Most leaders, if they choose to, will admit that they get along better with some people on their team. True for all of us human beings. The good leaders I coach feel a responsibility to change that. They want to ensure the people with whom they “just click” aren’t privileged by it. They want to be fair. Rather than ask others to bend to suit their nature, good leaders know they need to adapt and respond to each person. Just as they adapt to changing market and industry conditions,
If you lead, there’s a high chance that you got there as an outgrowth of your technical professional skills. Often, it’s the most experienced, the most proficient, and sometimes the most loyal (!) who is asked to lead the team. Many people believe you need to be a technical expert to gain leadership credibility. What’s called “expert power” does indeed give credibility, but a limited kind which can go stale in a minute these days. No one disputes they’d like their leader to understand what they are doing – the challenges,
I’ve always found it fun, and intellectually stimulating, to work alongside other professionals in my field. In the early days of my career I was lucky to land in teams that were focused on creating great work together with a minimum of competitive drama. Later, as a consultant to HR teams, it was hit-and-miss. Some teams welcomed a partnership, others looked at me as a threatening outsider.
These days I’m offering a new service to HR practitioners, which I call “Colleague Calls”.
We often think that giving the benefit of the doubt is a good habit: It means we assume the best of intentions when others do or say something that we don’t like, or when their actions go against what we’ve agreed to. Team members will often show their loyalty by agreeing in principle to never doubt each others’ best intentions. This is a good habit for those who are quick to criticize, quick to judge intentions as evil,
I’m coaching a leader who is the resident expert in her field. Like many leaders, she loves the industry and is a natural problem-solver. In fact, she is well-sought-out for her thinking and her expertise and is also a respected speaker.
She needs more time for strategic work, and she wants to delegate more to her team. Some of them are intimidated by her and they have a hard time stepping up. In Coaching, we talk about how she can grow her team members’ skills and teach them to trust their own thinking.