Stop Browbeating – Enhance Capacity
I browbeat people when I “know” the path forward. I tell them what I want, before thinking about what they need to hear.
Additionally, I pressure people when I’ve made up my mind. At least that’s what others tell me.
Honestly, I don’t see Browbeating Dan. I see myself as Pussy Cat Dan.
Burden of knowledge:
The burden of knowing – even if you don’t – is nearly uncontainable. Thinking you “know” is enough to close your ears and open your mouth.
Slow down and say what they need to hear not what you need to say. Help people hear by enhancing capacity.
- Hope if you expect boldness.
- Purpose if you expect endurance.
- Confidence if you expect change.
You need to say, “Be bold.” They need to have hope. Hope precedes boldness. If they don’t believe projects can be completed on time or goals completed within budget, they won’t act boldly.
Boldness rises when success is likely.
Those with hope believe wins are possible. It’s hopeless if you can’t win. Without hope everyone goes through the motions. But, people with hope move forward.
Hope fuels boldness.
You need to say, “Keep going – endure – don’t quit.” But, they need purpose. They ask, “Why keep going if it doesn’t matter?” “What’s the purpose?”
People endure when goals matter. Stop saying, “Endure.” Start explaining purpose.
Profound purpose fuels endurance.
You need to say, “Embrace change.” They need confidence they’ll fit in after change.
Freedom to change comes from believing you’ll still fit in.
Leaders rush to explain what to do, while neglecting the capacity of listeners. You think, just do what I say! But, telling babies to walk doesn’t enable walking. Leadership by proclamation isn’t leading.
Successful leaders explain challenges and increase capacity.
How do you understand the relationship between capacity and the ability to accept challenges?
How can leaders enhance the capacity of others to rise to challenges?
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How can leaders enhance the capacity of others to rise to challenges?
We can best enhance the capacity of others to rise to the challenges we set before them by giving them the space to do so. We have to be secure enough in ourselves and in them to get out of the way- our own and theirs.
Most often people will rise to the level of perceived expectation. If, as leaders, we spend all of our time micromanaging, instructing, fixing, re-telling, and tweaking, the message is that we have a very low level of expectation. And sadly, burned enough times, people will work down to that level, rather than up to what they are capable of.
The best recourse- shut up, listen authentically, remain open to suggestions, and then move aside so people can get the work done.
Hi Martina ! I laughed out loud when I read you wrote…shut up!!!
Sometimes I get so caught up in my own head and it sounds like Charlie Browns teacher.
A good nice gentle “shut up” is exactly what it needed to help me stop, pause, start over!!!
Thanks for reminding me!!!
Sometimes we need to quit trying to be so darn clever and insightful and just be honest!!!
Take care Happy Easter!!
SP out!! Anything to get that thought train barreling down the tracks to a collision to change course!!!!
Exactly! Micro managing just says I don’t trust you and I can do it better.
The Trust expressed makes the difference. Assists the people to really do what they are capable and they show in action. Briefing rightly is the game. thanks
Agreed Kumar, trust is essential to allowing people to perform to he best of their abilities. They need to know that they can trust you to allow it, and that hey can trust that you will be available when needed.
Oh Dan – you get to the heart of it here. Great that you can see where you are not seeing the situation sometimes – we’re ALL guilty of that from time to time. 🙂
You surely must be speaking directly to me this morning. As I read this I think I even began to blush, as though I had been found out. I most certainly have been known as Browbeating Susan, even when they did not tell me so. There are times when I know it to be true, I need to shut-up. Great post!
I agree that when people do not believe in goal, it is almost unattainable. People put their sincere effort when they believe that they can achieve the goal. This is one of the findings of my research. Employees at functional level, feel that target set by corporate office is unrealistic to achieve. There is no scientific calculation for enhancement. And moreover, management do not extend support in achieving targets. On the other hand, management put undue pressure at last moment to meet some deadlines and to achieve targets. This practice could be browbeat in nature and that is why employee also do not seek any support. And result could be higher motivation due to monetary incentive connected with goals, but certainly lower morale.
So, I think leadership inability to understand employees feeling towards goal hinder employees capacity to put sincere effort. And this is the major leadership challenge. I strongly believe that leaders can enhance the employees capacity by using leadership ability. And to do this , they need to stop brow beating style or discouraging such practices where employees do not intend to seek management help.
Great article. This is the best.
Reblogged this on IspiratO and commented:
One of the best articles I’ve read on “Leadership” do read.
Commented once already and somehow deleted it! Here we go again!
I have a Beautiful Mind, it changes things to humor me and teach me ! First thing kept changing when I red your post Dan was everytime you wrote capacity my mind changed it to Humanity! Changed what you were trying to get across to me so now I think I get it!
Was sent to go train a fella last week. He was having a tough time with something I been finding simple. Went down to Tell, Show, Try, Do.
First asked him to tell me about his belief in what we are doing. Kinda sounded like hearing corn grow. That is cool just needed so get a feel for where he was at. Then time to get on the road and meet new friends!
Went out, stopped at a place and met a new friend Donna. We go and set up meetings at real estate offices to come in and buy them breakfast and share what we can do for them and their clients.
Let Mike ask her cause I wanted to see how he was going about it. It was interesting. Donna responded by saying sometimes we do that sometimes we don’t.
This is where Mike would say thanks and leave and wonder why this isn’t working.
Instead then I stepped in and looked Donna straight in the eye and asked her what the people who do get to come in and share breakfast with them do? How do they go from where we are to you enjoying breakfast? Simple.
She paused for a second cause I stopped her thought train of how annoying sales folks coming in to talk to her USUALLY goes. She started laughing and said “that sounds like something I would have said”. People like people they ARE LIKE! CONNECT!
I am not a salesman though, I am a friend with something better and asking for less money to do it. That is TRUE not a way for me to try to get myself pumped up.
Mike walking back to the car was now looking forward to getting to the next office. We had a GREAT DAY!
Ok my point is I better not be thinking I am gonna teach anything I have not already taught myself. CAN”T BE DONE! I did not brow beat the poor fella, he just did not know how to tell himself the right story in his own mind, YET! Now he does!
I can enhance the Humanity of others by connecting, people LIKE WHO THEY ARE LIKE! Caring, communicating! Just Be Kind!
Happy Easter Dan, hope I do not delete this this time instead of posting! Time for a shower and shave!
Great post, Dan! Too often, leaders (especially men…read: especially me) rush to offer solutions or excuses or knowledge in the middle of a conversation. The message is clear: “Cut to the chase!” Another message, however, is more subtle: “I don’t value your time/commitment/vulnerability/opinion/relationship.”
Dan, after 30 years of experience and on-the-job coaching, my world has been changed forever by the real concepts behind coaching executives. The answer is always within and i cannot allow myself to fall into the trap of advising what I know….Great read as always.
Great post! I’d like to suggest, that our cultural default is the expert, problem-solving model whereby we rely on those in leadership or authority, starting with our educators through to bosses. What if instead we shifted to a state of inquiry, where we seek to understand before we provide solutions, where we collaborate rather than compete, where we seek meaning of all the ideas that are generated rather than just offer ideas, so it’s a co-constructed reality that we create with shared responsibility?
Sounds pretty pretty good to me!!!
I find that teams tend to deliver bold and creative solutions when they see you acting boldly, and you get out of their way. I think this makes them feel safe to express their creativity
The results are generally better than you could have achieved by directing them yourself.
First of all, I love Dr. Henry Cloud. Leaders best lead by example. Leading by proclamation isn’t leading at all it just makes you self-important.
Some companies appear to be going back to the “good old days” because they feel that’s going to get their employees scared enough to perform harder and better. This just pisses them off. It’s the stock market performance that’s important not the people who work for you. What if you can have both?
To accept challenges you need to increase your capacity to accept you “can.” Reach for the stars and see what shows up and trust you can handle it. Sometimes a challenge for me. If you forget to trust you can be taken to the land of overwhelm.
How can leaders enhance the capacity of others to rise to challenges? Leaders can support when asked and support asking as well. Give those who follow space to excel and to not hold back; and to give them permission to fail and learn.