As a leader, it is your responsibility to provide clear and compelling direction to your followers. They look to you to articulate the company goals, define the organization’s values, and set the course toward a successful future. It is, then, the followers’ responsibility to walk the path that has been set. But sometimes there is a disconnect between the leader’s expectations and the followers’ execution.
Most successful leaders are really good at asking for clarification, admitting mistakes and striving to learn and grow. That’s why they don’t understand the psychology of many followers who suffer from a lack of self-confidence that undermines their being able to accept and make good use of criticism. Followers generally avoid admitting they need help or owning up to their faults.
It all goes back to situational leadership training. The disconnect between what leaders expect and what followers deliver has enormous implications for effective performance management and coaching. Before you provide feedback as a leader, you should evaluate a follower’s readiness to receive coaching, reflect and act upon it. “Unready” followers may see their need for coaching as acknowledgment of weakness or inability. Criticism offered in this situation will not have the desired effect…instead of encouraging improvement, it will serve only to shut down the follower to any effort and highlight their feelings of incompetence.
So what’s a leader to do?
1. Show your genuine willingness to support your team. Help them see that you believe in their potential and that they are worth the company’s time and investment. Help them understand that coaching is not intended to point out something they have done wrong but to show them another, better way. Your followers with openness to learn, change and grow are your company’s greatest asset.
2. Hire and reward employees who seek learning opportunities, the so-called adapters. From their point of view, being coached is an opportunity to improve and they are ready and eager to do so. When you interview, ask candidates questions about how they liked school or what they appreciate about training. Studies have shown that older workers and adapters are much more open to coaching by their leaders than younger and less flexible, less confident employees.
The more coachable your followers, the more learning and growing they will do. As a leader, create an environment where coaching is welcomed and a team where readiness is a constant state of mind.
Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/situational-leadership-training-consulting/