September 20, 2017

How nurturing should you be with members of a team?

Man thinkingWhere do you draw the line between helping team members step up to their role and not overdoing it so that they end up depending on you?

How do you decide where the right balance lies? Does it depend on the organisation? Some businesses are, by nature, very demanding and with little tolerance of people growing into a role. Other cultures are too tolerant of poor performance. Neither is likely to be viable in the long-term.

If you usually focus on task, maybe you need to pay a bit more attention to relationship.

If you’re relationship-minded, maybe you need to be a little bit more demanding.

It doesn’t have to be either-or; it can be both-and: Task and relationship. The issue is how you integrate these things. That is perhaps the true art of leadership.

What’s your personal blend?

Vulnerability or openness? And why it matters

Three people, two shaking handsIf we show vulnerability, we will attract other people and they will respond to our leadership, or so it is often said.

I think it’s better to use another word: Openness.

Being open is the key.

Yes, vulnerability is a consequence of being open, but being open is a more easily adopted behavior. It’s quite different to suggest to somebody (or ourselves) that they be open, rather than they be vulnerable. The result is similar, but being open is positive and strong.

The thing is…

Being open means our relationships develop more quickly, and deepen too.

Why is that?

Well, if we are closed and defensive and so try and connect at a shallow and superficial level, we engage on territory where we are all very different, and so probably mismatched. On the other hand, if we are open, without the layers, and connect at a deeper level, we move to a place where we are much more alike and so more likely to find common ground.

Those that travel the world often say, people are much the same wherever you go. Yes, at a certain level, there are cultural differences, but at a deeper, fundamental level, human beings are driven by the same things—a desire to love and be loved, to hope, and to leave a legacy and make a difference. They also care deeply about children.

By being open, we invite people to connect at a level of common humanity and that’s a much more reliable route to success. It’s also simply quicker.