Making space for the people you lead

Great leaders know how to maneuver in, what I all, the teamspace. Understanding
the right proximity to a team member (as his or her leader) requires
the leader to read the situation, the person and the other dynamics at
play in the present moment. Sometimes leaders need to move closer to an
employee and provide development and wisdom. At other times, you need to give an employee space.

So..here are some ideas about making space for employees

How do you know it’s time to make space for an employee:

  • When you’re always rescuing him/her and thereby thwarting growth
  • When you’ve clearly defined a project and you’re tempted to swoop in early and see "how it’s going" (which is code for, "take over")
  • When you’ve given a leadership role to an employee and you need to let him/her find his/her own leadership voice

Here a few ways to create space:

  •     Bite your tongue
  •     Take a walk
  •     Smile

    Seek feedback to see how things are going and ask if the employee needs help. If he/she says "no" refer back to 1-3.

Seriously, one of the hardest things for a leader is to create space
and then let others flourish in that space. But, if leaders don’t,
employees will never develop or thrive. Now, I know that there are times where the employee is crashing and burning, and you have to step back in. This should, however, not be your modus operandi. Further, when you do have to step in, the most important thing is not saving the project (even though that’s important), it’s coaching the employee to greater effectiveness.

 

Consider this…

Most of our greatest learnings come from failure. So, the way you handle failure in the teamspace has a lot to do with the success of the future.

Sometimes we need to move closer and other times we need to
detach a bit. Each person and each situation will require you to "read"
what is needed. Once you know what’s needed, Do it!

2019-03-26T10:44:33-04:00

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Written by Dave Fleming