So you are a leader. You’re in a leadership role. Yet, your people are not responding to you the way you’d like. You feel they respect you. There’s even a good working dynamic, yet there’s a missing piece. Here are three ideas to try. See if they enhance your leadership world. And if they do, we’d love to hear your results.
#1 Skip Telling
We are in interesting business times. From my own experience in our business we have people ranging in age from mid 20’s to mid 70’s. Each team member comes with their own expectations of how to be issued instructions. In old school times we told each-other what to do. Nowadays telling can turn into frustration and resistance to getting through. Have you considered asking rather than telling? Have you ever considered how you can convert your instruction into an invitation?
By using an invitation, the other person is in a position of choice. Choice is key when we’re leading. Reason? We always prefer to be at choice, and in reality we are at choice. For instance, in reality, we choose how much of our energy we bring to the workplace. What hours we work, the quality of our work and so on. By using an invitation or an inviting question as a leader, you are simply leveraging this invisible dynamic that’s at play. May I invite you to try invitation rather than instruction? May I invite you to see what happens?
#2 Skip Fear
Would you agree there is a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt being peddled in the media? This being the case, the people we lead, already have a fear bank of thinking by the time they arrive to work. What if work for them, and more specifically working for you, was a real safe haven? What if they had a sense of relief and feeling good when they enter the workplace you lead? This would definitely be a strategic advantage for you personally, and of course it would be great for your reputation. Imagine the lunch time chat. “I love my boss, he (or she) treats me with so much respect. It’s a beautiful place to work”. Rather than, the lunch time chat being “I hate my boss, he (or she) treats us so badly, speaks to us like rubbish, I’m going to leave”.
Food for thought? While this may be simple, as leaders when we’re under pressure, sometimes our words come out wrong. While we do not intend for this to be the case, it is the truth. And if we are ‘cross’ or ‘angry’, frustrated or impatient, this can be interpreted as ruling by fear. Fear does not bring the best out in people, it brings out the worst. Be sure to build enjoyment and skip fear.
#3 Skip Competition
Skip competition. I know I know this will contradict a lot of what you’ve read or been told. So I challenge you to think about competition a little differently. We say we want collaboration and teamwork in or workplaces, yet we as the leader, set up competition and rivalry between team members. If we truly want to uplift our people, have a safe and happy space to work, then setting people to compete against one another is counter-productive.
Let’s face it, there’s enough competition ‘out there’. Isn’t having a strong team that truly pools their resources and ideas together, adding more value? More value than a business where everyone is selfish and keeps their learnings and insights to themselves?
Creating a collaborative work space does take time. It also helps communication. If you use words such as team, and working together, pairing up teaming up, you will be encouraging collaboration and sharing.
If you consciously create experiences where trust builds, sharing naturally happens. Sharing is caring. We all learn and win together when we share. Skipping language that sets team members competing against one another is a sure fire way to create success in your team. Successful companies set up collaboration on the inside world of their business so as a team they can compete with outside world, more effectively.
Skip competition, strive for collaboration. Skip fear, strive for enjoyment and joy. Skip telling and use invitation and asking. These three small tweaks in how you’re showing up as a leader, can create a big difference for more powerful communication as a leader. If you enjoyed this or are intrigued about how we work, find out more at www.interceptexperience.com.