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How Leaders Empower Team Members To Gain Insights for Positive Change

How Leaders Empower Team Members To Gain Insights for Positive Change
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In this post, we look at the expedience of telling what was done wrong vs. asking why it happened. One way shepherds in sustainable Peak Performance.   

How Leaders Empower Team Members To Gain Insights for Positive Change

At FS/A, one of our greatest challenges as executive coaches is teaching leaders to be curious about why someone did the wrong thing rather than only telling them what they did wrong. Too often, leaders tell others what they did wrong without considering the reasoning that led to the behavior, which results in the same outcome when the same circumstances arise again.

If we truly believe in the potential of individuals—and acknowledge that they are doing their best with the knowledge they have acquired so far—we must help them gain new insights and understanding about their actions to empower them to make better decisions next time.

We see this dynamic play out with children, too: If, after an altercation, one or both is simply sent to their room, subsequent encounters will probably have the same outcome. For example, four-year-old Billy and two-year-old Sally were playing in the sandbox. Billy hits Sally over the head with his plastic shovel, because she threw sand in his eyes. Sending Billy to his room and Sally to hers will not change what will happen next time. Taking time to talk this scenario through with each child creates the likelihood of a better outcome next time.

Timely, Substantive Discussions Unleash the Power of Reflection

Discussions take time; once started, there may be a fear that we don’t know where they’re going. If leaders desire different future outcomes, we must take time to talk through what took place and why. Cognitive engagement that challenges people to see the perspectives of others provides a deeper understanding that constructs a new way of thinking for the next time.

In businesses, we have Guiding Principles to guide our decision-making and name why we did what we did or perhaps will do next time. Your best is honored when you align with your clear Guiding Principles.

This discussion process is transformative as we teach people to unleash the power of reflection on their journey to becoming their best selves: the more discussions, the greater the database of experiences for better decision-making in the future.

The importance of timely discussions cannot be overstated. When someone crosses a boundary of acceptability, the longer the transgression goes unchecked, the more ingrained their belief that the behavior is acceptable will become, and the harder it is for change to occur. The sooner we can engage in a dialogue about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, the easier change can occur, allowing us to move forward together more cooperatively and productively.

It starts with curiosity rather than answers. This can be a remarkable challenge for leaders and parents to overcome.

#ShiftFromMeToTeam #PeakPerformance #GuidingPrinciples #Curiosity