My friend and fellow leader Erin Reeves-Attere has been chatting with me every Friday this October to share the incredible mission and work of Threads Worldwide. Just this past week, we dug into leadership and the impact we can have on others. It all came down to creating significance, acceptance, and coaching.
Creating significance for others is incredibly powerful. Your team wants to be worthy of attention or importance. Everyone wants to perform work that matters. Often times, we want the value of the work to carry the weight of significance. Erin and I put the idea out there that it is the people who bring significance to the work. How do you influence others to create that significance?
You begin by understand why your team member is even there. Ask them why. Ask them why a few times in a row to dig deeper. You might be surprised – is it passion for the industry? Maybe the people and culture have a great reputation. Maybe they just need a paycheck. It is important to understand their why so you can help them bring their best selves to their job. Your conversations should center around their why, not yours.
This approach puts emphasis on the individual and targets resources to be used in one-on-one meetings. My biggest takeaway from Erin was that she tells her team members that her time with them is an investment, and they are worth it. Whoa! Imagine how you would feel if your supervisor sat you down and said you were worth their time because they see it as investment! Personally, I would feel incredibly valued.
Focusing on the individual also means that team meetings then become purpose-driven to motivate. If you find yourself leading a team meeting full of announcements, I have news for you. That could be an email. Your team meeting is about motivation, conversation, and results.
As a leader, acceptance of where an individual wants to go can be difficult when it conflicts with the potential you see in them. This is especially hard when you see incredible potential, but the individual is not interested in pursuing anything more. You can lose a lot of energy trying to propel someone who doesn’t want to fly. The better approach is to accept it. You just need to meet them where they are at right now.
This does not mean that you give up on them or stop providing coaching, resources, and support. It simply means that you are respecting their current position. It is important you keep checking in on their status. Life changes, and you will want to be sure that potential doesn’t lay dormant if and when they are ready to reach higher.
Do you spend more time managing your team members? Or more time coaching your team members. Whereas there are some key administrative duties you must manage, for the most part adults would prefer to manage themselves. Your job is help them determine the goal and support them as they figure out “how” to get there. You can offer guidance, yes. Resources, yes. Most importantly, you should be asking them questions. Here are a few simple ones you can start with:
- What are your objectives/goals?
- What is going well?
- What are your key suggestions for improvement?
- How are you going to do that?
- How can I help?
- Do you have any feedback for me?
These three areas of focus are great for any leader. Erin uses them in her business every day, all create life-changing work for women around the world through Threads. We encourage you to give these approaches a try and see how they work for you.
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Erin and I have partnered together this October for a series called Feel Good Friday, which you can see on the social sites below. We are also giving away this product from Ecuador, hand made by Threads Artisan Partners out of Tagua seeds. Enter the Giveaway today! The winner will be drawn this Friday, October 30th.
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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.