A Final Thought on Leading for Skill and Will: It’s a Long Term Game, Not a Short One

I’m on a plane with my third-grade son, traveling to Washington D.C. He is taking a math test beside me.  We are headed up to our nation’s capital for a work conference I have, and he and my dad are along for the ride.  He’s coming to actually see some of the things he’s been learning in school about government and democracy.  With the trip being counted as a “field trip” for him instead of an absence, the schoolwork, including tests he’s missing, come with us. He is to complete them and return them for grading the Monday after we arrive

Find Another Seat (or Challenge) or Get Off the Bus? How to Lead when Skill is High but Will is Low

We’ve all seen someone there before.  We’ve most likely also been there before ourselves.  One of the most, if not the most knowledgeable and experienced person in the room.  The one that can do the task or assignment with his or her eyes closed. Possibly the smartest person in the room.  But somehow, they are also the most disinterested person in the room.  Whether this disengagement comes from boredom or burnout, you can’t be sure, but it is obvious they’d rather be anywhere doing anything other than what they are really good at doing.   You need them to do it,

Tell 🡪Show 🡪 Do: Leading when Someone has High Will and Low Skill

I watched my friend resist the urge to buckle her toddler into her stroller.  She could have done it well and much quicker than her little one, but she took a deep breath and said, “Ok, you buckle yourself in just like I showed you.”  The precious little girl smiled up at her and said, “Okay mommy!” with pure joy.    The same was true with my five-year-old who has wanted so badly to put her hair up in a ponytail holder by herself.   I walked out to the car the other day and she beamed with pride. While waiting

The Number One Thing that Leads to Team Success

The last three books about workplace effectiveness I’ve read have all discussed it.  Two of our clients are having lots of trouble with it. It is what research shows us leads to team success more than any other factor.  It is the concept of psychological safety.  According to Amy Edmondson, a lead researcher on the topic, “Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”  And according to research conducted by Google:  Following the success of Google’s Project Oxygen research where the People Analytics team studied what makes a great

Can I Get Your Attention?

Written by: Lorrie Coffey, Horizon Point Consulting I’m the mother of three boys. Two teenagers and one about to hit that “preteen” stage. Most days I want to bang my head against the wall. I feel like I need a support group for moms of teens. I miss when they were little and hung on my every word. Now I’m lucky if I can get them to take the earbuds out long enough to hear anything I say.  We recently went on vacation and I forced them to put their phones away and engage in conversation with me. That request

Leaders, Know the Skill and Will of Those You Lead

I’ve found myself talking about skill and will a lot lately.  Whether it be in one-on-one leadership coaching sessions or in group training, the conversation is often directed towards customizing a leadership approach based on the needs of the person being “led”.  Much of our basic leadership training modules focus on customization based on personality, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. A person’s level of skill in doing a job or task and a person’s will to do the job or task (which includes aspects of personality) are critical to success.  So what is skill and what

If You’re Not Onboard, Get Off the Ship!

Written by: Lorrie Coffey, Horizon Point Consulting The best piece of advice I heard at the recent SHRM19 National Conference came from Cy Wakeman’s session “Business Readiness: Ensuring Our Teams are Ready for What’s Next.” As a consultant, I spend a great deal of my time helping organizations navigate change, from determining what change is needed to creating the roadmap of how to accomplish the change to how to get employee buy-in. The hardest part is often getting employees on board, helping them understand the need for change and addressing their resistance. The current change management process caters too much

Five Quick Teambuilding Activities

Written by: Lorrie Coffey, Horizon Point Consulting I once put on about 30 articles of clothing in a matter of a couple of minutes. My team won. I once had to build a wooden tower while blindfolded and being instructed by others what to do. My team lost. I did these things (and many more) at a previous employer where we had morning meetings and every Friday was Fun Friday. We’d forego the regular meeting content of financials, project updates, and announcements every Friday morning to have fifteen minutes of fun. It was the weekly meeting everyone looked forward to

Create Insights Instead of Giving Feedback

“….But the most helpful advice is not a painting. It is instead a box of paints and a set of brushes. Here, the best team leaders seem to say, take these paints, those brushes, and see what you think you can do with them. What do you see, from your vantage point? What picture can you paint?” from Nine Lies About Work A few weeks ago, we talked about how neuro research shows us that for learning to happen, insights have to be created. We talk a lot about giving and receiving feedback in the workplace and how necessary it

5 Ideas for Retaining Talent in a Tough Labor Market

Most HR professionals and business leaders today are concerned about finding and keeping talent.  If you are going to focus on one, I’d suggest you start first by focusing on retaining talent. Broadly, the best way to retain talent is to create an environment where people have key needs met. These needs are described in Daniel Pink’s book Drive. They are 1) The need to direct their own lives 2) The desire to do better for ourselves and our world 3) To learn and create new things. But given these three things, what are some practices that can actually be