As a leader you’re constantly juggling demands – projects, people, politics, etc. The pace is dizzying, things change on a dime and it can be difficult to remember what information you’ve shared, and with whom.
This frustrates the hell out of your team.
As an employee, have you ever gotten agreement from your boss on something, moved forward based on that agreement, only to be questioned weeks later about what you are doing? Or perhaps a senior leader gave you the green light, but at the next meeting you’ve entered the bizarro world and everything is the opposite. Why is that?
As leaders, we often miss the small things that make a huge difference to our teams. We attend the meetings (but aren’t fully attentive); we’re included in emails (but don’t read them); or we simply don’t take a moment to pause and think (preferring to bulldoze our way through the day).
This causes massive discord and confusion for your people – and wastes time you can’t afford to lose. Worse yet, it can be hard for your team to call you on this behaviour. And by the time they do, you know that it’s been lingering for far too long.
What can leaders do to avoid this seemingly innocent, yet, destructive behaviour?
1. Double check things – we don’t always have that luxury, but that shouldn’t be a crutch 100% of the time. Read the email before you bombard your busy team with questions you already have the answers to.
2. Ask what you can improve – your people are far more likely to tell you your blindspots if you’re open to hearing it. When was the last time you asked your team for feedback? Stay informed!
3. Manage stress – a stressed out leader is a stressed out team. Find ways that you can decompress to minimize the behaviours that derail your people. Take a short walk, look at pictures that make you smile, or listen to music/meditate (ex. Last 8% Morning is a great podcast to explore).
Choose one thing to try this month that will help you lead with clarity and calm.