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Monday, December 10, 2018

Lean Tips Edition #133 (1991 - 2005)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #1991 - Acknowledge That You Don't Know Everything.
Although you may be a leader at work or in your field, you can still learn something new. Too many leaders think if they admit they don't have all the answers, they won't be respected, but in reality, the opposite is true. Letting your team see that you're human will earn their respect and loyalty. Be ready to apologize when you've made a mistake, and take responsibility for your direct reports' actions.

Lean Tip #1992 - Reward Successes and Learn From Failures.
Too many leaders don't stop to reward success or recognize employees' outstanding work but are quick to point out what people do wrong. While it's good management to learn from what went right or wrong on a project, it's also important to celebrate achievements.

Lean Tip #1993 - Motivate Employees
A good leader motivates others. There are many different types of leadership styles-driven, supportive, energetic and low-key, among others. Whatever their management style, good leaders find creative ways to motivate their team members.

One way to motivate people for the long-term is to set up data-driven systems that allow team members to excel in their performance. The right systems help staff members to operate at their maximum potential.

Another strategy to motivate staff members is to implement a bonus program. The incentive should be good for both the practice and the individual. A clearly defined bonus program that rewards team members for meeting or exceeding practice goals allows everyone in the organization the opportunity to improve.

Lean Tip #1994 - Coach Your Team
Coaching helps your team reach its potential. Effective and responsible leadership focuses on positive, specific and practical feedback that helps team members learn, grow and excel at their duties.

Coaching encompasses a variety of techniques including informal feedback during the workday, formal performance reviews, one-to-one meetings with team members, and regular staff meetings. Coaching is an ongoing process for every leader.

Lean Tip #1995 - Promote Excellence
You should have high expectations and challenge your team to reach their potential. Think about your own experience. Have you ever been to a course or seminar when the teacher or speaker really motivated you? You knew that when you walked out of that program that you were going to be a little bit better in some way. A spark had been ignited, and you were ready to raise the bar on your performance. As the practice leader, you have to provide that spark.

Provide small and large challenges for your team. This allows those individuals to think through problems, grow and mature, and begin to excel in their jobs. Your team will be better for it-and so will your practice.

Lean Tip #1996 - Lead By Example
The best way to earn the team’s respect is to “walk the talk.” Remember, the team is always watching the dentist. The way you behave will have a significant effect on how the team acts. If you come in late two or three times a week, you can’t expect your staff to arrive on time. Your team is looking to you for leadership guidance, and the best strategy is to lead by example.

Lean Tip #1997 – Be a Passionate Leader.
If you don’t believe in your company, neither will your employees. Start each day with a positive attitude and show enthusiasm for projects and initiatives. Take pride in the services or products you provide.

Lean Tip #1998 - Encourage Employee Contributions.
Some of the best ideas can come from employees. They interact with clients and customers every day and have an intimate knowledge of how well practices and procedures are working. Hear them out about ways to make improvements. Make changes that will improve their ability to do their job.

Learn Tip #1999 - Keep an Open Mind.
Be willing to look at things from a new perspective. Encourage feedback from employees and customers and hear what they have to say. This could ultimately lead to increased efficiency and productivity.

Lean Tip #2000 - Learn From Your Mistakes.
No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. Be willing to accept the blame and move on. Use your errors to make adjustments to the way things are done so that the same mistake does not happen again. Constantly be looking for ways to grow and improve.

By making a conscious effort to improve yourself and your leadership abilities, you can make a positive impact on your company. Not only can it increase productivity and efficiency, it can lead to greater employee satisfaction. Start making changes today for a better tomorrow.

Lean Tip #2001 – Motivation: Lead by Example
Have you ever arrived at work late but disliked it when your team wasn’t running on time? Does your team need to answer all correspondence promptly but your schedule precludes you of this standard?

Remember that you set the tone for your team and they will follow your example. So, your naturally respectful demeanor (you’re courteous, right?) will luckily manifest in your team and you’ll reap the behaviors you demonstrate.

Lean Tip #2002 – Motivation: Compliment the Team on Their Successes
Many people perform their roles without so much as a “thank you” or “job well done” because many employers believe praise comes in the form of the pay check.  There are more pressing matters than complimenting people on what they’re already paid to do, right?

However, to maintain team morale, you should appeal to your team’s intrinsic motivators and acknowledge when they exert additional effort or create new solutions. People don’t typically resign to leave the tasks; they leave their managers. Without timely acknowledgement, your team may feel you don’t appreciate them.

Lean Tip #2003 – Motivation: Be Calm When Handling Corrections
There’s an old saying that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you notice an employee accidentally overlooked something that you catch, your reaction will set the tone for how they feel about you.

No matter how stressful your day, try to avoid getting upset and instead calmly discuss the issue. To earn your team’s respect, you’ll need to show them respect even when they’ve made errors.

Lean Tip #2004 – Motivation: Listen to Your Employees
It’s important to hear what your team is telling you – and actually listen. Staying silent while they talk only to recant with your personal message doesn’t count. Pay attention to what they’re saying – ask them questions, look into the ideas they have, and consider their suggestions.

Good leaders listen to the team’s suggestions and consider if it’s worth the time, money, and effort to implement.

Lean Tip #2005 – Motivation: Identify the WIIFM.

If you have not heard this acronym, it means What’s In It For Me, or why should I be interested in this goal outside of the potential inclusion of a stick or carrot? This is a great opportunity to communicate the benefits of change for the individual, their team, the customers they support, and the company as a whole.

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