Tag Archives: leadership

Per chi “deve” dirigere un team

Tratto da “Perseverare e’ umano” di Pietro Trabucchi.

Consiglio banale ma troppe volte disatteso…


Leave a comment

Filed under Libri & C.

How to criticize and how to accept criticism – Barbara Berckhan

imageThis book is a must read one! It teaches two things:

How to critizise

Is it necessary to criticise? Yes. Do not suppress an objective remark, unless:

  1.  It refers to other people’s affair (for instance, your think that your friends is too tanned);
  2. The remark would not change anything (for instance, if ther is little parking spaces around the work office)
  3. The issue is really silly.

In all other cases, better to talk than to… explode.

Suppressed criticism can lead to divorces, resignations, gossips, bad mood, depression, rage outbreaks.

The workplace is a very critical field. If you and your colleagues are constantly frustrated, if there is always a bad mood and if people do work with the only purpose to get the finish time, this means that in your company there is no sufficient feedback culture. In such situations, no matter how you ask for team spirit.

Remember this: positive feedbacks are often more effective than a wage increase. What we eagerly wish is appreciation, recognition. You can always find a positive and sincere feedbacks for someone. If this step is forgotten, if people is uttered only as incompetent and lazy, if the negative feedbacks is the only communication form, the cooperation level will fall under the shoes.

How to receive criticism

Touchiness has a lot to do with own personality and past life. Each of us has its interior critic and cannot kill him, but you can learn to handle with criticism in a better way.

  1. First of all, instead of being unready, ask your frienda/partner/boss/colleague for a feedback. This will enable you to chose time and place and prepare yourself.
  2. Make questions. Ask the other person to specify wich of your actions has damaged or hurted him/her. This technique will also give you some more time to calm down (a very important part of the process of receiving criticisms)
  3. Listen. Without interrupting.

And at the end, remember: what you appreciate, grows.

Barbara Berckhan is a communication expert. She has studied pedagogy and psycology and since more than 20 years she held conferences and workshops in companies and organisations. One of her books is (my translation) Little Manual of verbal self-defence.

Leave a comment

Filed under Libri & C.

Leader of yourself – Roberto Re

imageThis would be a great inspiring book. It reminds us that we can take decisions about our lives, and that if we don’t, we take in any case some kind of decision. It teaches how to become counscious about our fears and beliefs, values and goals: no miracles in this book, nothing supernatural, just some little truths that we usually forget.

So, why have I written that this book would be that great? Simply because I have read Tony Robbins one week ago.

Roberto Re openly admits at the beginning that he is often defined as the Italian Robbins and that he is proud of this. Robbins is his idol. Re has attended all his meetings and read all his books and got all his videotapes.

Actually, the general scheme of this book matches Awaken The Gian Within: difference between dreams and goals, decisions, actions, when a goal can be called so, top ten list of goals, and so on. If contens are ok, as they are, I have nothing against repetition. But Roberto Re says that he has kept an European/Italian point of view in writing his book.

Now I ask myself: where??

A lot of examples are the same one of Robbin’s book (es. the story of Elvys Presley or Sylvester Stallone) with very few exeptions of italian guys. I believe that he should have taken many more examples of successfull people from our country, like the one of Nerio Alessandri, the founder of Technogym, for instance. We do not miss such people, In Italy and in Europe.

A lot of quotes are the same ones of Robbin’s (Mark Twains, Mother Terese, Herny Ford, Robbins himself…).

Re even puts some opinions of famous Readers of his book at the very first pages: a typical USA literary habit.

Well, shall I then discourage you from reading this book? Not at all! Repetition is the key word, although I am a little dismaied by the Robbin’s method copying. We Always need to repeat inside ourselves that we can get something more, just if… just if… just if…

Last comment: we live in a crisis period, don’t we? Well, long life to people like Robbins, Re, Livio Sgarbi, favaretto, who created a new job: the coaching.

Are you workless? Then create your own job. And, please, do not try to produce something new. The world has plenty of objects that must then be thrown away, with all ecological consequences.

The work of the future must turn around people, not objects. The work of the future is not linked to production, but to service.


Filed under Libri & C.

Leader: how to feel


You cannot find motivation around you; you cannot buy it on a supermarket nor in internet nor at the fair.

A leader, even a good one, cannot motivate you, if you aren’t interested in your job, if you are not fallen in love with your tasks. But for sure, a bad leader can destroy the emotional climate inside a team and jeopardize the goals.

Pietro Trabucchi (Persistency Is Human) is a psychologist who has worked with olimpic teams in 2006 and with the national Thriathlon teams. He is an expert on sport rsistance, a runner and an ultra athlet himself. Motivation (in sport, business or family) is one of the topics he has studied and experienced.

In his opinion, the team leader has 4 basic points to work on:

  • relationships among the team people
  • let people feel competent
  • give autonomy
  • pay attention to communication

First task: work on emotional climate! If just one person doesen’t integrate well or experiences bad feelings, the self-motivation of the other members can collapse. This can be rather riskful if the team is trying to get the Everest top while the snow storm is raging and you ran out of food and water, you know?! But this can also be the reason why some groups do not go high.

Daniel Goleman, in this short collection of articles (What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligente Matters) has something more to add about leadership. He focuses on leaders’ emotions and attitude.

A cruel or irritating leader builds an ill organisation. The aim of his subordinates to avoid the leader’s screams and all their efforts go wasted into emotional self-defense. Leader’s mood is contagious! Dont’ forget this. Fearful subordinates can get results in the short tems, but this usually doesn’t happen in the long run.

So far,  Goleman; but I really wonder if he ever visited an italian company.

More than ten years ago I worked for a other company. Each time that I walked around the boss’ office, I prayed that he was not in. And if I knew that he was in, I prayed that his door was closed. And if door was not closed, I prayed that he was looking elsewhere (well, I prayed alot in that period…). If I was not so lucky, if he was in the office, if the door was open and if he was looking in my direction, I just had to walk near his office to get a vigorous curse.

Why? Bad mood. He did the same with all his staff, with very few exceptions (mainly his family members). But the worst thing is that all the hierarchy had the same mood. And I was one of the last chain rings, you can imagine:-(

Well, Mr. Goleman, I am not sure what you mean when you say that such organizations have no success on the long run. My former employer is on the market since the Sixties. Yes, I admit: with up and downs; yes, with an high turnover, of course. But this is normal, in Italy, above all in the North East of Italy. Maybe such companies are not 100% efficient, because subordinates hide instead of being rich of new ideas and enthusiasm. But believe me, this doesn’t notch the boss’ richness. The goal is got.

Leave a comment

Filed under Libri & C.

Leadership e gruppo (aziendale, sportivo, studentesco…)

imageUn leader deve essere dotato, più che di autorità, di autorevolezza. Mi spiego: l’autorità scende dall’alto, è quella che deriva dal ruolo ricoperto (un magistrato, un insegnante, un dirigente…). L’autorevolezza invece viene concessa dal basso, direttamente dal team che si deve dirigere. Se vogliamo chiamare in causa il vecchio Weber, anche se lui si riferiva prettamente all’ambito politico, il potere del leader non deve essere legale o tradizionale: può essere anche così, ma non può fare a meno dell’aspetto carismatico.

Non si nasce leader, ma lo si può diventare, lavorando su se stessi e sul gruppo. E’ importante che il leader sia:

  • ispirato: lui per primo deve credere in ciò che fa
  • aggiornato sulle novità (es. nuovi sistemi di allenamento per una squadra sportiva)
  • sincero: la comunicazione con i membri del gruppo non deve mai mancare né essere lacunosa o deviata
  • interessato (davvero) al benessere dei sottoposti
  • un esempio. Il vero leader non deve mai chiedere ai membri del team di fare qualcosa che lui non farebbe o non ha già fatto. Da questo punto di vista, sono rari i politici che sono investiti di autorevolezza:-(

E quali sono i compiti principali del leader?

Innanzitutto, mantenere un clima emozionale positivo. Se un membro del gruppo si sente escluso o deriso dagli altri, tutto il team ne risentirà. Secondo alcuni studi, il clima emozionale incide circa il 20-30% sui risultati della prestazione totale, senza contare tutti i malumori che saltano fuori e che, se non gestiti, rischiano di degenerare. Una delle modalità migliori per creare questa positività, è… frequentarsi. Creare delle occasioni di dialogo che siano anche (e, secondo me, meglio) al di fuori del contesto in cui il gruppo normalmente opera: cene per una squadra sportiva, partite di pallavolo per i membri di un ufficio, raduni, passeggiate collettive, visite a mostre o spettacoli… L’idea che mi son fatta è che più questi incontri organizzati sono lontani dal solito ambiente, più aumentano le probabilità di conoscere aspetti delle persone che in ufficio o sul campo di gioco non vengono mai tirati fuori. Tiro fuori Pirandello e le maschere? Ognuno usa una maschera diversa in base al contesto in cui si trova in quel momento.

La frequentazione frequente rende difficile la nascita dei fantasmi, ovverosia quelle percezioni errate delle intenzioni e delle personalità degli altri componenti del gruppo. Se non ci si parla, è facile arrivare alla conclusione che il giocatore X pensi che il giocatore Y sia una palla al piede: più la comunicazione è rarefatta e più aumentano le probabilità di paranoie all’interno del gruppo.

Ma cosa bisogna fare per aumentare la motivazione dei singoli membri del team? Beh, la motivazione è strettamente individuale, nasce da dentro. Non si può indirizzarla con uno stipendio a quattro zeri o con la promessa di una coppa. Però il leader può far leva sulle emozioni. Gli esseri umani sono disposti ai sacrifici per le emozioni. Non per un trofeo, non per 10.000 euro in banca, ma per le emozioni che sono legate a quel trofeo e a quei soldi in banca. Se è facile scaricare la motivazione di un membro del gruppo con un’occhiata storta o con una chiacchiera alle spalle, si può sempre cercare di risollevarla facendolo sentire capace, apprezzato, indispensabile, autonomo.

Un aumento di stipendio al giorno d’oggi è la maggior ambizione di chi ha un lavoro: ma non è per i soldi in sé, è perché questi soldi in più rappresentano l’apprezzamento del titolare/dirigente che non riesce/vuole dire: grazie, bravo, come sai fare le cose tu, non le sa fare nessuno.

Leave a comment

Filed under Libri & C.