We Want Candy

M&M’s—the candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand—are delightful. M&M’s—managers and meetings—are not.

Let me back up a step before I’m asked to pack my belongings and turn in my key card. Managers and meetings are necessary components of most office environments. But as many lower-level employees can attest, it often seems like M&M’s require time that could otherwise be spent on more (seemingly) pressing tasks at hand.

As managers, one of the goals is to not be seen as a drain and time-suck on your employees. (Another goal is to get them really good holiday gifts.) The NAAEI Leadership Experience assists in these efforts.

Sixty days after completing the two-day seminar facilitated by Dale Carnegie, participants meet with their Dale Carnegie facilitator by conference call to discuss how they’ve implemented what they learned and share the results of this effort.

Following are results from a recent conference call:

“Previously, I felt everything was much more important and pressing than my weekly meeting with members of my team. I now look at these meetings differently. For the first 10 minutes I try to have a more personal conversation with everyone to catch up on family and personal interests and then dedicate my focus on my agenda. I also try to schedule a lunch or dinner meeting with the team once a month. I am already seeing results. People are feeling more valued and I am seeing improved productivity.”

Revelation: Connecting with others really helps to build trust.

“Every year I must establish team goals and challenge my team members to meet these goals. I used to assign goals to the person who had obvious strength in an area. This year I decided to help everyone stretch out of their comfort zone and take on new challenges. My goal is to have a Greater Functioning Team.”

Revelation: Delegation is an opportunity for employees to develop new skills and grow professionally. 

“I worked on the Trust factor with a manager who had lost trust and no longer felt part of the team. I asked effective questions and I really listened to the answers. I came to realize that this person needs to know why we are doing what we do. The difference in our relationship is like night and day.”

Revelation: Broken trust can be repaired!

“I am very results driven and tend to overwhelm my team. I am now more relaxed, setting more realistic milestones and communicating better, yet still challenging the team.”

Revelation: I can closely monitor the progress of my team without being so obvious.

“I have stopped delegating and now I deputize. My team is running with new projects, people have really stepped up and I see renewed trust, respect and credibility.”

Revelation: Fully empowering an employee generates results while improving skills.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).