When is the problem not really THE problem? What do you do when your star player on your team underperforms or disappoints you?
The easy answer would be to pounce and criticize. To focus on immediately correcting the issue. Yet, if you do that, you’ll be making a big mistake. Instead, learn from a key lesson I stumbled on early in my career and dig a bit deeper.
In this week’s episode, I share a personal story about how I learned much more than I originally planned when I had to give some tough feedback and coaching to a star employee. You’ll learn what the problem was, what I planned to do, where the conversation went instead, and why that made all the difference in the world. It helped me see how leaders can play the long game to win big with their people.
Lessons and links from today’s episode:
- The hiring method I like to use(give them an assignment)
- Prepare for any 1 on 1 meeting to give feedback by following the Prepare Listen Act model:
- Learn the step by step process in our blog post here.
- And listen to Episode 2 for a hands on discussion about it.
- When you have an issue with your team, make sure you check in how their world is going. You may find super important context out. Reserve judgment until you hear the full picture.
- If you make it safe to talk about issues, you may be surprised how candid, apologetic and open your team may be with you. This is priceless.(Learn about creating psychological safety here)
- Always look for the root problem. Don’t simply treat symptoms.
- Ask why something disappointing may have happened and give them the benefit of the doubt.
- If your best people tell you they’re overwhelmed. Believe them. It’s hard to find replacement stars, so you’re much better off taking care of them.
- Lighten the load
- Make priorities clearer
- Give them a break if needed
- All of these beat having to hire a replacement.
- Yet, always maintain your standards. We still did ultimately talk about the recruiting issue, because it was a problem. But first we fixed the root issue.
Next time you have a team member that surprises you by coming in below your expectations with them, remember the lessons I learned here and dig deeper before correcting the surface level issues.
And if you need help organizing your thoughts to prepare to give feedback, and make the most of when your team opens up about challenges like this, then sign up for a free trial of Lighthouse.
Trusted by hundreds of managers every day, we help give them the right questions to ask for any situation, always be prepared, and improve the quality of all of their 1 on 1s and their leadership overall. Start your 21-day trial risk free here.