Avoid these three common pitfalls when developing your team members.
Some common pitfalls I see leaders fall into revolve around not taking a personalized approach to developing their team members.
This includes spreading your time and energy equally across all your team members. I call this the peanut butter approach. Leaders give everyone exactly the same amount of time and energy. They do this because it feels fair to everyone. What’s wrong with this approach is, not everyone needs the same amount of your time. It’s not fair to people who need less of your time. It can feel like micromanagement. It’s also not fair to people who need more of your time. They’re getting slighted on how much attention they’re getting.
Another mistake I see leaders make is using a reactive approach and dealing with issues as they arise. Leaders give people attention whenever they ask, in the order they ask for it. This happens because the approach requires little thought. What’s wrong with this approach is it fails to prioritize the leader’s time and allocate that time and energy to the most important issues. It also encourages team members to constantly take up the leader’s time rather than solving issues on their own.
The final pitfall I often see is leaders taking the path of least resistance, where they only deal with people who are performing well. They spend more time with people who are easiest or the most fun to work with. They avoid team members who give them trouble. Leaders do this because this approach is easy—it avoids conflict. The problem with this approach includes not resolving big issues. You’re dedicating time to low-return efforts. Excessive time with high performers doesn’t contribute a great deal to improving results.
To see if you’re demonstrating these behaviors, ask yourself the following questions. Are you spreading your time equally across all team members? Are you only working with high performers? Are you reacting to people as issues come up?
Once you recognize these tendencies in yourself, you can be more thoughtful about how and where you spend your time with your team members. This means you’ll get better results from that time with them in a more efficient use of that time.
Want to learn more about developing your team? How about taking an entire course on it? Check out the video below to learn more about the course and get started. Or you can go directly to the course and start learning how to assess and improve your strategic plans. The entire course is available at LinkedIn Learning. Enjoy!
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