As a result of the ongoing series on Leading A Frustrated Team, I’ve received a number of requests from leaders asking me to write about how to deal with frustration as a leader. It is one of those things that cannot be completely separated from leading. Frustration, I mean.
You can never address anything that you’re not willing to confront. For frustrated leaders: you will always be frustrated unless you do something about it.
The starting point in handling frustration is identifying what frustrates you. Similar to the ‘Influence Audit‘, you need to take stock of the things that unsettle and overwhelm you. As it goes, if you have no idea what pushes you off the edge you’re going to be a casualty of the same thing often.
Reflect and take not of instances of frustration and see if you can find any patterns. Journaling your leadership journey can be a great part of keeping track.
(I’m glad I took Michael Hyatt’s advice and started using Day One, a Mac / iOS journaling app. Some of the coolest things about it are that it can be easier to track certain topics. You can use tags and have a search feature. If you use it perhaps consider using a particular tag for you to be able to track times of frustration.)
You need to identify the source of the frustration. One of the mistakes I’ve made in leadership is assumed that those I led were the cause of frustration. There are times when I’ve been the source of my frustration.
Be honest with yourself. Not only that but somehow found a way to blame my team without vocalizing it. Don’t make excuses by putting the blame on others or circumstances.
You may want to do a consult with your team, colleagues or superiors. Ask them what they see frustrating you. Find out what they see you do or how they see you act when you’re frustrated.
I’m sorry if you were looking for a different kind of silver bullet for the first step, but identifying the source of frustration is the starting point.
Solutions can only be crafted when the problems are clear.
What frustrates you as a leader?
[Photo Credit: marvin L]