(This is an excerpt from a podcast of ours)
It’s not about being bullying or unpleasant. It’s about being adult. Treating people as adults and giving people the ability to be adult. We are often so worried about saying something that may upset someone or their feelings that we can end up ‘dodging the issue’. Therefore we are treating people as children..!
We are trying to control other people by not giving them the facts and the evidence, not allowing them the ability to make the decisions that they need to make for themselves.
We need to allow people to stand up for themselves and get back to the idea of accountability. Without accountability, we can end up with a ‘blame and whinge’ culture – and who needs that?
Return on Investment is critical. Knowing the ROI in your own job allows you to understand the impact you make. You can start this by listing all the things you use, all the tools, techniques and processes that drive performance both in yourself and others, and figure out which creates the biggest impact over the shortest amount of time. When we think about our impact, we need to think shrewdly about how we spend our time to generate that impact.
Tough love is all about inspiration, engagement, potential, management, stimulation, and effective use, which are all key parts of resilience as well as difference. Difference stimulates conflict and professional disagreements where you can discuss things without becoming ‘personal’. From that passionate engagement comes innovation and agility. All too often we sit down in groups discussing things that reinforce the status quo, rather than allowing us to be different and ‘grow’. There is too much emphasis on ‘same-ness’, where we don’t like to disagree because we want a harmonious (engaged) workforce (the avoidance of ‘hurt feelings’) We need to recognise that difference creates a harmonious workforce through the recognition of each others differences. Clearly there are ground rules for disagreements, we don’t want them to turn into personal conflict so some management may be needed.
The big leadership agenda is about seeing change as a competence rather than as a specific event. We need to spend time both simplifying processes and the promises we are making. Simplification as we move into more difficult times is key. If we don’t do less well, we will end up doing more badly. Then the only way to steady the organisation will be to remove people.
We need to think about how we create an edge. We need to get an edge in both the soft and hard senses – to cut through the issues, simplify things and cut through the red tape. We need to be more in the moment looking at new things. Lets see the advantages of social media and the whole digital learning environment and the immediacy of message. Lets look at new ideas and take risks now while we still can while liquidity is still available. It won’t be around forever, especially if you don’t invest.
We can improve cognitive toughness by developing the thinking skills that come from really knowing yourself well, managing your emotions, understanding sensations and the feelings that come from those. This will drive our reactions to things like change or anxiety, where it is possible to do so.
Building resilience in ourselves and other people is created by wellness which delivers performance. We need to take wellness into the workplace and see wellness as being “beyond the fruit bowl”. Wellness is the capacity to build cognitive processes, by having the energy needed to really enhance the operation of the brain. If the brain is enhanced you get better thinking, better cognition, better emotional control and higher performance.
Leaders should be using coaching more effectively as we know that coaching provides a higher ROI than standard training. If we can use coaching with training, the ROI is even greater. If you don’t have accountability for the learning, embed the learning or prove the impact…. then why do the training in the first place?
It is all about culture. Leadership creates culture and if you have a culture that you are not happy with then you have to look at leaders first. Tough love starts with yourself. We use the phrase “its time to get a grip”, to get “out of the way of yourself” – and we need to use this in our cultures.