By Sandra K. Ziebold
As leaders we must be creative and focused on growth. By growth I mean a good leader strives to teach and foster growth and development in individual team members while simultaneously seeking to achieve the growth goals of the organization.
There is one vital tip that can often assist when you are faced with the challenge of getting a team member to do what you need them to do. This tip often works when dealing with any team member that reports to you that just won't get on board. Some personality types are just more difficult and some things just set the stage for push back.
The Quick Tip: A team member will often do what is asked if you take the time to help them see why the task asked is important to the big picture.
Avoid being the because I said so leader as that really isn't a good leadership quality. The situation of a team member not doing what is asked can appear for many reasons; often it shows up when extreme age difference exists (extremely younger than you and extremely older than you). Sometimes it may show up because a prior experience received by the team member set a jaded precedent, which you now must overcome. The individual may feel they are being given busy work or that the task is menial and has no relevance. You simply respecting them and showing them the value of doing the simple task requested and how it impacts the grand scheme, will go a long way.
A district manager made his monthly visit to the car wash and during the early morning team meeting stressed his disappointment to the on-site location manager, team leads and all team staff about the appearance of the lot across from the wash. He gave the directive that cleaning up that area of debris and trash was now part of the lot clean up duties. The young newest part-time employees were given the lot clean up duties and refused or gave tons of push back and negativity because they couldn't see why they were cleaning up property that wasn't even part of the wash. They couldn't see the bigger picture. Eventually a leader took the time to explain upon overhearing staff speaking negatively about the district manager. The explanation was that the business space across the way was not currently leased and the lot was not being kept up by anyone at the present time. It was further explained that the debris and trash piling up was an eye-sore for wash clientele on busy days when the car lineup extended off the lot and down the street. Whether or not the mess was owned by the wash it was impacting the wash clients and wash reputation and so cleaning it up was a positive reputation management act and was considered vital and important. Once the young team members understood, they happily did the task because they wanted to be the best wash.
Explaining why at the very beginning when giving the directive could have prevented much negativity in the midst as well fostered pride sooner in the organization. We often forget the naivete of younger employees as they are learning and it is our job as leaders to teach.
Once I was personally impacted by an employee that during the slower season would try to be helpful but her ways of being helpful were extremely annoying because they made things more difficult. She wanted to know what was going on and her choices of being helpful assisted her with getting information. For the most part at the core she merely wanted to keep busy and I recognized this fact. On top of that when given an outlined task to complete she immediately often had a problem with getting on board. It is hard to help someone keep busy when they push back when given a directive on a task. This employee was much older than I was and that may or may not have been an impacting factor. I eventually learned that a fundamental part of her personality was that as long as she knew that what she was doing was helpful and understood how it fit into the whole picture then she was more than happy to do the task.
I have since encountered this repeatedly in various scenarios and when providing creative team direction consulting. I know that this is a common problem that is encountered in team management and I hope that this shared tip is helpful. We truly learn from everyone that we encounter. What not to do and what to do...it's all positive growth!
strategy + business | Great article by Art Kleiner and Nancy A. Nichols
20 Questions For Business Leaders
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, every management decision is motivated by a desire to find universal answers to very specific questions. People who succeed in organizations tend to be pragmatic problem solvers. They have to be, because... Read More
Sandra Ziebold is an Artistic Leader and the Creative Business Owner of Ziebold Imagery. Ziebold Imagery —creatively directs and provides services to clients meeting their needs for creative team direction, graphic design, fine art, image consistency, strategic marketing and communications, and win-win partnership services collaboration agreements.
About this blog
This blog is about art, creativity, outdoor living, positivity, marketing, philanthropy and reflections of nature.
I am an artist, business owner and philanthropist that strives in the everyday to keep things simple and spread positivity. I look for the peace and zen in the hustle and bustle, excitement and wonders of life and nature around us.