Last week we were talking about bellyacher's, and in this video, I shared three quick tips to deal with the complainers on your team but it may not have worked very well for you!
Let me go through the steps again!
3 tips for dealing with complainers:
Let me refresh your memory. When someone on your team is complaining, I suggested you try these three things:
1) Acknowledge their pain
Genuinely, with compassion and empathy, acknowledge how what they are complaining about is affecting them.
2) Ask them about their desired outcome.
Instead of focusing on the problem and whose fault it is, help them to focus on what outcome they want for everyone.
3) Ask them what action THEY can take to move towards that outcome.
When they point to someone else, gently bring them back, reminding them that "You can't change others. You can only change yourself." So even if they want someone to take a different action, help them see how they could positively influence someone's behaviour.
BONUS STEP: Ask them: How can I hold you accountable in a way that won't come across as nagging, negative or micromanaging?
Some of you replied to me with: That didn't work, Kathy!
Others responded with: That worked once, but they keep complaining! If it's not about this, then it's about something else. It is as if they look for something to complain about.
Trust me! I hear you. I have those people in my life and on my team too! They can zap my energy if I let them! The key point here (and the one I made last week) is that I can be response-able for the way things impact me.
But before I finish that thought, let me go back to my crappy advice.
Why my advice didn't work
If my advice didn't work, it's because I forgot to share the second half of the puzzle: What do you do when it redirecting a complainer doesn't work?
Of course, it won't work! Here's why:
Let me be completely transparent. Most of the time, what I suggested to you above won't work. At least not initially.
You and that team member have created a habitual way of interacting.
You have to be patient and consistent
We know change takes time. To elicit a consistent new response from your employee will require repeated different responses for you.
If you follow my suggestions, you will be practicing a new way of interacting. The problem is, it's soooooooooo easy to return to the default mode after one or two tries of doing something differently.
You can't try once and stop
But, once isn't enough to cut it.
Strong Leadership = Continuous growth and development
Leadership is about growth and development. It is a continual exercise of learning, failing and getting back up and practicing again.
We won't master new ways of communicating and influencing our team by trying something out once! Mastery comes with practice. A lot of practice! In fact, to master something, science has shown you need to invest 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. That means not practicing something you already know how to do, but practicing something you don't know how to do. That something is often way outside of your comfort zone.
It's time for you to respond with practice
So to change your staff's behaviour, you need to change the way you lead. This comes back to being response-able. You can respond to their complaints in a different way. But to entirely overall that relationship (they complain, you roll your eyes…), you'll need to practice responding consistently in a different way.
Are you committed to ongoing growth and development?
It's time to practice that! It's about mastering a new way of leading. This takes time and a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development.
To get a better handle on where you are and what you need to work on as you move towards mastery, read this article. Then grab the guide sheet to identify where you are on the continuum of apprentice to master. On the page, you will also find two videos to deepen your understanding of the path to becoming a masterful leader.
I'm here to guide you on this journey!
You can do it! I’m here to help you. So as always, if you have any questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Do you need a roadmap to guide your journey?
If you are ready to commit to intentional and consistent growth and development, join The Training Library. Inside pick the courses you need to take to grow your skills. Then systematically work through the lessons, bit by bit! Five minutes here and 15 minutes there, will fast track your journey towards mastery! I'll be there with you every step of the way!
Commit, my dear, to being in it for the long haul! Some days will be challenging. Knowing you are growing and expanding your capacity makes those days worthwhile!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.