Want to Get the Best from Your Team? Start with a Personal Audit

I was in conversation with a senior executive I’m coaching. She was experiencing a common challenge for many leaders, a disconnect between how she was seeing herself in workplace interactions and how others were experiencing her. 

She’s not alone. We are our own worst critics. We are usually too hard on ourselves for things we shouldn’t be. And often, on our own, we cannot clearly see the things we could change that would make a significant difference in our leadership ability. No one is perfect, and we do our best. But we can see only from where we are standing. An expert coach with the right tools can provide the objective guidance we need to make organic changes in our thinking that can help us become stronger leaders.

Back to my client. Using the Hartman Value Profile, combined with her most recent performance appraisal, I noticed a pattern. So I posed a question to elicit the thinking and behavior that she could not see but her colleagues could. I explained to her what I observed: “I asked what you do to get the job done, and you answered with how.” From her perspective, she uses her intelligence to give context and formulate solutions. From the perspective of her colleagues, she over-thinks things. This simple, well-positioned question enabled her to see herself differently and better understand the disconnect with her team. It provided objective insight for her to begin to make changes that involve taking action more often.

Leaders like my client have my utmost respect because they are willing to self-reflect. Smart leaders know that they have the best chances for organizational transformation if they can look within and make the commitment to be the very best versions of themselves as they ask others to do the same. I work with a coach who constantly challenges me. If I don’t do the work myself, how can I ask others to do the same?  

Change guru and bestselling author John P. Kotter noted that 70 percent of change efforts fail, while a more recent study cited by Harvard Business Review reports a failure rate as high as 78 percent. What’s important to gather from Kotter and this recent study, though, is that leaders who engage their employees are more successful at transforming the workplace.

So, if engagement is critical, where do you start?  If you are ready for real change, start with yourself.   

If you’d like to have a brief chat about how to apply executive coaching and the Hartman Value Profile in your personal growth, let me know. I’m happy to provide a free consultation regarding how I can help you. Feel free to check out some of my clients’ success stories and how they use the Profile approach to achieve amazing growth. You can also discover more about the Axiometrics version of the Hartman Value Profile by visiting my website.

AUTHOR - James Mueller

Jim Mueller is president of James Mueller & Associates LLC (JMA), a national consulting firm that provides services in the areas of organizational development, governance, and philanthropy. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.