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Leaders want employees to take ownership and be accountable. They want their workers to own up to their mistakes and successes, and to take ownership of the job.
When you assign small tasks without explaining the bigger picture or outlining the outcomes you’re looking for, you’re actually asking for them to keep checking in with you instead of taking responsibility and ownership.
When problems arise it’s helpful to encourage accountability. Do this by asking, “What do you think you could do to get this back on track? Can you get this fixed for us by the end of the day?” That way the ownership and responsibility stay with the worker and don’t get transferred to you, as the leader. When you micromanage, you’re stripping away the things that cause people to own the work from start to finish.
Employees will often approach their leader and say, “What do you think I should do about this?”, “We’ve run out of this product” or, “There seems to be a quality issue with the product. What should I do?”
It may be very tempting to answer the question right away. If they are asking a really tough question that absolutely requires your experience and expertise, of course, deliver those answers, but in other situations, you should try to get people to think through things on their own.
Ask them, “What do you think you should do? What do you think you should try?” And if they come up with an answer you don’t like, say, “What else do you think you could try or do to help solve this issue?”
Being less eager to dispense answers so quickly, allows you as the leader to get people to be more independent and only come to you for the things they really need help on.
Sometimes a group of employees act very individualistic rather than coming together to get the work done as a team. As a leader, you either create or detract from teamwork based on a few things.
First, a team needs a leader who doesn’t play favorites and who doesn’t give certain assignments to certain people who they know or think can deliver results. This creates an us versus them mentality within the workgroup. As the leader, you want to diminish playing favorites by assigning tasks more equitably and challenging different people to step up at different times.
Second, consider how much you keep the team informed as to what is going on? A team that is left in the dark won’t gel together. Instead, they may act as free agents. Communicating with them and keeping them in the loop will allow them to be more likely to behave as a team.
Lastly, having a goal can also promote teamwork. If the team understands what they have to deliver, then they can work on that goal together.
One of the places to start whenever you experience frustrations is to look in the mirror. What is it that you’re doing as the leader that might be contributing to your own misery? Click To Tweet
As a leader, you can mitigate your frustrations by focusing on these three behaviors.
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