Mar 27 2020| Leadership | crisis
by Phil Eyre Founder
Now more than ever, we need to use our structures - the boxes and lines that show who reports to whom in our organisations - to cascade kindness.
Over the last few years, we have witnessed and encouraged a move away from reliance on the annual appraisal towards more frequent conversations. Establishing regular one-to-ones are part of this, creating a healthy environment for effective feedback. The best companies utilise these to deliberately build relationships and trust, emphasising human factors in these conversations rather than tasks to be performed. The support and challenge environment creates not only powerful bonds but leads to excellent performance.
There are a few businesses that we work with that have absolutely nailed this, where these conversations between manager and their report are mutually supportive; feedback is two way, the focus is on the purpose of the work being performed and how both are learning together. Combining kindness and clarity in these conversations is important; 'I care about you enough to tell you this clearly' and not only from manager to their report but the other way, too. It's mutual support in practice. The hierarchy becomes less about who’s “higher” and more about partnership and teamwork.
Today, more than ever, we need to use our structures and reporting lines to cascade kindness; up, down and along them. Now that business continuity measures are in place, with many people working from home, our next move as leaders is to build in one-to-one processes, making the best use of technology and making the relationships in our teams just as much a priority as the tasks they are performing.
1) What’s working well for you at the moment?
2) What’s stuck?
3) What are your biggest surprises?
4) What opportunities can you see?
If you do nothing but ask, ‘how are you doing and how can I support you?’, that will be enough!
In the crisis conditions that we’re in, ensuring that relationships remain healthy will require more effort than usual (more dates to schedule) yet will be more welcome than ever. And you never know, you might establish highly valuable habits that will carry on once we return to more stable conditions.