The #1 Cure for Fault-Finding Leaders

Fault-finders reject people.

Acceptance is the #1 cure for fault-finders.

Don’t expect great performance from people who feel rejected by you.

Successful leaders accept people.

Critics believe there’s something wrong with others. 

The truth about talent:

We all have a narrow band of exceptional talent, a wide band of average skill, and an even wider band of incompetence. In other words, we all suck at lots of things.

Fault-finders reject the reality that everyone is frail, including themselves.

Illustration:

High energy critics reject slow and steady team members. An introverted critic judges extroverts through the lens of introversion. Fault-finders who are talented planners belittle disorganized people.

I’m going to say it again. People ARE frail.

Fault-finders are filled with ‘shoulds’ for others. A high energy critic might say, “Mrs. Slow-and-Steady SHOULD be more energetic.”

How to accept people:

  1. Stop expecting people to be like you.
  2. See value in diversity.
  3. Focus on what others do well.

We all have frailties that provide opportunity for fault-finders. Criticism is a matter of focus.

Example:

This morning I sat across the table from two people. One is driven by results. I’ll call him Mr. Results. The other is more about relationships. I’ll call him Mr. Relationship.

Mr. Results won’t come up with as many creative ideas as Mr. Relationship. I could criticize Mr. Results for not coming up with more ideas. On the other hand, I could criticize Mr. Relationship for not being more concerned with results. 

An alternative:

The alternative to fault-finding is to accept people and honor their strengths. Mr. Results and Mr. Relationship are wildly different from each other. The value is in the difference.

How might leaders accept people?

What are the limits of accepting people?