A couple of weeks back, I felt something shift in one of my team members. The person I heavily rely on was particularly in disarray during those days. To say I was thrown out sorts is an understatement.
At first of course, I was communicating about work and demanding for answers. I was reacting, obviously.
As it turns out, something big was happening to him and I failed to recognize that.
When the “dust started to settle” and both of us were calmer, this is when I learned about everything. Before I could mutter the words, “you should have told me”, I was able to stop myself and instead listened some more.
Here’s the tricky thing about leadership - you’ve got to be some kind of a sociologist as well. You have to learn to see subtle clues and learn to read between the lines.
You have to keep asking, probing, observing, listening. If there’s a sudden change in behavior - that’s a symptom and yelling at it won’t do anything.
You have to learn to dig deeper and ask the right questions.
You have to get to what is causing this “symptom” and address it.
Get to know your team. If something’s out of their character, ask and listen. You’ll be surprised with how much you’ll learn.