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The action guide to creating greater leadership impact with your team.

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Published by Joshua Schneider, 2017-03-21 15:30:02

The Engagement Fieldguide for Managers

The action guide to creating greater leadership impact with your team.


Copyright 2016 © by Joshua Schneider
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechan- ical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author at [email protected]

With articles and headlines continuing to show up on Forbes and BusinessWeek, it is no sur- prise that the topic of employee engagement continues to be a concern for leaders and execu- tives everywhere.
According to numerous reports, overall performance, creativity and employee drive remain stagnant causing additional stress and lost productivity. Meanwhile, the pace of business is gaining in speed and complexity - so if you’re not getting ahead, you’re getting behind. Pres- sure continues to mount in the boardroom, but where the real pressure rests is with you: the manager. In addition to your overbearing workload, you also manage a team. The team is made up of unique individuals, and at the core of each employee is a human being that is desperately seeking success and fulfillment in their everyday life.
Unfortunately, according to Gallup Research, 70% of employees remain disengaged, which is costing you performance and output. Regardless of their genius or ability to execute, you are not only responsible for their outcomes, but are also tasked with keeping the team motivated, focused and engaged. If that wasn’t enough on your plate, along comes the Millennial genera- tion and now you have to corral their overall high maintenance nature in order to tap into their high performance ability.
In a world of average, you MUST become the outlier and perform in superhuman ways. With this guide you can become a superhuman that not only gets it done, but also leads a team of people to achieve goals, innovate and produce. This team, more than you know, looks to you to provide a bridge to that leads to their ultimate career and their ability to support their fami-

“You, the manager, are the curator of culture.”
Nick Hendrix

But do you have the time?
Maybe it feels impossible for you to do more because you already feel maxed between home life and workplace pressure. Sure, you could tighten up 3% or 5%, maybe work 10 - 20% more. But will an extra 4 - 10 hours a week get you the breakthrough you need? Probably not.
What if the solution for breakthrough asked for only 30 minutes a week?
Thirty minutes to better engage yourself, your team and your family. It’s possible! But you can- not do this alone. This guide will do just that - act as your bridge to produce better results, un- derstand your people more and show them they matter. As this happens, output can change, lives can change and you can change.
Could 30 minutes a week change your career? Change your stress level? Change your relation- ship with every single employee you have? Alter your family, your life?
So what would this look like?
Give this 90 days, 30 minutes a week.
90 days is 13 weeks.
13 weeks x 30 minutes = 6.5 hours.
What I’m suggesting is that’s all you need to begin unlocking the potential of your team. Not only to unlock the potential of your team, but the life, dreams and potential of every individual on your team. These individuals who have a heart that beats, a family, needs, and a desire to leave work fulfilled and happy every day.
There is no checklist for the 30 minutes a week. Simply start and engage for 30 minutes and then stop. If you need to break it into shorter sessions, that’s okay. Keep track of your time, and stop for that week. Of course, if the guide is making sense you can invest more time to get fast- er, stronger results.
When your team is at their best - you win. When your family is at their best - you win. When you are at your best - you win.

10 27



Most of us can recite the safety instructions given by a flight attendant - even if you haven’t paid attention to what they’ve said in years. “In the event of cabin pressure changing the oxy- gen mask will drop.”
Who’s mask do you put on first? A. Yours
B. Someone else’s
You always put your mask on first because...
You put your mask on first because you need to be at your best in order to give your best. When you lack energy it is hard to give energy.
When you lack engagement it is hard for you to give the tools needed to help your team be engaged.
This isn’t a YOU problem, this is a priority and resource problem. With the right priorities in place, you will be able to show up for your team at your best.
This guide will also give you access to fresh insight and research to help you make and sustain the necessary changes for you to win the daily engagement battle.
Studies show that:
- 36% of managers are disengaged
- Employees with disengaged managers are 72% more likely to be disengaged themselves.
If you are struggling, your team is struggling.
This isn’t meant to say it’s all your fault - it’s meant to say there is a rule of cascading impact. Part of any team’s struggles are the struggles of their manager. If the manager is stuck, the team may feel stuck. If the manager is flying high, the team will feel this way as well. So be en- couraged as you begin to make investments in yourself, it will cascade and impact your team.
If your team showed up in a way that was 10% more e ective what would that do for you? For your stress? For your responsibilities? Could you catch up...maybe even get ahead?

Put your own mask on first.

Let’s establish the baseline of where you currently are.
Rank yourself on the following scenarios to get some insight:
How well do I foster growth for my people?
How well do I show appreciation to my people?
How well do I handle conflict with my people or others?
How consistent am I?
How much do I care about my team as people?
How well do I give regular feedback to my team?
How well do I assign work that is in alignment with each individual’s strengths?
How well do I take a step back and reassess the current priorities of the team?

Quality, not quantity
These numbers aren’t meant to be totaled up for you to see that you’re already a perfect manager, or to think your score isn’t high enough. I want you to look at what you believe you do and don’t do well. These questions can be used as notes for ways to better improve the engagement of your team.
Think of any leader or boss that you’ve had, and regardless of whether they were transparent or not - what they didn’t do well was relatively obvious. The same is true with you as a leader. Whether you admit it or not, the weaknesses or gaps you currently have are usually clear to those who work around you.
Recap the self-assessment on the previous page by listing the high impact areas:
Where are the areas my team most likely sees me as a great manager/ leader? Identify the 4’s and 5’s:
1. 2. 3.
Where are the areas my team most likely sees my gaps clearly? These may be 1’s, 2’s or 3’s.
1. 2. 3.

Problems are targets and an opportunity to create the most value.

Currently, what are your biggest frustrations and limitations with your team?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
What are these frustrations costing you (deadlines, lost business, less family time, etc.)?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
In 90 days, what would a solution for those situations above look like?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What are the greatest problems that you feel are blocking your progress?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
What are the greatest opportunities for you to immediately get some wins and build momentum?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Where would you rate your current stress level (1-10)?
The answers to these questions will give incredible insight as you navigate forward over the next 90 days. Your answers will serve as a snapshot of where you are today so we can look back and assess progress.

Now that we have identified a baseline of where you feel you are with your team, let’s shift the focus towards you as a human being and look into how to increase your focus, energy and per- formance through this process.
There are so many powerful directions and exercises we could use in the part of the guide, but in order to stay on track we’ll focus on only three important things in this part of the book:
1. Your strengths
2. R & R Requirements: Recharge - Refuel - Renew 3. Aligning your goals
Identify what you believe your top three strengths are. Then list three scenarios for each strength, and how you could better use/maximize that strength every day at work. Think through details like planning, meetings, energy management, communication, writing, etc.
Accurate Activating Adapting Analyzing Coaching Communicating Coordinating Creative Detailing Determined Developing people Disciplined Discovering Empowering Evaluating Explaining Finishing Generating ideas Giving feedback
Idealistic Implementing Innovating Launching Learning Listening Locating Logical Meeting people Mentoring Motivating Navigating Negotiating Optimistic Organizing Persistent Persuasive Planning Preparing
Prioritizing Problem-solving Qualifying Questioning Reliable Repairing Reporting Researching Self discipline Self reliant Selling Simplifying Speaking Strategist Teaching Team-work Tracking details Trouble-shooting

On the previous page, circle or highlight your top ten strengths. From those ten, list THREE that you think are your MOST USED, MOST IM- PACTFUL strengths:
Now, list three scenarios for each strength and describe how you could maximize that strength every day at work. Think through details like planning, meetings, energy management, communication, writ- ing, etc:
Strength #1:
Strength #2:
Strength #3:
1. 2. 3.

After listing your strengths and how you can apply them in tangible ways, lets look at creating the most value for you with a more focused application.
Go back and remind yourself: What problems are you currently facing at work?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Which problem when solved would create the most breakthrough for you or your team?
Use the space below to brainstorm some ways and opportunities to apply your strengths to begin to create breakthrough in this problem area. Use the context you have created with the scenarios and think outside the framework of your normal work flow.

This is a requirement, not a process. Like what was said earlier – you cannot give what you do not have. If you are going to maintain high performance and have a full tank with which to lead and engage our people, this has to become a weekly requirement. There have been many lead- ers and managers, both seasoned and new, burn out by neglecting this in their lives.
Once again there are many potential solutions for how to address this, but throughout the years in coaching I have found the following practices to be sustainable solutions that can fit into any schedule and begin to turn the tides.
What books are you reading?
Audio books are an incredible way to learn. For simplicity sake - Audible on your phone is an absolute ROCKSTAR. Too often people convince themselves that they don’t have the time to read during their busy schedule, myself included. In reality, we all have time for an audio book during our drive to work. It’s not necessary to spend every spare moment listening to or reading books, but there is so much material out there that can fundamentally change the level at which we operate and think. If more leaders read Jim Collins’ “Great by Choice” and incorporated the “bullets before cannonballs” principle, it could fundamentally change their success rate and speed - by changing what you listen to while driving.
When it comes to this, I am way more interested in digestion instead of ingestion. Meaning it doesn’t matter if you read 10 books a year or 100. Take one book and listen to it only on the way into work and finish it when you finish it. Let it change you, develop you, equip you. In other words, digest it. When you’re done, your done and you begin the next one. This strategy alone could shift the context and value you bring to problems and solutions. For $15 a month instead of the news or sports you can develop who you are. Also, Audible will give a first book free so you have no risk in trying this out.
Who are you talking to?
Having a professional coach is a powerful suggestion, but it is that requires a level of resources and commitment that stretch the simplicity of the recommendation. What I do recommend is that you find someone who is outside of your current circumstance and who you trust. This can be a challenge – but it is critical to your success and R&R requirements you do. I cannot express how many of my clients simply walk into their own solutions by talking through the problem and potential ways forward.
This isn’t about therapy, it’s about having an outlet for the stress, responsibility and problems that build up daily. If the human body is going to have any chance to renew or recharge, it has to have an outlet to do so. We all have ways we cope, de-stress and continue moving forward. However, we have to ask ourselves what is helping to create new solutions and progress, and which ones are us trying to get back to normal.

It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame.

List three potential candidates for establishing this relationship:
1. 2. 3.
Reach out to these people and see if they would be interested in being a partner to growing their career. Ask them if they would want to spend some time together to talk through ideas, solutions and opportunities available at work. Feel free to explain the idea that “It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame”.
What’s on your calendar?
What do you do on the weekend? Watch hours of television? A long night out? Time with the kids? Lawn and garden work?
I want you to think about your last few weekends and ask yourself if they truly helped you re- new, not just relax. There is nothing wrong with just relaxing, and I believe that time to be bene- ficial, but to go deeper we need to challenge ourselves to renew and rejuvenate.
Mark where your Monday morning energy feels like in comparison to Friday morning:
verb | re·new | \ri-’nü, -’nyü\
to make (something) new, fresh, or strong again
verb | re·ju·ve·nate | \ri-’jü-ve- nāt\
to give new strength or energy to (something)

These are significantly di erent than the idea of just relaxing. Don’t get me wrong - there is almost nothing I love more than lounging on the deck, having a cigar and a good chat. I love to watch my favorite English Premier League soccer team on a Saturday and Sunday morning and maybe even an afternoon movie. But to be best primed for Monday, I think we have to go a step further than just relaxing.
When we properly renew and ready our mind for a new week, our energy and willpower is not spent pulling ourselves into a new week. We can use those sources to get the best start possible and launch into the new week. Think about what you would like to have on a daily basis, taking into account that your weekends may start to look di erent.
What tasks, projects or activities DRAIN and DEPLETE your energy?
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.
What tasks, projects or activities GIVE and RETURN you energy?
1. 6.
2. 7.
3. 8.
4. 9.
5. 10.
The grass may need mowed, the house has a project list and there are nine sporting events the kids have to get to. Your challenge is to look at what gives you energy and what draws energy from you, and to find a way to balance them with some relaxation time. Something else will always have to be done, but if you are serious about high performance and leading better you have to look at your time and apply this thinking.

We mostly talked about weekends, but the same applies to week nights. Date nights with your significant other and calendar communication are paramount for success in this area. Get the date night on the calendar and if you know you’re going to need to work late a few days in a week set as realistic a “home time” as you can so expectations are clear. If you have to work after the kids go to bed - that’s okay - put it on the calendar. These things help your communi- cation at home and keeps you more focused during the day, because you know you have things to look forward to regardless of the work flow in front of you.
When we can make these commitments, it helps us balance being “on” and “present” wherever we are. When it’s work time, be present. When it’s family time, be present. This means fighting the urge to check emails and putting your phone aside to spend quality, valuable time with the people you are with during that time. This will help you stay renewed because you will have more quality, life giving time whether it’s work, personal or family time.
Find consistency where you can
This process below came out of an experience one of the leading productivity experts in the marketplace established when he had a Navy Seal come and live with his family for a month. Block your time into four areas:
1. Work: includes travel time to and from work, checking email or working on projects. 2. Sleep: all of your time spent in bed sleeping.
3. Family: any time you’re spending with your significant other/kids.
4. Personal: getting ready in the morning, gym/exercise time, personal reading, etc.
This has really helped bring balance into my family life as it allows my wife and I to be on the same page with managing priorities, my travel, shifting schedule and family time.
Think about how much time you would like to commit to each area on a daily basis:
Monday - Friday:
Work: Sleep: Family: Personal:
Work: Sleep: Family: Personal:
Use this schedule as a way to bring some balance, make sure you get personal time and com- municate to your family or others how you will continue to rejuvenate yourself and help you be “present” with everything you’re doing. The reality is when you’re cup is filled up more consis- tently, you not only have more to give at work but you have more to give at home too.

Do you have a goal that you have forgotten about? Is there something that used to inspire you that you have long since stopped thinking about? Do you feel like there are 100 di erent things you could focus on, but don’t know where to start?
What I’ve included here is a simple template from my friends over at O cevibe. They are total rock stars in what they do, I endorse them and often times have my clients use their product to increase engagement.
Please don’t let the simplicity of this template distract you from what it can bring you. This is about bringing context for who you need to become and what skills you want to grow and add to your tool belt. This is not my version of asking you what’s your five year plan? To which if anyone asks you that question you should respond with: “Celebrating the five year anniversary of you asking me this question” (Mitch Hedburg).
To be achieved
To be learned or acquired
What is needed (time, money, etc)
Possible learning opportunities
Start/Completed Results
Short-Range Critical within present position
(One year)
Mid-Range Important for growth in present position
(Two years)
Long-Range Helpful for achiev- ing career goals
(3-5 years)

You and your team’s “could be” is locked up behind your commitment.

In the second part of this resource we have brought together principles and practices which are rooted in human performance psychology, neuroscience and research. All of these methods have been studied around the world. You can create team wide culture changes, but it starts with you as a manager utilizing these principles and tools.
As a leader we have to ask ourselves....Are we the thermostat or the thermometer?
Thermostat or thermometer?
Do you dictate the temperature or do you reflect it? As the leader you have the positional ad- vantage to set the temperature and be the thermostat. However, this comes with incredible re- sponsibility - as this means the temperature will rise and fall with your leadership. I believe with these principles and practices you will be able to accomplish what this entails. As your commit- ment increases, your team’s commitment will follow.
You as the leader can create team wide culture changes by setting the tone. Because you’re re- sponsible for setting the tone, we started with you first. Now we focus on the rest of your team. Email templates, leadership development strategies and data to support your e orts are just a few of the resources this section will provide. You will be equipped with a new range of tools and a new ability to immediately impact the productivity and outcomes for your people.
As the leader’s commitment increases, the team’s commitment will follow.
If a leader is going to have any chance at reducing their stress and beating the work- load that is coming their way - it’s through their team.
Here we are going to look at the next three parts of this equation
PART 2: Strengths PART 3: Feedback PART 4: Recognition
Email templates, leadership development strategies and ideas are just a few of the resources this section will provide. You will be equipped with a new range of tools and a new ability to imme- diately impact the productivity and outcomes for your team.

Managing a team to play to their strengths is like playing chess, not checkers.
27 27

In the movie Training Day, Denzel Washington is yelling at his trainee (Ethan Hawke) that he has to step his game up. He says a phrase that is interesting and gives insight into leadership and the failure of many leaders:
“This s*%@ is chess, it ain’t checkers!” IT’S CHESS NOT CHECKERS!
Meaning how we handle our people, how we lead and get the most out of our team requires a chess-like approach. Managing a team like they are pieces on a checker board can cost leaders, managers and corporations big time in performance, output and production. The di erences between these games will give context to the rest of this manual, and guide you in how to best utilize it.
Three di erences that help managers win:
1. The pieces are di erent
In checkers every piece performs the same and holds the same value. But in chess there are di erent pieces that hold di erent values. The same is true with people. In chess you cannot ex- pect a Bishop to make the same move as a Knight. How many times do we do this with our peo- ple? We cannot ask the same thing of members on our entire team because they are uniquely di erent.
2. Know the unique value of each piece
In checkers each piece performs the same as we just said - but if you don’t know the specific value of your chess pieces you cannot maximize their value. Or even worse you will violate the rules of the game and lose your piece. In chess we have to know the strengths of each type of piece and how to best utilize them in order to win. The same is true with our people, we have to know the specific value they bring to the table and how to best maximize that value for them.
3. Strategic vs. reactionary
In checkers you have a strategy that revolves around reacting to your opponent's moves. In chess you look at all of your pieces and the entire board, then develop a strategy that will allow you to execute the plan you have. At times you have to adjust and react like playing checkers, but instead of a highly reactionary game, chess is a game played with strategy. You develop and plan and execute that plan.
So let’s learn how to play chess and win.


Gallup found that employees who get to play to their strengths at work are six times more likely to be engaged.
Suddenly this is more than a workplace, you’ve created a playground where people show up everyday and have the privilege to exercise the very best part of themselves. The parts that make them come alive. It’s all about asking the right person to do the right task. Put a basketball in a football player’s hands, and you’re asking for frustration and failure. But if someone who
on a regular basis gets to work with 10% of their strengths gets to now work with 40% of their strengths, a 30% improvement from the outside is actually a 300% change for them. That’s a MASSIVE shift.
Instead of 10% of their week producing energy, it shifts to 30% - that changes every- thing.
4-6 hours a week of energy producing, life giving work transforms to 16 - 20 hours of empow- ering and engaging work. This generates momentum and excitement for their work and their career. This shift also creates ownership in their work because they are getting to build and flex the best parts of them.
Solving problems and creating solutions requires people to be at their best. When you, as a leader, can highlight the best in your team, you not only speak life into them but give them a road map for how to take ownership and manage solutions. When team members are backed into a corner, which is where they often find themselves, it doesn’t produce their best thinking.
When they are in a corner it’s often because they are trying to solve a problem based on their weaknesses. Neuroscience shows us the brain just doesn’t work that way. How do they get out of this corner? With their strengths.
Try it. Try it for a week talking about the best parts of people, asking them to identify their best attributes and how they can utilize them and you’ll see a radical shift in the way they approach their work....once they stop thinking you’re crazy.
If someone is going to be at their best they are going to have to use their strengths and solve problems with those strengths.
As a manager and leader, ask yourself the following questions:
Up to this point how well have I done identifying the strengths of individuals on my team?
Inside the culture of my team, how often do we talk about each other’s strengths instead of weaknesses?

Tailor your team’s strengths with goals best suited for each member.

Using the strengths list on the next page and this table, make a chart showcasing your team members top strengths. Share (email or print) the list of strengths with members on your team and ask them to identify their top strengths. It will be an organized way to compare what you think their strengths are versus what they think of themselves.
To make it simple, there is an email template provided on the following page. When you get these results back, identify any that match between your list and theirs’.
(Full name)
(Assigned by you)
(Assigned by them)
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.

Accurate Activating Adapting Analyzing Coaching Communicating Coordinating Creative Detailing Determined Developing people Disciplined Discovering Empowering Evaluating Explaining Finishing Generating ideas Giving feedback
Idealistic Implementing Innovating Launching Learning Listening Locating Logical Meeting people Mentoring Motivating Navigating Negotiating Optimistic Organizing Persistent Persuasive Planning Preparing
Prioritizing Problem-solving Qualifying Questioning Reliable Repairing Reporting Researching Self discipline Self reliant Selling Simplifying Speaking Strategist Teaching Team-work Tracking details Trouble-shooting
After gathering all of your team members’ input and filling in the table, you are left with import- ant information that will allow you to revolutionize the way you and your team work. Here is the three step process for putting this to the test:
#1 Align before you assign
When creating a team for a project, assign duties or ask individuals to take the lead on some- thing. Align them to their strengths.
If Sue emailed you back and said her top three strengths were delegating, following up, and responding quickly to email,l the next time you have a project she would be a great person to prepare the status reports.

#2 Lead with the strength
In any situation talk strengths. If someone has a weakness (which we all do) talk about this from a strengths perspective. It’s awkward at first but don’t make the weakness the focus - make it about the strength.
Tim is upset because Pam told him he needed to redo the writing for his portion of the project to be more to the point and not as flu y. He felt very attacked and came to you complaining about the situation
What you would say: Tim I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I think it is great that you desire to provide excellent work. It is one thing I truly appreciate about you. When Pam asked you to redo the writing it was because she knows and believes that you can 100% com- plete exactly what she is looking for.
#3 Pair the team
As the manager can see at another level because you look at the team as a whole. Combine people on projects and outcomes based upon strengths and let each person play to their best.
Pat always runs hard and completes projects ahead of schedule. He juggles multiple projects without dropping anything, but you find by the time his work makes it to your desk you have to clean up small details and check his work. Tom, however, is always asking for an extension on his work so he can double check and ensure 100% accuracy. This puts you in a pinch because sometimes you need the information sooner to make decisions and be ready for meetings.
Put Pat and Tom on a team together so they can balance each other. When each of them can do more of what they are good at and what brings energy to them, they win, you win and the team wins.


Humans crave feedback. Good, bad, right or wrong. We want it and we need it. Ultimately, feed- back is a gift that helps others develop their career, skills, attitudes and allows them to perform better. Curiously, people are more fearful to give feedback than to receive it.
When you’re in any situation wondering if a team member needs or wants feedback, ask your- self...
Do they have a pulse?
If the answer is yes to that question - then there is almost 100% certainty that they crave feed- back at some level.
Just like feedback revolutionized the customer experience, employee feedback is a powerful force for working relationships and engagement
Most everyone on your team shows up wondering if you approve of what they are doing. It’s human nature to wonder where you stand – a blown o meeting or sideways glance can, in a moment, make some feel instantly on edge. It’s also human nature to want to belong to a re- markable culture where trust is high and you don’t have to question where you stand because insight and feedback is consistent. This open flow of insight and feedback decreases distrac- tions and increases performance.
Identify team members and list what you believe means the most to them about their job? What element of their role do they like most? Really think about each individual, they are a human being just like you.
1. 6. 2. 7. 3. 8. 4. 9. 5. 10.

Feedback is all about getting immediate, ready to use data to improve work and performance.

There is no email template for this portion. This can be a highly personal and sensitive area to ask individuals about over email. It’s important to remember that if you use this information or their responses in a threatening manner, you will immediately lose any and all trust you have been building with the individual or even the entire team.
You will have a list of what you think and what you know means the most to each member of your team. When you provide feedback keep these in mind. Prior to a quick meeting or when having to give feedback review this list to keep top of mind a strong reason remind yourself of why each person is coming to work, so you can provide feedback that is meaningful and rele- vant to their career.
From a recent workplace report on feedback:
When employees don’t get feedback at work they become: -Nervous
-Less productive
-Feel uncertain about the future.
In fact, one study showed that when people are put in sensory deprivation conditions and get no feedback, they start to become psychotic!
Here is a method to create home run feedback according to Stanford Business School, by fin- ishing the statements “I like, I wish, I wonder..”.
This is the framework for providing any employee with constructive and useful feedback. By removing the words “YOU” and ”I” it keeps the employee from becoming defensive and taking the feedback as a direct attack.
Example I:
I like how quickly we responded to the client’s request for a revision.
I wish we’d reviewed the changes before sending them back to the client.
I wonder if we could have sent it out to the team via email with a stated deadline for input be- fore sending it over.
Example II:
I like the review and suggestions provided on our process regarding “XYZ”.
I wish the data were more actionable to make immediate improvements.
I wonder if we could select two items from the review and begin changing them immediately.
Example III:
I like the e ort and attention to the daily workload.
I wish there was more awareness of the larger vision happening around the daily workload.
I wonder if there is a way to share status/scope on all of the projects to provide context for the daily workload accomplished.

Complete a “I like, I wish, I wonder” for each member on your team, so you’re prepared to provide feedback. You can find more tables in the appendix of this guide.
Current situation: I like
I wish
I wonder
Current situation: I like
I wish
I wonder
Research by Workboard found that highly engaged employees are getting a great deal more positive, constructive feedback.. So give your people the feedback they crave so they can grow, improve and put the stress of not knowing aside.
When you can provide constructive feedback that fosters open communication and builds trust, you gain a person, not just an employee. Just like you, they are trying to pay their bills, balance family with work, save for their kids’ college and enjoy life one moment at a time.
This process is researched. It’s been tested. It’s being used. It works. I promise.

After providing constructive feedback, go to the next level and show them you care by following up with one of the questions below:
What can I do to help this?
What else can be done to make this easier?
What else can you think of that would make this better?
Feedback is all about getting immediate, ready to use data to improve work and performance.
When you know where you stand or the status of a project you spend less time wondering and wishing, and more time executing and delivering. When your team is loving their work and meeting deadlines it removes stress and eases your workload.
Remember, everyone likes to be a part of a winning team.
Keep focused on their strengths and find ways to talk about why it is important to lean on them.
Why do this?
-This process makes it easier for your team to disagree with you because trust and feedback are increasing.
-It makes change and progress actionable because it is quick and moves fast.
-It also keeps feedback focused on their strengths and not on the weakness, something they already struggle with.
John Maxwell, recognized as the world’s foremost authority in leadership, says:
“I’ve rarely had a great idea. I have a ton of good ideas that through other’s help can become great ideas”
Feedback can take a good experience for a good employee and make them a great one.
E-mail or text can always work for feedback. Face to face is going to be the most powerful, but there are times when you don’t have that luxury or you need to rebuild trust with your team and electronic means will be brilliant.
Whenever, I receive an e-mail update from someone, I try to always respond thanking them and add in an a rmation? before I click send. (For example: “You are great at keeping me up to date on the project/ thank you for staying late and getting this to me/ looking forward to seeing the end result/ you have been crushing it so far, etc”)


The U.S. Department of Labor found, that the number one reason people leave their job is be- cause they “do not feel appreciated.” A worldwide study by Towers Watson concluded that “the single highest determinant for engagement is whether or not employees feel that their manager is genuinely interested in their well being”.
Appreciation and recognition is one of the most powerful tools to keep your people engaged, motivated and happy. There is no science or data needed to understand that a happy, motivated individual is more productive and valuable than one that is unhappy.
As of 2015 Millennials have become the largest workforce, driving the need for recognition even further. This generation will absolutely become the competitive advantage you and your com- pany need over the next 10 years, so we must learn to get the best from them.
You as the manager have the ability to do something for someone on your team that no one else in their life may be doing for them. I had a client once tell me that over the last five years, his wife mentioned she was proud of him ONE time. This was an entrepreneur who was the face of his business, and one where success depended on his ability to perform and be present for each client meeting. Overall she was negative towards him and he carried this weight with him everyday as he showed up to “their” business.
In a study of 834 organizations, Bersin and Associates found that “Companies that scored in the top 20% for building a ‘recognition-rich culture’ actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.”
We don’t know where our team members are personally. We don’t know all the circumstances that they encounter on a daily or weekly basis. But we do know they are human beings with basic needs. The environment is changing and will continue to change. Looking at workplace trends, this shift is for the better and those who develop this ability will rise and their people with them.
In a Gallup survey from a few years ago, it was found that employees who receive regular rec- ognition and praise:
- Increase their own productivity
- Increase engagement among their colleagues
- Are more likely to stay at their company
- Receive higher satisfaction scores from customers
- Have better safety records, and fewer accidents on the job
Keep in mind when it comes to recognition some people want it privately and others may ap- preciate it publicly. This is something to consider as you implement this strategy. Remember it is consistency that has the power to unlock your team and the individuals who work for that team.

To unlock your teams full potential, it starts with them feeling appreciated.

Which of these two has a more positive impact?
1. Hey John, thanks for your work on project XYZ, it was good.
2. Hey John, thank you for your work on project XYZ, the client called and said they were thankful for receiving it on time as it allowed them to prepare for their meeting.
I trust we can see the second option has more impact - due to a couple of elements:
1. You tied their performance/work to someone else.
2. You gave them insight to how their work impacts others.
3. You said what they did matters to the success of the team/organization.
Whenever we give feedback, we want to tie that individual to:
1. The client
2. You, the manager
3. The team
4. Project success
5. Others (depending on the project or task, this could be anyone up or down the organizational chart or outside the team/organization)
We also need to recognize the impact that their work made by mentioning:
1. Timely completion 2. Reduced stress
3. Saved your butt
4. Quality
5. Took a heavy lift and saved the team
6. Filled in the gap on something that was critical
Finally, we need to showcase why the work matters.
1. It prepared someone else for meeting which gave them extra confidence 2. It secured a bonus for company because of time line
3. It kept relationships strong to ensure business continues
4. It helped secure trust with a new or ongoing relationship
5. It allowed the team to look strong in the midst of __________
6. It helped win new business which secures employment
7. The client LOVED the work and looks forward to more
8. It discovered an error that would have cost the organization money
Above are examples and suggestions for context - if something more specific arises, use it. Fore- most, always be authentic and real when providing this recognition.

People don’t leave their job, they leave their manager.

List the members of your team and next to each person, identify one task, e ort or outcome they produced recently that you can recog-
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

It’s been said that a minute in planning/thinking can save ten in execution.
The people on your team are humans with hearts and feelings. Give them something that will be meaningful to them.
“The strongest force in this earth is something that a ects your self-esteem. What if we can do something for our people that they cannot do for themselves? Something that impacts who they are and positively impacts their self-esteem. When we do this, then we have hit the bulls- eye in human relations.” - Steve Wynn
Email template (as a suggestion)
The circumstances of each situation will require customization and grammar adjustment of the template.

Hey (name),
I simply wanted to say thank you.
Your work on (project XYZ) helped (Element #1 - Individual/team) by (Element #2). It allowed us to (Element #3)
I appreciate your involvement and e ort with our team and look forward to more wins like this. (Your name)
Here are some tips for recognizing and appreciating your people:
Greet employees by name every morning.
Include “thank yous” as an agenda item in a meeting.
Profile employees in the company newsletter.
Reward employees with an extended lunch break.
Send an email to all team members recognizing an employee. Identify skills they want to learn, and then facilitate their development. Allow employees to pick their next project.
Take an employee out for lunch and answer any questions or concerns. Schedule reminders in your calendar to appreciate your team. Make a big deal out of small wins.
Allow others on the team to recognize their peers.


List of strengths for easy copy and paste:
Analyzing information Coaching Communicating Coordinating
Determined Developing people Disciplined Discovering Empowering Evaluating
Gathering information Generating ideas Giving feedback Idealistic Implementing Innovating
Launching Learning Listening Locating Logical Meeting people Mentoring Motivating
Navigating Negotiating Optimistic Organizing Persistent/resilient Persuasive
Preparing Presenting Prioritizing Problem-solving Qualifying Questioning Reliable/dependable Repairing
Self discipline
Self reliant/ self management Selling
Simplifying Speaking Strategist Teaching Team-work Tracking details Trouble-shooting

Email template for strengths:
Hey (name),
I am making a shift towards our team focusing on each other’s strengths. I would like for you to seriously consider what you believe are your top 10 strengths at work from the list below. Don’t select the items you want me to see or the items that you think best reflect your current work. Then from your top ten, select three that you best believe are your strongest that you can bring to work. When you’re completed please send them back to me.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
1. 2. 3.
Thankfully, (Your name)
** For a simple copy/paste of the listed strengths go to the appendix for an unformatted list.

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