Under the pressure, pace, and the push and pull of fast approaching deadlines, it’s easy to lose track of the negative impact our requests and expectations can have on those we lead.
We can forget the demands sometimes, and just expect them to get it done. And we are disappointed and annoyed when they don’t deliver.
Expectations cut both ways. People expect to be treated with dignity, to be appreciated, and to be challenged yes, but not to be asked nor expected to fulfill on the impossible.
“Why can’t they just do what I ask?”, I’ve heard one executive complain.
Why, indeed. Is it that they’re stupid or incompetent?
My bet is that they are not any of the above, but are instead bright, competent, and overwhelmed.
As leaders we can help.
Here’s the Antidote:
1. Shift your attention from what people aren’t doing, to what they are doing right. Bingo. There’s your attitude adjustment.
2. Start with noticing and checking in with colleagues before making yet another request, or before giving yet another helpful hint as to how they might improve their performance.
3. Consider additional measures of success.
4. Find specific ways you could acknowledge the challenges, and encourage and applaud the progress made so far and small-wins along the way.
5. Share the love, even at work: it works, it matters, and the return on investment keeps on paying dividends.
What else could you do to help your people feel valued and connected?