The following is the first in a series of pieces I am writing tackling day to day management and leadership questions taken from a quiet leadership approach.
Problem: I am an introverted leader and find it difficult to run effective meetings or establish influence as the leader.
Good news for quiet leaders; your approach that comes naturally to you, is one that is now recognised as the best way to communicate with a team and that is through one to one check in’s. No need for loud town hall meetings, you can best support your team using your quiet leadership style.
Authors Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall of ‘Nine Lies About Work’ say, that without regular (weekly) check in’s you are only talking in generalities with your team and not specifics. They say your brief check in should include two questions:
What are your priorities this week?
How can I help?
You might be thinking I have too many people on my team to be able to do this but if you do Buckingham and Goodall would suggest you have too many people on your team or what is called your span of control.
Check in’s can be short but must be regular. The analogy of brushing your teeth is used. You wouldn’t give them a good brush twice a year for good oral health, it needs to be regular. Data shows that team leaders who take this approach have higher levels of engagement and lower levels of voluntary turnover.
Colleen Barrett, President of Southwest Airlines is said to have spent 70% of her time interacting with her people. Things change fast in an organisation, information becomes obsolete, goals and plans set at the start of the year can become irrelevant. If you don’t know the specifics of what is going on for your team you can’t effectively support them.
The totality of our work experience comes down to the local interactions we have with our colleagues, managers and within our team. According to Corporate Rebels 50% of employees quit because of bad managers. Don’t let your team members become one of them schedule your weekly check in’s today.
Aoife Lenox is an Introvert Coach and Engagement Specialist. She promotes strategies of quiet leadership to promote meaningful and high performing work.