Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3 questions to ask when your team is under-performing

It's common for us as leaders to find that others are not performing up to our expectations. It could be a family member, someone at work, or a volunteer in ministry.

I once had a mentor who told me that when we are dealing with under-performing people we need to think about a three step process: first, retrain; then, re-assign; and finally, remove.

Let's think about the retraining step in that process. That places the burden of responsibility on us as leaders.

How do we respond when those we are leading are serving in a sub-standard way?

Our natural response is to point the finger at the other. After all, we are the leaders, right? They are supposed to adapt to us and our leadership style.

But maybe the problem lies with us as leaders. Maybe we need to look into the mirror. Maybe we need to learn a different language, a different way, a different style.

It's not only followers who need to repent. Leaders need to repent, too. In fact, leaders need to lead the way in showing everyone the importance of repentance and what repentance actually looks like.

Repentance is a change of mind that produces a change of life that will enable us to love and lead better. God can give us grace to repent if we ask Him to help us. If we lead the way in repentance as leaders, our teams will love and follow us more passionately.

James 4:10 is instruction for leaders, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you."

Here are questions that might help leaders humbly repent so they can retrain under-performers better.

1. Am I giving the right amount of time to those I am leading? Or have I been selfish with my time? Time with those we lead equals love for those we lead.

2. Am I using language that connects with the emotional intelligence of the people I supervise? Maybe I need to try different images, metaphors, or stories that will hit the hearts and minds of people in a fresh way.

3. Is my tone of voice helping others hear me well? Or does my tone of voice put wax in the ears so that others can't hear? Leaders must speak the truth in the love language of the people we lead.

So, before you reassign or remove, retrain. And as you retrain, don't start by pointing the finger at them. Start by pointing the finger at you.

Question: In your past, how has letting God change you helped you be an agent of change for others?

Related posts:

Leaders and Relational Curiosity

When relational curiosity is dangerous

4 facts that will encourage your team

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