Spending time with Little Miss, my 2 ½ year old granddaughter, is always a learning experience. For her and for me. Just recently while I was attempting to help her put on her jacket, she pulled away and shouted, “I do it my own self!” I couldn’t help but laugh (the kid cracks me up) and think about how we all grow and seek our independence naturally.
In the workplace I hear the same cry but there it sounds more like, “Don’t micromanage me, I’m capable and smart and you need to trust me!”
People need clear guidance and they need room to move. They need to know what a manager’s expectations are, what the rules are (what will get me promoted, what will get me fired?) and how they will be measured. They need praise and recognition for the things they do right, and kind considerate coaching for the things that need correction.
I’m continually amazed by the people I meet that are disengaged from their jobs because their managers didn’t trust them enough to let them do it their own selves.
Here are some questions to think about as you review your own performance as a manager and leader over this last year:
Have I provided a clear vision of what we are trying to accomplish here? Have I given those who work for me the chance to add to the vision and personalize it?
Have I been clear about my expectations? Have I checked in to see if they have heard them the way I intended? Have I clarified and confirmed their understanding?
Have I given them authority along with responsibility to do a project? Have I set up benchmarks and opportunities for small wins as well as large ones?
Have I taken the time to listen for and understand their strengths way more often than I notice their weaknesses?
Have I taken time to acknowledge, affirm and amplify what they do right?
Have I created 5 times more Positivity than negativity?
Ahhhh. Just a few leadership and management questions to get you thinking as we transition from one year to the next. Enjoy them. Let them percolate. Find the wisdom in each one.
A leader today can’t have all the answers, but she can sure open her world by having really good questions!
Many warm wishes for a happy holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!