At some point every leader has to address something that they or their team may find uncomfortable. There are issues that can never be let alone and must be addressed. It is always the leader’s responsibility to address the elephant in the team or organization. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
When confronting your team:
- But Why?: Validate the importance of what you’re about to say, say it and validate it again. I’m not suggesting you make your ‘address’ long and boring. Be succinct when you’ve made points. Build up to making your point but don’t be long winded.
- The Way It Should Be: When you’re challenging how things should not be, make sure you clearly communicate how they should be! Don’t make the mistake of tearing down what should be torn down without building what should be built up.
- Getting ‘There’: Your team must know the steps that they need to take to get to what should be. You can either give the way forward or engage your team in charting the way forward. Whatever you do don’t leave the team hanging!
- The Core: Put measures in place to ensure you don’t end up in the same place again. Addressing the issue is not enough; dealing with the roots guarantees death of the fruits. If you often end up dealing with the same drama it is because you haven’t curbed the root!
- 180°: Keeping the confrontation one sided is a common mistake leaders make. Don’t get so worked up about the issues you address and forget that there are two sides to a coin. In your confrontation give room to your team to give input. In this way it is less likely to seem you were talking at them but resolving issues with them.
- Bonus: If you haven’t already you may also want to read “Learning Effective Communication From Jesus”
illustration by clagnut, flickr (cc)
What do you recommend in engaging your team in the context above?