I tend to be a helper, I try to do things to make people’s lives easier. Sometimes in my effort to help I over step or unintentionally make someone’s life more difficult. For example, in the hustle and bustle of my morning I did something that I would appreciate someone doing for me, the response that I got was anything but thankful. Instead what I got was “why would you do that?” as I scrambled in my brain to figure out why someone would be irritated at my nice gesture they got even more flustered and said “well!” I found myself explaining that I was trying to be helpful. This resulted in me thinking, “Seriously I was trying to make your life easier, how ungrateful, sheesh that is the last time I try to do something nice for you.” As I pondered over my morning conversation I wondered if as leaders we ever tend to get caught up in these types of scenarios.
Have you ever been in a situation where an employee has done something and your first thought is, “Well, that is not the way I would have done it, but the employee is standing there thinking they did a wonderful thing smiling away eagerly waiting for your positive response and you stare at them with the “look.” You know the one I am talking about the look that clearly communicates your disappointment or disapproval of the action they took? We may have issues with verbal communication but the “look” we could give a clinic on. You slowly watch as the expectant helper’s face crumbles, this does two things; demotivates and creates fear of failure for next time, which can result in low morale. Do not mistake what I am saying, I am not telling you to throw a party when they bring you something that is maybe not what you asked for or needed, that is a whole new discussion. What I am suggesting you consider is, most people do things with the best of intentions. If we realize this and present feedback in a positive fashion employees and individuals we encounter in our everyday life will learn and grow from the interactions they have with us. As we move closer to Thanksgiving it is important to realize how thankful we should be for those that take the time to invest time and energy into our endeavors and lives.