Leading people – what not to say

Have you ever wondered why that team member suddenly causes you more problems when you have less time to deal with them? Is it a bid for attention? Are you leading well through difficult situations?

It’s not the people, it’s the situation

When you get under pressure, your little inner voice, the one you ignore otherwise, starts telling you how to act. It’s a mean voice in your ancient brain. Rarely will that voice tell you ‘be patient’, ‘ask questions’. It usually comes in the form of “get it done, they’ll get over it.”effective leadership, leadership, leading people, leaders and change, communication, leading

My voice tends to tell me to ‘just get it done and don’t wait for people to figure it out. You can always show them how you did it afterward”. Not very empowering for the rest of the team.

What’s the lessons about leading?

The lesson I’ve learned over the years – and still have to remember to use- is when that primitive part of my brain starts talking, I come to a stop and remind myself to ‘be patient’ and ‘ask questions’. I have enough experience with doing it wrong that I know the consequences.  If you don’t practice patience, people will stop trusting you, they’ll stop bringing problems to you, and they’ll stop finding solutions.

What does doing it right mean?

When you start to hear that voice, whatever yours says to you, take a breath think and then act.  Ask for solutions, don’t give answers. Praise people for doing what needs to be done. Use what time you have to lead people to the right path.

What about when there’s a safety issue? I suggest remembering to debrief a situation after the danger has passed if you have to act right away.

Remember, leading people is about relationships, not tasks. If you can balance the tasks and the relationships, you can lead anyone.

What are your leadership communication tips.