The latest book, Coaching Employees from Harvard Business, was given to me by one of my team mates. I’ve been the video department director, for the past three years. I’ll be the first to admit, my first year was overwhelming. I was a struggling Rookie Manager. I was having a hard time connecting with my team, delegating, addressing conflict and personal insecurities – being a woman leading a team of men was one of them.
Working at a church one would think there would be no problems, but issues will always arise when people are involved. There would be times something would go wrong, I would handle the situation but at the end of it, I knew I could have done it better. I came out of a position of great personal achievement and now the key to success was in the growth of my team.
For the first few weeks my new job looked the same as my old job, it took months and issues to pop up to make me realize when I wasn’t standing at my new post. Coaching Employees touches on so many of these issues. What I liked about it most, was that it was encouraging.
“Being coached helped me understand that I could make the biggest difference as a leader not by doing more than everyone else but by empowering other people to do more and motivating them to do their best.”
“As their manager, you set overall direction for them – but you let them figure out how best to get there.”
“You may feel reluctant to surrender control or to give people room to make mistakes, and you’ll almost certainly be tempted to jump in with solutions when they’re struggling with a problem. But those challenges get easier the more you coach, and the payoff is enormous: You’ll tap your employees’ full potential while learning more strategically.”
The newest podcast, Invisibilia shared a story about a blind man learning how to ride a bike as a child. His mom allowed him to have a normal childhood of climbing trees, and scraping his knees as a child. When he grew up, he began to teach other blind children how to get around. He shared the story of training a small child how to walk around the park. The child’s godmother was with them during the training. As he took the boy around the park, they came to the street, the boy’s godmother stepped in out of fear and grabbed the child. The teacher told her its those moments that he needed to learn, she robe him of that teachable moments by stepping in and saving him.
After hearing that story, I began to see that’s what I’ve been doing the past three years for my team. I became the one with all the answers and in return failed to allow others to learn how to problem solve and come up with solutions on their own.
“…prompting them with questions to solve problems in creative new ways rather than simply telling them..”
“If you keep providing all the answers, people will keep lining up at your door looking for them.”
“…be honest about the performance you expect and where your employee stands..”
“The brain is remarkably plastic: It grows and adapts throughout life. That means you’re never stuck with who you are or who your employees are.”
I’ve been putting to practice a lot of the principle shared and already I notice more harmony on my team. We still have struggles every now and then, but at least we all know together we can do a great job at building the house of God.