Do you feel frustrated when your people hesitate before moving forward, or worse yet, seem to be totally stuck without direction from you?
Do your team members want more feedback to give them confidence they are headed in the right direction?
A real life example
One of my coaching clients was uncertain about her performance and wanted her boss to be more forthcoming with feedback. Even though her boss always told her she was doing the right things when she asked, Carli was considering creating her own 360 degree feedback, asking peers and customers how they thought she was doing.
We reflected together on the Ripple concept of More is not always better.
The first step was for Carli to identify the outcome she was trying to achieve with her work.
She decided her most important outcome was supporting customers in a friendly and timely way and making sure all regulations were met.
Our next step was for Carli to identify her strengths, and what it would look like if she were under-using or over-using those strengths.
One of Carli's strengths is paying attention to the details. Too little use of this strength could mean her organization is out of compliance with the regulations they are responsible for enforcing. Over-use of this strength could mean nothing is getting done because of triple-checking every nuance. Operating in her strength means the details are being checked at the right level so that regulations are enforced and projects are flowing through on time.
Another of Carli's strengths is caring about people. Too little use of this strength could look like avoiding interactions with others. Over-use of this strength could mean work is not getting done because of spending most of her time with others and maybe even getting sidetracked with their personal issues. Operating in her strength means she is connecting with others to understand their needs. As a result, she is understanding the project intents and concerns so her support can best meet the project needs, and customers feel supported.
After going through this thought exercise, Carli had a clear picture of how she can stay in her strengths to reach the most important outcomes for her job. If Carli still wants to ask for external feedback, now she can ask about her specific outcomes and behaviors. This makes it easier for others to respond in a helpful way.
More valuable is that Carli now feels less like she needs to go outside herself for feedback. She has a framework for evaluating her performance and knowing when she is on track for what is most important for the organization goals.
What does this mean for you as a leader?
If you have team members that seem to want frequent reassurance before taking action, first evaluate how much your expertise is getting in the way. Are you often reversing their decisions?
Next, check to see if they are clear on the most important outcomes for their roles.
Finally, help them evaluate their strengths, and describe what too much or too little of using that strength would look like in supporting those key outcomes.
Once they have this clarity, your team members can move forward confidently, knowing they are on track, using their strengths to get results.
Which can free you up for using your strengths to help your organization reach your most important goals.
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.