TRY answering these questions about whether your support is effective:
- Have you measured your team members’ satisfaction level at work, with their job or with you lately?
- Are you seeing an ever-increasing or consistent high-level of commitment from your most impactful team members?
- Over the last year, are your best team members experiencing lower or higher levels of stress? (There’s a tool to measure this. Click here.)
- Is the self-confidence of your high potential team members increasing or decreasing this year?
- What level of performance is your team operating at?
The care and support you provide to your family and friends is something different than what you, as a leader, need to exercise at work towards the team members you serve. Yes, the deeper feeling of empathy ties the two areas of your life together. What’s different at work, when you are demonstrating supportive behaviors, is that you are responsible for the performance of your team in a way that serves your organization and creates a profitable or specific outcome. For this reason, how you support valuable team members has to be different than what you might do for a friend or family member. You might also have to make some tough choices about who you support and how you support them.
Effectively being supportive, as a leader, is about demonstrating behaviors that lead to a work place where your best employees thrive and your organization reaches it’s goals and desired outcomes.
VIEW this: Watching this short slide show will assist you in understanding some of the core principles and methods of being a supportive leader.
DO these to learn how best to support your team:
- Observe your team members this week. In your next meeting, practice some moments of detachment and watch to see which team member isn’t speaking up. Find an appropriate time, after the meeting, when you can be alone with them, and ask them how they are doing in general. What did they think of the meeting? What were their thoughts about what was discussed?
- Ask each of your high potentials and best performers, individually, what you do that makes them feel supported by you. Many times, there are specific things you do that mean the most to them. You can save your energy for those behaviors rather than wasting any on the ones that aren’t making an impact on that person.
Sometimes things don’t work out as you had hoped they would with a team member. You pour your heart and soul into the relationship, follow the “manual” for leading them and BAM! they quit. You’re left feeling sad, sometimes angry, and many times frustrated that you have put so much time, energy and resources into someone who will take their new found confidence and ability to another company. That’s going to happen. Some of the superstars that now run organizations were discovered and cultivated by their biggest competitors.
It’s part of being a great leader. The more people you grow to be great, the more great people will want to work for you. The more you work on getting this right, the easier it will become to recruit talented team members to join you to reaching each person’s and your organization’s highest aspirations.
LAST WEEK: David Steidle, owner of Steidle Law Firm, Kathlynn Stone and I discussed the best way to get results at work that will get noticed on WFXR’s Good Day Virginia and Becky Freemal’s 10pm Newscast last Sunday night. My previous article can give you tips to help as well.