Seeing is believing? Or believing is seeing?
Seeing the potential…
Do people need to show us they can perform before we believe they are right for the business? Or do we first need to believe that our people are capable and then help them develop and flourish?
As leaders, we are always seeking the best performance from our team. We look for evidence that they are right for the role or the business; are they adding value? If we start by looking at the recruitment process we notice how it is focused on finding people who are already qualified for the role, therefore expectations can be very high from the start. This makes complete sense given the huge cost involved in hiring and training, so we want to get it right first time. But with high expectations come blind spots regarding the role that we, as managers and leaders have in shaping our new employee’s performance. What level of investment should we be making in order for our team to flourish? What is OUR level of responsibility? What impact or influence do WE have?
For our people to be the best they can be, we need to believe they have the capability to develop and achieve. If you’ve had several negative experiences with a particular person you probably already have them in a “box”, and once they are in a box it is very difficult for you to see them any differently. You will subconsciously, or maybe even consciously, look for evidence to support your opinion. If you believe they are incapable of change, you will be blind to any behaviour that may imply otherwise; this is a very human trait.
What we as leaders believe about a person, can be the path to their rise, or fall. Negativity breeds negativity, therefore if we believe someone’s behaviour is negative, then we will only allow ourselves to see the negative aspects of their behaviour, the same is true if we have a positive opinion of someone. So how do we break this? As leaders, we need to challenge our beliefs and do our best to see with fresh eyes every day. Sounds challenging? It is!
Gaining new perspective…
Taking the team out of the work environment can really bring a fresh perspective in your thinking, and stepping out of the usual routine can encourage change. Off-site team-building activities or development sessions provide a great opportunity to see people behave differently and gain a new insight into your own and the team’s behaviour. In a short space of time, team building activities give the opportunity to view key behaviours which would take a lot longer to evaluate back in the office, e.g the ability to remain calm under pressure, communicate well, take leadership, make decisions and encourage the group. This provides evidence which challenges opinions and beliefs and the moment you start to see things differently is the moment you start a journey towards seeing the potential.
Why not bring your team along to a session at Mojo Active and encourage everyone to see with fresh eyes!