Management Principle: Insights

Professional leading and managing is a process that addresses the development needs of staff members, even when those needs may not be so clear to the staff themselves. It requires insight and intentionality on behalf of leaders to attend to specific growth needs. Today’s term addresses one area we don’t often hear about, but is foundational to cultivate good judgment in employees.

Insights. When asked, most employees will say they are motivated by money, time off, or acknowledgement. While this is somewhat true since these perks meet short-term needs, long term satisfaction comes when people develop insights–the ability to understand themselves, others, and complex systems and processes, yielding increased discernment and better judgment. Insight fosters personal awareness, and is the foundation of good judgment which translates into influence skills. Leaders who take a deliberate approach to mentor their staff in this way will address succession needs and scale the business oftentimes without knowing it. There are three ways to effectively develop insight into your staff: creating awareness through discovery-based questioning, coaching staff through stretch assignments, and providing accountability that forces them, in a friendly way, to do the thinking and problem-solving when times are difficult. This requires leaders who are patient, strong in sponsorship and interpersonal skill, and who use a coach-approach in their management style. Those who resort to top-down command and control techniques remove safety from the environment, stifle creativity, and create risk-averse self preservationists.

Coaching questions: How effective are you and developing insights in your staff? What changes in managerial style will help you improve?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

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