Everyone is battling a battle
People often choose not to develop the skills which require dis-comfortable, or intense exercise, only participating in the things that they feel they are good at. The only constant in their work life is going to be change, and yet over time with clients we have established a massive pattern of resisting change because of not knowing how they will be doing, or dealing with uncertainty and fear. They do not know how they could possibly increase performance and that they will probably suck. They avoid standing out and putting up their hand amongst their peers. They do not to stick out in any way.
This is really why we find people with the mindset of resisting change in both personal and professional environs.
Working with hundreds of leaders, students and business teams there is really not enough attention being given to strengthening relationships with failure and adversity. Often change is easier to be avoided as it is considered painful. But what if change was not painful in any way, and our relationship to pain and failure was shifted?
We must understand the dynamic of what is happening in that individual’s brain that is perceived as failing and how they feel when they strike out and the fact that they’ve got one foot in and one foot out. With uncertainty, they are telling themselves messages that they don’t really tell you about it because it’s embarrassing, because it’s a sign of weakness, because you might actually come to the conclusion they suck. You do not probably feel secure with how people feel about their career growth or job security when all these things are happening in employee’s minds as a complicated dynamic. Rest assured as a business person, this is happening in many levels with your team and you may not be part of it. It may be an idea to now bring members of your team into your office and let them in on the secret that you are inclined to know what is going on. There are certainly many stories of failure you yourself have come across, some simple fixes, some major road blocks along the way. You have battled your own adversities to get where you are today, as being a leader in a business is never without adversity. Share what has happened to you and how they can relate and even feel vulnerable. You can lift them up with messages that will help to make that relationship with failure a better one for both of you.
Every person is battling a battle you do not know about. Coming at all relationships from this perspective is a nice starting point.
In the book ‘Outliers’, Malcolm Gladwell talks about excellence found after 10,000 hours of practice. We use this chapter to really focus on failure, because if you don’t address this internally we genuinely believe that is very rare that that you will get to a point where you can experience exceptional performance and success.
For your team it really is time to get human again and making preparation towards understanding that it is part of the human condition to establish a better relationship with failure. You may decide to print off this part of the chapter and leave it highlighted on some desks over night. You can let them know that you are there for them. The key here is when people know that that you are there for them and you’ve been there yourself in the past. You remember what made them great in the past and you remind them that by putting most things in the right context and helping them get past the hurdles. They understand that you’ve been there and that as a human being you’re going to be there for them in good times and bad.
So why is this an important message in this book on developing presence, impact and influence in the business world? You see, as a leader you will require modern techniques and approaches to recognize and deal with all team members, some struggling with limiting and internal relationships to career advancement and achieving success. As mentioned earlier, everyone you work with is battling a battle you are likely unaware of. Whether in corporate boardrooms, offices, shop floors or job sites, I can guarantee that the majority of people on your team right now are struggling with some form of perceived lack of confidence, fear of failure, looking bad or even imposter thoughts.
As an executive coach with over twenty years of experience, the desire to strengthen confidence and reduce fear remains the top request of all coachees, whether executives, owners, senior managers or even frontline staff.
Building a culture that accepts and welcomes transparency, honest dialogue and structured support systems will be your priority with your team. People are not shuffled off the human resource practitioners or EAP programs, but remain in your sites, where you coach and mentor them to firstly recognize the belief systems that exist for people, but provide actionable steps to allow them to overcome and move past these beliefs. External coaching is an option, only if you too are being coached to ultimately coach your own team.
This is no longer the soft side of business, but in fact, the hardest part of any organization.