There are thousands of books written about how to be an effective leader or manager and just as many “Top 10” lists of activities to do every day. The problem is, these books tend to be complex, and the lists don’t give context.
A helpful discipline when giving feedback to someone, or when having a tough conversation to help correct someone’s unproductive actions, is sharing three data points. Data points are examples of what the person is doing that demonstrates the bad behavior.
If you have to confront one of your people for bad behavior – let’s say he or she is treating people in the office poorly – you owe that person three examples. There is truly magic in three. Two is not enough and four is too many.
How Well Are You Leading And Managing Your Team?
For most companies, this question doesn’t have an easy answer, but it’s usually something like this: “I guess pretty good? My team seems to like me.” Over the years, I have heard versions of this answer many times – but only from companies not running on EOS®! It’s scary how many things are wrong with that answer, not least of which is the belief that being liked is an indication of strong leadership and management skills. These leaders and managers clearly don’t have a way to measure how they are doing.
With a company running on EOS, the answer is completely different.
It could be that one of the main reasons you are a successful business leader is that you really know how to talk. You’ve been rewarded in your career for being able to talk your way into (or out of) anything. You’ve been successful in convincing people, inspiring people, and getting your way because of your ability to talk. But, like most things in life, too much of a good thing can turn a strength into a weakness.
I recently spent the day with two groups of mid-managers, helping them become more comfortable with EOS®, improve their leadership and management skills, and create more accountability. Late in the day, while teaching five important disciplines used by great managers, we had some terrific dialog about providing feedback to employees. The group easily understood the importance of giving both positive and constructive feedback to employees, and about the need to do so quickly (within 24 hours). What they were struggling with was the “how.” In other words, how, exactly, do you give someone negative feedback that is CONstructive rather than DEstructive?