Another year begins. You are re-charged and ready to hit the ground running. You’ve spent time thinking about all those issues and challenges that need tackling and you are determined to get things moving. Before you dive straight in, and start giving the big motivational speech, consider whether this might be the year to tackle some things in a new way.
What different results might emerge if you considered some of the following ‘alternative’ ways of engaging and ‘energizing’ your people?
Giving away Ownership Instead of spelling out what you want done in precise detail, just paint a picture and outline the general direction. Allow room for people to be creative, innovative and own the solutions. They may just surprise you. They’ll get greater satisfaction than they do when implementing someone else’s solution, and will most probably do more than you expected.
Demonstrating Trust You’re always busy, and often feel compelled to ‘catch up on things’ every time you are back in the office. What if you were to make it clear that you trust people to get on with things? What if you said, “I’m sorry I’ve not been around much recently but I’ve noticed you’re dealing very well with this. Fact is, I trust you to take this forward and I have confidence in your ability to make decisions without referring back to me”.
Learning from Mistakes Of course people do mess up from time to time, and we all know that this is a great opportunity for ‘learning’. But what if you resisted the temptation to dive in and be the ‘teacher’ when things go wrong? When things screw up, the best learning comes from the person who’s done the messing up. Be there to listen, let them tell you what they have learned, but don’t use this as a time to teach.
Asking for Help As the boss it is natural to feel that you need to set the example and, no matter how bad things are, you can’t let slip that you are not in control. That could dent confidence after all. But, consider what changes you might see around you if you were to be genuinely vulnerable. Ask people for help in a genuinely humble way. By doing this, you send out a powerful signal that you may be the boss, but you don’t have all the answers. In fact, it will send a signal that no-one does, and the practice will soon spread. Organisations become formidable, when everyone is asking each other questions, and not too proud to ask for help.
What have you got to lose? After all, many people continue to do what they have always done, and believe that this year they’ll get the big speech right and it will all change. Perhaps picking one or more of these four simple thoughts will trigger a significant change that will lead to things being different this year.
If you feel that you or members of your team could benefit from exploring areas that can make substantial improvements to your personal and collective effectiveness and productivity, please do get in touch. Simply submit your contact details on the Contact Us page and I will be delighted to get in touch with you for an informal initial chat.