Leading People to Achieve Goals

An essential part of management roles

Leading people to achieve goals is essential to every manager’s professional success. But alas, each person on your team has a different personality, professional objective, and work style. How do you herd those cats and get them moving toward the goal?

I’m Katherine Akbar, president of YES Career Coaching & Resume Writing Services. In this week’s career advancement video, we’ll talk about four steps to lead diverse individuals to achieve your organizational goals.

The Four Steps

Step One: Manage your expectations and build diversity. Managing our expectations means understanding that others don’t think or behave like us, and the world would not be a better place if they did. I’ve certainly been guilty of indulging in the fantasy that if everyone acted like me, the team would be more successful.

But the truth of the matter is that diversity wins, and this is proven by science. Diversity means not only racial, religious, age, and gender diversity but also personality type diversity. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, the most diverse teams outperform their non-diverse peers by 36%.[1] So if you don’t have a diverse team, take steps to diversify it. If your team is already diverse, you’re ready for step two.

Step two is to ask great questions to understand what team members see as their optimal roles in achieving the team goal and the best strategies. Ask open-ended discovery questions, like “What made you think of that method?” or “How do you see yourself making the biggest possible contribution here?” To facilitate honest answers not influenced by groupthink, these questions may be best asked in one-on-one meetings.

Step three is to put together a plan to enable the team to reach the goal, building on the best ideas you’ve heard. Try to use as many of the ideas as possible instead of dismissing some as marginal. For example, let’s say your team is trying to increase revenue 20% this year. One person’s idea is to create and implement better sales training. Another person’s idea is to improve documentation so that everyone understands the current sales incentives. While the sales training appears the more important initiative, the documentation effort can also make a big difference, so be sure to praise both contributions.

Step four: As you implement the plan, making sure that the steps are completed and milestones achieved, catch people doing right. Of course, you will see where people are falling short and will need to coach them to do better or find out what additional resources are needed. But to balance these interventions, strive to make positive comments much more often. You need to do that because negative experiences, such as fielding criticism, always loom larger in people’s minds than positive ones. And remember that lack of praise and recognition is the number two reason that people leave an organization.

Follow these four steps, and your team will stay on track for goal achievement.

If you liked this video, please give it a Like and Subscribe so you don’t miss the rest of our Career Advancement series. If you want support on how to use science-based personality data to turn your team into a high-performing one, email me back. If you want support on job search or career success, schedule a free Career Success Consultation at YESwriting.com if you’ve never had one. If you have had one, contact your client success manager about Career Advancement Coaching.

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/90753499/companies-perform-better-if-theyre-more-inclusive-take-these-3-steps-to-increase-diversity#:~:text=One%20study%20by%20Gartner%20revealed,peers%20by%2036%25%20in%20profitability.

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