Could You Be Surrounded By Potential You're Missing?
As people and leaders, we all make judgements or assumptions about others on a daily basis without sometimes noticing, it is part of our human nature.
These judgements and assumptions are generally made from one particular perspective or through our own lens or filter of the world of which there are usually many for any given situation. Our own values, ethics, background commitments, priorities, world view and experiences often form our assumptions and judgements and apply our filters to how we see the world and don’t take account of another’s and those around us. This can lead us to make judgements on which we base decisions about those we work with.
How do you feel about your team member who arrives dead at 9 am and leaves by 5 pm sharp every day?
- Do you think they are unmotivated or disengaged or even lazy?
- Do you think they are great at time management, focus and prioritising?
- Do you know what they are committed to outside work?
What about the team member who is first in and last out and always needs to be encouraged to take their annual leave?
- Do you think they are eager and fully committed and you couldn’t do without them?
- Do you think they are disorganised or waste time?
- Do you wonder if they need extra support and help?
Perhaps this depends on both what we know about and what we value in our team members or the value of the team members contribution and output? As small as these points may seem, our thoughts on these can lead us to make decisions that lead to actions all based on how we see the world and our assumptions if we don't get to understand those around us.
Whatever assumptions we make, they can only be assumptions unless we know what motivates and drives our team, know them as people and understand and value their contribution.
If you were to take some time to reflect: What do you really know about those around you and in your team at work?
What assumptions do we all make about those around us and the decisions that they make on a daily basis?
An example of this would be how we see people in their role at work, we often see people in “a box” into which they fit on our organisation and the role they perform and we manage and judge people on how they perform in “that box”.
In truth, however, most people have lots of talents and skills which we are not aware of and do not tap into, because we’re busy and have a lot to achieve and need people to perform the roles we’ve employed them to do.
As leaders, is it not one of our greatest roles to inspire, develop and challenge our teams to become the best they can be, to encourage them to continue to develop and learn, and to give them the space to take responsibility, deliver outcomes and take some calculated risks.
What is Potential?
"The ability, skills and attributes within each individual that are there to be tapped into and developed".
Too often, performance is managed as opposed to potential being led and developed.
How can we uncover true motivations, hidden talents and skills in the people we work with and get to really know them, not judge them in the position in which they currently are in?
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you know about where/when/how your team lead?
- How can you tap into and use these skills and this potential?
- What other skills and attributes do your team have that you may be unaware of?
- What drives and motivates them most in their life?
It may seem like a very small thing and you may not feel it is important, you may think you know enough. Remember though, people often don’t associate the skills that they use outside work with their role in work. Often indeed they don’t recognise or acknowledge these skills in themselves or see them as important.
Imagine finding out someone working in your admin team is actually the best fundraiser for a charity to which they are deeply committed and would actually be great in a sales capacity if developed well and engaged in your cause.
Find out more about your team members:
- What did they spend the weekend doing?
- What are their interests outside work?
- How are they involved in their local or wider community?
- What sports do they play/follow?
- How involved are they with their families sport, interests and clubs?
- Where do they get the most satisfaction and enjoyment?
When you find these out think about the skills these may evolve and dig deeper, it will help you to understand them better as people, what motivates and drives them and allow you to build stronger individual and team relationships.
Get in touch if you want to learn more about unleashing the potential of your people.
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