I used to try to make a car into something that it wasn’t meant to be. Before you laugh, did you ever try to make a lap dog into a watch dog or a one page report into a 20 page report?
When I bought my first car I would take each car I was considering to purchase to the auto body shop that worked on my parent’s cars. They would beg me to find a car that was already what I wanted, not a car they would have to re-make into the car of my dreams. Side exhaust pipes with mufflers didn’t seem like a big deal to me. “Can’t you just take them off?” I would ask.
Often clients come to me when they are either the one who is trying to make someone into what they want or they are the square peg someone is trying to fit into that round hole. I am reminded of the cars that I tried to make into something that they were not or that they were not made into easily.
We need to look in the honest mirror at where people are in their lives and their careers not where we want them to be for our needs. You may want a staff member to be ready to take on more responsibility. Maybe they are not ready and maybe they will never be capable of that jump.
One way to know is to push yourself for observable, measurable evidence.
Often it can be found in how aware they are of their own strengths and weaknesses. You want to meet them where they are, not where you want them to be. I ask all of my coaching clients the same questions. One of them is: what weakness do you consciously try to block out when you are presenting.
Recently I asked that question of a young coaching client. Her answer was nothing. There was no weakness that she tried to block out. The important thing in answering this question is that there is an answer. It is less important what the answer is and most important that you can answer with something. This is a person unaware of their verbal and vocal communication and their consequences.
This is the same person who was unaware of their presence. She kept walking across a seminar room with heels clicking with every step, really clicking. She was totally unaware of the reaction she was causing. That person you want to promote . . . do you want to promote them because it will help you? Look in the honest mirror and see your team members for where they are not where you want them to be.
Leslie is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire. Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here.
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