How Can You Help Your Team Members Succeed?

When you look at each of the people in your organization, they were brought in to make an impact, to solve problems, to make the best product or deliver the best service to your customers.

There was a reason why you brought them on board.

Hopefully a lot of reasons. Skill set. Experience. Personality. Approachability. Integrity. Curiosity. Dependability.

But sometimes it can feel like they’re just not getting it.

You may have found yourself getting frustrated because you’re just not on the same page. There’s a team member who isn’t giving you the results that you’re looking for.

But I want to suggest that maybe there is something else going on.

Take a step back and think about what you really need from them.

Not how you want them to do it. But what is the end goal?

You see, I’ve seen this happen all the time.

Usually, the person assigned the task is more than capable and more than willing to do it and deliver the end result in flying colors.

But the problem often comes in the how.

Granted, there are plenty of guidelines or procedures or standards that need to be met and kept in order to maintain consistency and quality.

But I think where the issue comes sometimes is when we put unnecessary constraints on the process that limit the creativity of our team members and their ability to get to the end result in a way that fits them best.

Let’s go back to the peanut butter and jelly example from Episode 15.

I could tell you that I want you to make me a PB&J and I could even tell you what type of bread, how much peanut butter and how much jelly.

And you could get to the finish line with a sandwich that met my expectations.

But what if I watched over your shoulder or if I had created such a detailed set of instructions that it just made it super inefficient and frustrating for you.

For example…

Take one piece of bread with your left hand and place it on the left side of the cutting board.

Reach into the silverware drawer with your right hand and grab out a knife.

Place the knife on the cutting board 1″ away from the piece of bread and parallel to the side of the…

OK, you might have just gone ahead and quit by this point. And you might already be asking “can I just do it my way?”

And if I responded “no, unless you place the knife 1″ from the side of the —” I probably would have ended up with a face full of jelly.

So, today, as you think about work that you’ve asked others to do, whether inside or outside of your organization, allow yourself to take a step back and look at what you’re really asking.

Maybe you can give more freedom and creativity in the in between, the process, and allow your people to do what they do best.

You just might surprised at the result.

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