BY TED POLLOCK, MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
THREE CHEERS FOR ENTHUSIASM
Meetings are often a habit rather than a necessity, rooted in some almost forgotten past event. If you hold meetings yourself, it might save time and energy if you assessed their value with the help of these questions. Is the purpose of the meeting:
- to receive reports from all or most of the participants?
- to reach a group decision or judgment?
- to tackle some mutual problem?
If the purpose of your meeting is any of these, it’s probably warranted. But double-check the rationale behind it by seriously considering the question, “Is this meeting necessary?”
IS THIS MEETING NECESSARY?
The difference between the star performer and the so-so employee is frequently plain old enthusiasm-an effervescent, bouncily optimistic approach to the job at hand. Things simply tend to get done more expeditiously when they’re done with gusto.
Yet employees frequently lack this quality. They may be the victims of routine, unable to see the challenge of the job at hand, or just have other things on their minds.
When that’s the case, the responsibility devolves on management. Even though it is fashionable today to play down the manager’s role as enthusiasm builder, the fact remains that the bosses who get the best out of their people are invariably the ones who have learned how to light a fire under them. This is not to suggest that a manager should work up to some artificial frenzy, or deliver a continuous stream of pep talks when assigning work. But something worth being excited about ought to be shared with workers.
When launching a new project: At the time a new assignment is undertaken, a manager has to communicate objectives, facts and instructions. This can also include something additional-an inspirational boost that indicates, “I think we can pull it off, and when we do, it will be a real accomplishment.”
- When a long-term project is sagging: There are times when a job has gone on for so long that it has gone sour or become routine. People have been so close to the project that they’ve lost sight of its importance and their progress. A manager can lift flagging employee spirits by making a point of voicing faith in the project and confidence in the way it is being handled.
- When things are going well: Success merits cheers. If a manager plays it cool after a particular goal has been achieved, employees may understandably conclude that hard work and success do not mean very much.
- When things are not going well: When events break badly, there is not much cause for enthusiasm. Little will be lost, however, and much may be gained by finding something good to zero in on. A manager can always voice hope and confidence that things will improve. Naturally, all employees won’t be turned on by such a message, but some will. So why not try to reach them and give them a boost?