Monday, May 25, 2009

6 Action Steps for Performance Oriented Leaders

How do you align yourself as a performance oriented leader? How do you ensure your actions assist your goal of improving the performance of your team? The following six steps are a general blueprint for what you need to do on a consistent basis to move your leadership along.

1. Give your team members regular, specific, observable behaviour feedback.

Feedback is one of the fundamental activities you can do to interact with your team and gently guide them down a development line to gradually improve. Care needs to be taken to ensure you observe the behaviours you wish to reinforce and those that you wish to correct, you cannot use generalisations as then the recipient will not identify with the behaviour. As such it is important to observe and note exactly the behaviours you want to comment about. While this will take a big effort on your behalf because the comments are specific to the recipient they will be able to relate to the action, it then is up to us put together a development action plan to improve the situation.

2. Make Timely decisions.

Leaders need to make decisions to keep the team moving along in the right direction, it's important as a performance oriented leader to continually adjust the plan and the actions to keep the team focused on the big picture - the output of the team. Without timely decisions the team will get stale and loose its edge, as things go up and down it is up to the leader to make the decisions needed at that time, not after a period of procrastination or in the spur of the moment without considering all the factors.

3. Encourage creative ideas.

With the implementation of new and creative ideas, our team's can lift their performance to new levels, Why restrict the teams thinking to just yourself, embrace creative ideas from the team members, you may find some real gems. Setup a process where new and creative ideas can be aired and tested to see what results can be gain by implementing these ideas.

4. Reinforce the lines of command and authority.

Does your workplace have a hierarchy, do you have formal lines of command and authority? Nothing will upset the whole organisation more than people who ignore these established protocols. Take care to demonstrate your fitting and willingness to work in this system and demand your team also work through these established chains.

5. Be accessible to your work circle of acquaintances.

Are you accessible for your team to approach when they need to discuss issues with you. It is often quite intimidating for members to approach their leader/manager/boss, you need to identify this and drop what your doing and make yourself available to handle the issue there and then. If you can do this your team members will respect you as a proactive and caring leader.

6. Provide personal support.

We all have problems from time to time, it's important that you support your team members, a kind ear when things are tough will be remembered by your team members. This is because your team will see this as a personal association, as such you need to keep the tone at an appropriate level. However team members often complain my boss doesn't take the time to help me and understand my problems, by ensuring you provide this personal support to your team they will feel they have a leader who genuinely cares for them. If you can gain this feeling within your team they will be willing to go the extra mile for you when the team needs a special effort.

Take some time to examine your work practices and see how you can include these six steps into your regime and watch the performance of your team improve.

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