Help your people see things from a different perspective and create a new story for themselves. The “stress goggles” they see through right now is mostly showing them negatives, making them feel like the world is against them or goals are impossible to reach. That’s their reality. But don’t buy into that. Don’t believe it. Just turn it around.
When your team is struggling, what do you do? Do you look for the low performers and get them one by one into a room to share with them what they already know: Their performance is not making you happy. Do you bring a long, intimidating report that shows them at the bottom of the list to make sure they get it? If you do that, or a similar version of that, please stop.
Remember: People first. Performance second.
This is a 3-min lesson on how to make small changes today that can have a huge impact in how you influence your people during low performing times.
1. Have a conversation
Don’t look at the person’s numbers, don’t pull out a chart. Look at the person in front of you in the eye. It is already known that the numbers and performance are not where they need to be, so no need to go over them.
Simply ask: “What do you think is playing a part in your performance being where it is?”
2. Fully Listen
Actively listen to their words. Don’t interrupt them. Don’t talk over them. Don’t contradict them. Just listen. How they see their world will be clearly shown in their words. Be the only person that listens to them.
3. Validate their Thoughts and Feelings
“It can be very frustrating to live days where results are not good and stress takes over. It is completely understandable to feel the way you feel.”
Then, let’s shift their mindset but first ask permission: “Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
4. Get Powerful with your Questions
“Why is it important FOR YOU to have strong performance?”
“How does it affect your life when your performance is low?”
“Let’s think of a time when your performance was rocking and your numbers were amazing.
-What worked well then?
-What about you made it work?
-What would happen if you use your strengths/gifts/best abilities to get to the current goal?”
Move them towards improvement: What could be one thing that you can focus on today to replicate your approach during great performing times?
5. Believe in Them
And tell them that. “I believe you are very talented, great at what you do and can certainly achieve this and even bigger goals!” Even if they don’t believe in themselves at the moment, remind them why they are where they are. Speak in terms that helps them see themselves succeeding: “When you get to that goal, what are you going to do to celebrate?”
6. Apply the Powerful Art of Accountability
With that I mean “Self-Accountability” with a little push from you as their leader. Don’t let them go without a strong act of accountability:
-"How can I help you stay focused on your goal with this new mindset?"
-"How would you like me to support you if the old-way of thinking comes back?"
Let it be about them. About them taking the lead to do better.
Remember that the results your people are getting are completely co-related to the actions (or inaction) they are taking. Recognize that and before trying to change their actions immediately, dig deep into their thoughts and feelings. Validate them and move quickly to help them see their world from brand-new perspectives and winning possibilities.
Mariana Jaeger is a Leadership Development and Performance Success expert and has successfully trained, mentored and coached hundreds of people in her career. To learn more about Mariana, click here