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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lean Tips Edition #295 (#3451 - #3465)

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 #3451 – Develop a Positive Attitude

It’s crucial to have a positive attitude when striving to be an approachable manager. It is essential because seeing yourself as a positive person will change how you think, act, and relate. You’ll spontaneously treat others with respect, kindness, and warmth. All this will together make you approachable. It can be difficult when things are going poorly, but it’s essential if you want to build relationships with your team and achieve the objectives you set for yourself. 

One of the best ways to develop a positive attitude is to focus on your strengths. When you focus on what you do well, you’ll see progress and success in areas you previously struggled with. That will ultimately lead you to develop a positive attitude.

Lean Tip #3452 – Be Vulnerable in Sharing Your Failures or Insecurities 

As a manager, it’s important to be vulnerable in sharing your failures or insecurities. It will help you build trust and credibility with your team and enable them to lean on you for support when things get tough. When you are completely candid with your team, they will see you as a person instead of a manager. 

It empowers them to take risks and make decisions in the team’s best interest. It’s also important to be open about your thoughts and ideas so that they can provide valuable feedback. If you can make yourself approachable and available, your team will be more likely to report to you with good news, and they’ll be more likely to stick around if things go wrong.

Lean Tip #3453 – When You Don’t Know Something, Accept It And Work Together To Figure It Out 

When you don’t know something, and you’re the team manager, it’s essential to be patient and accept that fact. It means reaching out to your team and asking for help in most cases. If somebody on your team is knowledgeable about the subject, they’re more than happy to lend a hand.

You can quickly get up to speed on the issue and make the best decisions possible by working together. It is essential for decisions that impact the team’s productivity or morale. When you approach your employees with your problems or shortcomings, they are also pushed to come to you for their issues, positively impacting your approachability.

Lean Tip #3454 – Speak Openly and Honestly With Others 

If you want to become an approachable manager, a crucial step is to start speaking openly and honestly with others. It means being straightforward and honest about your intentions and willing to listen to others’ perspectives. Be responsive, show openness to feedback, and communicate openly about what you are doing and why so that everyone in your team feels engaged and invested in your work. Finally, while being honest, respect others’ time and effort. 

Lean Tip #3455 – Be a Sounding Board

Approachable leaders understand that people will come to them with good and bad news. Show compassion and empathy; let people know they can always come to you. As a leader, you don’t only lead — you must also stay open and listen. You must embrace compassion and engage empathy. Making yourself approachable and accessible is the secret ingredient to great leadership. 

Lean Tip #3456 – Challenge Processes, Not People 

One Lean management habit that’s more difficult in practice than it is on paper is challenging processes, not people. Often, we don’t realize how we are assigning blame to the people on our teams.

We all carry subconscious biases that prevent us from truly seeing the reality of any given situation. Aiming to solve any problem by focusing on the process keeps teams solutions-oriented and discourages power struggles on teams. 

Challenging processes, not people, can also usually uncover the real issues at hand. Returning to the idea that people want to do their best work, often our tendency to blame people leaves us with high turnover rates but the same problems. 

Lean Tip #3457 – Share Knowledge, Spread Energy

One key Lean principle is the idea of sharing knowledge. Increasing transparency in the flow of information can help to spread positive energy across the organization and reinforce Lean leadership principles. If the goal of Lean is to meet the needs of the customer in a sustainable and healthy way, sharing knowledge helps the entire organization maintain an up-to-date, accurate picture of the customer and their needs. 

It’s difficult to achieve that “we’re all in this together” mentality across the organization if only some members are allowed to see all the cards. Although it can feel risky to increase transparency across the organization, the benefits of a culture built on trust and openness outweigh the temporary feeling of vulnerability. 

Lean Tip #3458 – Lean Leadership by Example 

Lean leaders have to be curious, open, and transparent in ways for which traditional management methods did not prepare them. Embracing and embodying Lean management principles requires many to retrain their brains to allow for a completely new approach to leadership. 

One of the most exciting parts of Lean leadership is that it challenges the idea that leadership is an inborn trait that people either have or they don’t. By practicing the principles and practices above, anyone can become a Lean leader, regardless of their role, experience, or personality type. 

Lean Tip #3459 – Coach and Develop Your Team

Lean leaders invest in the coaching and development of their teams. They provide guidance, feedback, and support to help employees develop their problem-solving and Lean skills. Leaders encourage cross-functional collaboration, knowledge sharing, and learning from failures. By investing in their teams’ growth, leaders build a capable and empowered workforce that drives sustainable Lean improvements. 

Lean Tip #3460 – Instill a Continuous Improvement Mindset 

Lean leaders instill a continuous improvement mindset throughout the organization and create a Lean Culture. They encourage employees to identify and address waste, inefficiencies, and problems on a daily basis. Leaders utilize Lean tools and methods such as Kaizen events, A3 problem solving, and value stream mapping. These tools and methods help them make incremental improvements and foster a culture of learning and innovation.

Lean Tip #3461 – Be More Adaptable By Learning From Your Coworkers

One great way to learn adaptability is to observe how your co-workers embrace change. Consider the way they showcase their adaptability in certain situations and how you can apply those same concepts. It can also be beneficial to ask them for any tips they can provide you with in this area. 

Lean Tip #3462 – Ask Questions to Learn

Consider asking your co-workers how they perform certain tasks and handle certain situations in the workplace. One of the greatest ways to learn adaptability is to not only observe but actively seek advice from others who excel in this area. Make sure your questions are professional and well thought out.

Lean Tip #3463 – Be Willing to Make Mistakes 

Though making a mistake can be disheartening, it also provides you with various opportunities such as the ability to learn a valuable lesson, share knowledge and consider a future solution. Change your mindset when it comes to your mistakes in the workplace. The better you are at embracing your mistakes, the more adaptable you'll be at managing the fallout.

Lean Tip #3464 – Find the Positive

Many things in life and in the workplace don't go as planned. When this happens, focus on the positive. This will allow you to change your mindset and pay attention to the positives. Consider what you're able to take away from these situations and be optimistic about the future. 

Lean Tip #3465 – Keep Your Goals in Sight

When you face new challenges, keep your goals, values, and aspirations in mind. You may feel discouraged or frustrated as change happens, but it’s vital to revisit your aspirations and create a new plan to renew your determination and continue toward your goals.

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