How do the leaders in your organization perceive themselves when it comes to dealing with difficult situations? Are they more inclined to take an approach that lends itself to coaching or counseling people or are they ready to put on the robes and become
judge (and jury) and dole out verdicts and punishments as the executioner? Picture if you will the following scenario:
An employee makes a paperwork error that results in funds dropping lower than desired in a bank account. No harm was done and nothing was permanently lost, but some extra time was needed to reconcile and clean up a transfer. Would leaders in your organization be more likely to:
A: Ask the employee what happened and after hearing the explanation offer to provide training and guidance to help keep this from happening again.
B: Tell the employee how careless they were and that if they ever make a stupid mistake like that again, that they might as well pack up their sh*# and head home.
Well, really, which one would you pick?!?
Although I am (and you likely are!) amazed, so many leaders choose to be the judge/jury/executioner and go with option B.
Imagine the mindset of an employee after hearing B. Will they make a mistake again? Almost certainly the answer is YES. Will they be petrified to bring it to anyone’s attention? Also, a firm YES.
As leaders, it is important that an approach be taken to keep fear from running and ruining the workplace. Avoiding harsh judgments and providing some guidance and coaching goes much farther than acting as the judge, jury, or executioner. Fear invites wrong figures, cover-ups, and false promises.
Picture courtesy of The People’s Court