In this video, Lisa and Elizabeth share how to identify potential failure earlier, and redirect without shame or blame.
- If you work on a team, even informally, you have the opportunity to lead. Good leaders identify potential roadblocks early on and they help people redirect without shame and blame. When problems often reveal themselves in customer conversations, product testing, through other departments or through sources outside of your company, but sometimes people don't spot them and acknowledge them because they're too invested in the next step. As an influential leader, you want to keep an eye on themes and repeat issues.
You can also proactively look for signs of failure by mentally doing the following exercise. Pretend like your project or your initiative or your product failed. Why? Thinking about hypothetical failure can help your brain work backward and better spot some challenges that can interfere with your success. If you're skilled in your role and you have a strong business acumen, identifying those road blocks may be the easy part. But how do you address that roadblock in a way that doesn't bring down the morale of your team? The most important thing you can do as a leader is to keep that team mindset alive in the face of challenges.
When failure's on the horizon, we naturally start to shift into blame. It's just a method of self protection, but it's not helpful in problem solving. If you see a failure on the horizon, keep the following in mind. First, rectify. If someone messed up part of their PowerPoint, offer them the opportunity to fix it instead of lecturing them about their mistakes. Secondly, reiterate. If you're pointing out a failure and you don't have formal authority, you want to avoid sounding too directive.
Saying something like "It's important to all of us that customers have the right information" makes you a leader, not the one who barks orders. Third, remedy, offer to help the person. It may seem obvious, but it's often forgotten. If you see someone on your team making a mistake or if you think your team is in danger of failure, offer to jump in. You don't need to take over the project, just offer to be a sounding board or an extra set of eyes on a customer facing document.
Every team that accomplishes anything will face some kind of challenge or failure. As an informal leader, it's your responsibility to help your team bounce back and keep that team mindset alive moving forward.
- Listening mindfully
- Being a mentor
- Inspiring others
- Asking for and giving feedback
- Leading in high-stakes situations
- Learning continuously
- Building trust