Have you ever been in a situation where you think you’ve been heard and then wham, you discover, that the instruction and delegation you gave just didn’t happen? 

As a leader of a team, you’re not alone. 

Here are some ideas that might help you understand why it happens and what you can do to course correct:

1.They’re intimidated by you…..

It amazes me how many folks in leadership roles don’t really take into account the impact of the position they hold.

Did you know some of your team may possibly have a bad experience of an authority figure in the past and now have a defensive mechanism that almost stops them from hearing?

While that is not your problem, it’s a good idea to understand this is a strong possibility.  And good motivation to not be that ‘bad’ leader too.

2. They’re defensive……

The arms folded, no eye contact, fast talking over you thing?

This is all about deflection.

Sometimes it’s easier to blame someone else (even the boss) to avoid the talking responsibility.

And yes, there is a cost delay in production, slow turnarounds for work and worse, profit eaten up. 

When you recognise the salient piece in point 3, it will make more sense.

man igrnoring others

3. They don’t want to be told……

They say it’s easier to go with the grain than against it.

Let’s face it, do you like being told what to do? If you don’t like being told, then neither does your team.

So, what’s the answer I hear you ask?

The answer is mastering the ‘art of questions’.

That’s right. He or she who asks the questions leads and gets to be listened to.  Instead of being ‘tasky’, be ‘asky’.

So here are my 2 big tips for turning your non-responsive team into listeners.

It’s simple and highly effective. Applied well, it can truly be a game changer.

Firstly, before you ‘tell’ someone what to do, do this – ask yourself, “How can I phrase this tell statement, into a question?” 

For instance here’s a statement: 

“Sally I need you to scan these documents by 4pm”. 

How can that be turned into a question?

For instance…. “Sally, would you please prioritise these scans for the client by 4pm?”

You can easily transform your results by simply using questions.

Would you like to give it a try?

Secondly, be committed to this idea.

To truly lead, L.E.A.D.

What do I mean?

In the work we do at Intercept we help companies apply the rule of L.E.A.D.

Simply put, it’s making a commitment to create a Learning Environment Attuned (to the) Direction of your goals.

This is one of the major mistakes leaders make.  They fail to truly create a learning environment for their people.

They become task masters instead of ask masters.

The moment you think of yourself as an educator and teacher, everything will change.