The Latest from Kristy-Lee

How Many People Can One Person Really Manage Effectively?

blog Apr 01, 2024

There’s a fine balance between the number of people that report into any one position and how effectively a business or organisation continues to run. It’s quite often an aspect of organisational structure that is overlooked, neglected, or spirals quickly out of control as businesses scale and grow without a clearly identified structure or resourcing plan for growth.

 

But there is a magic number of direct reports that hits the sweet spot, ensuring that you have just the right number of staff reporting into a single position while still ensuring that position itself is effective depending on the nature of the role.

 

Structure is one of the fundamental aspects of ensuring that you don’t overwhelm, or even underwhelm, your management team and help set them, and their teams, up for success – in the long run, this feeds into your business success and is well worth investing in.

 

There are actually five key factors or variables that impact the...

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Are You Curious Enough in Your Team Conversations?

blog Mar 25, 2024

Were you like me, and one of those kids who would ask ‘why?’ all… the… time?

My parents must have lost count of the number of times I said ‘but why’ and kept asking and asking and asking until I had a satisfactory answer, and I quite often didn’t.

 

Our Natural Curiosity

As young ones we are naturally curious, some more than others, but we all have a natural curiosity, and it seems that as we grow older, wiser, more experienced, we stop leaning into that curiosity. We become quicker to make assumptions, to assume we know the answer, to make educated guesses. That serves us well some of the time, but a lack of curiosity can also have its downside – we miss things, we miss the truth, we make false assumptions, and we make decisions based off half-baked information.

 

The Decline in Our Curiosity

I first witnessed this fading in true curiosity when completing a major research paper for my university studies, when I was...

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The Top 10 Types of Difficult Conversations Every Business Owner Needs to Have

blog Mar 18, 2024

Mastering difficult conversations at work is an invaluable skill – especially for leaders – but do you know the ten most common types of difficult conversations?

While difficult conversations about performance management are definitely one of the most common types of difficult conversations we see in workplaces, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Business owners and leaders will encounter a wide range of challenging conversations with their teams, and knowing how to approach and navigate these difficult conversations is an invaluable skill. 

So, while performance dramas are undoubtedly a significant part of the landscape regarding difficult discussions, it's a mistake to believe that these are the only challenging conversations you'll have as a leader in business.

 

Why We Avoid Difficult Conversations at Work

There are many reasons why avoiding difficult conversations is bad for business, the most obvious being the creation of a toxic work environment...

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Avoiding Difficult Conversations – A Recipe for Disaster

blog Mar 11, 2024

This is one of the topics I most often get asked about.

I see business owners, leaders and managers struggling with this one all the time: tackling difficult conversations with staff. Usually, this comes after a period of avoiding that difficult conversation which is what we’re going to spend a bit of time today looking at in depth.

We Are Conflict Avoiders

If you’re anything like me, conflict is not something you run headfirst toward with arms wide open to embrace - that’s exactly why tough conversations are hard.

That dreaded feeling in the pit of your stomach, sleepless nights, anxiety, avoiding the staff member and putting off THAT conversation, if not avoiding it entirely.

You are absolutely not alone.

It’s a Skill We Can All Learn

Even with my experience, I don’t like having these conversations either. I never have, and while I’m definitely better at tackling these tough conversations, it doesn’t mean I like it any more than I did...

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Frustrated with an Employee? Here’s Why …

blog Mar 04, 2024

One of the most common, and annoying, challenges we face as business owners is when we have a staff member who is frustrating us! Sound familiar?

It takes up headspace, energy, time, and ultimately distracts us from focusing on more positive actions and activities in our business.

 

It Can be Subtle

Often, we can clearly identify why we are so frustrated, but sometimes it more subtle, and even hard to put your finger on, and these are the trickier situations to manage. When we are clear on why we are frustrated, we can talk to the employee, articulate the problem, state what needs to change and work on a path forward. Whereas when the issue is more subtle and difficult to identify, it’s hard to know what to do. What ends up happening is the frustration builds, and often we lose sight of what we originally were reacting to, and everything starts to frustrate us when it comes to that team member.

 

The Importance of Clear Expectations

Fundamentally, when we are...

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Dealing With a Toxic Team

blog Feb 26, 2024

When managing staff tests your grip on reality

Put a group of strangers together in a room. Give them some constraints and take away certainty. See what happens. This is essentially what happens in many workplaces where strangers haven’t been nurtured into a team cohesively and consistently. Leave a dysfunctional team alone for long enough and you might eventually think you’re living within a horror story!

 

This is why leaders are so important in the workplace. The role and responsibility of leaders are to nurture their team members. It’s also to catch any issues that start out as weeds before they take firm root in company soil.

 

But how do you know when you, the leader, are the problem?

 

As leaders, it’s easy to absolve ourselves immediately and look outward for the issue. And sometimes it is an issue with a system, a process, a situation and another person. Sometimes it could be you. Developing a healthy sense of self-accountability is...

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You Encourage What You Tolerate from Your Team

blog Feb 19, 2024

We all know the feeling, we’re losing sleep, we’re avoiding the person at work, we’re angry, frustrated and tearing our hair out. We have an employee who is not performing, not showing up how we want them to at work or behaving in a negative way, a way that isn’t sitting right with you.

 

We can’t always quite put our finger on the exact issue, it’s just not quite right, but it’s wrong enough to be consuming our time and attention. Or maybe it is more obvious, but we feel like we’re going over the top if we bring it up – we don’t want them to feel like we are micromanaging them or pulling them up for something that feels petty and insignificant (yet the fact that it’s consuming our time and attention does in fact mean that at some level it is significant to us).

 

So, we tolerate it, whether it’s behaviour, attendance, performance or something else, we tolerate it. We think maybe it’s not that...

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Are Your Team Working Above or Below the Line?

blog Feb 12, 2024

No less than once a week I’ll get a call, or question online, that goes a little like “I have a problem with a staff member, they are getting their job done but they aren’t being a great team member, I can’t quite put my finger on it but every time I raise an issue with them they have an excuse, there is always some reason things haven’t gone to plan”. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you had someone like this on your team before?

Sure enough, after a few questions my typical conclusion is – you have someone who is below the line. What line? Great question!

 

The Above the Line – Below the Line Framework

I first became aware of this framework probably about 15 years ago, I’d heard about it conceptually but when I really noticed this as a powerful framework for teams when I worked with a business who really embraced the concept so much that their team used the language in their day to day operations – this is when...

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The Non-Boss Boss: Are You Avoiding Being the Boss in Your Business

blog Feb 05, 2024

As business owners and leaders, we often find ourselves spending our entire day dealing with people, managing their needs, and navigating the complexities of teamwork.

 

But what happens when we slip into the mindset of a non-boss boss?

 

When we started our journey into entrepreneurship or embarked on our careers, we may not have anticipated that managing people would consume so much of our time.

Yet, as business owners and leaders, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the responsibility of dealing with our team members.

The desire to avoid conflict, lack of clear direction, and the tendency to please everyone can push us towards becoming a non-boss boss – and there are clear reasons why this is ineffective for you, your team and your business or organisation.

 

Understanding the Non-Boss Boss Mindset

The non-boss boss is characterised by a hands-off approach to leadership. They avoid conflict, lack clear direction, say yes to everyone, and struggle to...

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5 Top Tips for Effective Team Planning Sessions

blog Jan 29, 2024

Why are planning sessions so crucial to your team?

There’s a reason why Simon Sinek’s Start With Why upended the world of leadership and business when he hit the mainstream with both this talk and the book.

For a long time, the focus in the workplace was on outcomes without connecting their people to the why of those outcomes. We soon realised by using Simon’s framework, that connecting people to the core of why the business exists and exactly how their role impacts the world created stronger relationships, better outcomes, and more innovative thinking.

A fundamental aspect of connecting your people to your business why is running effective team planning sessions. From this connection grows a rich dynamic for your team – but without a well-structured planning session you could be missing out on leveraging the best from your people.

 

People want purpose.

People want clarity.

People want to belong.

 

Understanding these driving motivators, and...

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