Think of how you might feel if you arrived at work one day and your work-station had been moved. You didn’t know it was going to happen, and you don’t know why it happened.
Then you learn that your senior manager had decided they wanted to ‘rearrange’ the seating so it would be easier for them to remember your names, or your faces, and where you sat!
This is exactly what happened with a client I was consulting with, and the employees of that department were pretty upset with their manager.
How do you think you would feel if this happened to you?
- Unsettled and Upset? – There is a certain element of security in the constancy of how we arrange our workspaces and who our neighbors are.
- Unappreciated and Under-Valued? – Unilateral decisions made without the input of those affected almost always devalue the people involved.
- Angry and Resentful? – With an invasion of your privacy or your space, you are not likely to recommend your workplace as a wonderful place to be.
It’s common for managers to focus on results and disregard the relationship side of their work. So why do managers drive for results at the expense of relationships?
Unfortunately, as managers are promoted into higher levels in their organization, too many feel that they should become more dynamic and decisive. After all, they’re in charge!
And the more dynamic and decisive they become, the more likely they are to disregard maintaining and enhancing relationships while expediently focusing on their drive for results. After all, isn’t that all that matters?
The fact is, the more relationship-conscious employees are, the quicker they become disenchanted with managers who rule with selfish expediency, pursuing individual and departmental goals that are self-focused without considering the rest of the team.
Employees want to be respected and invited to use their minds instead of just blindly following orders. They can quickly become disenchanted with supervisors who express, “My way or the highway!” or “Do it because I said to!” or “Do it because I’m the boss!”
What happens next is predictable – and avoidable. The good employees quit because they feel undervalued.
The mediocre employees stay because they’re content with a paycheck and with being told what to do. The manager never changes, and when new employees are hired, it isn’t long before the cycle begins again.
Now, think about how different an organization that uses the participative leadership style (Engage2Lead employing the 1-2-3 leadership tool) approach would be.
Well, change like this can be difficult, and I’ve noticed that people create excuses to justify staying stuck in their old leadership ruts. Study the four most common excuses below, so you’ll recognize them if they crop up in your thinking! But before we do, let’s answer the question…
What is 1-2-3?
1-2-3 is a unique approach to the decision-making process defined as:
At the very beginning of the decision-making process – AND before making a decision – the empowering leader seeks input from his or her employees. Such a leader asks:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
The answers to the three questions above will guide leaders to assemble the right people and involve them, as appropriate, to help make important decisions.
The power of 1-2-3 is available to any leader, if they simply follow this approach as they make important decisions in their organization.
Could I suggest to you that the benefits of such an approach are worth the effort? I know, because I’ve seen the outcomes: better decisions are made, and teams become more effective and efficient.
If the benefits are worth the effort, why don’t more leaders take this approach?
Well, change like this can be difficult, and I’ve noticed that people create excuses to justify staying stuck in their old leadership ruts. Study the four most common excuses below, so you’ll recognize them if they crop up in your thinking!
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
1. “It never occurred to me that I should.”
This probably is one of the more common – and most inexcusable – admissions.
And chances are it will be downplayed by the adding of some other excuses, like…
2. “I didn’t have time.”
More like “I didn’t take time”. This admission might even be expressed more often than the first listed above – and it also is usually unjustifiable.
– John Wooden
3. “It’s not my job!”
Wow! Who has neglected to properly select, induct, train, and coach this manager about the importance of teamwork?
Good teamwork should automatically be understood to be an important part of everyone’s job.
And, unfortunately, there are the occasional situations when self-serving people, to get their own way, intentionally proceed on their own.
They would rather apologize later than get seek permission initially and acceptance.
4. “I tried it once, and it didn’t work.”
I wonder how many time this manager fell off their bike before they could ride it well?
The 1-2-3 decision-making process takes practice, practice, practice before it becomes part of the culture and people understand how it works.
As you can see, it’s often easy to justify excluding others in our decision-making process. But the results of a more independent, less inclusive leadership can be devastating to an organization and its people.
A Powerful Approach
When we recognize and avoid these common excuses, we’re more likely to adopt the powerful approach of participative leadership. And there’s no better way to engage with and lead your people than the 1-2-3 leadership tool!
What is your excuse for not employing a more participative leadership style? How does your organization encourage teamwork and collaboration in its decision-making process? Please share your comments <here> and share this article with family, friends, and/or co-workers.
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