Keep Calm and Get Real

Posted by Kristin Baird

One thing I love about our Coaching for Engagement and Improved Performance workshop is seeing attendees reach those “Aha!” moments when they start to see their challenges in a new light.

A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my coaching clients who had just attended the coaching workshop. He sat down across the table from me, let out a deep sigh, and then said, “I finally get it. I know what I need to do”. While I was encouraged to see the relief on his face, his statement could have meant a wide array of things. From fixing a broken lawnmower to a major life and career decision. “Do tell,” I encouraged. And he did.

“Jamie” went on to explain that he realized he was spending way too much time on his low performers. He gave the least attention to his brightest and best team members. I’m always thrilled when leaders see the risk in this, so I asked him how he planned to change this pattern. His response was straight and to the point.

Keep Calm and Get Real

“Keep calm and get real,” Jamie said. He went on to explain that he was chronically irritated and upset about two team members who were “poisoning the well,” as he put it. “When I’m constantly focused on them and the drama they bring, I’m missing all the positive things going on in my department.”

His plan, he explained, was to calmly lay out his expectations and give concrete examples of what he wants, versus what he is getting from his low performers and begin the disciplinary process. At the same time, he committed to give more time and attention to his high performers.

“I realize now that I’ve been irritated and resentful of the two lowest performers and they are sucking my energy,” Jamie explained. “Now, I’m prepared to calmly set limits and expectations for them to move up or move out. It’s really liberating to have a plan.”

Keep calm and get real. I think he’s got the secret sauce for creating a winning team.

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