Lessons From Bringing out the Best in Others
I asked a group of managers and supervisors what they are learning about bringing out the best in others. One said,
“Experienced people seek help sooner and more frequently than inexperienced.”
4 reasons new or inexperienced employees don’t seek help:
- Experienced team members know where to go for help.
- New employees feel a need to appear competent. They don’t want to look dumb.
- Experienced employees feel secure in their position.
- New employees over-estimate their performance.
The need to appear competent prolongs incompetence.
5 ways to bring out the best in new employees:
- Set up frequent – brief – check-ins during the first few months of employment. Expect them to set the agenda for check-in meetings at least half the time.
- What’s working?
- Where could we be better?
- Where are you most satisfied with your performance? How might you do more of that?
- Where are you least satisfied with your performance? (Use language like “least satisfied,” not “unsatisfied”.) How might you try something new?
- Be open with strengths on your team. “Mary is really great at organization. She might have some ideas.”
- Ask, “What have you tried?” when they bring up problems, challenges, or issues. Communicate the expectation that bringing your own solutions precedes seeking help.
- Affirm help-seeking. People who seek help go further than those who don’t (as long as they’re committed to deliver results on their own.)
- Implement the practice of feedforward developed by Marshall Goldsmith. Create options. Avoid advice.
Bonus material: “The Unexpected Secret to Becoming a Superstar.” (An article about the importance, power, and methods of receiving help.)
Why don’t new or inexperienced employees seek help?
How might managers bring out the best in new employees?