Category Archives: Managing Employees

Managing Conflict Between Direct Reports

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

One of the most worrisome tasks of a manager is managing conflict between direct reports – especially when it spills over into the staff. Rather than ignoring the situation, here are some steps to take to lessen the toll on everyone, and it is a manager’s responsibility to be held accountable.

Step 1: Setting the tone for a meeting: Preparing for a meeting requires a boss to think objectively, be open-minded about rumors and accusations, look only for the facts. For example: “I have called us together today to discuss the differences you two have, to try to understand what is going on, and to see what we can agree upon going forward. I am concerned for you and how it is affecting our team. I know how committed each of you is to the mission, so I hope we can find some agreement. Are you willing to try?”

 Step 2: Fact Finding: “ I think it might be helpful if you explained what the differences or disagreements are about. I ask each of you to tell us as objectively, clearly and specifically as you can, your perspective on the conflict. Afterward, each of you may ask the other any questions you have. Who would like to go first?” (If this goes well, thank them for their openness and candor. The manager’s job at this point is to push for clarity, remain open-minded and be supportive of the effort.)

Step 3: Describing today’s agenda: “ Now let’s see if we can find some solutions. I would like each of you to think a minute, and then tell us (a) what you admire about the other person, then (b) what you would like to see them do differently, or stop doing, and (c) WHY. After each has finished this part, the other person may ask questions for clarity – no reasons yet, just questions. Are you comfortable doing this? If not, please tell us why.” (Sometimes, just reassurance from the boss – especially for confidentiality – helps the process move on.)

Step 4: Seeking Agreement: This section seeks a list of actions and behaviors that each party might subscribe to that would lessen the tension between the two.  Identify potential points of agreement and areas of disagreement. Push for possible solutions that might satisfactorily resolve the conflict in a constructive way.

Step 5: Verify Solutions: Together, select solutions that meet all parties’ needs. Remember this might require some compromises, but all are aware of the positions taken. Changes can occur as goals are set and reviewed at a later date.

Step 6: Establish an Action Plan:  Each person develops an action plan with specific actions and behaviors that both are willing to take to implement the solutions. Agree to meet again in the not too distant future to review the plan and make any adjustments. Again, thank them for helping solve the conflict and reassure them you are always available to meet further.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Can Your Data Tell a Story?

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

 

 

How many of us input data, and never see it again, lacking an effective way to use it? What if the data could tell a compelling story that might inspire others to support the mission? An article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review website provides some recommendations for helping your data tell a story/[1]

 

1. Data storytellers answer a question – “so what”. I recently had a client whose services had added 20 customers for the quarter. That number had no significance until he asked some questions:

  • What percentage is 20 of our customer base?
  • How does this effect our operation?
  • Who needs to know these numbers?

Analysis of the data leads to clarity and to more questions.

2.  The data should inspire us to ask more questions.

Back to the example:

  • What factors contribute to this increase?
  • How does it effect staffing?
  • What external factors are contributing to the increase?
  • How can we portray this information graphically for social media purposes?

3.  The use of rigorous analysis is better than numbers on a page. A concise Executive Summary of the findings from the analysis is a first step.The author, Jake Porway, favors visualization of the data over raw numbers – a graph or pie chart to crystallize understanding for an audience. Porway has several websites in his article for learning more about data visualization. This may be difficult for some IT personnel. But the goal may be worth the investment in order to impress upon donors and volunteers, viewing the media source, that their service and contributions are needed and welcomed.

[1] Three Things Great Data Storytellers Do Differently,  Jake Porway, author, Stanford Social Innovation Review, June 8, 2016

Author:  Adrianne DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

New Year Invites Reflection and Evaluation

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

On behalf of all the coaches at Executive Coaches of Orange County, we want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. May it be blessed with good health, peace and happiness. We at ECofOC are grateful that our 115+ clients have chosen to turn to us for individual coaching or for our Executive Director Forum (32 members), or for both.

For the past 15 years, we have been living our mission of helping nonprofit leaders  and managers become more effective, efficient and successful so their organizations can do more of their good work in our community.

The new year offers a time for us to pause and take an inventory of where we have been and set new goals for the future. The services of ECofOC may provide you an opportunity to move forward and up your game. Change  needs to be met with accountability.

Coaching  provides a  one-on-one relationship to nonprofit leaders. Our coaches help managers set specific goals and solve difficult issues from a nonjudgmental perspective in a confidential setting. Coaching can address virtually any nonprofit management issue, including board development, fundraising, outreach, leadership, management, finance, IT and HR issues, personal development and career planning.

Our Executive Director Forum is comprised of 10 to 12 executive directors facilitated by two experienced ECofOC coaches in monthly meetings using a proven process to guide the group to practical solutions for issues brought to the table by each participant. These sessions allow executive directors to test ideas and work though issues with a group of their peers.

We  hope you will consider getting a coach. If you are a manager with a non-profit organization in Orange County, you can apply here at www.ecofoc.org. The price is right; it is FREE! Our team of coaches are prepared to take you where you want and dream to go. The moment and power of change is now!!

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

Giving Employees Feedback

Dave Blankenhorn

 

Do you believe you know how to give employees proper feedback? Do they learn and develop from your assessment?

If you believe you could do better think about some new ways to become more effective. No one really likes to hear criticism but there are ways to make it more palatable and productive for the organization and the employee.

When giving negative feedback decide whether it is better to do so immediately when you see the problem or at the time of more comprehensive review. No matter the approach when you give negative feedback be specific. While there is no need to bring up every single time the employee has erred it should be detailed enough that the employee clearly understands your concerns and sets the stage for a solution.

As part of this tie the comments into the employee’s values and goals. For example, If the behavior causes others to do more work the employee who values what others think about them will be more receptive to changing their behavior.

When giving feedback maintain a neutral voice and watch your body language. Yelling is counterproductive. Being calm sends the message that you are there for constructive purposes, that it is part of the normal business world.

Be specific about the solution. Be sure you have a remedy in mind before talking with the employee but before you do so ask the employee if they might have a solution to the problem. If it matches yours so much the better.

Lastly infuse any criticism with words of encouragement and praise for what they are doing well. This is a coaching opportunity to build confidence, communicate respect, and hopefully build a better relationship with the employee.

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Focused Conversation Practice, Action Planning and Consensus Building

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

The skills mentioned in the above title are a must for every NP manager.  Last week I took a two day workshop at One OC that focused on those skills. The course is called ToP Facilitation Methods and taught by ToP facilitators Becky Foreman and Emma Diaz. The ToP methodology is associated with a group called the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).   ICA programs strengthen the capacities of organizations, communities, and individuals to build and implement innovative plans of action that draw upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner.

Here is the description of the specific workshops:

The Focused Conversation Method: This common sense approach leads naturally to a meaningful exchange of ideas

  • Conduct purposeful discussion
  • Capture a group’s best thinking easily
  • Surface new ideas and solutions
  • Stimulate candid feedback

 

The Consensus Workshop Method: This Structure process is so engaging people are energized getting to consensus.

  • Tap rational and intuitive thought processes
  • Integrate diverse ideas
  • Generate practical and creative solutions
  • Develop group consensus

 

The Action Planning Method: These practical steps help groups plan, organize resources and build commitment.

  • Visualize a successful result
  • Analyze the current reality
  • Create a practical plan
  • Maximize group involvement

 

This was a first class workshop. The leaders are  top notch professionals. If you are a NP manager looking for ways to activate group participation, this workshop is the ticket!!! It helps groups think, talk and work together.

Institute of Cultural Affairs: http://www.ica-usa.org

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Management and Leadership Skills

Bob Cryer

 

Would you be interested in quickly learning how you might get better results from your nonprofit management and leadership efforts? NonprofitReady.org can deliver some ideas relevant to your interests whenever you are ready, and do it quickly and at no cost to you. Here are some of the most popular of the 47 NonprofitReady.org trainings in the “Personal & Professional Development” category, sub-category “Management and Leadership”.

Becoming a Coaching Manager – Part A This 15-minute online course is designed for managers seeking to improve their ability to coach employees to higher performance. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Identify ideal coaching situations, Explore tools for coaching success, Understand how coaching can assist both individuals and teams within an organization.

Fostering and Maintaining Motivation This 20-minute online course is designed for leaders seeking to improve their motivational skills. Objectives: Identify motivational levers, Undertake effective action to motivate colleagues, Delegate in a motivating and effective manner.

Making Your New Management Position Successful – Part A This 12-minute online course is designed for new managers as well as those looking for a basic refresher on the core principles of management. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Clarify the implications of your new position as manager, Succeed in the first steps of your new position; Identify the key points of delegating.

The Management Styles This 20-minute online course shows how to adopt an effective management style. The course is designed for all levels of managers and team leaders. Objectives: Understand the value and purpose of different management styles and when to apply them, Incorporate the positive aspects of each management style when leading teams, Determine when and how to adapt management styles to different circumstances and colleagues

Essential Skills for New Managers This curriculum will address questions such as: What are the markings of an effective manager?  What knowledge and skillset are essential for great managers to succeed in leading people?  What are the most common pitfalls of managing people?  What are the essential skills that all new managers need to be successful?

5 Levers for Producing Great Leaders This 30-minute online course is designed for anyone seeking to improve their leadership skills. Objectives: Successfully communicate vision, Maintain cooperative relationships, Push for achievement.

Leadership Best Practice This 30-minute online course is designed for senior managers seeking to build the leadership pipelines within their organization. Objectives: Carry out a leadership inventory in your organization, Develop an innovation strategy to cultivate leaders in your organization, Secure collective buy-in of leadership development goals.

Please go to https://www.nonprofitready.org to take a few of these no-cost trainings

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

In Coaching and Managing, the Question May Be More Important Than the Answer!

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

 

When I am done coaching a client, I usually convene the evaluation committee in my head to assess the session. The first criteria is, did I ask good questions that led to the critical thinking process. Recently I came across a book devoted to the subject of asking the right questions in coaching as a manager. The book is: “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier.* Michael is an Aussie who runs a coaching and leadership consulting firm in Canada. The book’s focus is to managers who employ coaching as a managerial and leadership style.Here is a list of the questions he puts forth: 1. Kickstart  Question: What is on your mind? Let’s talk about the thing that matters most. 2. The Awe Question: And what else? The underlying assumptions here are to stay curious, ask it one more time, avoid advice giving, and move on when it is time. 3. The Focus Question: What is the real challenge here for you? Focus on the real problem and not the first one. 4. The Foundation Question: What do you want? 5. The Lazy Question: How can I help? What do you want from me? 6. The Strategic Question: If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying no to? A YES is nothing without the NO that gives it boundaries and form. 8. What do you think I should do about? It is the cheddar on the mousetrap!

I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It puts us in the mindset to engage in the process of curious inquiry in our coaching.

  • The Coaching Habit-MIchael Bungay Stanier (2016) Box of Crayons Press, Toronto,Canada

Website: www.boxofcrayons.biz

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County. www.ECofOC.org

No-cost Nonprofit Training Opportunities

Bob Cryer

 

NonprofitReady.org (NPRO) is a website of 43 interactive E-learning curriculums and 385 online classes and videos on a wide variety of nonprofit best practices, all at no cost to any user.  I took one of the curriculums (Management Essentials) and was impressed with the content and interactive presentation. More importantly, sixty thousand people have used the site in the past year, and six thousand new users join each month.

In my opinion, the more people in a nonprofit who know nonprofit best practices, the more effective that nonprofit is likely to be. NPRO best practice trainings can be accessed at no cost, at any time, from anywhere, for as long a session as the user has time for at that moment. It is, by far, one of the most convenient and cost effective methods that I am aware of for acquiring know-how in nonprofit best practices.

Here is a sampling of a few of NPRO’s most popular online courses, videos and curriculums:

  • Managing Expectations This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing expectations contains a 3 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Managing expectations is a crucial part of any professional relationship, from your colleagues to your customers.
  • Managing Your Boss This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing your boss contains a 2 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Your boss can have a big impact on the way you do your work, but your actions can also influence their management style.
  • Introduction to Proposal Writing This 27 minute video is designed for anyone involved in the proposal writing process. Course Objectives: • Understand the basic components of writing and submitting a project proposal
  • Introduction to Finding Grants This 30 minute video is designed for anyone seeking to better understand the grant-seeking process. Course Objectives: • Identify the 10 most important things you need to know about grant-seeking • Understand the primary misconceptions about grant-seeking
  • Project Management Essentials – Part A This 20-minute online course is designed for anyone responsible for managing projects and/or programs. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Define the life cycle of a project and structure it around milestones, Control your project using flexible tools, Create a plan for day-to-day project management.
  • Grantsmanship Essentials Pack In this 1 hour and 50 minute curriculum from the Foundation Center, you will learn the basics on how to find grant programs and funders as well as how to write a proposal that aligns with the funder’s criteria. Objectives: To understand how to identify funders aligned with your organizational mission and cause, To articulate what is required in receiving and managing grant funds, To identify the best practices for writing a successful grant proposal.

Please visit NonprofitReady.org to learn more.

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Management Essentials

Bob Cryer

 

This is a report on my experience with the no-cost Management Essentials curriculum at NonprofitReady.org

The NonprofitReady.org website contains over 400 trainings on nonprofit leadership, fundraising, board governance, program and project management, marketing and PR, volunteer management, administration and operations, HR, etc. Most of the curriculums were developed by Cegos, an international $200M developer of e-learning and blended learning curriculums that are used by a million learners each year. Cegos donated some of their nonprofit e-learning curriculums to NonprofitReady.org, who now offers them at no cost to all nonprofit employees and volunteers.

The Management Essentials curriculum is targeted at mid-level and experienced managers looking to build their skill set. Its objectives are to help them:

  • Become a better decision maker
  • Learn to prioritize information and reduce uncertainties
  • Identify the stakes of a team project and how to best manage them
  • Recognize how to coach both individuals and groups

The curriculum content was robust enough to keep me interested throughout. The presentation used a variety of pop-up animations, texts and graphics to present information and questions, avoiding the tediousness of the many text-based e-learning curriculums. I particularly liked the use of case studies to get you to think about how to apply the ideas, rather than just giving you a quiz to help you remember the ideas.

The curriculum suggests that new employees are typically dependent on their managers and trainers to teach them how to meet basic job requirements. However, if a nonprofit wants to grow in effectiveness, its trained employees must be encouraged to function more autonomously, undertaking projects to improve existing operations or initiate new programs, initially as individual contributors, and eventually as team members and leaders. In order to facilitate this, managers need to learn how to function as coaching managers who mentor independent action, rather than as authoritative managers who encourage employees to continue to be dependent on their manager’s knowhow. This curriculum guides a manager through that transformation.

I encourage all nonprofit employees and volunteers to visit NonprofitReady.org  to try out some of their no-cost curriculums, classes, videos and materials.

If you are a nonprofit manager in Orange County CA who would like a no-cost Executive Coach to work with you on implementing some of the ideas in the Management Essentials curriculum, please contact me at BobCryer@ECofOC.org

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program

Robin Noah

 

ECofOC is presenting a special program for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations.  The program is designed for ED’s who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level.

The Executive Director

Consider the ED/CEO as the person in charge of the operations of a nonprofit organization with many unique responsibilities. Among these responsibilities Executive Directors are also charged with the responsibility of the growth of the organization by:

  • Establishing and enforcing the vision of the organization;
  • Successfully recruiting and supervising office staff;
  • Maintaining a productive relationship with the board of directors;
  • Creating a fundraising plan that will ensure sustainability;
  • Managing organizational finances.

 

The Program

This special, comprehensive Nonprofit Growth Program is designed for the Orange County Executive Directors who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level. The Executive Director needs to complete an ECofOC coach application and be assigned an Executive Coach. The ED must have or create a strategic plan for significantly growing the nonprofit’s capacity to serve the community, and must be willing to make the time investment to participate in the benefits offered in this program. In addition, the nonprofit must have at least 5 additional employees. Limited funding available.

You will find the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Coaching program description and application on our web site (ECofOC.org). To apply for the ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program, state that interest in the “Coaching Expectations” section of the application.

 

Program includes:

Coaching:  One on one Executive Director coaching with your own personal ECofOC Executive Coach

Resource Experts:  Access to other ECofOC coaches with expertise in a variety of topics relating to running a successful nonprofit organization

ED Forum:  Option to join the Executive Directors Forum, which provides speakers and mentoring from peers and coaches. First 3 months free.

Strategic Planning:  Option to have ECofOC coaches facilitate a strategic planning session for your organization

Training:  Opportunity for Executive Director and any nonprofit staff member to attend most OneOC training program at a highly discounted rate.

Author:  Robin Noah, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org