A Simple Project that Nudges Managers to Notice Others.
The shift from focusing on yourself to noticing others is essential to successful management.
Systems and processes are essential, but people get things done.
A manager’s performance is elevating the performance of others.
Managers notice environments and people.
- How does the environment feel? Hinder? Elevate?
- How are people interacting with each other?
- What is the energy level of individuals or teams?
In a recent coaching conversation an executive worked on helping managers notice others.
I asked, “What do you do when you notice others?” He responded, “I notice energy.” We explored this a bit. Eventually I asked, “What’s important about noticing energy?”
He responded, “I want an environment where people enjoy coming to work.”
More noticing behaviors:
- Discuss performance issues in a timely manner.
- Walk around.
- Learn about people as individuals.
- Drop in and ask how things are going.
I asked, “Which of your strategies for noticing might be useful to your manager?”
“I think noticing energy,” he replied.
Ask your manager to give each team member an energy score in the morning and afternoon for one week. 1 is near death and 10 is near ecstasy. Just a gut reaction.
Plot the morning and afternoon numbers on a line graph. Debrief with your manager at the end of the week.
- What do you notice about noticing?
- How did you come to the energy numbers you gave people?
- What might energize people on your team? De-energize?
- How might you fuel energy?
The point of the project is to nudge managers toward noticing. It’s not intended to evaluate employees.
- What increases energy or de-energizes employees.
- Where people are spinning their wheels.
- When people speak with energy or their eyes shine.
- When body language is open or closed.
- How people respond to challenge, correction, pressure, or opportunity.
How might managers learn to notice others?
Next level project: Have your entire team plot each other’s energy for a week. Have them include themselves. Compare and discuss.
Dan, this is an interesting observation:
“Systems and processes are essential, but people get things done”. This is obvious, but I think you’d be surprised how many people don’t realise it.
In a lot of places where I have worked, the attitude was “Systems and processes are essential, but people get in the way”, especially in places where regulatory compliance is a vital part of the deliverable.
Thanks Mitch. You remind me that it might help if we find things to like about the people around us. It’s too easy to go dark on people because they have weaknesses or fall short.
When we finally get the truth that it’s all about the people, I think our attitude changes and we start focusing on the things that make for real success.
Dan, an issue in the sort of organisations I’m describing is that what you say, “it’s all about the people”, something that they understand. It’s just that whereas you see all the opportunities/victories/successes as coming from the people (which is true – the machines don’t do a lot without skilled operators!); the other view is that the people are the problem: flair, individuality, imagination, innovation are PROBLEMS because they all constitute a deviation from the rigid process. Hence, the human element is seen to need to be minimised, controlled and managed down…
Liked your post and the statement!
People are the backbone of any successful organization. Good Systems and Processes are the smooth medium through which the desired results are achieved. Mighty Leaders always focus on good performers for the required delegation and execution. They have a close observation on people with a readiness to help, guide and show the right direction.
The empathy towards your own employees pay long-term dividends by way of productive results and competitive spirit to excel in a fierce market environment. It’s through this appreciable way an organization culture is built to earn good reputation and credibility.
HR again plays a good role in the process. It serves as a dependable source to build a sound organization which is people driven with good performance measures and motivation. HR looks at CEO for a continued support in this endeavor.