Jack Welch once said, " before you become a leader it is about growing yourself, when you become a leader it is all about growing others." I really believe this and have spent the last 31 years developing leaders. One area that is often missed in business is the ability of a leader to consciously build the confidence of the team around them. A common pattern I see is that where there is a good leader there is always a strong team around them.
In many organisations which are over managed and under led the opposite is true. Many managers seem set on destroying the confidence of the individuals in the team that delivers results for them! How strange is that? I'm sure you'll agree that it is very sad but true. How many times have you witnessed a manager destroying someone in a meeting? Why would you do that?
My believe is that a leader is someone who creates a high performance environment where success is inevitable. You may have heard me say that one or two times before! One of the key elements of this is to reduce the risk of not achieving success. It is important to put an ongoing process in place to build the confidence of your team. Here are 3 quick and easy ideas I have used successfully...
1. Look for the Good
I remember working for a bank a while ago and watching a manager catch people doing something wrong and then telling them what they should be doing. This was the way they were managed so as they became a manager they used the familiar approach thinking it was the best way. During a development session I suggested an experiment. For the next month how about doing the complete opposite! Go and catch people doing something right and then compliment them. The difference in the team climate was huge, the place was buzzing! And guess what happened to results? Yes you are right they went through the roof. Simple and really effective use of appreciative inquiry.
Appreciative inquiry is from the positive psychology school of thought and uses the positive energy of what is going well to create solutions. Rather than the traditional approach to problem solving. Look it up on the internet, there are many examples of how to use it to boost performance.
2. Focus in on what is important...
Red, amber, or green dots... When reading a scorecard or set of kpi results, which is more important?
Do you remember coming home from school with your school report and feeling really happy that you have done well apart from the subject you hate, and don't care about. (Probably because you are not inspired by the teacher!) Remember putting the report on the kitchen table and proudly showing your parents. What was the first thing they said? I bet something like, "What happened there then!" pointing to the one poor result! How did that make you feel?
That is why we focus on the one red spot on a kpi scorecard rather that the many green. We were programmed by parents and teachers! Maybe focusing on maintaining the green ones is more important then the one red? Always focusing on the negative is a sure way to undermine the confidence of the team. When was the last time you reviewed all the success and great outcomes you and the team have delivered? Yes deal with poor performance but balance it with acknowledging and learning from successes.
3. High challenge and high support
Create great relationships and trust in your team, and then really challenge them; ensuring you give plenty of support. High challenge and high support is a great way to develop confidence. Take people out of their comfort zone and support them to learn and achieve success. Their comfort zone will grow, as will confidence and results.
Have fun and let me know what happens when you implement these ideas.