Becoming a leader is no small feat. To have gotten there, you worked hard, believed in yourself, and created a plan to get yourself in the position you knew you were meant for. A leader is someone people look to, and you look at your own leaders and mentors for advice and guidance.
However, as much as it was an uphill road to achieve your goals, the job is never done. Once you are a leader, each day is a chance to learn, find insight, and adapt as times and circumstances change. When there is pressure in terms of deadlines, customer demands, heavy workload, and everything else that might stack against you, you can lose sight of what is important. It could be easy to look at your team as the issue.
When problems such as this arise, there could be a moment when you are told otherwise. Your team may approach you with feedback that something you are doing is getting in the way.. While no one wants to hear that, it is possible. So, what are the next steps when being told you are the problem in your team’s success?
Take a Step Back
Your first instinct might be to get defensive or quickly find a reason why the feedback we are receiving is wrong. However, just as in any relationship, when you receive constructive feedback, it is time to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
When you step out of the situation, consciously lower the stakes for yourself and truly listen to others’ opinions, you may see something new.
Ask and Listen
Once you can step aside from the instinctual feelings and understand that change is necessary to progress, allow your team to express their thoughts. Ask them questions to better understand what is needed.
Stressful times in a team can affect everyone involved, and it is vital to work together to get through them and not allow the team’s motivations and morale to wane.
Enact Personal Goals
When you work to help your team figure out what needs to be done, you are demonstrating to others that you are ready and willing to change and adapt to their needs and the business’s needs. While asking your team what they want to see from you and what they might need for their own success, create goals together to get there.
You may be clear about the reasons behind your actions. There may be areas where you are willing to change your approach. There may be areas where your experience informs your choices, and you may not be willing to deviate. Be clear about these areas and explain why.
One of the most important skills to hone as a leader is empathy, meaning you show understanding and care for their needs and worries. When you listen to your team with empathy and co-create goals for improvement, you design change everyone can embrace. Once you’ve set goals, design how you will follow up.
Follow Up For Results
The significant step in change is not letting it fall through the cracks. Once you have designed the change, make sure to go back and follow up. After a month or two of personal change, bring your team together and talk through what they have seen, felt, and experienced in that time.
Getting feedback can be challenging, it can be hard to hear it again, but by following up after a certain amount of time, you can adapt your plan and continue forward. Leadership is all about adapting to the people and business around you.
While being a leader can be challenging, your impact on your team is what drives them to success. There is always a lesson to be learned and growth to be made. If you have any questions about best leadership practices and growing a successful team, contact the team at Celerity Coaching.