In the first two parts of this series, we discussed how awareness and understanding are the first two steps toward eliminating behaviors that kill initiative in the workplace. The final step is action.
While awareness and understanding are essential to identifying issues with a person’s management style and getting a sense of why those problems might exist, action must be taken in order for anything to change.
Guiding Change with Assessments
Leadership assessments and team assessments can be extremely helpful in identifying issues with your management style and understanding how they might be negatively affecting your team. But assessments can do more than that. Armed with knowledge, leaders can use assessments to identify positive steps that can be taken in order to help improve workplace culture. Changing workplace culture is never an easy task, but the knowledge and insights provided by in-depth team assessments can help make the process much easier.
For example, a person who has been informed that they are a micro-manager might not understand how they should change their behavior in order to be as effective a leader as possible. Should they not check their employees work at all? Should they give their employees free reign over their own positions? Probably not. Altering your management style without precisely understanding how your behavior affects your team could end up creating more problems in the long run.
With a leadership assessment in hand and the guidance of Level Up Leadership, that same micro-manager could learn that their employees respect their intelligence, but feel like they are not trusted by the manager. In such a case, we might recommend that the manager be more open with their employees about why they like to focus on details, open up lines of communication so that employees feel comfortable asking questions and getting clarifications, and provide employees with clearer expectations at the beginning of each project to help ensure that everyone stays on the same page.
At the root of this entire three-step process for eliminating initiative killers is self-awareness. Great leaders need to be able to recognize when problems exist and be willing to admit that their behavior might be the source of the issue. A leader who has the self-awareness to admit his or her shortcomings and take positive steps toward change will inspire initiative at every turn.