Engage Your Team

The organizations I work with want to build resilient teams that can manage the headwinds of today’s tough workplace, and deliver the results the company needs to survive.

To that end, what I hear regularly is a version of, “Let’s share our survey results and talk together about what we need to address.”

I agree that it’s important to have an open dialogue about trial and error, so a team can learn and grow. But if you don’t realize that most mistakes, lack of cooperation, and blame happen because of self-doubt or a lack of confidence, your feedback will only accelerate the mistakes and create a drag on the team’s performance.

Whether you are a first-time manager or a senior leader, consider some of the following suggestions to reduce employees’ negative self-talk and rebuild their confidence. When people feel confident at work, their defensiveness goes down, they are willing to hear your feedback, and they are more open to others’ points of view. They are primed for the innovation that will keep your company ahead of today’s constant challenges.
  1. Ask your managers to provide regular, specific, positive feedback. Not “Great job!” but “Wow, that roadmap you created made roles and responsibilities so clear. Thank you for that.”
  2. Shift the focus in performance reviews from “What we want to see you do (read: fix) next year,” to luxuriating in the past year’s accomplishments and how the report’s strengths contributed to those accomplishments.
  3. Model accepting difficult feedback. Justification behavior like denial, deflection, and defensiveness are sneaky. We all do it. When the leaders in your organization do it, they train junior people to do it too. And that makes it harder to provide the feedback that will help them learn and grow.
Sometimes the most efficient way to motivate your team is slightly indirect — build their confidence and you will get a team that takes initiative, brings solutions, and gets things done.

My best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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