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You’re Doing It Wrong
July 22, 2011
Written By: Russell Jensen

A senior executive confided to me yesterday that she was pulled aside by a peer this week.  “You’re doing it wrong,” he told her.  In a five-minute conversation he constructively and respectfully said:

  1. Remember when you pulled me aside a few months ago and gave me some tough love feedback?  That helped me more than you know.  Please let me return the favor.
     
  2. You bring talent and savvy critical to our success.  We can’t do this without you.  We need you to be successful and we want you to win.
     
  3. You are not being successful with our CEO.
     
  4. Change your style with him.  Rather than responding the way you do when he challenges you, try this …
     
  5. The rest of us on the team are on your side.  Let us help.  Here is how you can let us help …
     
  6. Use me as a sounding board whenever you like.
     
  7. I will continue to give you feedback.

 Is that great stuff or what? 

I have three immediate reactions for you.  First, this is what high performing leaders do.  They are player coaches.  They worry less about line authority and personal scorecards and more about what it takes for everyone to win.  Second, this is what a high performing team looks and acts like.  And, good news, this is teachable.  Finally, you too, valued reader, are probably doing it wrong.  Chances are high there is someone on your team or in your organization who could benefit from some honest, honorable straight talk about a blind spot or self-defeating behavior that is preventing them from contributing the way they should and the way you need them to.

More good news: you can just about use the real conversation above as the script for your own conversation.

  1. I think you could use some help.  And I think I can help.
     
  2. You bring talent and savvy critical to our success.  We can’t do this without you.  We need you to be successful and we want you to win.
     
  3. This (particular thing) is getting in the way and preventing you from being successful.
     
  4. Here are some suggestions for getting better results in this particular area …
     
  5. The rest of us on the team are on your side.  Let us help.  Here is how you can let us help …
     
  6. Use me as a sounding board whenever you like.
     
  7. I will continue to give you feedback.

 Any questions?  Now go, do.

 


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