Making Threats

None of us in leadership can avoid giving stern warnings at times.I also spanked my children when they were young.  What I want to note is we need to have many more tools in our bag, so we rarely use these.

We have failed as leaders when we must resort to threats with our workers.

1. We likely did not clarify our request.
2. We likely did not check on progress before things got out of hand.
3 We possibly chose people who respond to little else.

Threats hurt the passion of those who receive them. Passion goes down. Passion earns us money, so why do we crush passion?

Let me explain one tool today.

Asking questions.

I give an assignment to a manager. Time passes and progress is not what I want. I can go to the manager and say, “Get going or else!”

Or I can ask, what is your plan for this? (earlier is better for this question) I can ask what she sees and how she plans to complete on time. I can ask if she needs any support. I can ask what problems she might be facing. Naturally, by asking questions I am gaining information to make a better judgment on this matter. This keeps me from foolishly threatening.

This often leads me to clarify my expectation for the worker. It often shows I was not clear enough at the start. I need to look myself in the mirror and not threaten the manager.

By asking questions, I am empowering the manager. I am challenging the worker and asking her to think. I am showing her what I expect and even coaching through questions.

You want to stay on the same side of the table as your managers as much as possible. When you are on their team and they are on your team, you have found your mark. Passion will grow and threats will disappear just like spanking did with my kids.

And you should know that your managers have a bigger weakness in this area since you are in China. Use one on one coaching to get them past this.


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Posted in: Being the Right Person, Coaching, Culture Development, Leadership, Motivating Workers

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