I am just fascinated by this reassurance from a menacing figure. It is rather frightening. – Rory Bremner
People loved to be reassured! To be cared for in some way that removes their fears or doubts. The problem with reassurance is that it doesn’t exist! In order to truthfully tell someone “every thing is going to be okay,” you have to know it is! It doesn’t matter how good of a leader you are, no one can know 100% of the future. Seth Godin talks about the problem with reassurance, but I’m not going to focus on his thoughts, because, well, it’s already been done.
However, as a leader if our team members are going to proceed in a time of uncertainty we’re going to have to reassure them with out lying to them.
How Leaders Reassure with out Lying:
1. Leaders know they condition of their team. In The Way Of The Shepherd Dr. Kevin Leman (@drleman) suggest that, “A manager can’t manage (a leader can’t lead) what he doesn’t know, so you have to make a point of knowing not just the status of the work, but also the status of your people.” When a leader takes time to know the condition of each team member they are reassured in his or her leadership with out him ever having to say anything, because they can see you, and they know you’ve seen them.
- Click Here for an article by the PMI (Project Manager Institute) for a few ideas about knowing your team’s condition.
2. Leaders invest themselves in to their team. One of John Maxwell’s (@JohnCMaxwell) laws in 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is “The Law of Connection.” He says, “The stronger the relationship you form with followers, the greater the connection you forge – and the more likely those followers will want to help you.” When a leader invests in his or her team they are forging a connection that is reassuring the team member that they are valuable.
- Click Here for an Inc. Magazine article about delivering value to your team members.
There is more that could be written about reassuring with out lying but these two practices, if done correctly and consistently, are plenty to keep us busy!
How do you get to know your team?
How do you invest in your team?