As a leader, you should have an idea of the habits or character traits you wish your team members to exhibit. The best way to grow those in your employees, is to mirror that behavior yourself. Show them with your actions, how you want them to approach their work.
Asking people to behave a certain way without doing so yourself, just won’t work.
Shaping Your Employees to Become Better People
In an earlier episode, we covered how to get your team to follow instruction and do what you need them to through clear and simple communication. If you haven’t seen that one, definitely check it out.
However, sometimes what you need goes a bit further— what if you want to change an employee’s habits? What if you want them to act on the character traits you want them to have?
Getting your team to fall into positive and productive habits requires you to be the example. The best way is to show them what you want them to become.
As a leader, I try to put in the effort to place myself in my employees’ shoes. I take the time to research their needs and fill them. What are the areas in their workflow or day that are frustrating? How can I make their life easier by solving some of the little or big things? How can I serve and help them even outside of work?
There’s no checklist for being loved or cared for. It’s not some formulaic list we can go down, marking off which team members feel fulfilled and like they belong.
By listening well, and being intentional as often as possible, I try to do these things for my team. As I do so, they recognize that effort and how loved it makes them feel, which they then project onto others.
Lead by Example
As my company grows, I recently had an opportunity where I promoted one of my employees. He was previously in an administrative role but is also super talented, with skillsets in multiple areas that could truly help the team move forward in the direction we want. However, this new position is more of a leadership role.
All of a sudden, he was exposed to a lot of different projects, upcoming deadlines, and a whole new world of responsibilities, which was different from what he was used to.
I wanted to make sure he had the best time management and project management tools and instill positive traits— like being proactive rather than reactive. The question was, how do I get him to act on those things? I needed to be the example.
Michael Hyatt, who I follow, has a concept for creating the ideal week which helps you organize your time, set up boundaries, and establishing guard rails to keep you on track. So that’s what I practice. For certain times of the week, I’ll close my email, shut down my slack, and set up an organized way to process incoming requests, just to keep me focused when I need to be.
Through scheduling and following my guide of how to delegate, respond, postpone, or process tasks, I feel I’ve become pretty good at time management. These are all things I’m doing to show my team and particularly those individuals that need to see it, how to exhibit certain traits that will help them succeed.
You can’t just tell someone to learn new habits. You can’t throw them a book, and say, “Here’s Michael Hyatt’s guide, read it, and do the stuff” and expect miraculous change. Your employees need to see that desired behavior coming from you, and they need to be invited into your life and truly experience how these habits actually help.
This Week’s Take Away
Identify one habit or character trait that you wish your team had. Then spend every day this week, showing them how it works. Invite your team into your life, help them absorb that thing, or learn that habit, or develop that character trait through experiencing it succeed for you.
Once they see, touch, and feel what something is through consistent experience and action, they’ll be more successful at adopting that practice themselves.