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Friday, December 4, 2009

Keeping trouble out

So, in my last post, we talked about Tascha and Doug, her problem child. He was having major attitude problems. For more info on how to determine whether or not Doug should remain a part of the team, see my series on coaching (5-Part Coaching Series, Part I).

Whether Tascha decided to let Doug stay or decided to let him go, hopefully that problem is fixed. However, she still should be interested in ensuring this problem doesn't arise easily again (it's almost impossible to ensure it NEVER happens again).

What steps can help Tascha?

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate (and when she thinks she's communicated with her people enough, she should do it more). I'm not talking about communicating on a specific issue, but instead about having a pattern of consistent, proactive communication.
2. Set and MODEL expectations (I capitalized MODEL because if Tascha just sets the expectations for her folks, but doesn't walk the walk, her words can be pretty hollow).
3. Help the team understand what success looks like (relates back to #1 and #2).
4. Foster the sense of team (attitude problems are much less likely to crop up with a team as opposed to just a group of people who happen to work together).
5. Changing direction a little away from motivation and leadership, as a manager, Tascha needs to ensure there are backups for every position in the office so regardless of what might happen to one of her people (including someone getting a "wild hair" and then getting termed), no one is indispensable and the mission can carry on with little or no muss or fuss.
6. Of course, there need to be manuals or written instructions on how to do pretty much anything in the office.
7. Finally, for Tascha, herself, she needs to be tuned into her team, getting to know them and being able to read when things are not right. Also, if Tascha and her team are all on the same page, other team members may be more likely to help her out, letting her know when something "not right" is going on.

Any other suggestions for Tascha?