Follow The Leader… Really?

Blog located in Culture, Leadership posted on February 12, 2015

There are many challenges for leaders facilitating team meetings. One of the challenges is preventing a “yes -man” effect. You need to make it clear that you expect and welcome challenges to the ideas you express at the meeting.

Canadians are known to be Nice and Polite People

This reputation precedes us. But you have to ask: “is it holding us back from being successful?” I noticed that in a conference, Canadians actually seemed to enjoy the blunt tone, the honest examples of failure and the intense sense of urgency. Despite what we’ve been trained to fear as the world’s most polite people, nobody seemed offended by the ‘unplugged’ tone.

Let’s get back to the team meeting…

If you don’t want your team to give you a “yes-man” attitude, then you need to facilitate in a way that prioritizes daring thoughts, risky ideas and past failure, rather than getting bogged down in polite discussion of familiar details. Acknowledge different recommendations and new options.

Create a Safe Communication Company Environment

One of the best ways to foster an open communication is to create a safe work environment where employees can express their thoughts and push back without retribution. You can go as far as listing the benefits your employees can gain as a result of open communication.

Studies have shown that assertiveness can help you control stress and anger and improve coping skills.  Wouldn’t you want your employees to be more productive and less stressed at work?

Empathetic Approach

The benefits of an empathetic approach are huge! In fact the number of Google searches for the word ‘empathy’ has more than doubled, whereas searches for “sympathy’ dove by 50%. Empathy is key to driving employee leadership and engagement.

Try this: gather employees for a meeting and give them a menu of things to talk about. Include a couple of personal questions like hobbies and interests. You’d be amazed by how little you know your people. This will set the tone to your other meetings and will open the communication channels.

Create a safe environment in your business. Be empathetic to your employees. It will set your business apart from others and will help develop leaders, not just followers.

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