Mark knew it was time for the team meeting, but he really didn’t want to go.
It was always the same thing. People would joke around for 10 minutes. Then Cindy and John would dominate the conversation to see who could one up the other. Alex would try to chime in with calm and reason and Cindy and John would talk over him.
Mark would look over at his manager and he would be rolling his eyes or looking down at his iPad. Mark liked his boss, but at some point he stopped caring.
Many of the old patterns exist because that’s what people do. They get into habits. Sometimes good and sometimes bad, but habits are at your work.
It’s the bad habits that hold us back.
I came across a popular talk from Carol Dweck.
She talks about the growth mindset. I clumsily wrote the growth mindset back in 2008. I believed I could be a good writer someday. Almost there. Just a few more years.
Read what she has to say about her research:
“We found that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their abilities—played a key role in their motivation and achievement, and we found that if we changed students’ mindsets, we could boost their achievement. More precisely, students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset).” Carol Dweck
Do you believe you are still learning and growing?
Every leader must be able to believe that s/he can learn and grow. If they are stuck in old habits and can’t break free you get the typical scenario that I described above.
Breaking Old Patterns
Habits are not easy to break, but it’s possible, if you believe it’s possible.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt
A man after my own heart. He had the growth mindset back in 1901. He was also an Environmental Activist. The dude was amazing.
Enough about my man Theo.
You can break these bad habits by creating an employee feedback loop. This is where leadership separates the average from the really good. Listening to tough feedback and using it as an opportunity for growth.
Now imagine if Mark’s boss had a growth mindset.
He would see the meetings weren’t productive and he would take action. He would probably start the meeting by stating the obvious then begin by asking each person, what we should do to improve the meetings.
He would list each idea on the meeting room white board. Then ask people to vote on the ones they think would work the best.
Then he would implement the top 3 ideas by asking the group who would like to make sure we follow these ideas in every meeting. If no one steps up then he would do it. If someone stepped up he knew he had an ally to help him.
Either way it would happen.
Be a Great Leader
A great leader knows when to make the tough choice. Even the best leaders can lose sight of what is working well and what needs to be improved. So that’s why you have to create a feedback loop to help keep you in check.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols
I truly believe that everyone should consider themselves a leader at work. So you should be asking your co-workers and your boss how you can improve.
It can be a hard conversation to have, but one that will help you grow your career.
If you consider yourself a leader at work then you should get the 7 Proven Ways to Encourage Employee Happiness and Engagementto help you at work. I’m also offering a new type of coaching that I haven’t offered before. I want to help more business leaders improve their employees happiness and productivity. If you are on my email list I’ll send you a special offer to help you create happier and more engaged employees. Just click the button below: