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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Lean Tips Edition #177 (Tips #2866 - 2880)

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 #2866 – Give More Praise Than Criticism. 

Giving honest feedback in performance reviews and team meetings is important, but it’s important to be mindful of the motivating potential of meaningful compliments and praise mixed with constructive feedback. Singling out team members who’ve gone above and beyond can be a powerful motivating force for boosting employee engagement.

Lean Tip #2867 – Check in Even When Nothing is Wrong.

Make time for one-on-one meetings on a regular basis. This gives your direct reports an opportunity to bring up questions or challenges before they balloon into major problems. They also give you a less formal opportunity to communicate with your employees and gauge their level of motivation.

Lean Tip #2868 – Get in the Trenches.

While it’s important for you to stay focused on the big picture, you also can’t lose sight of what the day-to-day work of your team entails. Being involved in managing individual projects on a personal level as they unfold in real-time can help keep you connected to the work your team is doing. Ask questions about the hard work your team members are doing, and stay up-to-date on trends in your field or business.

Lean Tip #2869 – Think About Lasting Solutions.

No matter how difficult the problem, there is always a quick solution, and leaders are happiest when they are devising solutions to problems. The trouble is that, in our zeal to fix things quickly and move on to the next fire, we often overlook the lasting solution that may take longer to develop. Although it's more fun to be a firefighter, the next time you have a problem to solve in your organization, deal with the cause of the problem instead of simply treating the symptoms.

Lean Tip #2870 – Be Open, Honest and Transparent

Good communication and trust are key ingredients for a happy high performance team. If you want your team to feel comfortable, to be honest and have trust in you, then you need to do the same with them. People can always sense when someone is not being genuine with them. Being honest and open also means admitting your own mistakes and acknowledging when you don’t have the answers. Don’t try to be a know-it-all. 

Lean Tip #2871 – Be a Mentor and a Coach (Not a Drill Sergeant)

View yourself as a coach and a mentor who is there to help develop your team and team members’ potential, not as a drill sergeant there to crack the whip and keep employees in check. Most employees want a job where they can grow, be respected, challenged with great work and where they can build great relationships and friendships. View yourself as a coach who is there to motivate the team when they need it and mend their wounds to get ready to fight another day.

Lean Tip #2872 – Put Yourself in Their Shoes & Provide Support

Every great leader was once a follower. Never forget where you came from and put yourself in your team members’ shoes to consider things from their perspectives. Ask yourself: what would have been helpful for me if I was in that situation? What type of support/coaching would have benefited me?

Lean Tip #2873 – Give Them Challenges & Help Them Build a Development Plan/Career Roadmap

To build a high performance team, you need to challenge your employees to do their best work while also allowing them to reach their personal career objectives. A happy employee is one who sees the value of their work and who feels productive and needed. As a manager and a coach, you should help each team member reach their full potential by helping them create a yearly development plan of one or two key career goals they would like to meet. Then during the year, be on the lookout for these opportunities and give them to the employees who are actively working on acquiring these skills.

Lean Tip #2874 – Never Stop Learning

In order to be a great manager, you should recognize there is always room for you to learn and improve. Cultivate a positive personal growth mindset and create your own yearly development plan with individual career goals.

Lean Tip #2875 – Encourage Ideas That Challenge Your Own

Despite the fact that you are their manager, your team members likely understand their job far better than you do. It is virtually impossible for you to come up with all the ideas, especially when it comes to process improvements. Solicit, encourage, and adopt any ideas that are good--regardless of where they come from.

Your team performance can only be as solid as the ideas that you allow your team members to share. If you stifle your employees' creativity, you will eventually stifle your own as well.

Lean Tip #2876 – Achieve Better Work-Life Balance, Establish Clear Boundaries

Establishing boundaries at work is an effective way to create work-life balance because it ensures you have time and space available for meaningful aspects of your personal life. Possible boundaries include not taking work home, not checking work email on weekends and leaving work on time each day, even if you are in the middle of a task. While there are likely to be occasional exceptions or last-minute emergencies, do your best to stick to these boundaries. Discussing your desired boundaries with your manager to gain their support can help you feel comfortable implementing these practices.

Lean Tip #2877 – Achieve Better Work-Life Balance, Make Your Time Count

Effective work-life balance requires that you spend your time meaningfully in each of the respective spaces. By ensuring you spend your time outside of work pursuing hobbies or doing activities that align with your values, you can recharge your energy levels and feel more fulfilled. This also helps you be more present at work, knowing that you have ample opportunities for a full life outside of work as well. Similarly, if you engage in challenging, meaningful projects at work, you will be more likely to experience work as fulfilling, and thus, find that both work and your personal life are valuable.

Lean Tip #2878 – Achieve Better Work-Life Balance, Leave Work at Work

Develop a mental on-off switch between work and home. It helps to establish a transitional activity between the two realms. This might consist of listening to music or recorded books during your evening commute, exercising at the fitness center, running errands, or keeping personal appointments. Scheduling such activities immediately following your normal work hours also prevents you from spending that extra twenty minutes at the office which then turns into several hours.

Lean Tip #2879 – Achieve Better Work-Life Balance, Work Smarter Not Harder

Using time more efficiently is an important skill that everyone from the receptionist to the CEO can learn. Adopting the right combination of time-management practices can cut stress and save you up to an hour a day. This can include the use of technology to become more organized, grouping emails and voice messages, avoiding procrastination and learning to say "no."

Lean Tip #2880 – Achieve Better Work-Life Balance, Focus on Results, Not Time Spent

Rather than thinking about working harder, focus your time and energy on achieving bigger results. By simplifying your areas of focus, you free up more time to live a more joyful and balanced life.

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of doing countless activities that drain your energy and take you away from building momentum in moving your business forward. You are being pulled in multiple directions and don’t have enough time and often take on too many projects. This can often leave you drained, worried and uncommunicative at the end of the day.

Remember, getting more things done means nothing when nothing great is done.

By focusing on a smaller number of projects and delivering maximum impact, you have a bigger sense of achievement, confidence and motivation. Plus, you may have more time to stop work early and spend time with the people that matter.

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