As a manager, you’ve probably heard the common acronym for TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. Here at Cordia, we definitely believe in teamwork, but we suggest a slightly altered version. TEEP: Trust, Expectations, Empathy, and Personal responsibility. In our experience, these are the four essential elements of successful team coaching, especially in the financial industry.
Your teams will work more efficiently and your organization will thrive if each member can focus fully on the matter at hand without constant oversight. Trust is a kind of all-purpose oil that solves problems, quiets squeaks, makes everything move faster, and bolsters the bottom line. But in order to bring trust to the equation and get your teams to show confidence in your leadership, you need to show trust in them first. This can be hard, especially when the team member in question hasn’t yet proven him or herself in a measurable way. But if you can fearlessly face this risk and back away, you’ll reap the rewards, and you’ll start an upward spiral of trust and teamwork.
Clear expectations are an absolute requirement for effective management. Share your goals, and clearly explain how you expect to meet them and how each member of your team will participate in this effort. Don’t leave anything to chance, nonverbal signals, implications, or assumptions. If you do, expect all parties to end up disappointed and confused. If in doubt, schedule a meeting and have a conversation. If you don’t have time, make time.
Always place yourself in your employee’s shoes while communicating with him or her, especially if you expect the same in return. If your employee is late, falling short of expectations, having a bad day, or missing the point of an interaction, start by asking if everything is okay. Get his or her side of the story before you share your own. When you enter a conversation, bring more questions than statements, and listen carefully to the answers.
Most mediocre managers have a long list of behaviors they expect from employees. They know exactly what a “great employee” looks like, sounds like, and does. And when reality doesn’t deliver this vision, they move in and take action. But before you leap to correct wayward employees and enforce a code of excellence and personal responsibility, put yourself in the spotlight first. Accept blame, don’t pass it along. Correct problems, don’t find scapegoats. And never criticize an employee for your own shortcomings as a manager. Back up, review the big picture, and work together with your team to determine where the issue lies and how it can be resolved.
For more on how to work with your financial employees to leverage their talents and get the most out of the day, reach out to the staffing experts at Cordia.