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Dear Madeleine,

I just read your article entitled 7 Tips for Letting Go as a Manager on Blanchard LeaderChat.

 I have a very simple question, but it’s one I have been struggling with: How do you delegate to someone who doesn’t want to do their job—and doesn’t really care if it gets done?

 We have no accountability in our office. One associate knows this and uses it to her advantage. She literally will not do anything she doesn’t want to do, no matter how many times I ask about a project.

 Our CEO does not like confrontation unless it’s about him confronting a manager, like me, about a project.

 Help!

Can’t Delegate

______________________________________________________________________

Dear Can’t Delegate,

I am so glad that you are reading LeaderChat! That blog was actually written by my colleague, coaching solutions partner Terry Watkins, so I asked her to weigh in on this response.

Terry says:

“It’s important to understand what is causing the associate to be disengaged. Your approach is going to be different based on your professional connection to the associate. Are you her manager, or are you a peer? As her manager, you may be more direct and firm, and you may incorporate an accountability measure. As a peer, you would try to be more persuasive and collaborative.

Delegation begins with planning. Follow these steps in order:

  1. Identify the right person for the task.
  2. Communicate the purpose and details of the task.
  3. Establish a reasonable timeline with agreed-upon milestones and checkpoints.
  4. Schedule times for monitoring progress to give feedback and accountability.

If you believe this associate is the right person for the project, this should set you up for success. If she is not meeting checkpoint deadlines, you and she need to have a heart-to-heart conversation. Be crystal clear on the need for and expectations of the project and why she is the best person to complete it. Ask her for her thoughts on the project, using open-ended questions or statements such as: What is getting in your way? Is there something you need that you aren’t getting? or Help me understand what is going on with you.

You want to get to the heart of the matter with the associate so that you really understand the motivation for her behavior. Don’t rush the conversation—recognize that it may take some time for her to open up. Create a safe environment by showing empathy, asking open-ended questions, and practicing active listening to show you care. Identify ways you can support her in completing the project, including regular one-on-one meetings that will allow you to monitor progress. If the associate continues to resist, a formal conversation about a performance improvement plan or transitioning to another role may be necessary.”

This is Madeleine again. Terry’s advice is sound—and it describes management, not confrontation.

How on earth does anything ever get done if there is no accountability? How does your CEO hold you accountable? Can you use his methods?

Do your best to actually manage the situation and see what happens. If the associate still refuses to do the job with all of the support and direction you are offering, she needs to go. Or if you get no support for hiring employees who actually want to work, maybe you need to go.

Good luck to you!

Love, Madeleine (and Terry!)

About the author

Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.

Got a question for Madeleine?  and look for your response here next week!

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Delegation and control are common topics with my coaching clients. They recognize the importance of delegation and how it can serve them, but some still struggle with letting go.

In order to free up space to be more strategic, have a greater impact, be more efficient, and achieve work/life balance, delegating appropriate tasks to others is necessary and even required for managers today. This can feel risky—especially if the leader is high controlling, is a perfectionist, or has a heavy workload. Effective leaders who climb the corporate ladder are skilled at delegating and developing people.

When delegating, room must be made for learners to try and fail, which takes extra time. Similar to Blanchard’s SLII® model, extra time is required in Style 1 (Directing) to provide details, show and tell how, monitor frequently, and give feedback to develop a team member on a new task. As the learner develops, the leader can eventually move to Style 4 (Delegating) and devote less time to the team member.

It takes time and planning to effectively develop others, but it’s worth it. Delegation and the development of others are linked together!

If internal issues are standing in the way of delegating, leaders must ask themselves what is causing the need for control. Why do I fear letting go and trusting others to do it correctly? Do I really believe I am the only one who can do it? Do I just want attention? Some managers simply enjoy the sense of accomplishment because they can complete the tasks quickly and accurately with no heavy brain power (cognitive strain).

Ready to start letting go? Here are seven tactics that will help you be more successful.

  1. Create a detailed plan for transferring the task.
  2. Be clear of the objectives and outcomes of the task.
  3. Create a timeline.
  4. Establish how and when you will monitor progress.
  5. Do not make assumptions.
  6. Create a safe space for learning and failures.
  7. Provide timely feedback.

Many times, what stands in the way of managerial success is control. The leader’s need to remain in control of a task or project will eventually cause both leader and direct report to fall short of expectations. Delegating more will allow for growth opportunities and professional development for both you and your people. Use these suggestions, take a deep breath, and give it a try today!

About the Author

Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 150 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services.

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Dear Madeleine,

I started my career in marketing and had some great jobs, but I really became interested in the people side of things after being trained in communication and working in teams. 

My graduate studies were in Organizational Development.  I am still at the first job I was offered—in HR as a trainer—but I just don’t like it. Most employees don’t seem to really care about training and it is always up to me to try to make it interesting for them. 

I now realize that what I really am is a coach. I wish I had a graduate degree in coaching instead of OD.  How can I tell if I would be a good coach?  How do I know if I would like it better than being a trainer? How would you recommend I proceed?

Missed the Boat?

___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Missed the Boat,

I get a lot of letters asking about this as well as a lot of requests for informational interviews from people who are thinking of becoming coaches, so your questions are timely. 

What is coaching, really? It depends on who you ask.  It might be easier to define what coaching isn’t. Coaching isn’t giving people feedback, telling them what to do, or teaching or training them. Coaching isn’t a matter of simply listening really well and asking some questions. 

Our organization defines coaching as “A deliberate process using focused conversations to create an environment that results in accelerated performance and development.” 

Coaching requires partnership and dialogue. Ideally, both parties learn from the experience. Many think that coaching is about giving advice. In fact, a coach can offer ideas and suggestions but generally guides clients through their own decision process.  One of the reasons I do this column is because I really don’t give much advice in my work, but it is so much fun to do it!

How can I tell if I would be a good coach? Good coaches are collaborative by nature. They want the best for their clients and see them as capable and creative. They trust others to solve problems and make decisions.  The professional organization I am most familiar with is the International Coach Federation (ICF), which is the oldest and largest professional association for coaches. The ICF has developed a thorough list of competenciess that can help you understand where your development gaps might be.

Where do I begin if I think I want to pursue being a professional coach?  The ICF website (www.coachfederation.org) is an excellent source of information about all aspects of embarking on a coaching career. If you decide to go forward, you will need to go through a coach training program.  There are a lot of programs to choose from, many of which offer a lot of flexibility and a nice mix of in-person and online training.  Attend all informational programs and really do your research before you decide on a training program. There are a lot of scams out there where people promise the moon but the program doesn’t really deliver.  Get references—find people who have attended the programs that appeal to you and talk to them.  And stay away from any program that uses high-pressure selling techniques to get you to sign up.

You might also be interested in my list of Nine Books on Coaching that Coaches Need to Know About. The first few on the list, especially Co-Active Coaching, are key fundamental coaching texts.

Many credentialed coaches complain that anyone can hang up a shingle and say they are a coach, and this is true.  What many people can’t do is get through an accredited training program, jump through the hoops to get their credential, stay on top of their own professional development, and build a thriving practice of clients who will refer them to others.

Can I make a living as a coach? Yes, but don’t quit your day job. Give yourself a reasonable timeline and get used to the idea that you have to market yourself. Having a background in marketing should help you, because building a thriving practice takes a fair amount of work. Okay, a lot of work.  It will also help your credibility if you lean on your professional experience. Since you are already working in an organization, you might be able to become an internal coach where you are—consider discussing this possibility with your boss. I have seen some situations where an organization has funded coach training for some of their HR people. 

The thing most people won’t tell you is that to be successful as a coach you have to be able to attract clients, retain your clients, and thrill them to the point that they refer people to you.  So you must get really, really good at it and be impeccably professional. This will take some diligence and some time.

Coaching is a deeply rewarding career. The coaching mindset and skills translate beautifully to mentoring, managing, parenting, and building a terrific life for yourself. It will involve a steep learning curve and some intense personal development, which is not always expected but always necessary. It will take longer than you think it should, and it will be harder, too—but then that is true of most things.

I wish you good luck on your coaching adventure.

Love, Madeleine

About the author

Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.

Got a question for Madeleine?  and look for your response here next week!

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In his seminal 1973 book, The Nature of Managerial Work, Henry Mintzberg proposed ten roles that define the day-to-day activities of a manager. They are: Figurehead, Leader, Liaison, Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson, Entrepreneur, Disturbance Handler, Resource Allocator, and Negotiator. These roles are still referenced in modern articles about management and in training courses for managers.

The world today is unimaginably different from a 1973 perspective. Workplace diversity, distributed workforces, globalism, technology, and previously unknown industries make for a landscape as different from 1973 as post-industrial revolution farming was from its predecessor.

In reviewing the managerial roles espoused by Mintzberg, we wonder: Are they the same today? As a manager do your responsibilities incorporate them or are things different for you?

Special Offer to Participate in Research Project

The Ken Blanchard Companies is looking for two dozen managers to interview regarding their modern managerial activities and roles. Candidates who take part in interviews can choose from selected online courses offered by the company for their participation. Interested managers should contact Jim Diehl and the product development research team at The Ken Blanchard Companies for additional details.

Use this email to request information on participation: jim.diehl@kenblanchard.com

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The new, completely updated, third edition of Ken Blanchard’s perennial bestseller, Leading at a Higher Level, was released just last month.

The first edition came out in 2006 and featured the best thinking from 18 different authors, summarizing the key concepts from all the Blanchard programs at the time.  The new edition continues that tradition. Now featuring the work of 25 authors, this edition includes four new chapters: Building Trust, Mentoring, Collaboration, and Organizational Leadership.

“The umbrella concept,” says lead author Ken Blanchard, “is servant leadership—the idea that people lead best when they serve first.

“There are the two parts of servant leadership,” explains Blanchard.  “First, the strategic or leadership part of servant leadership is identifying the target: the purpose of your business, your picture of the future, and the values that will guide your decisions.

“Once a target and vision are set, how do leaders execute or accomplish that vision? They must turn the traditional hierarchical pyramid upside-down to begin the operational or servant aspect of servant leadership. This is when you diagnose the individual or team in terms of their skills and motivation to get the job done. You identify the competencies and commitment that need to be developed.  Now your role as a leader is to provide the direction and support people can’t provide for themselves.

“Using a situational approach to leadership through SLII®, leaders must diagnose development levels, says Blanchard. “If individuals or teams are new to a task, the leader needs to provide direction.  If individuals or teams are lacking confidence or commitment, the leader needs to provide support.”

Blanchard points to the new chapter on Organizational Leadership, where the same concept can be applied to an organization as a whole.

“Organizations, like people, can be at different levels of development.  As a new C-level leader, you need to identify the organization’s development level, so you can apply the right leadership style.  We’ve seen too many situations where new CEOs—wanting to make a quick impact—enter organizations and immediately go to their favorite leadership style rather than to the one that is needed. We include two well-known case studies in the new chapter that show the benefits of a good match and the negative consequences of a misdiagnosis and bad match.

“We’ve all seen the negative consequences of poor leadership. Our goal with this book is to provide the next generation of leaders with a road map and curriculum for great leadership.

“This involves focusing on both people and results,” says Blanchard. “You cannot sustain performance over the long term with an either/or approach. The market demands innovative, agile solutions. This requires a both/and approach to management that places equal emphasis on results and the needs of people.  That’s the success formula today’s top companies are using to attract the best and brightest.

“When you lead at a higher level, people work together in a way that excites customers and gets results. Leadership is something you do with people—not to people,” Blanchard continues.  “And profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for people so they will take good care of your customers.

“We hope to inspire leaders to go beyond short-term thinking and zero in on the right target. We want to teach leaders to empower people to unleash their incredible potential. Finally, we want to encourage leaders to ground their leadership in humility and focus on the greater good. It’s a tall order, but we think this book provides everything a leader needs to get started.”

Would you like to learn more about creating a higher level of leadership in your organization?  Join Ken Blanchard for a free webinar on January 23!

Ken Blanchard on 4 Keys to Leading at a Higher Level

January 23, 2019

9:00 a.m. Pacific / 12:00 p.m. Eastern / 5:00 p.m. UK Time / 5:00 p.m. GMT

In this webinar, best-selling business author Ken Blanchard shares key concepts from the newly released third edition of his book, Leading at a Higher Level. Ken will share a four-step approach to building an organizational culture that leads to engaged people and improves long-term business results.

Participants will explore:

How to set your sights on the right target and vision. A compelling vision tells your organization who you are (purpose), where you’re going (picture of the future), and what guides your behavior and decisions (values). Ken will share how a compelling vision creates a strong organizational culture where everyone’s interests and energy are aligned. This results in trust, customer satisfaction, an energized and committed workforce, and profitability.

How to treat your people right. Without committed and empowered employees, you can never provide good service. You can’t treat your people poorly and then expect them to treat your customers well. Ken will explain how treating your people right begins with good performance planning to get things going. It continues with managers who provide the right amount of direction and support that each individual employee needs to achieve those goals and performance standards.

How to treat your customers right. To keep your customers coming back today, you can’t be content with simply satisfying them. Instead, you must create raving fans–customers who are so excited about the way you treat them that they want to tell everyone about you. Ken will share how companies that create raving fans routinely do the unexpected on behalf of their customers, and then enjoy the growth generated by customers bragging about them to prospective clients.

How to have the right kind of leadership. The most effective leaders realize that leadership is not about them and that they are only as good as the people they lead. These leaders seek to be serving leaders, not self-serving leaders. Ken will explain how once a vision has been set, leaders move themselves to the bottom of the hierarchy, acting as a cheerleader, supporter, and encourager for the people who report to them.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to create a culture where leaders who are grounded in humility and focused on the greater good can create organizations where both people and profits grow and thrive. This both/and philosophy, Blanchard contends, is the essence of leading at a higher level.

Use this link to register for 4 Keys to Leading at a Higher Level.  The event is free, courtesy of The Ken Blanchard Companies.

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In this exciting episode, Peter Bregman shares his thoughts about leadership and the importance of showing up with confidence, being connected to others, and being committed to a purpose in a way that inspires others to follow. He explains that the most successful leaders not only know what to say and do, but are willing to experience the discomfort, risk, or uncertainty of saying and doing it. These leaders display what Bregman calls Emotional Courage.

“Think about a conversation you need to have, but haven’t. You have all the skill and knowledge you need, but you aren’t doing it. Why? Most likely it is because you believe it may cause you to feel something you don’t want to feel. You might become disconnected from that person. Or they might come back in anger or act in a passive aggressive way that can damage relationships and put projects at risk. It could simply make you uncomfortable—and no one likes to feel uncomfortable. Emotional Courage is not how much you know—it is about what you are willing to feel,” says Bregman.

The four elements of Emotional Courage are simple to understand, but not always easy to implement. To be a leader with Emotional Courage, you need to:

  1. Be confident in yourself. To be confident, you need to understand who you are as a leader and then determine who you want to become. Asking for feedback is a powerful way to uncover blind spots, while listening to and accepting that feedback is the key to changing your behavior. Building confidence creates the foundation for your leadership style.
  2. Be connected with others. Listening with a willingness to learn something new is the birthplace of connection. Following through on commitments builds trust for a lasting, honest relationship. True success depends on connecting with others.
  3. Be committed to a purpose. Create a clear, powerful, compelling focus toward a larger purpose in order to channel your energy and the energy of those around you toward a common goal. Achieving a common purpose requires extreme focus.
  4. Act with Emotional Courage. Understand when you don’t want to feel something and take steps toward it. Be courageous and act boldly. Emotional courage feeds on confidence, connections, and commitment.

“The key thing to remember is to be aware of what is important to you and be willing to take the risk to increase your own productivity. That will have a positive impact on personal and organizational results—because you will be operating with Emotional Courage.”

About The Ken Blanchard Companies
The Ken Blanchard Companies is the global leader in management training. For nearly 40 years, Blanchard has been creating the best managers in the world, training over 150,000 people each year. From the award-winning First-time Manager program, based on the best-selling business book, The New One Minute Manager®—to SLII®, the most widely taught leadership model in the world, Blanchard is the provider of choice for Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium businesses, government agencies, and educational and nonprofit organizations.

About Peter Bregman
For more information on Peter Bregman, visit www.bregmanpartners.com.

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Dear Madeleine,

I work in a professional services firm and we have an open-space concept. Almost everyone is on the phone all day or reading complicated documents.

We have one assistant who supports a whole bunch of the senior people, and she sits right near me. She is an idiot, and loud to boot. Every day she has a new theme, and she works that theme all day – Rainy Days and Mondays, happy hump day, hot enough for ya? Every person who walks by her desk, every single phone call. Clichés on repeat all day long.

I am at the end of my rope, it has gotten under my skin to the point that I can’t even trust myself not to say something rude or even mean to her. She is a scourge to everyone in the office. I have talked about it with my boss, who incidentally has an office with a door. But what would anyone say to her? I use noise cancelling headphones with loud music as much as a I can but when I am on long conference calls, that doesn’t work.

I dream of blessed silence and being able to just sit and do my work without fantasizing about slapping her. Help.

Annoyed

____________________________________________________________________________

Dear Annoyed,

Get over it. The only thing you can do right now is change your attitude about this. Play a game with yourself about what the cliché will be today. Count how many times she says it and start a betting pool. Remind yourself that all the annoying things she does are simply mechanisms to get herself through the day and she is probably dealing with stresses you don’t know about. Take the woman to lunch, get to know the woman and find something that will make you love her.

Re-frame this situation and take a deep breath and decide to let it roll off your back and smile and be kind.

Absolutely do get creative and try to find a quiet place to do focused work if you can. I worked with one manager who used to take his laptop into the emergency stairwell when he needed some quiet time.

This woman has been sent by the universe to test you. You are failing the test. I have failed this test, I kid you not, I left a yoga class I loved once because of the ridiculous breathing shenanigans of the woman on the mat next to me. Who was the one with the problem? She had a great class, so, it wasn’t her.

Let it go. Focus on what is important and you will be surprised by how the sound fades into the background.

Love, Madeleine

About the author

Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.

Got a question for Madeleine?  and look for your response here next week!

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As we wrap up season one of the LeaderChat Podcast, Ken Blanchard and Chad Gordon revisit some of their favorite episodes. They share new thoughts about the important messages from our guests and invite you to send questions you would like Ken to answer in future episodes. Just send your questions to podcast@kenblanchard.com.

Enjoy this episode of Chad Gordon interviewing Dr. Travis Bradberry, researcher and author of the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0—which has sold over one million copies!

Bradberry shares how emotional maturity is absolutely critical for success as a leader, and how emotional intelligence is a capacity that can be learned and developed. He explains that increasing your emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness.

Bradberry discusses how to integrate EQ training into a leadership development curriculum—and how the emotional intelligence displayed by top leaders can set the example for all levels of leadership in an organization. Bradberry also shares strategies for dealing with stress, procrastination, and toxic people.

Emotions are a primary driver of behaviors and emotional intelligence is a foundational skill of all good leaders.  Learn how to be a master of your emotions in a way that increases your effectiveness as a leader.

And be sure to listen to the very end of this 30-minute interview to hear Ken Blanchard share his thoughts and personal takeaways on Dr. Bradberry’s ideas.

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