By Dr. Jason Carthen
The leader shared with me that it had become common to meet with this particular staff member on a regular basis. The meetings were to assess growth and development as they transitioned into their new position.
However, as of late, the meetings had become less and less frequent, prompting the leader to reach out and diligently find out what was starting to get in the way. Despite several attempts the leader could not uncover what was going on and why performance was starting to slip in the follower’s respective area. I suggested that a blind survey across the entire department may help to uncover what was taking place…the survey results were enlightening to say the least.
The participants survey responses revealed a leader that was engaging the followers only when things were going wrong, and not assessing and critiquing how they could improve and grow with the organization during positive times. This created several “gotcha” moments for the followers who did not like the interaction and started to develop a certain level of anxiety about the regular meetings.
Foster a Trusted Relationship
I shared with the leader the only way to move beyond this anxiety and foster a trusted advisor relationship with their followers was to create positive interactions rooted in positive reinforcement mixed with reminders of areas that needed growth. This minor mid-course correction made all the difference in employee engagement and productivity going forward.
Balanced with Engagement
The regular meetings still continue but now they are balanced with engagement around how the follower sees themselves growing with the company and what he or she must do in order to personally and professionally make that happen going forward. As leaders we sometimes have a tendency to stay focused on the good of the company or keeping alignment with the mission and vision while forgetting that we are leading people first. If we cultivate a trusted advisor role with our followers, there is a greater likelihood of buy-in and ultimately success.
Please leave a comment or post on my Facebook Page and share with the community why trusted advisors can get more done when leading others! Thanks for your ongoing support!