Most leaders are lying to their employees everyday. Some of the them are doing deliberately, while others don’t even realize it. And it all comes down to the fact that some..
Well, based off my observations…Most leaders…
Aren’t willing to do the one thing that all leaders must be willing to do, and that is be very candid with their employees.
They lie by telling their employees they are doing a great job and the employee is really not. Or, they are not telling them anything at all and just ignoring them. By ignoring them they are lying as well. By saying nothing to the employee the leader is communicating through their actions that they are pleased with the performance.
In both cases the leader is hurting three parties by not telling the employees the truth. They are hurting the organization, because the organization is paying for an employee that is not meeting expectations. The leader is hurting themselves, because they are not getting the work that needs to be done, done. More than likely the leader that is unwilling to give the necessary feedback is doing more work and dealing with more headaches, all because they are unwilling to coach the employee the way they need to be coached. And lastly, they are hurting the employee.
In my leadership training and coaching business I ask business owners, managers, executives, leaders, etc., about the behaviors they are seeing or not seeing from employees. Many times, the reason I am meeting with the business owners or leader is because they have some kind of gap in the skills of the people they are looking to get training for. Hey, I am thankful for this.
However, what I must remind them of is this. Most of the challenges that they are facing is because some leader in the organization, or they themselves are the ones that are unwilling to have the hard conversations to deal with the issues the employee is causing.
The phrase that I use most often with leaders and business owners is “Are you being candid with your employees” or “Are your managers being candid” with their employees.
Many leaders unfortunately tend to ignore bad behaviors altogether and hope that if they ignore an employee long enough they will quit. You also have leaders who are not straightforward enough or candid enough, with the shortcomings of where someone is not meeting expectations. When they speak to the employee about their shortcomings, they do so by watering down what it is that the employee needs to hear. Many times what needs to be said goes unsaid. Some watered down version of the truth gets communicated and what needs to be heard is rarely said.
The tool that leaders must include in their toolbox is the willingness to be candid with their employees. From business owners to senior leadership, all the way down the line to front line supervisors. Everyone must be willing to provide the hard feedback when employees or managers are not meeting the expectations. Until the person understands clearly where they are not meeting expectations, they can never improve their work performance.
I tell business owners all of the time this. “To be unclear is to be unkind.” When we are not straightforward and speak with candor with our team members. We are being unkind. Because they don’t know where they are falling short, which means they don’t know where to improve. Which means they can’t improve. You as a leader must be truthful, straightforward, and direct when communicating with employees. You don’t have to be an ass about it. That is another blog for another day. However, we do have to be truthful and candid.
Are you being candid with your team? Or are you ignoring the shortcomings and just staying frustrated with certain team members on your team or management staff?
The way you fix this is easy. If you want to learn how to provide the candid feedback that is necessary, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share with you the playbook that I use.
To your success and your future.
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