Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Are You Sabotaging Your Staff?

While coaching Louise this morning, we had a key insight! While complaining about her manager's poor performance, Louise realized she was actually sabotaging her manager's success.

Louise's goal is to have her manager, Sue, be independently operating a retail store. Louise thought she could support Sue by reassuring her and telling Sue that she believes in her ability. Yet, when Sue comes to Louise with questions, Louise tells Sue what to do because Louise is not fully confident in Sue. We realized that Louise's practice of giving Sue the answers was keeping Sue dependent on Louise and was undermining Louise's goal of having Sue be confident and independent.

We framed the situation as follows:

Telling someone we believe in them puts a small deposit into the confidence "bank account". But when we turn around and give that same person the answers to their questions, or tell them "just do it this way" (because it seems faster and easier to do so) we send a message to that person that we don't really believe they are capable. This message withdraws "confidence capital" from the account for both parties. Over time, this behaviour of giving people answers actually sabotages their personal growth and success and keeps them dependent on us for the answers (think your kids and your staff).

Asking questions that help the other person find their own answers, then letting them put their solution in place to test the result, puts a much larger deposit into the confidence bank account for both parties and is an investment that pays higher returns over time.

Are you sabotaging or supporting your staff?

1 comments:

Michelle Custodio December 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM  

That's really true. When you say you believe in their capability, make sure you don't coach them. Let it be.
Coaching is not bad, in fact it's helpful as long as its in the right time and event. There are things that one needs a hand to do.

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