An executive who heard me speak at a conference and then read one of my articles shared with me the following experience. As you read the account below, please understand that this type of behavior is common in many workplaces today, and it results in stifled profits and frustrated team members. Here’s what they shared::
“[Your]…article was of particular interest to me because of a personal experience my daughter had a few weeks back. While one of her co-workers was out on vacation, her supervisor was handling [their] workload as well as his own, so he was fairly stressed at the time.
My daughter observed the way things were being handled and believed there was a smoother, more efficient way to accomplish the tasks. She sat down and wrote out detailed suggestions as to how she thought things might work more efficiently, printed it out, put it in a folder and waited a few days before handing it to her supervisor with the comment that she hoped her ideas would help.
He made no comment or acknowledgement, but a few days later she was called into the HR’s office where the owner of the business, the HR person, and her supervisor were waiting for her.
When she walked in and the door closed behind her, the HR person started slapping her desk and demanded how dare she be so presumptive as to tell her supervisor how to do his job, and if she had anything to say, she needed to say it then & there.
However, every time she started speaking the HR person started slapping the desk, making accusations, and in general interrupting so that she could not speak on her own behalf.
Had my daughter ignored her supervisor and offered the suggestions directly to owner/management [it] would be one thing, however, she gave the suggestions directly to her supervisor and had mentioned it to no one else.
The suggestions she made all were couched in a language so that the supervisor could claim and implement the ideas as his own and no one would have known any different. However, he launched a complaint with management and HR.
My daughter was devastated by their response and seriously considered resigning.
Needless to say, this has left an awkward working environment for my daughter as well as the owner and supervisor, when it could have been received with discussion and consideration, perhaps improved upon or even discarded without the discord that came about.
My daughter takes unusual notice and has particular awareness of dysfunctional situations or work programs, and analyzes them carefully if she addresses them. At this time, obviously she is reluctant to say or do anything other than just bury her head in the paperwork in her section and offer nothing, which is their loss and her discomfort.
Thanks for your article. It really spoke to me because of my daughter’s experience. Since this is the attitude of the business, no doubt there are other employees and suggestions that are going un-heard and unimplemented. Sad for the business and sad for the employees.”
I’ve been writing about one of the best ways for you, as the leader, to take that first step toward a process of engaging your employees. It involves a participative leadership style that I call Engage2Lead and employs the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
With the 1-2-3 leadership tool, you’ll make decisions that are better informed, your people will be more engaged with key decisions and their outcomes, and, finally, the organization will reach a level of team-initiated achievement that was impossible before implementing this process.
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 there was a way for you to gain soaring profits, would you be interested?
Involve your people with an Engage2Lead participative leadership style and employ the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
Does leadership style encourage your employees to be engaged, or are they disengaged? How could you start today to improve upon your leadership style? Please share your comments <here> and share this article with a friend and co-worker.
Are your leading your organization toward growth? Take my FREE Lead2Grow Assessment <here> to understand more. (plus – you’ll receive custom-tailored suggestions about next steps to take, starting today)