One of the simplest yet most impactful qualities of a good leader that you can bring to your business is giving recognition and appreciation to your employees. It costs nothing and it has a profound affect on their level of commitment.
Business Coaching Insight:
People will do more for appreciation than money
However, many business owners struggle with the idea of giving employees acknowledgment unless they do a 100% perfect job.
In other words, "How can I tell them they did a good job when they didn’t?"
This is a trap that many 'technical' business owners can easily fall into.
Having usually started out as technical experts before setting up their own business, they tend to negatively judge the work of their employees against their own technical expertise.
Not surprisingly, when they compare their employees' technical expertise to their own, it usually comes up lacking. This leads to the business owner seeing them as less skilled and sloppy workers.
When you expect someone to do a ‘perfect job’ the focus tends to be on defects. You see what’s wrong rather than what’s right. You criticize what's wrong instead of praising what's right.
Perfection is often impossible to achieve so expecting perfection sets up a problem whereby you will actually create the opposite response from your staff than you want.
The criticism you give your employees may cause them to
improve initially but eventually they will start to give up
and stop trying. They feel defeated, won’t show any initiative and just wait for ‘the boss’ to tell them what to do.
The technically perfect leader then falls in to the trap of taking over because it feeds their need to be the best.
Throwing up your hands and saying ‘I’ll do it myself – it’s the only way I can guarantee it will be done right’ cements the belief that the employees are not nearly as capable as you.
Funnily enough these are
usually the same business owners who complain that they can’t rely on
anyone else and that they are fed up with doing all the work!
If you are a 'perfect technician' then it will really help improve your leadership skills if you set a goal for your employees to achieve 'excellence' rather than perfection.
And, when you feel the need to criticize, take this as a prompt to start coaching your employees so they can learn from your expertise.
If you want to have a great team around you, you have to give up needing to be the best.
When you give your staff positive feedback and acknowledge them for what they contribute to your business its builds their self-confidence and gives your business a performance boost.
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