By Michael Holland

Your employees are frustrated with you.  Yes, even though they may love you, admire you, work their tails off for you, they are frustrated with you.  Some of you cause so much frustration your employees dream of how you will look when they finally tell you they are leaving for another job.

Here are three frustrations you may bring upon your employees.

Story in Your Head –The story playing in your head is more important to you than the story playing in your employee’s head.  Meaning you are not listening to them.  You either assume you know what they are thinking or you’re too arrogant to care.

Remedy:  Ask them the question:  What is the story going on in their head regarding a situation, event, conversation, their future, etc.

Lack of Purpose – They feel like zombies in a bad movie just wandering about for lack of clear direction.  You change the purpose each week – maybe each day – without a long term perspective of where you want the team to head.

Remedy:  Paint the picture for the destination you are leading towards.  Even if it’s only 3 months out, it still a destination in your head and not in theirs.  Everyone wants to know where they’re going.

Your Time is More Important – You continually cancel your employees’ one-on-one meetings or cut them down to 10 minutes because of blah, blah, blah reasons.  No one cares about your reasons.  Either the time with your employees is important to you or it’s not.  Your behavior reveals the priority.

Remedy:  Determine you want to lead well and that the one-on-ones are as important as a meeting with the CEO or tell your employees you just are not going to do any one-on-one meetings.  At a minimum you will meet the expectation of that commitment.

Leading can be a tough job but more often than not, leaders make their job harder by not doing well with the basics of management.  The hardest part of the job is the people but that’s exactly what the job is all about.  Either get on the bus and realize leading people is your job or man-up and relinquish your job to someone who will try to lead well.  And as you give up the job make sure to also give up all the entitlements, compensation and perks that you so relish in your life.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Which of the three frustrations listed bothers you the most?  Ponder on that for 20 minutes and make a list what comes to your mind.
  • Look back at your calendar over the last month or so.  How many times have you canceled or reduced meetings with your employees? Is there one employee who always gets their one-on-one canceled?  Are they your highest performer?  Are they the one you like the least?  What might be the impact on this employee?
  • Use the question “tell me the story going on in your head” with 2 or 3 employees this week.  Journal what you’ve discovered or grab a peer manager and discuss your findings.