As a leader it’s tempting to believe one or more of the following half-truths. Each of these half-truths relies on the assumption that the people you lead know your intentions. And in the busy life of a leader that is a very tempting assumption. Unfortunately, they are half-truths – so you might have great intentions – your people will judge you by your actions and your engagement with them!
Last week we talked about the first five half-truths, here are the rest:
Half Truth #6: My people understand that I give feedback when I can.
As a leader, you may feel like you’re too busy to give feedback. However, feedback is an important tool in demonstrating that you value your people. Leaders can increase engagement in the workplace by thinking of feedback as the norm, not the exception.
Half Truth #7: My people understand that I give coaching when I can.
Coaching your people is an invaluable experience for both yourself and them. However, it can be challenging for leaders to find the time to conduct formal coaching sessions. Instead of allowing coaching to fall by the wayside, it’s important to take advantage of real-time opportunities to coach.
Half Truth #8: My people understand that I make the decisions.
Your people will always expect you to make the final call on any decision. Even so, encouraging members of your team to step up and brainstorm winning ideas means that they will be more fully engaged in working towards the ultimate decision.
Half Truth #9: My people know they can trust me.
One of your most important goals as a leader is to consistently and intentionally increase trust between yourself and your team. Trust is hard to build but easy to break, which means that you can never assume you’re done working towards trust.
Half Truth #10: My people know that I’m here to help them.
From the perspective of your team, there’s a difference between knowing you exist as a resource and watching you actively look for ways to help. That might mean setting your people up for success with clients or putting in a good word when somebody’s up for promotion.
By letting go of these half-truths and instead focusing on intentional communication, leaders can tune in fully to their teams and promote high-level engagement.