Are you maximizing the effectiveness of your team? In my last article, I spoke briefly about getting to know your team members and identifying their individual gifts. Today, I want to expound upon that idea.
Leadership, true, effective leadership is relational. Ask yourself this question. What relationships in your life seem to bear the most fruit, provide the greatest satisfaction, yield loyalty and commitment? Truly an easy answer. The most fruitful, satisfying relationships are the ones that you are vested in, the ones you’ve poured your heart into. These are the relationships that are nearest, and dearest to your heart, usually the most personal of relationships. Why do these relationships work so well? Why are these individuals always there for you? Why are they available at the drop of a hat? Simple. They trust you. They know that they matter to you, they know that they can count on you to be there for them, that you will help them to be all they can be.
To build strong relationships within your organization; the kind that you can always count on to be there for you, to kick it into a whole other gear when times get tough, you need to get to know your team, each of them. What’s important to them? What are their dreams and aspirations? You need to want to help them grow. This will take time. You don’t build trust, respect, and commitment of this type, and at this level overnight. Your team members will need to see the proof over time. Your efforts will need to originate within your heart. They need to see you trying to get to know them on a personal level, and proving to them that you paid attention. They will need to see you strive to connect, not once, but consistently. Anything else will be seen as manipulative
When you look at them and interact with them, you need to see them for who they can be. Not for who they are now. When you look at anyone for who they are today, you limit their growth, you limit their success and your team’s success. A leader’s ability to see into the future is critical to the success of the organization, and although this skill is certainly known and understood in the areas of business forecasting, and competitive strategies, it is widely overlooked in the area of personnel development, and review writing.
Looking at your team for who they can be is going to require a new way of thinking, a paradigm shift. Now is the time to commit to doing reviews, by seeing the individual for who they could be, not how they are. Try this; see your team elevating their performance to meet the standard you set in their review. Your review will let them know that you see them at a whole different way than they may even see themselves, your review will be a vote of confidence, you will be saying to them that you believe in them, and see them as an asset to the team. They will realize that they, and their success is important to you. Start using reviews as a tool to lift morale. Set the bar where you see the ability, not where you see the current performance. Instead, use daily coaching, and mentoring to grow and improve performance.
No one really sees growth come out of praises and votes of confidence, seen and heard only at review time. On the same note, using reviews as tools to improve performance, by pointing out areas that need improvement, runs the risk of solidifying the possibility of them believing that you are not truly committed to their growth and success, because they know that you aren’t there with them throughout the year, mentoring, and teaching them, but you are committed to keeping score.
Let today be the day that you commit to a paradigm shift that will lead to radical and sustainable growth in your professional and personal relationships with your team. Let today be the first day that your team sees a whole new you. It will take time, and this will not be an overnight turn around. Stay committed, and start looking to be blown away by the results that will start occurring and eventually become the norm within your organization.