Berger Leadership Blog

Categories: Leadership

3 behaviors to stop

Dan BergerAt all levels of our organizations – from the executive suite down – we're feeling immense levels of stress. We've been working harder over the past six months to meet changing member/customer needs, pivot to more virtual offerings, and run as efficiently as possible.

In times of crisis, the sense of ownership and wanting to make sure the final product is perfect can take leaders and managers down the path to micromanagement. But this isn't good for you – especially if your workload has increased – or your team who are capable of handling their responsibilities.

Leadership guru Dan Rockwell has a new post reminding overworked leaders and managers to stop these bad behaviors:

  • Stop doing people's work for them. An employee comes to you with a question. How often do you step in to take care of it rather than offer guidance? If it's a task or problem you've handled a million times before, you might think it's easier and timesaving for you to just do it. But, even though you can handle it, your employee will likely feel defeated and lose ambition to tackle similar problems in the future. Fight the urge to do it yourself and give the employee an opportunity to grow. The lessons your teammate will learn while working through it will make them – and your organization – stronger.
  • Stop interrupting people when they're solving their own problems. We work in fast-paced environments. We receive an email and try to respond as quickly as possible. In work-from-home situations, this sense of urgency has increased as we're no more than a few rooms away from our computers at any time. To be an effective leader, Rockwell recommends pausing before you respond to an employee's message; chances are they'll keep looking for a solution while waiting for your response and figure it out. In addition, don't just give answers. Ask what they've already tried and walk through the thought process with them.
  • Stop tweaking the solutions of competent team members. There is more than one way to do something right. Just because a team member comes to you with a process or solution that isn't what you would've done doesn't make it wrong. "You destroy the joy of achievement when you tweak someone's solution," Rockwell says, and that's true. We feel an immense sense of accomplishment when we've worked hard at something and it finally clicks. Leaders and managers should build their teams up and give employees the confidence to tackle issues on their own.

People thrive in cultures where they have autonomy and feel respected. While there might be times when we will fall victim to these behaviors, what's important is that you are aware of them and intentionally work to provide your team with the space they need to work effectively – an innovative mindset is key to success.

Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger)

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association's reputation into becoming a premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

Read full bio