You might think this an odd suggestion to “Be Skeptical”.
What I’m talking about is listening to and understanding your team.
During a recent coaching session, Martin became aware that he had been accepting at face value what his team were saying because it suited him to hear the answer.
Martin had been implementing some new procedures and wanted his team to test them, as they used them, to learn and follow the new procedure.
The team told Martin that the procedures, (which Martin had written) were good and easy to follow. Feeling pretty happy with himself, Martin accepted the feedback UNTIL he realized that the team hadn’t actually followed the procedure step by step. They had in fact, jumped around the steps and even missed steps. To Martin’s credit, he went back and questioned the team.
“You told me the procedures were good, yet they were not followed step by step, so something is missing.”
This opened up a discussion for Martin and the team about the procedures and showed Martin that the team really didn’t understand what they were doing and they hadn’t asked for help.
As I suggested to Martin and now you, when it comes to your team and giving instructions, “Be Skeptical”.
Don’t believe what they say.
Look for the evidence that either supports or is in contrast to what they are saying.
Your team want to please you so they will often tell you what they think you want to hear. They will often tell you what you’ve done is good, even when it needs improvement.
Don’t take things at face value. Dig a little deeper. It will save you a lot of angst, time and money in the long run. This leadership lesson cost Martin’s company $1000. Thank to Martin, we get to learn vicariously.
When it comes to your team and the instructions you give, Be Skeptical of their response and feedback.