Let’s tackle a thorny issue: underperformance. You and I both know that employee underperformance is an ongoing challenge, especially at the managerial level. Your team's underperformance isn't solely a reflection of their abilities or dedication. I’m sure you’ve had moments of frustration when your team didn't deliver as expected.
Over the years, we’ve pinned down at least 20 reasons for underperformance, and you might not be surprised that the number one reason is poor leadership. This isn't about blame; it’s about insight. Armed with the latest neuroscience findings, you can elevate your leadership, boost morale, and drive exceptional performance.
Let’s leverage the latest findings in neuroscience to take your leadership game to the next level and get the best out of your team.
When you as a leader experience negative emotions, like stress or frustration, the amygdala (part of your brain) sends a signal to the rest of your brain, putting it into a "fight or flight" mode. We now know that these signals are picked up by the people around us, your team, your peers, This will reduce team members ability to think creatively, solve problems, or work effectively. It's like trying to drive a car with a handbrake on - you won't get very far.
Neuroscience has taught us that when people feel unsupported by their leaders, it can lead to stress, burnout, and even physical health problems. Research shows that leaders who exhibit poor emotional intelligence and lack of support can significantly impact employees' productivity and overall wellbeing.
But there's hope. We've got some real-world examples of how powerful positive leadership can be:
Empathy & Active Listening:
We recently worked with a CEO of a mid-sized tech company who was grappling with his team's declining performance. Initially, he felt frustrated and found himself silently blaming his team for not meeting expectations. But after our discussions, he realized the power of a mindset shift.
Instead of harboring frustration, he decided to approach the situation with empathy and a positive attitude. He began scheduling open, informal one-on-one conversations with his team members, putting himself in their shoes and truly listening to their perspectives. Through these conversations, he learned about the various personal and professional challenges they were facing.
This new, empathetic approach completely transformed the dynamics. The CEO addressed the issues his team was facing, helping them find solutions and providing them with the support they needed. As a result, the team felt heard, valued, and understood. Their morale and motivation skyrocketed, and their performance improved significantly. It was a testament to the power of empathy and a positive mindset in turning things around.
Adaptability & Flexibility:
In a retail company, the HR department was grappling with a decline in team morale and productivity. The slump was a result of poor leadership that had contributed to the team's underperformance, leaving them feeling disconnected and undervalued. Recognizing the critical role of leadership, the HR department decided to address the leadership challenges and seek external help.
They engaged Brighter Leaders, a high-performance coaching firm, known for transforming leadership dynamics. The coach worked closely with the company's leaders, conducting in-depth assessments and tailored coaching sessions. The focus was on enhancing emotional intelligence, effective communication, and empathy.
The company's leaders learned to connect more deeply with their teams, fostering a culture of trust and open communication. They were equipped with tools to better understand and respond to their team members' needs, and they started leading with a more supportive and empowering approach.
The transformation was tangible. Team members felt heard, valued, and understood. They were more motivated, more productive, and more engaged in their roles. The team's newfound synergy translated into an increase in productivity and overall morale, even amidst the challenges of the industry.
The experience underscored the profound impact of addressing poor leadership. With the right support and coaching, leaders can change the trajectory of their teams and achieve exceptional results.
And here's a simple exercise for you:
The "Walking in their Shoes" exercise:
This exercise is all about building empathy. Choose an underperforming team member and spend some hours mirroring their role. Experience their challenges, workflows, and colleague interactions firsthand. This not only gives you a deeper understanding of their daily life but shows your team that you genuinely care about their perspectives. It's an empathy-building exercise that can foster a culture of mutual respect and support.
Here’s the kicker…
You can become the leader who fosters creativity, innovation, and excellence in your team. It's about understanding the neuroscience of stress, enhancing your emotional intelligence, and taking active steps to create an environment where your team can thrive and see new heights.
Are you ready to unlock your leadership potential and drive your team to greater success? We have a unique system that's helped many leaders like yourself transform their leadership style and deliver exceptional results. If you're curious to learn more and explore strategies tailored to your unique needs and embark on a journey to elevate your leadership game.
Let's get the conversation started.
To a brighter future 🌟