When projects succeed, when proposals are accepted, when businesses exceed their targets, do you take the credit? When things go wrong, do you blame the team, blame the economy, blame some undefined others?
How do you feel when your leadership brags to the shareholders about the business success ... and blames you when the results don't meet the plan?
When we blame others for failures, we lose the ability to look at our own behaviors and contributions to the failures. When we blame others for the failures, we lose their support, commitment and engagement with future efforts. When we bask in the light of success, without sharing it, we run the risk of undermining future support and lose the opportunity to develop and highlight the talent in our organizations.
John C. Maxwell says "Let those you lead outshine you. If they shine brightly enough, it's reflected on you." Organizations today look to their leaders to deliver results in an effective manner and to develop the talent in the organization. By privately and publicly acknowledging the contributions and results of others, you strengthen the network that will enable your success in future situations, you encourage continued contributions from others, and you motivate others to excel.
The next time there's a problem or a success, pay attention to language. Problem's are best handled with "I" statements that accept responsibility for the situation and subsequent action items. When there's a success to be discussed, it's best in terms of "We / He / She / the team".
Finally, consider all of the possible forms of acknowledgment that you can use. David Rock in his book, Quiet Leadership, outlines six forms of verbal recognition that serve as a good reminder to the ways that we can acknowledge, coach, motivate and recognize others.
- Appreciation - I really appreciate you completing that report on time.
- Validation - I can see you’ve given this report a lot of thought and attention.
- Recognition - It’s clear you are a very talented writer.
- Affirmation - I think you deserve all the credit for this project.
- Confirmation - It’s great you took on this project; it suits your style.
- Thanking - Thanks for taking the time to focus 100% on this project.
When you cultivate a solutions focus to problems and failures, and combine that with praising efforts and rewarding results, you will find your team making the extra effort to deliver the results that will reflect well on you.
Read Solutions Group works with organizations and leaders to develop an understanding of the business and organizational challenges, develop the direction appropriate for the culture and size of the organization, provide focused targeted training and/or facilitated workshops, and support the delivery of a solution. Whether one-on-one with key leaders or working hand-in-hand with your leadership team, Sherry Read will stimulate the creative thought processes to generate a wider range of practical, value-adding solutions to business, managerial and human resource issues.