Are you able to see how your team views you as a leader?
Are you present when your team needs you?
Are you disappearing at stressful times?
Are you faking how much you care?
Are you a good listener?
Do you ever stop talking so they can talk?
How are you handling conflict?
I have messed this up a lot in my career. I have shot something off the hip when I was feeling something. OMG….FEELINGS!!! Feelings should not be leading you. When you are frustrated, don’t say comments that will destroy relationships.
How does your team view you? You have to ask your team if you really want to know.
Where do I fail?
Where do I lead well?
How can I improve?
Do a review where they can give you feedback. You have to really invite the conversation; you have to be ready to hear. Enter the conversation with the desire to LEARN!
Another trait of emotional intelligence is empathy:
People can tell when you are faking your focus. When someone is telling you story, don’t stay on your laptop, checking email and say “Mmm hmmm.” When you are not making eye contact, the other person doesn't know you if you are listening. Take time to show true empathy with your people.
Be willing to listen them. God has given us two ears and one mouth.
Handling conflict. Be firm and loving. Don't avoid awkward situations or conversations that need to happen. Not saying anything is just as bad.
Story: I am going to motivate an employee and lite a fight under the employee. I lit a fire and quit. MY words drove this person to quit. It wasn't good that I caused this kind of problem. The leader came back and said, "What happened in that lunch?" I didn’t know. I wanted to motivate the employee. I did!!! He was motivated to find a new job. Yikes!
Your words are like gold or an anchor around someone's neck.
Choose your words wisely!
I've avoided conflict, accountability, firing people, and speaking directly to the people involved. If you go to others that can’t fix the problem then that is gossip.
Stop ignoring the issue. You know there is a problem, and you aren't talking about it. People need to understand what you expect of them, safe bondaries and deadlines. You don't want to be passive and give poor instructions.
Avoiding firing is not good. Yes, firing someone does feel bad. It should as these are people you hired. Don’t do what I did which was put people in other positions trying to avoid the firing. I knew it was not a good fit but I didn't want to fire the person. When someone is not a good fit, act!
Avoiding speaking to people directly but telling others. That is gossip. I have expressed and vented to someone that has no power to fix the problem. Stop being passive. Go to that person directly. Don't tell everyone and never that person. Be kind, honest and direct.
People can't read your mind or heart.
If people don't understand your position a manager - people see you are a friend. Inappropriate things are said about other departments. People come venting to you. I was a younger leader. I should have been better to say, "don’t come to me. You need to tell your manager." It was blurry for employees.
There must be clear boundaries. Functional trust and boundaries are important.
Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of A Team is an awesome book. We have done it has a team and it was important to understand why each one needs to be present. Our team loves each other but we still have areas we need to work on.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
I share this because I want you to be better than me.
No one drifts into excellence.
Are you a new leader? Been leading for a long time?
Over two decades of people facing problems.