How honest are you with your colleagues, staff, friends, family? I’m not talking brutal honesty that is hurtful. I mean candid, constructive feedback.
Years ago I worked for a VP who, when angry about a situation in the hangar (we worked for an airline), would stride back to his office and slam the door hard. It rattled everyone in the area. One day I’d had it. I knew it was his way of letting off steam, but he had no idea the impact it was having on the team and his reputation. I waited until the end of the day and went to his office. I told him I had something to say that I thought he needed to know. I asked if he had any idea what happened when he slammed his door. He didn’t. I described what it felt like to be on the other side of the wall. He asked if he should apologize to everyone. I told him he could, but the best thing to do was stop slamming. He never slammed his door again.
He was a good leader in many ways. I could have accepted “that’s just the way he is” and not said anything. But I believed he needed to know this behavior was damaging his reputation.
What behavior might be affecting your growth, your reputation? Wouldn’t you like to know? Ask.
When I do Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI 360) feedback sessions, we talk about the 30 behaviors of exemplary leadership. One of the behaviors is: Asks for feedback on how their actions affect others’ performance. It’s an important one that many don’t do often.
It’s not asking “How am I doing?” It’s focused on the other person. “What could I do or do differently that would enable you to do your job even better?” This question (or your version of it) works with teams and at home, too. It takes courage to ask. And even more mettle to listen and respond positively.
Don’t let a door slam on your reputation. Enhance it by asking how your actions affect others’ performance.
If an LPI self-assessment or 360 will help you know how you’re doing with the 30 behaviors of exemplary leadership, let’s talk.