Fridays seem to come round really quickly nowadays. In organisations where Vicious Circles are merrily spinning, it could be that the leaders are stressed by the advent of a Friday due to the realisation that another week has slipped by and still the achievements are below par. The doers, in contrast, are probably rejoicing – “just a few more hours of this and I’ll be out of here!” At this rate the chain stores will soon be filling up with Christmas decorations causing a flurry of even more extensive and once again opposite emotions – the leaders will be stressing about the fact that another year has gone while unmotivated doers are counting down the days to the end of another year, and more so, to time away from the company.
Stress does not help
Stress in leaders unfortunately does not help the situation – under stress, communication suffers, tolerance goes out of the window, patience is non existent and the last thing on the mind of a stressed leader is feeding the emotional needs of the doers. ‘FIFO’ comes to mind and manifests in the way the doers are treated.
For as long as doers work with an expectation that the leaders and the organisation are responsible for their emotional well being, and that this responsibility is not shared or even solely in the hands of the doers, the stressful reactions of leaders simply make matters worse.
Develop a clearly defined strategy
For as much as I understand reactions based on stress, they simply are not effective in getting what you want as a business leader. They may too have become so entrenched that reacting in any other way is simply not possible. The flaw lies in the word reaction – ‘proaction’ is the way to go!! Knowing what it is you want to achieve and then having a clearly defined strategy to achieve it.
Nothing new you may exclaim!! I believe there is something new to be found in the realm of business strategy – look at the common business plan – full of numbers, target markets, business models, corporate structure etc. Not too much to be found along the lines of the emotional needs of people – a detailed strategy to keep the doers informed, included, challenged, rewarded and everything else it might take to get maximum performance. The doers have been telling the leaders for years now what it will take – the leaders have been stuck for years believing that financial reporting, ROI, debtor’s days, expensive motor cars etc. is the only way to achieve success. Who is wrong? Surely neither!!
Sides need to be brought together – the solution is to be found in both.
Please just remember that sides are not brought together as a result of stressful reactions. Sides need to feel that they are heard, considered, appreciated, and important to mention a few.
Think about your own needs in moments of conflict and then develop your strategy accordingly – we might need to be part of that strategy!!
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
If this post interests you please feel free to share it: