You know where you are at this point in your life but there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be? Sometimes the presence of this gap is so strong you can almost feel like a physical gap. In the case of a workplace gap, the feeling can be just as tangible. You know the people you have working for you are smart and resourceful. That is why you hired them in the first place. But for some reason you can't seem to "manage" them. They run into difficulties and you don't know how to help them. When you try, they seem distant, frustrated a just a bit annoyed that you are "bugging" them.
You gathered all sorts information, knowledge, skills and tools throughout the years to help you out with this. You took courses, asked a mentor and perhaps even have a degree in some area. It's as if you were given all the information of a particular culture, went for a visit and found out that you ended up in the wrong country. When did all the rules changes?
I personally believe that the role of the manager has completely shifted and changed with the explosion of available knowledge. Anyone can access any information they need to do whatever they want. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is not so good.
Let's take a look at the "good" part. I'm here to tell you, that your role as a manager has changed drastically. So much has changed that to even call yourself a manager is a huge misnomer. I've coached several people to the point where they eventually say, "Well really, I'm not a manager anymore, am I." And of course they are right. If anyone can get any information to do what they need and want to do, do they even need a manager? I think they need a leader in the workplace. Not just any leader either. There are lots of models out there of what a leader is and hers/his characteristics. I believe, in the workplace there is only one thing a leader needs to do and that is create an atmosphere of inspiration.
What would it be like to work in a place where the staff comes in to the office and they are excited, inspired and motivated to make things work? What would it be like to be the leader of such a group? How would your day go and what would you do?
The first thing you need to know, as a leader, is that all you have to do is ask the right questions. The right questions are the ones that cause inspiration and excitement in your staff. This means you no longer have to think up the answers of how to solve their problems. You hired these people because the ARE smart. They already know the answers to most of the places where they get stuck. When you ask the right questions it gives them the power to come up with their own answers.
How does it feel when you know you need to talk to an employee about performance? Not a pleasant feeling. You might end up telling them they are falling behind and guess what? They already know that. You might end up suggesting a few ways to deal with the problem and guess what? If they are as smart as you say they are they probably already know all this, might have tried it and it doesn't work. Can you feel the annoyance and frustration building up? I'm not even there and I can feel the tension.
Or you might suggest something and you can tell by their response that they "just aren't buying it" as a solution to what the problem is. Again there is tension. Again it hasn't resolved anything but has created a source of conflict.
What if you ask the right question, and there is a pause followed by, "Yes, but I don't know what to do about that?" Then and only then its okay to offer a suggestion and when you offer it be prepared. Because they might not like the method exactly as you suggested OR you might have sent them off on a search to find their own answer. Or better yet they might even create a whole new solution to the problem. Can you feel the difference in the atmosphere? There's a tension there but it's a good and exciting tension. This kind of tension is inspiration and inspiration is all they need to feel motivated and to create a sense of flow in the solution.
So my questions to you are:
1) How often do you feel this tension, as a manager
2) How important to you, is it, that you change this?
3) How committed to a change are you?
If any of these questions causes a slight rise in your breathing and you start to feel a glow of excitement, I might've just asked you the right questions.
Related Tags: coaching, motivation, workplace, inspiration, manager, flow, gap
Maureen Miller B.Ed., C.U.G., Certified Teleclass Leader
Associate Certified Coach with International Coaching Federation
Vancouver Island, B.C.,Canada
Create a thinking revolution for yourself!
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