Many leaders experience an accountability gap between what they want/expect to happen and what their people actually deliver. One way to close this gap is to recognize whether you as a leader are an NG.
NG stands for “natural guy/gal” and it’s someone who gets things done without knowing exactly how they’ve done it. You’re a natural, drawing on pure instinct and ability. You’ve never thought much about how you do things, because you’ve never had to. You rarely or never get stuck or feel confused about what to do next.
But you know what? 95% of the entire workforce are not self-starters like you.
They’re not NGs or “natural guys/gals.”
The gap seems to widen every time you want something done. Your instinct might be to tell people what you would do and that they should go and do that. When they can’t or don’t deliver, it’s completely perplexing to you. You have no idea why others can’t just do what you did so easily.
And you don’t know how to show them. Even if you had the time, you don’t have any method or system – you’re not a teacher or a trainer! You have the skills and experience yourself, but not the means to transfer those to someone else. So you keep telling, and they keep under-delivering. And the gap increases.
By learning how to ask instead of tell, you’ll help your people learn their own natural ways of doing things. They’ll be different from yours, and that’s totally okay.
The next time you’re tempted to tell people what to do, remember that they may not be NGs. Asking gets better results. Try on some of these open-ended coaching questions instead:
1. What do you think?
2. What’s one thing we could do right now?
3. What obstacles do you anticipate?
4. What can you do more or less of, or differently?
5. How can I best support you?
To help you better transfer your skill set to others in your organization, check out my latest book, The Buck Starts Here: Why Leadership Accountability Is The Key To Less Stress, More Time & A Better Bottom Line. To get your copy, click here.