Compassionate leadership builds relationships that empower. It brings people together in ways that inspire each person to feel connected and engaged. In my previous post, The Dangers of Comparing Employees, I shared how even the best intentions can backfire when leaders compare their employees.
There is a right and wrong way to make an example out of someone. One of the most powerful ways we learn and build our own confidence is by watching others. The fancy name for it is “vicarious role modeling.” Here are some do’s and don’ts when making an example out of others.
Focus on the strategy, not the person
Everyone is different, so saying things like, “You should be more like Jesse,” invites negative, pervasive comparisons that destroy self-esteem. Instead, focus on the strategy Jesse used to be effective. e.g. “Jesse tried three times on his own before asking for help and he learned so much along the way.” Strategies are things that anyone can try, regardless of who they are.
Focus on learning from mistakes, not being a perfect expert
Perfect role models make great idols, and terrible teachers. Experts are impossible to emulate because we are not like them. Instead, focus on how others have learned from mistakes. The most inspiring examples in my life have been the people who failed, picked themselves up, tried something else, and had a breakthrough.
Appeal to internal standards, not what others think is important
Avoid comparisons like, “Look at Jesse. He broke the record for sales last month?” People learn and grow best when they set and work towards their own goals. My favorite slogan I first saw on the back of a t-shirt is “Beat yesterday.” It’s is all about defining success based on how I am measuring up to my own standards, not whether others approve.
Copyright, Next Element Consulting, LLC – 2018
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