I work with clients all over the world and I have noticed something recently, not sure why it took me so long. Some business owners and leaders really struggle with being too nice. It is almost like they have a “too nice disease.”
Of course being too nice is not a disease but why do some business owners struggle where others can make decisions, confront staff and take charge with seemingly little to no reservations? I took some time to really think about this and I feel it comes down to two things. One, confrontation is not something that they enjoy, in fact they run from it. And two, their personality.
If you are a laid back, easy going and a very relational person you probably identify with this issue right off the bat. As hard as you may try, you really don’t like to confront, make waves or “get into people’s business.” With a very relational or “I don’t want to take a chance on hurting your feelings” personality you would rather look the other way when your staff are not doing what you have repeatedly asked them to do. So… what do you do about it? That is the question.
What you must first understand is this is how God made you. It is how you are wired, so to speak. And to be something totally different would be very difficult, if not impossible. Lets face it, you are just a nice guy or gal. But there are ways to confront and lead your team without you feeling like you are hurting people’s feelings or making waves.
Try this for a few days.
Meet with all of your staff individually and tell them how much you appreciate them and make a comment on at least one area that they are doing really well.
Let them know that you care about them and want to see them grow, get better at their jobs and become an even bigger asset to the company.
Tell them that you would like to try something new and (within their job responsibilities) you both are going to set monthly/quarterly goals and create a daily/weekly scoreboard to see how much progress is being made. Remember, goals must be measurable, obtainable and require action. Also remember, the two of you are setting these goals and creating this scoreboard – a team effort.
So it will be the goals and scoreboard that confronts the employee on the progress not you the boss. You are just holding them accountable to what you both agreed to get accomplished.
On a side note, this process will also reveal if an employee just does not care. If this is realized then perhaps you will need to put on the “I may have to let you go shoes” and have a tough conversation. Now before you freak out on me, below are four very simple statements and/or questions that will help you have this critical conversation. I suggest that you write these down on a 3×5 card and keep them close by most all the time. I say this because of my own experience. What I mean by that is while these helpful hints below will work, they only work if you remember to use them.
Say this to the person:
When I see or hear ________________________
I feel ____________________________
Because I need or want _______________________________
I would like you to _____________________ or would you be willing to ____________________?