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Friday, May 21, 2010

Power of Acknowledgment

I appreciate acknowledgment every now and then, a good acknowledgement in fact makes my day as long as it is real, sincere and heartfelt.

Now if that makes me happy I am sure that makes others happy too, but how often do we acknowledge people, not very often, it is difficult, we are so verbose when things go wrong but the same enthusiasm is lacking when things go right.

If you acknowledge someone you inspire and motivate them, it is also very crucial for a healthy relationship. Delivering an acknowledgement is an art and if done correctly can be very powerful else it may have an entire opposite effect.

Below are some of the tips on delivering effective acknowledgment

Tip 1: Communicate only when you are happy, your message will be heartfelt and will appear genuine.

Tip 2: Differentiate between Acknowledgement and Compliment. Acknowledgement is about recognizing their accomplishment and to show that what they did has made a great difference. Compliment is just being nice, kind of good manners.

Tip 3: Use facts and examples to support your acknowledgement rather than generic thank you statements.

Tip 4: Be honest, do not acknowledge when you don’t believe in it, most people can see right through and you can actually come across insincere or every phony.

Here are some myths about acknowledgement

Myth 1: Only positive people should be acknowledged. There are always people in team who bring positive criticism; even they need to be acknowledged.

Myth 2: Rare acknowledgement is more precious. In fact the more generous you are with your acknowledgment the better it is.

Myth 3: People are just doing their job. Most people want to go a great job and everyone does a great job but every acknowledgment makes them work harder and feel treasured.

Myth 4: Individuals should not be acknowledged, it is bad for team morale. I some time think the team concept has gone too far, as must as the team delivers but the members within the team are the one who makes it happen. The best strategy is to compliment the team and acknowledge the individuals.

I would like to mention a very recent incident, I was on a flight to Melbourne for a user conference when the air hostess was serving food, she gave me two choice Ham salad or spinach roll. I ordered spinach roll, just before serving me she said ‘Sir I know you ordered spinach roll but I feel I should mention that it has beef in it, will that be ok with you?’. I think she guess that I am a Hindu and don’t eat beef but that comment was so sincere that it touched my heart, I told her ‘Thank you very much for asking, I don’t mind eating beef but thank you for caring”. In fact also wrote a letter to the airline to acknowledge the great service I experienced. I am sure that the air hostess felt happy to receive an acknowledgement but I was happier to give one, in fact giving acknowledgment is a win – win situation.

Practice this skill on daily basis, try to acknowledge at least one person every day, you will see that you create so much positive energy and enthusiasm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The five ‘P’ in a team formation

Here are the five areas to be discussed when forming a team.

I am sure you will agree that this is perhaps the most important area of the team, after all it is the people who makes the team. Success of any team depends upon getting the right balance of people in the team. In an agile environment it is very crucial to create a cross functional team, not just based on their roles and experience but also their personality.
Team is just not about picking the best people from the organization, it is a combination of people to form the best collaboration. Do not hesitate to pick someone who may not be very experienced but that person may be a good team player and will bring the best of people around him/her.

No one can guarantee success if the team has no clear purpose. The entire team must be clear on what the purpose of the team are, it is also very important to align the purpose of the team to the vision and goals of the company, this way you always get buy in from the senior managers.

Ensure that the team fits into the organization structure in such a way that it adds value to the company, draw people from various part of the organization to ensure that most of part of the organization are well represented.

Discuss and agree with each team member their responsibility and authority, discuss what the boundaries of the team are?

Plan is all about the structure of the team, who will do what, when and how? Who is running the team? You may want the team member to decide amongst themselves the detail plan.

These above areas are important to address because they directly affect the team's ability to achieve its goals.