Let’s face it; change is hard. “Uncomfortable workplace changes” is a title that applies to many of the changes that happen. We are creatures of habit. Our work is one of those areas where we take comfort in the steadiness. Even bad work situations are sometimes better to us than dealing with the discomfort of making it better. In fact, nothing will set off panic in the ranks like a shakeup at work.
With that said, you, the leader, set the tone for your employees. We can all look back and remember a job or two which stood out; some as great memories, and others as the ones we would like to forget.
Let’s think about those for a few minutes. What was it about the immortal ones that you wish you could lose in time? Was it a co-worker who made life miserable? Was it simply a clash in personalities, or was it more? Was more being put on you than your job entailed? Were you carrying someone else? Were you trying to meet demands that simply couldn’t be met? If you can identify the cause, was it something that could or should have been handled by management?
As a leader now, can you use those times as teaching moments? Can you reassess those difficulties, and discover where the leadership was lacking? Were they unaware, uninvolved, or detached from the situation? Were they the ones causing the stress by poor management? Using what you have learned since then in life experience, can you understand what would have fixed the problem?
Taking those lessons to your current position, can you identify new areas which you might have been blind to? Can you walk through your domain, and see issues which you were possibly aware of, but not really focused on? Is there an issue with employee relations? Is there a teamwork problem, or a power struggle that should be defused by leadership to make life easier for the majority? Have your team members been coming to you with issues that you hoped would resolve themselves?
Use your life experience in a teaching role. Be that leader you wanted your supervisor to be. Assess your leadership skills; take one situation at a time, and resolve it. Begin with a simpler one to gain confidence, then work on some of the touchier ones. Redistribute work to ease the burden if you have overworked someone. It is easy to pile work on the capable, and take it from the unreliable, but it benefits neither. Instead, coach the weaker members, and give them some mentorship. If you find that they are unwilling to grow, you may have to go to firmer methods. This can be uncomfortable for you! However, unless you address the situation, you may lose the well qualified employees who can find better work environments.
As a leader, your job is to facilitate the efforts of those you lead. With these thoughts in mind, see what you can identify and remedy today to make your team more effective. You may be very surprised at the reactions from your group.
MG (Retired) Mike Diamond is CEO and founder of Diamond Strategy Group. Diamond Strategy Group is a Restructure Assessment and Planning Consultant. We focus on improving the quality of leadership within organizations by utilizing the same methods Mike and his consultants have used in both military and civilian sectors. We invite you to stay connected! Visit us online at www.DiamondStrategyGroup.com and connect with Mike Diamond Strategy Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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