We have all been guilty of eavesdropping in on a conversation at a restaurant or a coffee shop. The other day I was guilty of listening in to a conversation between two individuals. From all appearances it was a manager or employer with an employee. The main mode of operation from this individual was to take out a microscope on everything that the employee had done wrong. Mind you, I believe clear communication is important and there comes a time when you need to sit down and communicate effectively and clearly as to what the expectations are in the relationship. This conversation did not feel like a clear communication moment from leader to team member, it felt more like the leader was “nagging” about every little thing the team member was doing.
While it may feel like human nature to nag for performance enhancement, it rarely…. if ever actually works. The moment a leader begins to nag is the moment the leader ceases to lead. There are many reasons why I believe nagging does not work in leadership, here are just a few:
1. Nagging focuses on what is going wrong as opposed to what is going right.
2. Nagging makes the assumption that the team member knows what to do and how to do it.
3. Nagging takes the approach that the leader does not value the individual over the task.
4. Nagging is more about lifting the leader’s ego than actually moving the team forward.
So, if nagging doesn’t work, what does? The best way to change behavior is to focus on inspiring change. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on what the individual is doing right and then transition to raising the bar where they are falling short. Inspire your team to BE more so that they can DO more. Leaders will many times skip the human “being” (inspiration) of people and focus on human “doing” (the task). For example, it is much easier for me to love when I have been loved, it is much easier for me to forgive when I have been forgiven. So…… LEADER, how does your team view you? As an Inspiration or a Nag? Hopefully this blog INSPIRES you to be the Leader your called to be.