DiBona & Associates
DiBona & Associates

The Five Areas Often Overlooked by Leaders

02.09.22 03:00 AM By Noel DiBona

Here are five basic areas that leaders commonly overlook and can be the difference between an underperforming team and a high performing team.

Which of the following would help your team?

Employee engagement is a psychological commitment to the success of the organization. It is our goal to help leaders, at all levels, to evolve their team from a state of compliance to a state of true psychological commitment in the making of inspirational team members that will help raise the bar with the entire team. We do this in the right way by appealing to each individual’s needs and drives which allows them to do their best work. 

The proper approach to improving employee engagement highlights the following five key areas:
Show appreciation for everyone in the organization
Seek out your teammate’s ideas and respond to their ideas, good or bad
Involve your teammates in important decisions
Be approachable in your leadership style
Ensure your teammates get the answers they need from you or other key leaders in the organization

Employee burnout is a condition that all leaders need to guard against, particularly for teams that are ultra-competitive, and goal focused. Here are some key points to consider to help your team avoid burnout:
Plan your work, and prioritize your work.
Delegate effectively
Learn to say no
Let go of perfectionism
Give your team more control, more autonomy in decision making.
Do the rewards of your position and your teammate’s positions provide enough positive to offset the sacrifices you and your team make each day?
Do you like the people you work with? What can you do to improve your team’s dynamic?
Maintain an even and fair approach to all your interactions and leadership decisions.
Can you get behind your company’s values, or are they a mismatch for you and your team?

One of the most important issues that teams face is when the values of the company don’t quite meet the needs of a particular team. When values are mismatched, our teams simply underperform. You can imagine that certain teams, particularly support teams might feed that they are undervalued and their good work goes unnoticed while other critical teams get all the glory. This leads to disgruntlement and a lack of desire to align with the values of the broader organization. 

As a leader you will want to focus on the purpose of your team. Not what it says on the organization chart, but a unique way of identifying the purpose and impact the team has on the organization. This is your team’s rallying cry and this is how we get more energy behind our team. When each teammate identifies with the purpose of the team, they will become more effective in their daily work. They will begin to find ways to expand their sphere of influence. There are some effective communication techniques that can be used to help your teammates expand their influence in the organization, which leads to more control, more autonomy and greater fulfillment. 

What is the single most important leadership skill that is necessary for everything a leader does? The skill necessary for building a high performing team, clarifying a motivating vision, executing on critical tactics and strategies, and obtaining outstanding results. The answer?

Communication! Yes, communication is the single most important skill a leader has at their disposal – great communication skills are indeed a leader’s superpower.

We have a blueprint to assist leaders in cracking the communication code. This is a code that helps leaders understand when to use each element. 

Element One – Listening. Listening, more accurately “active listening” can serve to reduce negative emotions that get in the way of a listener’s ability to hear the communication.

Element Two – Asking questions. Once active listening has your listener in the proper emotional state, the next step is to get them thinking on solutions, considering options, or focused on the purpose of your communication with them. But not all questions are created equally! Great leaders use what executive coaches call “powerful questions” that get the part of your follower’s brain that focuses attention and solves problems engaged.

Element Three – Giving direction. At this point in the communication process, you’ve hacked your follower’s brain with active listening to get them in the proper emotional state to receive the communication, ensured you understand their perspective, and let them know you understand their perspective. 

Try implementing this blueprint that neuropsychological research has provided. Doing so will take effort and practice to break out of old communication habits, but the payoff in team engagement and effectiveness are huge and ultimately creates what you want as a leader – business success.

Your team’s productive output is largely based on how you forecast, plan, and assign work to each teammate. Frequently, teams evolve over time and end up getting involved in work that is not entirely necessary. Eliminating this work will boost your team’s effectiveness. Do you know the specific core work areas your team is responsible for? Sounds basic, right? 44% of leaders have a lack of understanding of the work their team does. Get back to basics and map out all of the work to be done and evaluate your team’s theoretical capacity versus your team’s actual capacity to get work done.

This process starts with some basic time management insights.

How you harness the world of e-communications is an area that is a contributor to wasted time. Many organizations have so many competing communication platforms, how do you prioritize all the emails, slack chats, text messages, and voicemails? Simple. As the leader, you want to limit the type and nature of the communication in such a way to strengthen the team’s ability to get more work done, not detract from it.

A communications plan between your teammates and how they communicate with other teams in the organization is vitally important. Have you thought about using dashboards and real-time status tools to eliminate the constant drain of emails and text messages from internal customers wondering the status of their projects? 

Most organizations that we study are only converting 50-70% of their time generating productive output for the team. The other 30-50% is time wasted.

Another area that is responsible for this poor use of time is meeting discipline. Progressive organizations are maintaining certain times during the workday or one workday per week without allowing any meetings so teammates can be free of distraction to get quality work done.

When you look at all the meetings you attend, how many of them are a waste of time? What meetings can you eliminate or restructure?