should
take away are, that your communication skills are the key. That caring
about and being in that teacher coach mindset is the right way to think
about developing people. And to remember that trust is at the core, it’s
the foundation of any kind of leadership relationship. You want to do
things that make you trustworthy, and avoid behaviors that might
potentially make you untrustworthy.
Katy Tynan: I appreciate you all being part of this call and part of this conversation
today, and I think we have a few minutes now to answer a couple of
questions, if you guys have specific questions. And then, I’m also happy
if we’ve run out of time, to write up some answers to questions that
you’ve sent into the chat box, and we’ll post those as blog posts. Sara,
I’ll just throw it back to you. Do we have any questions from the people
on the line?
Sara Lindmont: Sure. Thank you so much, Katy. It does look like we’ve got some typing
happening, so I’m going to give that a second for people to send in their
questions. Send those in now, use that chat box to send those in. While
those do come in, I do just want to mention HRDQ, we’re here for your
training needs. HRDQ publishes research based experiential learning
products, that you can deliver in your organization. Definitely, check out
online, our print assessments that we have. We also have up out of your
seat games, our reproducible workshops that you can customize, and a
lot more product at our website, or you can call our customer service
team. And if you find you need help, either learning a training program
that you want to deliver internally, or if you want one of our expert
trainers to come out and deliver the session for you, we also provide
those services to.
Sara Lindmont: Katy, our first question that has come in is asking about, what happens if
someone on your team isn’t really responding to your leadership
Katy Tynan: Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I think a lot of times, we come
into a leadership position, and we have a great plan for how we’re going
to relate to people. And then we discover that, some people really
respond to our style, and other people don’t. One of the things that’s
key for managers is this ability to flex and to adapt your leadership style.
And one of the ways that you can do that is if you do understand, and
HRDQ has some assessments and ways to help you do this, and there
are some others out there as well. Whether it’s in MBTI or DISC, or an
Insights Discovery profile, these different kinds of ways to understand
that people’s communication styles are different, and that there are
ways you will need to adapt your communication style, in order to be
effective in working with those people. The better you know yourself,
and the better you know the people on your team, the more you will
have the ability to help those people be successful, because you can
adapt and flex your communication style.
Sara Lindmont: Good, good. We have, as you know, our audience today is a lot of
trainers on the line, and I’m getting a lot of questions you mentioned,
that concept of a leader as a teacher. And we have some questions here
around your insight, how you view the difference between a coach, a
leader, a manager, somebody here has even mentioned front line. Do
you have a way where you look at those as either different or even the
Katy Tynan: I think the fundamental skills of being a good leader are about caring
about people and caring about their development. That’s really a lot of
what the teacher idea is about. Is getting yourself or getting new
managers into that mode of being developers of people. What does that
mean? It means working with people to understand where they feel like
they need to grow their skills, and then, trying to find those
opportunities to develop those skills. I think the teacher idea is a
mindset, it’s a mentality, and same with the coach. A lot of times we
have had a coach in our lives, who’s really helped us get better at
something. And then, we also know that in a lot of cases to develop and
grow, we need a mentor. We need somebody that we look up to, that
we can say, “Oh, here’s someone whose management style I really
aspire to. Here’s somebody that I would like to get better and be more
Katy Tynan: I think it’s Important for everyone’s professional development, that they
have someone in those roles. And if your manager is not the person,
and isn’t able to give you those things, then you may need to go out and
seek out a coach or a mentor or somebody to help you grow. I think,
when you think about the different layers of competency, you might
have technical competency, you might have leadership skill
competency, you might have soft skill’s competency. And having
somebody to help you figure out where to focus your attention on those
things, can be very important. As a manager, if you’re trying to think
about how to approach people, you want to think about putting yourself
in that role of teacher and coach, as opposed to putting yourself in that
role of boss or a person who is very judgmental about things.
Katy Tynan: There’s really a lot to this idea of, which role you’re playing at any given
time and how you’re helping the people on your team grow and develop
through some of those roles.
Sara Lindmont: Perfect. Thank you so much, Katy. That’s all the time we have today and
we do appreciate your wonderful insight and your enthusiasm for this
Katy Tynan: Well, thank you so much, it’s been great to be here.
Sara Lindmont: Wonderful. Thanks everyone for participating and happy training.



Katy Tynan is a bestselling author of practical guides to career transitions, and an internationally-recognized expert leadership, organizational development and how work is evolving. Her most recent book is How Did I Not See This Coming: The New Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Total Disaster (ATD Press, November 2017). Throughout her career in IT and operations consulting, she has advised hundreds of organizations on how to find innovative solutions leveraging technology and human capital for competitive advantage. Ms. Tynan is the founder of Liteskip Consulting Group. Learn more at katytynan.com.


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