Do you really get 100% out of your employees, or are you often pulling your hair out with frustration that things are not done the way you want them to be? Well, have you ever stopped to think that maybe the problem is with you and not your employees? Until early last year, I found myself forever wondering why my team weren’t doing things as well as I expected. I was sure there was a way to unlock more from them – (at the end of the day, I hired them because I believed they were awesome.) I was lucky enough to attend a workshop presented by Hazel Jackson on the book Multipliers, which totally changed my approach as an active business founder and MD. The core message of the book and presentation is to be a multiplier and not a diminisher. The minute Hazel started speaking about managers being diminishers and the traits they have, I, along with the rest of the attendees all laughed it off, clearly thinking there was no way we’re diminishers, until Hazel threw a curve ball: “Most managers are accidental diminishers”, and after explaining 6 key things done by accidental diminishers, Hazel asked who felt they ticked all 6 boxes. All 20 of us raised our hands. I want to focus on 4 of these traits.
4 Things accidental diminishers do:
1. The rapid responder:
Have you ever found yourself responding to emails that you were cc’d in on and addressed to a staff member? Not just any email but most likely complaints or potential big deals, where your initial instinct is to jump up and reply before anyone else has the chance to. You more than likely do this because you believe you are the only person that can fix the problem or win this big deal. Yes, you may have all the answers, but the problem with responding before the person that the email was actually addressed to, is that you are shutting down their thinking and soon they will feel that they don’t need to respond assuming you will do it for them.
2. The big idea:
Yes, we all know you are brilliant, and you have all the greatest ideas in the world, but take a minute to slow down and have a breather. Throwing an idea around the office every 5 minutes becomes extremely counter-productive and often confuses your team. Throwing too many ideas around too often will soon make your team lose confidence and make them unsure of what you or the company really wants. Have a structured forum where you sit and discuss yours and others ideas – Where everyone can process them and formulate a plan to implement ideas that everyone agrees on.
3. The rescuer:
Failure is the fastest way to success. If you don’t let your team fail they will never learn, and will never truly reach success. How often are you needed to jump in and save the day, be it in the middle of a pitch, a proposal, etc? But seriously, have you ever just let your team take full ownership, responsibility and accountability on what they are working on, even when they’ve really “stuffed” up? Sometimes, you just have to let them fail, as it really is the best way to learn. To help this process, I ask my team a simple question before they present their final work to me or a client: “Is this your best work”? – If the answer is yes, then I invite them to continue. If no, then I ask them how long they need to provide me with their best work. There are often external issues out of their control that prevent them from providing their best work. Try it, I promise you will be surprised with the reasons and the increased quality of work delivered.
4. Forcing your team to buy in:
Your employees are the life-blood of your company – and they are part of the reason you are successful. So, when the time comes to implement anything new, be it a process, product, service, whatever, don’t just shove it down their throats and say “use this because we say you must.” You want your team to take ownership in the decision-making, this way they will trust it and want to make it work far more than if they were forced to buy into something that they didn’t really believe in. We see this point a lot when implementing Magnetic into companies. Changing the way your team works or reports is a massive change, and it is crucial to get this right from the start. Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time ensuring I changed my approach to the 4 points above and can say with confidence that it has had a life and business-changing outcome for me. I’ve only touched on some of the points that Hazel presented, so if you enjoyed what I’ve written above then definitely go out and get the book. Take the survey to see if you are an accidental diminisher