This past week, I was just in front of a good-sized group of small business leaders discussing the differences between Management and Leadership. Most of the people-wranglers there commented, in their own way, about finding themselves in this shared place of hopefulness and frustration.
Is this you?
I try to have empathy.
And at the same time, I really want to scream, “Just do your @*!!%! job!!!!”
Balancing the desire to be kind and accessible against the push to just have the team member do their job can tear your insides apart. (It’s the thing they’re paid to do, why can’t they just do their job?) Beware of letting that frustration spill out.
Welcome to this week’s Wednesdays With Wayne where you’re now exploring how to show that you care while, at the same time, engaging employees (or family members) to do what they’re “supposed to” do.
In our latest #1 Best Selling Book, Leadership Lessons From the Road) Amy Morgan and I explore what leadership needs to look like, when to use “push” communication, and when to use “pull” communication.
Clarity about expectations is necessary in any relationship, whether personal or professional. The person you’re upset with may actually believe that she/he is in fact performing adequately. It’s human nature to see flaws. We could be in the most beautiful cathedral and our eyes would go to the one tile that’s out of place. We could be with the most brilliant person and we might just catch the one thing they didn’t do perfectly.
That means that the definition of “just doing the job” is interpreted differently. And it’s this, that’s at the core of so many issues in the workplace, not to mention marital strife.
Start with clear expectations.
Double-check that they actually knew what the expectations were.
Get agreement that they will do their best to live into the expectations.
Inquire about what training or other guidance might be needed to hit the goals (expectations) put forth.
And, acknowledge the humanity.
Be kind. You don’t need to be a despotic dictator to get what you want/need done. In fact, sometimes it’s by understanding the other’s condition that you get more from them. It is possible that you have created the disenfranchised team member who shows up to barely do his or her job and collect a paycheck. That employee may actually understand that customer care is of the utmost importance AND because they feel like they’re made to do the job wearing handcuffs (essentially unsupported and without clear direction), they do the minimum.
This is a cry for help…
You, dear leader, need to step in and look at the big picture.
And part of that picture is you.
Yes, it’s fair to ask that those you have hired do the jobs that they were hired to do.
Yes, it’s fair to ask family members to pitch in with household duties.
And, as the leader, it’s up to you to provide appropriate support, appropriate direction, and specific acknowledgment.
This isn’t about coddling.
If you were asked to assemble a bookshelf, that could be relatively straight-forward. Unless… unless you had one hand wrapped in an oven mitt and you were given a piece of aluminum foil to use instead of a hammer and screwdriver.
And since you’ve read this far, let’s focus on your growth and ability to lead.
Do you have what you need?
Do you have the tools to be a better leader and family member?
On my recent flight home, I met a few great people. Two of them were seat-mates.
K & B are pretty awesome. Both successful and both driven. They care about each other and want to get closer. Their task, work on acknowledgment and support.
The flight attendants are tired, yet care deeply for their passengers. The internal politics of the company stops them from feeling like they have the tools they need or the latitude they need to actually do the job they were hired to do. The leadership has kept them from doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. The problem is that more rules were imposed when what was needed was information about a common goal and then acknowledgment and support as team members moved toward that goal.
Provide Clear Expectations (measureable outcomes of behavioral or performance)
Get Agreement About The Expectations
Determine (mutually) What Training or Tools Are Needed
Set Appropriate Parameters (expected timelines, money spent, etc.)
Get Out of the Way
Keep making your magic™ and we’ll see you here next week.
Please be sure to like and share this post… please!
All the best!
~ Dr P ~