Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Leadership coaching covers a wide variety of topics. One thing I love about doing coaching is that no two meetings are ever the same. While the details may be different, the themes are the same. Today we’re talking about some of the common issues leaders just like you are facing and how you can overcome them. Tune in to learn how to carry heavy burdens, create a complementary team, the difference between good leaders and great leaders, and the real goal of tough discussions.
1. It’s not the load that breaks you down. It is the way you carry it.
There are two ways to avoid the pain of resistance. 1) Swerve around it. 2) Become someone who isn’t bothered by it. Many leaders spend more energy focusing on the resistance instead of how to overcome it. You can either keep talking about the problem or start talking about the solution. Both options require energy, but only one helps you move forward. Great leaders choose to talk about solutions!
2. Differences make teams stronger.
To build a strong team, you have to see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness and not a threat to your authority. Different personalities come with different natural strengths and weaknesses. When you choose to create a diverse team, you are creating a team that is ready to support each other’s weaknesses--including yours!
Do you struggle to accept support from your team? Sometimes we can get the wrong idea that leaders do not have weaknesses, and they should not need help. But the fact is that great leaders humbly allow people to support the areas where they are weak. Remember that who you are as a leader is not defined by your weaknesses but by the influence that you hold.
Q: How do you respond when someone on your team shows that they have a strength in an area where you have a weakness?
3. Good leaders prepare, and great leaders adjust.
How many adjustments have you made over the past few months? Probably too many to count!
The organizations who adjusted quickly and nimbly during the challenges of this year were the ones in a better position to succeed and thrive. Preparation requires effort, but adjusting your plan when plans change requires skill. I believe that every good leader or coach spends time drawing up a game plan for success. But great leaders are the ones that can adapt and adjust to an ever-changing climate.
Q: What are you doing to prepare for the unknown? What are you doing to become a leader who anticipates the future? When did you last conduct an analysis of your team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? When is the last time that you blocked off the calendar to brainstorm what may be coming with your team and create contingency plans?
4. The aim of a tough discussion is not victory but progress.
When you need to have a tough discussion, check your emotions at the door. Remember, a leader's goal should always be to make progress. However, we can often allow our emotions to get in the way of the ultimate goal. We often go into the discussion to prove a point or prove someone wrong. As gratifying as that can be, it will hold back progress and destroy respect. Before going into a tough discussion, be sure you are emotionally stable. Great leaders seek what is right, not who is right.
Q: How do you handle your emotions when you have to have a tough conversation? What do you do when you are on the receiving end of a tough conversation? Have you ever been in a situation where someone let their emotions get the better of them? How did it affect the way you processed what they had to say? How did it affect the relationship long-term?
Conduct a SWOT analysis with each of your team members before the end of the year. Here’s a link to an online resource if you have never done this before. As you work, allow your team to self-identify their strengths and weaknesses before giving your own feedback. You may be surprised to learn of a strength you never knew they had!
How do you accept feedback from others? Think about your weaknesses. Identify at least one person to help you grow in that area and set up a meeting. Challenge yourself to go through the entire meeting without defending yourself. Take their feedback and treat it as a personal growth challenge!
Do you think of yourself as rigid or flexible? Talk to your spouse or a close friend about the last time you had to change your plans. How did you respond? Ask them how your response made them feel. The next time your plans change, whether at work or home, use their feedback to try to adjust more quickly and easily.