A representative from a community church approached me to manage an eight week fundraising project, codenamed SPUD. The project goal was to "Host a booth and sell baked potatoes at a multi-day local fair".
Case Study: Managing a Volunteer Project to Sell Baked Potatoes
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Are you getting the most from your team?

Have you ever worked for a manager that seems to be able to get along with everyone, and genuinely respects each person on their team? How did you feel bringing new ideas to this manager in the belief that he takes your ideas seriously, and understands what you are saying? These people are rare and usually have a widespread reputation of being a great manager, because they are so rare.

In contrast, we have all worked for managers that have hidden agendas, exemplify the Peter Principle and make you wonder how they manage to stay employed.

Which sort of manager are you? Would your team give the same answer that you did? Why is it that some managers can get along with a variety of personalities, but it is an uncommon skill? Is it natural talent that some managers are born with? Can it be learned?

What would it be worth to you if you could get the best out of each member of your team, while allowing each one to contribute their maximum value to your team? Do you agree that productive relationships are the foundation for maximum team contributions and cooperation?

We are not born with this skill. When last did you see a baby with the skill of "Ability to relate to team members" on their birth certificate?

Your ability to relate to others including your team members, are learned skills. You learned them from your environment, education or professional development programs. How good are you at relating to the various people on your team? Assuming that you have seven direct reports and each one has a different motivational style, can you adapt your words and behaviors to relate to each one? Take this quick quiz to find out.

Firstly, how good are your at identifying the keywords that team members in each motivational style frequently use? Are you even aware of this link between keywords, behaviors and different motivational styles? Secondly, can you adapt your own words and behaviors to match theirs? Give yourself a score of 5, if you can meet both these requirements.

Keywords team member uses frequentlyRate yourself on scale of:
1 = No clue to 5 = No problem.
"Get it done". Action. Results.
Details. Process. Plan.
Impact on people.
Flexible. Alternatives. Group input.
Organized action plan.
Coaching others.
Helping others to help themselves.

For each relationship style listed above, here is what your score means:
5 = You are a great manager, for this style.
2 to 4 = You are doing OK.
1 = Call Wayne Botha. You need help. Team members with this style are in conflict, don't feel valued and will leave as soon as possible.

Here is what your score means if you rate high on some items on this quiz, but are lacking in others. You are relating to some team members, but are not relating to everyone. In fact, you are probably relating well with team members who share the same values as you do. For example, if you thrive on details, then you are likely to be on the same page with team members who approach you with the details of every project and plan. This is excellent news, but you are missing the contributions from other team members, whose eyes glaze over at the mention of the word "details". Can you afford to ignore the potential contributions of portions of your team? Even worse, can you afford to send team members into counter-productive conflict?

So, what can you do about this? You expand your managerial skills by getting trained to recognize Motivational Value Systems® and how best to relate to each one. Then you get your team trained as well, so that each team member can contribute their maximum value to your team and career goals.

How do you go about this, without doing another stupid "team-building" exercise or treading hot coals? Where can you get solid tools that you will apply in the real-world to help your team?

It is easy. I can help you with that. Your relationships with each team member and across your team will improve when you complete the SDI® assessment, debrief with me and attend one of my workshops. I and based in Connecticut and facilitate SDI workshops to help individuals and organizations improve performance.

The bottom line is "Your team's relationships determine your team's results. If your team is under-performing, not delivering the results you want, and has a lot of unresolved conflict, then the relationships are not strong enough to uncover the root cause. The path to dramatic improvement starts with more effective relationships". 

Copyright 2018 Wayne Botha Email Wayne Cell: 860.214.4897