Making the transition from individual contributor to supervisor is often a mixture of elation (a promotion!) and terror (new responsibilities!). As you make that transition you might begin to realize that you can’t take everything with – both physically and metaphorically – into that new role. And, just as you decide which items you’ll move from your desk to your large corner cubicle you need to decide what roles and tasks will make the transition with you.
An old joke goes that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who can do math and those who can’t. We often divide people into categories in a quest to understand differences and perhaps advance the idea of getting good work done, together.
And so two divisions (I’m watching my numbers carefully here) I’d like to highlight are: People who see work as social (it’s about people) and people who see it as technical (it’s about numbers and technical processes).
The second division is a focus on behavior versus a focus on intentions. The second division (I … Read the rest
What in the world is happening with meetings these days? And why are so many people unhappy with them? Maybe most importantly, what can you as a supervisor do about that?
We’ve already talked about that great saboteur of meetings – the event that means the meeting is finished before it starts (not in a good way) – the Meeting Before the Meeting (MBM).
This coincided with the uproar at UVA about the ouster of the President. So incensed were huge swathes of the faculty, students and donors, that the faculty organized a rebellion when two of the 10 points … Read the rest
I have already confessed that I play golf (badly — and if you’re thinking of it, remember that the first 20 years are the hardest) in a previous blog. It was all about bad habits.
Today, I want to take one more concept from this world and see how it applies to supervision.
To get started, you have to understand that many golfers get very upset with their results on the course. Some throw their clubs, hate on the golf ball, some create interesting new combinations of swear words, and some talk to themselves in ways that do not … Read the rest
Fellow blogger and great leadership author, consultant and coach Scott Eblin has written about leadership lessons learned from yoga, I’d like to follow that with supervisory lessons learned from golf.
If you don’t play golf, hang in there and don’t worry, because this will be all about you.
First, I think yoga is much more a global means to learning about self and change and many other things that are important in life and work, but we can also learn something very practical from a game in which, the joke goes, the first 20 years are the hardest.
I … Read the rest
The case for writing something on the phenomenon known as the “Meeting Before the Meeting” (MBM) just went on triple steroids.
What is the MBM? To explain, there are actually three blogs coming. The main one is simply what goes wrong and right in meetings and what federal supervisors can do about that. But connected to that, I also wanted to write about the Meeting After the Meeting (MAM). You know, when some people congregate around the coffee pot or in hushed little huddles to talk about what really happened in the meeting and what they really thought – all … Read the rest
In the world of leadership coaching, there is a concept called “competing commitments” that is extremely useful for understanding decision-making, trade-offs, and inner conflict.
The concept requires that people consciously look at what gets in the way of what they say they want to do. Simple, but powerful, since the commitments to something else besides the stated goal often block progress.
An example is a leader may say he or she wants more time to think or reflect, but the competing commitment is “get more done.” Or, the desire may be to build better relationships and communication, but the competing … Read the rest
I know I’ve had times at work, particularly in meetings, when you wonder if anyone is actually there, paying attention to what you’re saying. While it’s frustrating in a meeting, if your team members are checked-out of work on a regular basis, this poses huge potential costs to your agency.
Recent studies have estimated that the costs of employee disengagement can run into the tens of millions of dollars, per organization. If you haven’t been paying attention to this issue beforehand, now is the time to take heed. Disengagement in organizations can be the difference between just surviving and really … Read the rest
A former U.S. President famously dissed broccoli years ago, and now leadership guru Scott Eblin has taken up the cauliflower issue in a great blog I recommend everyone involved in leadership, management, supervision or organizational life read.
Someone call NIH, USDA and FDA and let them know the fruit and vegetable campaign may be in trouble!
Seriously, Scott has taken an everyday event and used it as a great example of how change is hard, and how we can get in our own way. In the post, Scott confronted a pre-existing set of beliefs he held about cauliflower, discussed … Read the rest
GovSupervisor is pleased to publish the second part of our interview with Stewart Liff. You can read the first installment of the interview here.
What do you think the impact of Gen Y workers entering the federal workplace will be?
SL: They are a horse of a different color as they have grown up in a new world. Social media is an important part of their world. They are more accustomed to communicating via text message than over the phone. They are much more computer savvy than the previous generation, and more comfortable working in a virtual environment.
They … Read the rest