How to Rise Above Fault Finding and Energize Your Team

You don’t think of yourself as a fault-finder, but what if you track your thoughts and language for an hour?

What’s your attitude about others right now? Yourself?

Fault-finders build insecure teams.

You’re a fault-finder if:

  1. You make emotional decisions and look for confirming evidence.
  2. You’re afraid to speak your mind.
  3. You can’t let mistakes go.
  4. You haven’t changed your mind in recent memory. Fault-finders carry the burden of being right.
  5. People adapt to you. You don’t adapt to others.
  6. Others apologize to you but you can’t remember the last time you apologized.
  7. Worry and fear drive your behaviors. Worriers  complain. The fearful find fault.
  8. You don’t seek feedback but you love giving feedback.
  9. You have position and rank. Power is permission to find fault.
  10. You have a loud inner critic.

Two ways to rise above fault-finding and energize your team:

Fault-finders tear down. Skillful leaders build up.

#1. Develop a secret team of encouragers.

  1. Choose two team members to join you on a secret mission to encourage people.
  2. Target one teammate a day to encourage.
  3. Discuss your target’s strengths.
  4. Craft language that strengthens and energizes your target.
  5. Execute today and evaluate tomorrow.
  6. Choose your next target for hit-and-run encouragement.
  7. Develop a secret society of encouragers in large organizations.

Tip: Make this informal. It’s a secret mission. Don’t all show up together.

#2. Choose flexibility.

Rigid leaders are fault-finders.

  1. Be rigid when it comes to ethics, excellence, and relationship building.
  2. Be flexible when it comes to methods. “How would you like to proceed?”
  3. Focus on the big picture. Where are you going? Make room for others to figure out how to get there.

Questions flexible leaders ask:

  1. How might I make this project go more smoothly for you?
  2. How am I making things more difficult?
  3. How might I adapt to your style?

If everything has to be your way, you’re a fault-finder.

How might leaders find-fault less and energize more?