Whose fault is it? Play the blame game

We’ve all been on this ride before, playing the blame game! Sometimes it happens internally but more often than not it happens with a client. We recently had an issue where the blame could be placed on either party, however the bottom line is someone made a mistake and important information was leaked.

So in this case, who is to blame? The client doesn’t want that blame and you certainly don’t either but generally you are left to fall on your sword, apologizing and figuring out how to move forward.

As leaders it is our job to help our team navigate these muddy waters and often we are the ones putting our best face forward with not only the client but also their account manager. Here are some steps you can take as a leader to handle these with grace.

  1. Get with your team internally and find out what happened! Was a mistake made? If so you can deal with that, but unless this person is known for this they are human and don’t need you to beat them up over the error. Figure out what went wrong and create steps to keep it from happening again.
  2. No error made? Then was it poor communication on our part or the clients or combination of both? Often this is the case! The client said do X we did X but really the client wanted Y and made X and Y! The resolution is the same, figure out how to help the client not have this happen again
  3. Gather your internal resources and make sure they know that you are aware of the issue, you have worked out the steps internally and will make sure the client feels heard and cared for!
  4. Finally, never (and I mean NEVER) throw your team under the bus! This is simply amazingly bad leadership! If you have a personnel problem that is dealt with IN the family not out!! Use terms like “we and us” not “they or them or he or she” you don’t ever want your team to feel like they are being singled out! Not only does this undermine your leadership it also makes you look really bad in front of your client!

Ultimately you as the leader are going to have to take the lead on fixing the issue (if there is one) and making sure the client and the internal team feel like they have been heard and the resolution is solid!

Happy leading! Share an experience you had where a team member made an error and you had to resolve it!

#leadership #leadingteams

Humbling Moments

How many of us as leaders have had a humbling moment. That moment where we stop and go “WOW” what just happened there? With horses those moments come very frequently!!

This amazing guy above is Slick (no I did NOT name him!) and he is a former eventer. (Here is a definition of an eventing horse) Eventing (also known as three day eventing or horse trials) is an equestrian event where a single horse and rider combine and compete against other competitors across the three disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

You see these horses push themselves and their riders to do things that most of us can’t do normally! And they love it! They are also very high energy and tend to be a bit spooky because they are taught to always be looking for the next thing.

Slick is spooky! He likes to jump at everything, no matter if that thing exists or not! In his head it’s going to kill him and he has to keep everyone safe.

Yesterday it was the tractor. It was going to kill him and me! So he spooked. Thankfully I stayed on and we worked through it. But instead of just pushing through it and pretending it didn’t happen I got off and showed him the scary tractor. I talked to him about it, then he ate some grass as if to say “OK mom that isn’t scary you are right let’s go back to work”

But in that moment I had to calm myself down, I had to get my head back on and we had to go back to it!

As leaders we often have these moments where we stumble but how often do we stop and actually look at the issue and assess it. So many times we want to run away from it and pretend it’s not there. What if we got off, and looked at the issue, talked about it and then got back to it and hit the issue head on!

What issues do you feel that you need to hit head on and stop pretending??

Being a Go Getter!

I will admit it I like taking those quizzes that tell you if you are an influencer or empath or whatever!  I took one today that showed what type of influencer you are and it said I am a ‘Go Getter’ in other words I get s*** done!  However I tend to overlook the why, I am so focused on fixing the problem that I forget people want to know the issue first.

And wow was this true!!  I mean I seriously just heard this from my boss last week!  I made a mistake and felt really bad about it, his issue was not that I had made an error but that I didn’t apologize and let him know the mistake had been made.  I was so busy fixing it that I failed to acknowledge it had happened!

So as leaders, we have to sometimes take a step back and stop trying to solve the problem but identify and then maybe have our team solve it.

Interesting for those of us who are fixers and don’t want to deal with the why lol!!

What ways have you been a fixer and what can you do to solve it??

Being in a New Place

We recently added this amazing new guy to our home.  He’s a former eventer and very good at his job!  However, he has an injury which makes him no longer sound for big events.  This isn’t easy for him or anyone I am sure!

He is having to learn this new life and in a new place.  No one told him that he’d have to find a new home and like it there!  Now don’t get me wrong we are a great home!  He has lots of sun, grass and hay.  He can go in and out and do what he’d like, however this is still a new place with new people and new rules.

You see there is this one horse whose the boss, she’s kind of an old maid who tells everyone else what to do, and a young one who just wants to play and another boy, but he’s also new.

If you can imagine this is how alot of us feel when we start someplace new.  The rules are new both spoken and unspoken.  We have to learn how to navigate those, but we have the benefit of being able to ask questions and talk.  Horses do not!  So what would happen if you couldn’t ask those questions? Or if everyone spoke a different language?

As leaders it’s our job to make sure that everyone understands the rules and the expectations.  I read something recently where a leader said she had a team member who would go MIA on SLACK for long periods of time during the day.  He’s getting his work done but she wants him available during the day.  In his previous job he may have had that flexibility and is thinking this is the same.

By not saying anything we are treating him as if he can’t speak the language.  By simply expressing our expectations and talking about what we need will help everyone.

Let’s make sure that we are all communicating the same to help both our new and existing team members.   Say Hi to our newest Team member Slick!  AKA #slickwilly

 

slick

Why words don’t always work

words

It’s not a secret that I thrive on words of affirmation! It is totally my love language and I really need them!  It’s like a high when you tell me I am doing a good job and you see value in what I am doing!

What happens when those words are delivered without sincerity?  When they are delivered without true meaning behind them?  I recently started a book called Sync or Swim (it’s amazing go read it!) You can get it on Amazon! It’s amazing (and no I don’t get anything for that)!!

The book is a fable and tells a story of a person who takes over a large organization and immediately throws a party to give awards to the team. But the awards aren’t given with any insight to the team, the team feels these are empty awards.

Today I was listening to a friend talk about some rough days at work recently.  Her director isn’t the best, and it appears her director doesn’t really understand my friend because at the end of 3 12 hour days (My friend is a nurse) she got a text saying “thank for all you do”.  My friend laughed because she knows her boss isn’t being sincere, but I would guess if you asked her boss if she meant it she’d say YES! She would probably even ask you why you are questioning her because in her head she’s being a great boss!  Wouldn’t see be surprised if someone told her she wasn’t!

As leaders it is our job to understand our team and what make each individual tick!  What motivates them and how can we make them feel valued at their job!!

This might mean words of affirmation but it also might mean coming along side someone or giving them a day off.

Taking some time to understand our team and what their concerns are means that we lead better!!

On my team recently, we were asked to help with special projects.  The teams concern is that if they do the special projects they will lose billable hours.  Billable hours have been a concern for the team as this has been the push for several years.  Now with new leadership the objectives have changed but the team hasn’t been given a chance to adjust.

Giving our teams a chance to adjust to new leaders and gaining understanding of what makes them tick, will make us all better leaders!

Happy Leading