Gerry, newsmill shift coordinator for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 8B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"Every morning and evening at 7:30 there is a meeting in the NSC office to go through the main events of the past shift and coordinate the activities of the current shift and beyond. Attendance should include the head machine tender, shift maintenance and top operators from other departments. Over the past year attendance of an operator from one particular department has been hit and miss at best, and then he stopped coming all together.
Given the persistence of the problem, I felt correction was in order, so I organized my thinking to include all seven steps of the correction process.
Step 1: I sat down with him and said, 'Roger, you have not been attending the NSC meeting even though you had assured me that you would once you had a relief you felt comfortable leaving him behind to run the show. What happened?'
Listen: Roger explained that not attending the meeting was his way to help his assistant get paid the full operator rate in his absence. He also explained that he could read the NSC report as well as anyone right off the network and that if I really needed him to do something I always call anyway.
State the Standard: I reminded Roger that the standard is that all of our top operators attend the meeting.
Reason: The reason that all top
operators are asked to attend is to provide their own input into the upcoming day's events, to answer questions and provide information about their department that only they are qualified to provide.
Get Agreement: I then asked Roger if he would agree to begin attending the meetings from now on and to check in beforehand if for some extraordinary reason he cannot attend.
End on a high note: Once he agreed, I assured him that the group is much stronger when he attends, and that he will find that he has much more certainty in his work day.
We have only had two meetings since the talk and Roger has attended them both. At the first meeting he provided important information that we would have missed if he had been absent.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that if I want to form a strong team I need to make a note of each member's strengths and remind them of the importance of their strength to the team at every chance I get.
The action I call you to take is to pick one member of your team and remind them of how important one of their many strengths is to the success of the team.
The benefit you will gain is a team focussed on each others strengths rather than weaknesses. You will play at even higher levels, set new records, and have fun in the process."