What are you trying to overmanage?

One common theme in work-related stress is the inability to control outcomes, which is often a symptom of lack of influence. You can gain influence with your team by being a leader who coaches, not controls. In a coaching culture, leaders help team members discover and tap into their own brilliance by asking powerful questions and challenging them to come up with their own solutions, breaking the cycle of micromanagement. This empowerment leads to more collaboration, more margin, and fewer crises and errors.

When in control mode, our vision narrows and we lose awareness, leading to lackluster decision making and impact. But, a “coach approach” will encourage a response that will inspire the culture and the team, so while we can’t control all outcomes, we can control our response and create stronger influence.

Here are four ways you can create more influence and release control through a coach approach:

  1. Let go of being right. We know it hurts because of our strong need to be the knower, but being right isn’t the goal. Likely, your “right” is just a preference for you. Replace this posture with one of genuine curiosity and watch things shift.
  2. Ask more questions than you answer. In other words, become the learner not the knower. Curious means asking questions that begin with “what” and “how” and then tune in. Listen. You will learn so much from others through this. And they in turn feel heard and important. Bonus – you’ll usually walk away a smarter person.
  3. 30-second praise. This one is a slam-dunk for everyone. There is a stigma with being called into someone’s office – you have the power to change that! Each day, call someone in and offer 30 seconds of praise for something they did well. Words have weight – use them to make your people better.
  4. Share lessons learned. A powerful way to influence others is through humility. Transparency is hard, but it’s SO compelling. Sharing some of your own lessons lets others see a different side of you, gives them permission to make mistakes/take risks, and also exemplifies accountability in sharing that with others. There is a win in here for you, too, as you don’t feel the pressure to have to do it well all the time.

Are you up for a challenge? You must be, if you’re still reading. Pick two of the above and practice them this week, journaling what happened. What changes did you see in yourself or others? Then tell someone – a confidante at work, or us!! We want to know how it’s going. Send us an email at leslie@capacity7.com or andy@capacity7.com.

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