Have you ever been a member of (or led) an exceptional workplace team? What are some of the positives that come to mind? Was it engaging and collaborative? Did you meet and exceed your goals? Did everyone feel valued and appreciated? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? Yet all too often, teams fall short of being as effective as they can be and reaching their potential. The impacts are felt by employees, leaders and organizations as a whole.
So, what exactly do we mean by an “effective team”? It’s the capacity of a group of people, usually with complementary skills, to work together to achieve its goals and objectives. And it’s one of the biggest indicators of an organization’s success. According to Gallup, teams that rank in the top 20% for connectedness see 41% less absenteeism, 59% less employee turnover and a 66% increase in employee wellness. With numbers like that, it’s hard to argue that high performing teams are an integral part of your organization and worth the investment to develop and nurture.
Teams are as varied and unique as the people within them, but when it comes to effective, high performing teams, there are some common characteristics:
- Clear, achievable goals
- A shared commitment
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities
- A sense of purpose
- Clear processes and procedures
- Joint accountability
- A result-oriented approach
Effective teams also tend to show greater resilience by working through challenges and bouncing back from adversity. They also tend to maintain vitality and the energy needed for future success.
It’s no surprise that an effective team is only as strong as the person leading it. In our next article, we’ll get into more about what it takes to lead a high-performance team. The right leadership enhances a team’s success, but far too often, people are placed in leadership roles without any proper leadership development training. It’s vital for leaders to take advantage of every opportunity to enhance their leadership skills. However, it’s also vital for organizations to provide these opportunities in the first place. Working with a coach like Leah M Joppy and Associates can help your leaders identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop the skills needed to build effective teams (strong communication, building trust and resiliency, defining roles and responsibilities and so much more).
Do you want to lead a high performing team, but don’t know where to start? Contact Leah M Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com to learn more and get started.
Today’s leaders often feel like they’re in a never-ending game of tug-of-war. Between dealing with day-to-day obstacles, managing projects and team members, it can be overwhelming. The “people” component is certainly the most integral to an organization and can prove to be the most challenging. Building a high-performing team is more than just putting together a group of talented people with the right skills. It requires careful development of each member’s unique talents and characteristics.
There is so much strong leaders can do to build effective, high-performing teams. Here’s a look at the top five suggestions. But remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. It’s a continuous process and not a “one and done” task:
- Establish meaning and purpose: It’s a leader’s job to help employees and teams find meaning in their work. To increase productivity and motivation, have discussions about the “why” of your team’s tasks. Team members who are passionate and motivated help drive team effectiveness because they understand how their work contributes to the organization’s overall objectives.
- Define roles and responsibilities: Leaders must ensure that everyone on the team knows exactly what is expected of them. It reduces confusion and conflict and allows teams to work more efficiently. Role clarity also enables leaders to hold team members accountable for their performance and identify areas where someone may struggle.
- Communicate effectively: Effective communication and effective leadership are definitely intertwined and it can make, or break, a team. As a leader, it’s vital to: practice active listening and allow people to give constructive feedback without fear of repercussions; ask questions and don’t be defensive; have an open-door policy; follow through with actions.
- Focus on building relationships: Building relationships helps to create (or reinforce) an organization’s values and culture. Once leaders and team members genuinely trust and respect each other, regular, open dialogue about individual and team performance increases team effectiveness.
- Provide productive, specific and timely feedback: Feedback is critical to improving performance, but how you deliver it can make a big difference. Productive feedback enables team members to see their successes and missteps and grow from the experience.
To build high-performing teams, organizations must cultivate high-performing leaders. People skills typically account for 80 percent of success in a leadership role. Yet many people are promoted into leadership because of their technical capabilities, without mastering the skills of managing and motivating others. Without these basic skills, leaders at every level can struggle with building high-performing teams. Leah M Joppy and Associates understands the challenges that accompany leadership roles and knows the proven techniques for building strong leaders who can build motivated, productive teams.
Ready to learn more? Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever thought about what makes people excel in a particular area, whether it’s a successful career, playing a musical instrument or running a marathon with an amazing time? Most of us would say it’s a person’s intelligence or natural talent that enables them to achieve such incredible results. However, there may be one important factor that you’re not taking into consideration: mental strength. Mental strength is the capacity of a person to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, regardless of their circumstances. Call it grit, resiliency or toughness, it’s the key reason why some people are able to overcome obstacles, while others crumble more easily with the daily challenges and frustrations of life.
You’ve probably seen evidence of this in your own life. Do you remember someone who was an incredible musician, but squandered their talent? How about your high school teammate who consistently worked the hardest and squeezed the most out of their potential? Maybe you were set on accomplishing a goal and were willing to put in the work, no matter how long it took.
So, what does a mentally strong person look like and what makes them tick? In his book “Developing Mental Training,” psychologist Peter Clough, describes four important traits of mental toughness, which he calls the four C’s:
- Control: Control means having a sense of self-worth and describes the extent to which a person feels in control of their life and their circumstances. Mentally strong people also understand what they can control and what they can’t. They can work through emotionally charged situations without seemingly being reactive or derailed. This calm approach often has a positive effect on those around them.
- Commitment: Commitment is all about goal setting and ‘stickability’. It describes the extent to which someone is prepared to set goals and targets and then do what they need to do to achieve them.
- Challenge: Challenge is something that many people are afraid of or try to avoid at all costs. Yet a mentally tough person welcomes a challenge. Whether the outcome is good or bad, challenges often teach us a lesson. Mentally tough people thrive on challenges and see them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Confidence: Confidence describes the self-belief a person has in their own abilities and the ability they have to deal with conflict and challenge. When faced with a challenge, mentally tough people believe they can deal with the situation and have the inner strength to stand their ground and deal with objections.
The ability to cope with difficult situations and emotions is a significant predictor of our success and happiness. However, we’re all human and have certainly gone through periods of life where we feel stuck and our resiliency may not be as strong as we want it to be. That’s when working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can be incredibly beneficial. Whether you’re a new or seasoned leader looking to enhance your mental strength or you’re interested in developing these skills in your team, we can work with you through every step of the process. Coaching provides a fresh perspective, goal setting and accountability to achieve consistent and meaningful results.
Contact Leah M Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com to learn more and get started.
When life knocks you down, are you quick to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward? Or do you tend to break down and spend lots of time wallowing in self-pity and doubt? There are times in our lives when we feel like we can handle anything and then there are days when the smallest setback seems insurmountable. The difference isn’t our circumstances. It’s our mental strength.
As we talked about in our previous article, mental strength is how effectively someone deals with the challenges, pressures and stressors they may face. Some call it grit, others call it resilience or toughness. And fortunately, it’s something that can be worked on and improved with the right techniques. Just as physical strength can be built, mental strength can be also be built with the right habits, consistency, and well, grit. Here are 9 ways to start:
- Don’t shy away from change – as much as many us hate it, change really is the only constant
- Don’t ruminate on the past – focus on what lies ahead
- Focus on what you can control – discerning what you can and can’t control keeps you positive and motivated
- Develop a daily routine – developing consistent habits, no matter how small, can help you make meaningful progress
- Take action – it doesn’t matter how small the steps, action builds confidence and keeps you moving forward
- Don’t focus on your weaknesses – focusing on your strengths helps you grow much faster than trying to improve your weaknesses
- Try to see failure as an opportunity – failure is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to define you and, with the right mindset, can be a catalyst for growth
- Don’t dwell in self-pity – we all know life can be hard sometimes, but dwelling on our circumstances keeps us from emerging from them and moving forward
- Don’t compare yourself to others – define your own version of success that has nothing to do with others’ strengths and accomplishments
And here’s one more – keep your connections strong! No one needs to go it alone. If you feel like you’re struggling with building and maintaining mental strength or you lead a team that could use some help, working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can be incredibly beneficial. Coaching can help you face your fears head on, increase adaptability, build motivation, establish consistent routines and habits and so much more. Building mental strength is not about beating yourself up when you feel like you’re not as productive as you should be or reaching your goals on your self-imposed timeline. Practicing self-compassion is a crucial component and actually helps us build resilience.
Interested in learning more and get started on a path to change? Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What management challenges has your organization experienced over the past few years? How have issues changed or developed over the last 12 or 6 months? As more and more employees are returning to the office, you’re probably dealing with a fresh set of challenges and we outlined just a few in our previous article. Last year was a period of office ‘reentry’ and now it’s time to figure out how to juggle in-person team members, hybrid and remote workers while not sacrificing performance. It’s a lot to handle and how do you even begin?
Let’s start with a few of the basics. We’ve outlined a few “dos and don’ts” below. Maybe you’re already using some of them or perhaps they’re a good reminder of where you need to improve:
- Do set immediate and clear expectations – and make sure everyone knows what they are!
- Do schedule regular team meetings and make them a priority (no regular cancellations, please). It’s an effective way to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with your team’s work and communication style and find areas for improvement.
- Do engage directly with employees as often as possible.
- Don’t just have a communication strategy in place – document it and share it! Everyone needs to be on the same page.
- Don’t just encourage feedback, make it possible. And listen to it!
- Don’t micromanage and make employees feel like they’re not trusted.
- Do have an open-door policy and set aside time for one-on-one conversations.
- Do have regular team building activities that enable in-person, hybrid and remote team members to get to know each other in a fun, casual setting.
- Don’t forget about mental health. Make sure you’re communicating benefits that your organization provides to employees. Listening to team members and working with them to address concerns is one of the most important things you can do.
A proactive approach and implementing improvements not only keeps your organization moving forward, but also shows team members, whether they’re in the office, remote or hybrid, that you’re engaged in their wellbeing. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle it alone. Working with a coach like Leah M Joppy and Associates and utilizing our Strengthsfinder assessment tool is an ideal way to get started. We outlined the benefits of Strengthsfinder in our previous article. The data it provides goes a long way towards leveraging team members’ strengths, addressing team conflicts and improving communication. Want to learn more? Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com.
Over the past few years, we’ve all had to adjust to the virtual workplace and the challenges that came with it – from being interrupted on Zoom calls from a crying toddler to missing out on casual chit chat with your colleagues as you grab a morning coffee. Or perhaps you were hired during the pandemic and don’t really feel connected to your new team. Now that people are slowly returning to the workplace, many organizations are dealing with a whole new set of challenges. We’ve broken down the top 3 below:
- Office Etiquette: Let’s face it – we all developed some interesting habits while working at home, whether it’s living in pajamas, pacing around the house while on a phone call or leaving a pile of dirty dishes in the sink to deal with later. Clearly, this isn’t going to fly in a professional environment. Management needs to set guidelines when it comes to office etiquette and clearly communicate areas such as: respecting team members’ personal space, dress code, keeping workspaces clean and being mindful of voice level. Patience needs to be practiced as everyone readjusts to office life. It’s not fun, but managers must be ready to have conversations when/if issues arise.
- Communication: While some team members are returning to the office, many may be on a hybrid work schedule and others may continue working remotely. This can make communication challenging for even the most seasoned managers. Effective communication requires clarity, consistency and careful listening.
- Team Building: Returning to the office can be particularly difficult for employees who were on-boarded during the pandemic. The existing team may wonder, “Who are the new people? What role will they play within the team? What knowledge and skills do they bring to the group? Will they be a team player?” The new employees may feel like they’re truly part of the team and may not feel comfortable speaking up or asking questions.
How Working With a Coach Can Help
It’s easy to say “communicate more with your employees” or “set clear expectations”, but how do you get started when you’re already feeling overwhelmed? That’s where working with a coaching team like Leah M Joppy and Associates can help. Our popular Strengthsfinder assessment tool has helped organizations and team members learn so much about their core competencies, how to use them to their advantage and where to make improvements.
Participants who have taken this assessment develop a clear understanding of how to use their strengths to support and effectively communicate with team members, as well as work together to support agency mission and goals. This tool also identifies complementary strengths that enable team members to support each other in areas where they may not be as efficient. In addition, this self-awareness insight enables participants to:
- Better manage team and customer conflict
- Leverage individual strengths and communication styles to build cross-agency collaborative partnerships
- Maximize creativity
- Increase performance
Imagine what your organization could do armed with this kind of data! Contact Leah M Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and get started.
According to recent research by Gallup, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. dropped in 2021 for the first time in a decade. The trend continued into 2022 with only 32% of full and part-time employees engaged and 17% actively disengaged. These lower levels of engagement have certainly fueled “The Great Resignation” with workers looking for more meaningful work, greater flexibility and increased work-life balance. Employee engagement is a topic that organizations can no longer push under the rug, but need to examine more closely and determine what’s working and what isn’t.
Let’s start by defining employee engagement. In a nutshell, it’s the measure of how involved and enthusiastic your team members are about coming to work every day. It’s their emotional commitment to your organization, including the mission, core values and vision. Here’s what engaged employees look like:
- They’re proud of where they work and typically happy with their job, manager and company culture
- They intend to stay with an organization
- They would recommend their workplace to others
- They’re actively interested in their job and support and encourage fellow team members
Now that we know what employee engagement is, what are some of the top drivers of engagement? Most of us would say compensation, and while it certainly plays a role, it’s not the most important factor. Here’s a look at the top 5:
- Strong leadership: One of the biggest discoveries from Gallup’s employee engagement research is that managers or team leaders alone account for 70% of the variance in team engagement. That’s quite a percentage! Strong leadership truly matters.
- Caring organizational culture: Like strong leadership, an organization’s culture plays a prominent role in how team members feel about their job. Helping team members feel that the work they’re doing is essential for the success of the organization will create a positive employee experience. A culture that emphasizes work/life balance and employee wellness (just to name a few), goes a long way in boosting engagement.
- Meaningful work: Everyone wants to feel like their work means something and has a purpose. It boosts enthusiasm, productivity and connection. It’s also a major driver of employee retention.
- Professional growth opportunities: Research shows that employees are much more likely to be engaged in jobs with organizations that make learning and professional development part of their culture. Fostering personal growth opportunities helps employees achieve their personal goals and leads to greater satisfaction and dedication.
- Regular feedback and recognition: Having a consistent system of feedback within an organization is one of the best ways to build strong communication. In organizations that emphasize feedback as an important part of their culture, employees receive regular, helpful feedback from direct supervisors and are encouraged to provide meaningful feedback to co-workers and leadership. It’s truly a two-way street.
As you read this list, think about your organization. Do you feel like you’re hitting the mark on all five? Or maybe you notice weak spots and see room for improvement. Working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We collaborate with you to look at areas where engagement is low, establish where improvements can be made and come up creative solutions that will increase team members’ engagement and morale.
There’s no better time than the present to get started! Team members want more than a good paycheck and a warm, fuzzy feeling to feel invested in their work and contribute their best to an organization. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com
Are there any leaders out there who haven’t encountered employee disengagement at one point or another? If you’re in a management position, you can probably recall at least a few instances. If not, you’re either extremely fortunate or you may not know the signs to watch out for. Disengagement can rear its head in a variety of forms. For example, team members can feel out of the loop in terms of communication and resources or they may be struggling with work/life balance. They may also feel discouraged by a lack of company culture or difficulty collaborating with team members.
In our last article, we looked at the top 5 drivers of employee engagement. But what are some of the red flags to watch out for when it comes to employee disengagement? Here are a few examples of an unengaged team member:
- Withdrawal from any non-necessary activities or conversations
- Poor communication and lack of participation
- Breaks from routine (i.e.: a typically vocal person no longer speaks up in meetings, a punctual person is chronically late or misses deadlines)
- Apathetic approach to meetings, projects, communication, etc.
- Rudeness and curtness with coworkers and clients
What’s the common denominator? It’s a change in behavior that lasts for a prolonged period of time.
With all of the challenges leaders are facing in today’s workplace, problems with disengaged employees can sneak up quickly and snowball into major issues. That’s where Leah M Joppy and Associates can help. We can get to the root causes of WHY team members are feeling disengaged and work with you to come up with ideas to address these problems quickly.
When it comes to employee disengagement, it’s so important to look for solutions right away, rather than wait until productivity declines and turnover increases. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start tackling any disengagement issues now!
American philosopher and psychologist William James once said that, “Most people live in a restricted circle of potential.” Although he made this observation over a century ago, it still holds true today. When it comes to fulfilling our potential, it’s often not a lack of resources, opportunity or intelligence, but a lack of self-confidence. We often become our own worst enemy when we continually doubt ourselves and listen to the self-defeating voices in our head.
Many of us mistakenly believe that confidence is something certain lucky people are born with and the rest of us are just futilely trying to find it. But confidence is simply the outcomes of our own thoughts and actions. It’s the belief in our ability to succeed at a task. For example:
- Our belief that we can give a speech in front of an audience
- Our belief that we can exit an unhealthy relationship and find one more fulfilling
- Our belief that we can change career paths or start a business
You get the picture. Our brain tells us a lot – some of it’s true, but a lot of it isn’t. It’s those untrue, self-defeating thoughts that hold us back from taking the steps necessary for meaningful change. On the flipside, self-confidence gives us the courage to break out of our comfort zone and face fears head-on.
The Benefits of Self-Confidence
There’s no doubt about it – having confidence in ourselves feels good! However, there are many other benefits that confidence brings to our lives. Here’s a look at a few:
- More resilience: Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks. Higher levels of self-confidence enhance your resiliency and help you bounce back from life’s challenges.
- Healthier relationships: When you have confidence in yourself, it helps you better understand and care for others. It also helps you identify relationships that aren’t healthy and gives you the strength to move on.
- Better performance: Many of us waste our time worrying that we’re not good enough. Self-confidence doesn’t mean you’re not going to make mistakes or even fail, but it will help you devote your energy to what matters instead of self-deprecating thoughts. And that translates to better performance no matter what task is in front of you.
- Willingness to try new things: Whether you want to sign up for a class, learn a new skill or tackle that half marathon, self-confidence makes you more willing to try new things and put yourself out there.
We can all relate to the ebb and flow of confidence throughout our lives. Even if you’ve spent years doubting your abilities and feeling like you can’t take the steps to break out of self-defeating beliefs, it’s never too late to change course. Working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can put you on the right path towards greater self-confidence. You’ll learn why you’re stuck in a pattern of negative thoughts, how you can break the cycle, tools you can use to bring lasting change and so much more.
Contact us today at 301-670-0051 or email email@example.com and let’s squash those negative thoughts and enhance your life through strengthened confidence!
According to a survey by the job site Indeed, 94% of employees said that confidence is vital to complete daily tasks at work and believe it’s a major contributor to overall career growth. In addition, 98% of those surveyed said they perform better when they feel more confident. These numbers aren’t exactly surprising, but they do highlight the importance that self-confidence plays in the workplace. As we mentioned in our last article, the good news is that confidence isn’t something you’re born with, but something we can all build, practice and reinforce!
We all want to feel confident at work, but often, it feels like there are forces beyond our control. Maybe you’re new to a job or career path and are terrified of making mistakes. Perhaps you feel like you’re underqualified in a leadership role and don’t have what it takes to build a successful team. Or maybe you’ve always been really hard on yourself and constantly question whether you have what it takes to succeed. Whatever the case, these self-defeating thoughts aren’t doing you any favors and can hold you back from promotions, management roles and more. Self-confidence in the workplace has so many positives, including better communication skills, increased ability to handle feedback and conflict, greater happiness and a decrease in comparing yourself to others.
So, what does confidence in the workplace look like? Not everyone expresses self-confidence in the same way, but there are some common traits that confident people possess. Here’s a few:
- They don’t seek validation from others
- They don’t worry about things outside of their control
- They aren’t afraid to ask for help
- They’re decisive and assertive
- They recognize when they make a mistake
- Their verbal cues match their non-verbal cues (they’re genuine and sincere!)
- They appear confident through their eye contact, dress, body language, etc.
How many do you see in yourself?
Think of the times you’ve let self-doubt seep into your mind. Remember the worry, the sleepless nights, the doubts that you really deserve that promotion you’ve been working for. If you feel like your lack of self-confidence is holding you back in your career, Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to help you squash those self-defeating patterns. We’ll work together to look at your goals and aspirations, where self-confidence plays a role, what’s holding you back and tools that you can use to make positive changes.
Call us at 301-670-0051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start the journey towards greater self-confidence together.