The best way to remove a band-aid is to quickly rip it off which produces a sharp, short pain. Then you are done - the memory quickly fading. Slowly removing a band aid in order to minimize the pain never works. It only stretches out the process which is more traumatizing.
Leaders often do this with their teams. They opt for slowing down the crisis and effectively spread out the process so that the pain is not as sharp but it is nowhere close to being over. Things are going smoothly and then crisis hits, the first response is to ignore the problem and make excuses for not dealing with it right away. Don't avoid the problem. Exceptional leaders have the resolve to quickly deal with problems that matter. The faster you rip off the band aid, the faster you will get to the wound, the heart of the matter, what you need to heal.
Things Avoiders Say:
- Let it work itself out
- It's not that bad
- I can't do anything about it
- I will make it worse if I try to make it better
Trust me, the longer you leave the band-aid on the bigger the problem gets before it has to be removed. Here is the truth in this situation: there will be pain no matter which course is taken. Here is what happens when a leader avoids the problem:
- It destroys trust
- Tolerance in the beginning becomes approval in the end - you get what you tolerate
- Ignored problems grow
- Reluctance to fix the problem incites drama
There are four simple rules that help your team get "un-stuck" in times of crisis.
Sharing is CaringDoes your team understand and buy into the vision and culture of what you are trying to accomplish? You must have shared and measurable goals. Talk with your people and ask them to: define success, identify behaviors that create forward movement, and describe their commitment to finding and implementing solutions. Always focus and share the solutions with your team - commit to quickly making things better. The longer you wait the more difficult solutions become. Lastly set expectations with your team, let them know that complete resolution takes time.
Learn SomethingLearning through experience can be key. Going through the process of learning together can be beneficial when determining next steps as a team. Get out of the office together and expose your team to industry leaders that can be a model of what you are trying to accomplish. Not only is this one great way to move forward and get "un-stuck" but a team that grows together will develop a stronger bond.
Serve Your TeamHave regular one on one meetings with your team to track progress and correct the course if things are going in the wrong direction. Proactively identify problems sooner rather than later. Ask 'what can I do for you today' and really listen to your teams needs and concerns. Make sure to plan time to appropriately follow up with these concerns as needed. It will seem like a lot of time on the front end, but it will save you from disasters later.
All Work and No Play
When was the last time you and your team got out of the office and had fun together? Your team looks to you as an example, if you don't understand the importance of work/life balance then they won't either. Pursing the joys of everyday life is key in having a healthy team, and it creates a strong workplace culture.
Once you have ripped off the band-aid, it's time to heal and grow. Develop a vision for your business and connect with your team at The Building Champions Experience. Now, in its eighth year, this unique event is designed to create cohesion throughout an organization. Hear from teams who've benefitted from BCE.
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