Why are we failing to unlock potential in our work force? Three facts have been established by numerous surveys that indicate a major block on potential:
1. Productivity in the UK is lagging.
2. Levels of employee engagement are poor.
3. A lot of this variance is down to the leadership.
So how do you unlock the potential of your team?
Could it be there is a common solution to all these problems? That is if you were more engaged with your team then would it unlock their potential? Here are four possible “bridges” to create that vital link. Can you add any others?
To Unlock Potential – Verbalise Emotions
First, verbalise the emotions of the team or team member rather than offering solutions, e.g. “You seem discouraged at the moment, why is that?” Since feeling understood is amazingly energising it will result in the person beginning to understand what they need to do to work their way forward rather than waiting for all the answers. Engagement increases and productivity is boosted!
To Unlock Potential – Be There for all Emotions
Secondly, don’t just connect with challenges – also celebrate success. For example, “You must feel really chuffed with ……!” If you link with all their emotions, including success, the result will boost their capacity to go out and win again and be resilient in the face of setbacks. It enables them to focus on the future. They begin to understand what success feels like and are able to celebrate it. They become more resilient in the face of setbacks.
To Unlock Potential – Make Them the Focus
Thirdly, note the use of “You” rather than “I” in the above examples. You may have had a similar good or bad experience, however to tell someone “I know how you feel” can be dangerous ground, leaving them thinking “How can you possibly know?!” By all means use your experience to help them find their way through the challenge, but not to provided ready-made solutions. Leadership is all about enabling them and engaging their full potential to achieve team results.
To Unlock Potential – Never Assume Anything
Fourthly, never assume that you have amazing powers of insight! Always probe your understanding of their apparent emotion. For example, you may assume that the person or team is disappointed/worried at missing a sales target, when in fact they are angry that either the target was set too high or they weren’t given the resources. So ask “How are you feeling just now?” We need to link with the actual emotion if we are to create the bridge and enable them to sort the problem. Again boosting engagement and productivity.
To Unlock Potential – Build Empowering Links
Using this approach you will build powerful links or bridges with the team, leading to a more engaged, co-operative and creative work force. A work force with lower levels of turnover, stress related absenteeism and absence of a silo mentality.
To Unlock Potential – Contact Us Now
To Find out more about empathy and ways to unlock the potential of your team then contact us for details of our Connect4 programme to help create effective behaviours in your team.