Your team’s greatest skill is their ability to think – critically and creatively
One of the common frustrations I hear from mid-level managers is the belief “my team isn’t stepping up”. Often times, they’re caught up being too hands on ‘managing today’ rather than ‘creating tomorrow’, and they’ve become reactive rather than proactive. Oftentimes, underpinning their frustrated busyness is stress, tiredness, and self-doubt.
Building a high performing team involves teaching your team how to think
Ultimately, these managers want their team members to take initiative and responsibility – they simply don’t know how build this capability.
So when I ask “How have you created this problem?” I typically get blank stares and, well, silence.
Here’s the thing – managers who have, by default, taught their teams to rely on them as the link to having the problem solved or getting the right answer, are simply paying the price for what they have created. For things to change, the manager needs to change. The performance culture in a team is a function of the standards the manager or leader has, that teach people how to think and problem solve.
Here is a 5 step feedback model to accelerate your team stepping up
- Share your observations – what you have noticed that you think requires feedback on
- Show what you mean – by demonstrating or outlining how it’s done and the thinking behind it
- Check-in – let them have a go and then come to you
- Teach – it’s time to mentor and coach – find out what they’ve learned, what gaps they think they have and help with the missing pieces or knowledge required
- Guide – give extra assistance for them to connect the missing pieces
Still not working? Then it’s time to decide:
- If they are willing and not capable, then is this the right job for them? or;
Building a high performing team starts with you – the example you show, and the standards you have that teach your team to step-up. Telling is easy, showing and teaching takes time – however, it’s well worth the investment when your team are thriving and stepping into their potential. This leaves you the opportunity to focus on ‘creating tomorrow’ and accelerating your own performance.