Don't have enough time to do the things you want? I am Laura and am a time and project management expert. Ask Me Anything!

Laura L Rose
Jun 18, 2018

She helps busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life.

Laura specializes in time management, project management, professional development, and work-life balance strategies.  She helps busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.

Want more information?  Check out her website at www.LauraLeeRose.com

This AMA will end Jul 31, 2018 4PM EDT

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Should leaders let their team members fail? Why or why not?
Jul 20, 1:24PM EDT0

I am not sure "fail" is the word I would use.   People should be allowed to make "mistakes."  Often times the learning comes from the mistakes.

On the other hand, Leaders should be minimizing "failure" by training their teams about Risk Management and contingency plans.

In the work environment, it would depend upon the critical importance of the project the team is working on.  If the project is a high-profile project with a tight schedule and high-maintenance/high profile client, the leader may choose to be a little more hands-on.   He may want to stay on top of the Risk Management Analysis and have contingency plans for the High-probably/High impact items. 

 If the project has a little more wriggle room, is not time-sensitive, is a side-project or is an early prototype project, the leader may want to see how well the team does on its own.  

In both cases, the Leader needs to carefully monitor the progress and status.  In both cases, the leader should encourage the teams to create their own Risk Management Assessment, categorize all their risks in terms of probability and impact, and define contingency plans for the items that fall into the High-Probability/High-Impact quadrant.

Image result for risk management quadrant image

Jul 20, 2:02PM EDT0
What does find your voice mean in terms of leadership?
Jul 20, 8:55AM EDT0

Finding your voice is being able to clearly articulate your leadership vision, mission, purpose and value statements.

Then using those leadership values to build relationships through your influence and credibility.

If you can not define your core beliefs and values as a leader - that would be your first step.

Jul 20, 2:07PM EDT1
How can leaders create a climate of trust and facilitate relationships among people in a work team?
Jul 19, 11:07PM EDT0

Leaders can create a climate of trust by Leading By Example.

Leaders need to feel confident that others can accomplish the task at a quality level they set.  You need to clearly articulate and document those requirements and quality levels.  You need to verify that your team understands the high-level goals (what, why, who and when).  Once you have those goals and quality criteria documented and the right people in place - you need to trust your team will accomplish the "HOW" of those goals.

If you continue to express your trust and continue to build your relationship with the people YOU work with - the relationships among the others will follow.

Lead by Example.  Exhibit the attitudes and work ethic that you want your team to emulate.

I have a webinar called The Leadership Orbit that covers this topic in detail.

If you are interested in a copy, please email me at Laura@LauraLeeRose.com

Last edited @ Jul 20, 10:07AM EDT.
Jul 20, 8:33AM EDT0

I have written a book called TimePeace: Making Peace With Time - that has all my best time-management tips.

The book is on Amazon and is in a novel form.  It is about an investigative journalist who is skeptical about the time-management training institute, TimePeace.  You follow his investigation into the owners and their methods of time manipulation.

Hope you enjoy it.

Jul 20, 8:25AM EDT0

What are your thoughts on to-do-lists? Do you think they help or should they just be a 'guideline'?

Jul 19, 8:40AM EDT0

Being helpful and being used as guidelines are not mutually exclusive.   You can use todo lists in many different ways.

  • There are some activities that you may "need" to do by a certain date.
  • There are some activities that you may "want" to do.
  • There are some activities that you may feel are "nice to have done".

But the issue really isn't "having a to-do list".  It's how you implement and execute those activities.

Any important items should be placed on your calendar.  You should actually schedule and block the time for those items.  Once your imperative items (can be family, community, spiritual, health, and career orientated) are explicitly blocked on your calendar, you can allow the other daily activities to fill in the gaps between.

Any items that you think are "nice to do" - consider setting reminders.

Items that you "want" to accomplish - but are not "MUST DO's" -- consider combining them with other "want" activities. 

For example - You may want to do a major spring cleaning; spend more time with family and friends, and support your church's fundraising event that is in two weeks.

SO - Schedule a Movie-Night at your home with family and friends for the end of the month.  This becomes a Reasonable Forcing Function to get your spring cleaning completed by Movie-Night.  You will want to start your decluttering right away, so you can donate your items to the church fundraising event.  You have two weeks to declutter, and another two weeks to fully clean and stage your home for the Movie-Night.

You can use Reasonable Forcing Functions on items on your "nice to haves".  For instance - I wanted to write a book.  After I shared my thoughts with a friend - she confessed that she wanted to write a book as well.  Although our topics were very different, we scheduled "book-writing play dates".  Once a week I would go to her home in the morning.  She would write in her office, and I would work on my book in her dining room.  Come lunchtime, we would have lunch and share our progress.  That is how I wrote my book "TimePeace: Making Peace with Time".

By making and connecting external commitments to your todo activities increases the probability of successfully completing them.

Jul 19, 3:44PM EDT1
In what ways are role models important for leaders?
Jul 19, 6:10AM EDT0

Role models are important for your personal and professional development.

Discovering your role models and heroes provide additional resources for your development.   Once you have identified individuals or body of works that inspire you, you can study how those heroes become who they are.  

Network with contemporary role models, ask for their mentoring and coaching.  

Do not be satisfied with just one mentor.  Look for different mentors for different aspects of your life.  

Jul 19, 7:41AM EDT0
What actions can leaders take to envision the future?
Jul 18, 5:23PM EDT0

Excercise your imagination.

I recommend Roger von Oech's book (and card deck) A Whack On the Side of the Head.

http://courses.washington.edu/art166sp/documents/Spring2012/readings/week_3/AWhackOnTheSideOfTheHead.pdf

Last edited @ Jul 19, 7:58AM EDT.
Jul 19, 7:46AM EDT0
In what ways does having more clarity about your values help you become a better leader?
Jul 18, 3:14PM EDT0

Creating your own personal and professional value, vision, mission and purpose statements help you stay on target.  It is very difficult to navigate without a map.  Your value, vision, mission and purpose statements act as your roadmap or destination - for your internal GPS systems.

Jul 19, 7:37AM EDT0
What is the most effective way for a leader to handle conflict resolution without disrupting the momentum for the organization?
Jul 17, 5:34PM EDT0

Conflict doesn't always disrupt.   Sometimes conflict is a necessary tool to move forward.

I would recommend treating (at least at first) the conflict as a necessary process to move forward.  

Conduct an arbitration meeting or problem-solving meeting with the parties involved (together).   Listen to both sides of the issue and determine what are the common goals or desires.

Then focus on how the team can accomplish the shared goals.

Another strategy in negotiations is to have each person score their wants/goals with numbers.  This way you can see how strongly people feel about certain items.  Person1 may feel very strongly about item 2 but Person2 may not.  That may be an item that Person2 is able to concede. 

I know your situation is different.  

 Let me know if you would like to chat one-on-one.

To participate in a confidential One-on-One Laser Coaching Session with Coach Laura, just click the link below, pick the session time that works for you, and sign up. Each session will include 20 minutes of Laser Coaching with time afterward for a few questions. Take advantage of this opportunity to experience coaching. . Sign up now and come ready to chat. One-on-One Laser Coaching Signup

Jul 18, 6:29AM EDT0
How do you make time to attend to your whole team, especially when you have a big team?
Jul 17, 5:25PM EDT0

It depends upon how big your team is.

One recommendation is to have regular one-on-one meetings with each individual.  If your team is small enough, you should schedule them weekly.   If your team is larger, then you schedule them every other week.   If your team is too large for that - then you assign team leaders (or managers) within your team. 

Have the weekly one-on-one meetings with the team leaders. Instruct them to have weekly one-on-one meetings with those in their team.  And have one-on-one meetings with certain individuals based on the team leaders' reports on a less frequent basis.

Post some limited Open Hours time for everyone else to schedule one-on-one meetings with you.

Design a mentor program in which each employee has the opportunity to seek a mentor within the organization. 

You don't have to be the "answer" for everyone.  You just need to provide them with the opportunity to get the "answers".  What they do with that opportunity is up to them.

Jul 18, 6:17AM EDT0
What is best, to be liked or to be respected as a leader? How do you go about achieving each? How can you be both?
Jul 17, 11:31AM EDT0

Different people like leaders for different reasons.  Some people like a leader because they respect him/her.  Some people like a leader because the leader shares their views.  Some people like a leader because they can influence the leader.

My recommendation is to focus on what kind of leader YOU WANT TO BE.  Decide what type of leader "you like and respect" - and emulate those attributes.  That is the best way to become both.

Jul 17, 12:07PM EDT38
What advice would you offer to a leader that is taking over a new team under his wing?
Jul 17, 9:16AM EDT0

My advice would be "First to Understand, then to be Understood".

First - Understand how the team is working now, what are their pain points, what they are doing well, what they understand the department goals and commitments are.

Try to "follow" the current team's procedures before implementing anything.  Experience what is currently happening - before implementing anything new.

Then involve the team in the creation of any new change.  This will help them more easily accept you are the new leader - because they feel you understand the current situation before trying to changing it.

Hope this helps.

Jul 17, 10:09AM EDT0
What skills do you focus on developing in order to improve leaders' attitudes when you are coaching?
Jul 17, 1:03AM EDT0

I have a webinar called The Leadership Orbit that covers this topic in detail.

If you are interested in a copy, please email me at Laura@LauraLeeRose.com

Jul 17, 6:13AM EDT0
How can leaders effectively manage remote teams? Any advice?
Jul 16, 6:43PM EDT0

I have full presentations on these topics called The Survival Guide to the Remote Employee and How to Manage without Micromanaging.

Both these presentations cover how leaders can effectively manage remote teams.   Please email me at Laura@LauraLeeRose.com if you are interested in more information on these presentations.

Jul 16, 7:01PM EDT0
Are there any effective ways to deal with supervisors that are constantly micromanaging employees?
Jul 16, 6:05PM EDT0

The false premise in this question is the idea of "how to control your micro-manager". The idea of "control" is what started this discussion in the first place. Most micromanaging stems from an insecurity that things are not going to be handled the way that they should be. The manager doesn't either truly trust his/her team OR his own management of his team. He wants to control everything to make sure it is a success (or match what he believes to be a success). The next false premise is to spend time on finding someone to blame "Is the culture of the company to be blamed for their behavior?" While it may make us feel better to "pass the buck" - it doesn't help us in our immediate situation. Cultural change in an organization takes time. But there are things we can immediately implement to get ahead.

As an individual and team contributor - one can 100% affect change in our own responses and reaction.(and not anyone else’s).  So that is where I recommend my clients to start. In my experience, the best way to work with a micromanager is to understand their fears and their department goals. Then do everything you can to illustrate that you are in their corner; that they can rely and depend upon you; that you are their right-hand person. And I'm talking about action and deeds (not just lip service).

This is my same recommendation for working with any type manager or team. It's just that with a micro-manager, you need to increase or heighten your awareness and steps.

For instance:

1) I normally recommend employees take the initiative to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with their managers once a week or at least twice monthly. If you are working with a micro-manager, you may need to schedule a 15-minute daily meeting. If you don't already have daily one-on-one meetings with your micro-manager to proactively review what's been done, where you are now, and where you plan to be by the end of the day or week - start. If you schedule daily, regular check-ins - the manager will avoid interrupting you frequently because he knows he has a regular meeting already scheduled with you.

2) Be totally transparent with your manager (this is the same advice I would give working with any type of manager or team player). Since the micromanagement comes from insecurity and distrust, be an open book. Go out of your way to lay your cards on the table (using your frequently, scheduled one-on-one meetings) to discuss his expectations, the department goals, your goals. And explicitly discuss and show how you plan to achieve those goals. Illustrate that your goals and his goals are aligned. That when he does well, you know you will do well and vice-versa.

3) Ask him what you can do for him to achieve his business commitments and exactly what you need from him for you to help him meet his business commitments. (Once again – I would recommend this action with any type of manager).

4) Ask him how often he would like an update, how he would like it, when he would like it.   If he is micromanaging and constantly asking for updates – it’s a sign that you are not giving him updates as frequently as he needs to feel comfortable.  Create a Communication Plan and outline how you should communicate regular status, problem issues and solutions, Critical issues, etc.

If you and he have an agreed upon communication method (like a fire escape plan) - he knows how (i.e. email on regular status, by phone on critical situations and your solution) and when (how frequently) he will be notified for different issues. [People often make the mistake of not reporting in when nothing has changed. The fact that nothing has changed is a status report and can be important information to your micro-manager ]

Find out exactly what he needs from you to feel comfortable and safe. Then do it that way every time.   This gives you the reputation of dependability and reliability.  Attributes he needs to see to feel safe.5) If your manager suddenly turns into a micro-manager (not his normal style); realize that he/she is probably getting some heat from his supervisors AND he is probably trying to shield you from the chaos from above (while at the same time get the executives the information that they need).

Offer to attend and speak to the executives yourself (with your manager). This reduces some of the pressure, because you can answer the technical and day-to-day questions that the executives might have. You will also get some great high-level exposure as someone that really knows his stuff.

Once your manager realizes that he can count on you to deliver exactly what you say and when you said you would do it - he will be able to rely on not only your deliveries but your advice as well.

If you take on more of a leadership role in your relationship with your manager, he will feel more comfortable releasing his reigns. Sometimes people micro-manage because they can't literally see anyone else stepping up to the plate. Sooooo, Step UP!

If you want more information on these techniques, just holler at me,  LauraRose@RoseCoaching.info

Jul 16, 7:10PM EDT0
What should you do on a daily basis to grow as a leader?
Jul 16, 3:15PM EDT0

I have a full presentation on the Leadership Orbit - in which I go into detail on this topic.

Send me email if you would like a copy of this presentation: Laura@LauraLeeRose.com

Jul 16, 7:10PM EDT0
How would you rate productivity in terms of time taken to get a task done? Is it all about getting things done irrespective of time taken? Or is time a huge factor that determines productivity?
Jul 13, 7:04AM EDT0

Productivity is calculated based on the "cost" of creating a product or service that people want or that is useful. 

Cost is a combination of (Time * Man-hours) + (the cost of equipment, tools or other resources used).   Quality is also a factor of cost and productivity.  You need a quality threshold or success criteria for your product or service - such that you can not release until it is met.  That is also a cost factor to your productivity formula.  How long does it take (with the resources you are using) to meet the previously defined quality threshold?

If you produce something that no one is buying or is not useful - then you are also not being productive.

Production has at least 3 legs:  Resources, Schedule/Time, and Quality.

To reduce one, you will have to add to the others.   For example:  If you want to pull-in the schedule, you will have to either add resources or reduce your quality thresholds.  If a piece of equipment has failed or you need to move some people off the project, you will have to add time or reduce the quality.   If your past releases have had some bad reviews, you will need to increase your quality by adding either new/better resources or add time.

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Jul 13, 7:18AM EDT0
What advise would you give a professional who is a perfectionist? How do you help someone to learn how to delegate?
Jul 13, 1:25AM EDT0

These are really two different questions that are not that closely related.

The issue with perfection is that you can never get there.  What is "perfect" to one may not be "perfect" to others.    So - go back to the goal of the assignment.   Is the goal to be "perfect"?  Or is the goal simply to be "good enough" to get you to your next step?  If the goal is to be "good enough" to get you to your next step -- then you have wasted your time "making it perfect".

For the perfectionist - Because things change, you will never be done and things will never be perfect.  The very best you can hope for is "continuous improvement".   

Take for example the goal to sell a product. I would focus on "continuous improvement" and release early versions of your product and service to get early customer feedback.  In the Alpha and Beta releases of your work, expect change requests.  The sooner you release trial versions (that are not perfect by definition) the sooner you can work toward a "better" version and better fits your target customer.

Learning how to delegate is a process.  First, you need to feel comfortable that others can accomplish the task at a quality level you set.  You need to clearly articulate and document those requirements and quality levels.  Once you have those goals and quality criteria documented, you can start to find or train staff toward those qualifications.

Once you have identified the proper candidates, you mentor and monitor their activities.  

I would recommend making a list of things that ONLY YOU can accomplish.  This needs to be a realistic and objective list.  Lots of people can do what you do.  BUT there are certain things that ONLY YOU can do.  Those items should stay on your plate.   Everything else should be candidates for delegation.

Then figure out your Hourly Yield or hourly rate.  (I have a worksheet that helps you Determining your  “Yield per Hour".   Email me at Laura@LauraLeeRose.com if you want a copy).

For example - if your hourly rate is $100/hour and you are spending your time doing items that a $10/hour employee could do, you should delegate.   

I know your situation is different.  Let me know if you would like to chat one-on-one.

To participate in a confidential One-on-One Laser Coaching Session with Coach Laura, just click the link below, pick the session time that works for you, and sign up. Each session will include 20 minutes of Laser Coaching with time afterward for a few questions. Take advantage of this opportunity to experience coaching. . Sign up now and come ready to chat. One-on-One Laser Coaching Signup

Jul 13, 7:50AM EDT0
Do you encourage team members to say what they do not like about one another in a professional sense to create cohesion in the team?
Jul 12, 9:49PM EDT0

No. 

 I would encourage the team members to say what they LIKE about one another in a professional sense.  You want to reward or spotlight the things you want to be repeated and enhanced.  If you really want to create a cohesive team,  appreciate the positive attributes that everyone brings to the table.  It is all those different and diverse talents that create a cohesive team.

The individual's manager is the one to handle any negative performance issues that affect the team.   

Jul 13, 7:25AM EDT0
Would you recommend giving responsibility to a weak member of the team in a bid to give the person the confidence to perform better than usual?
Jul 12, 12:52PM EDT0

Yes ... As long as that task is not on the critical path, time-sensitive or others are depending upon it.   

If you are serious about using this opportunity to build this person's confidence to perform better,  you also need to schedule your time to continue to monitor and mentor the member along the way.

The quickest way to failure is to give a known "weak link" leadership responsibility and then walk away.  You need to be prepared to coach and mentor them along the way.  That is why you don't want to "experiment" with an important and time-sensitive project.

Give them a project that is of value, but not necessarily time-sensitive.  Also, block time on your calendar for weekly mentoring sessions with them. 

Hope this helps.

Jul 12, 2:24PM EDT0
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