“You don’t show up well in these situations and here are the things you must do differently to be more effective.” Have you ever heard a President or CEO receive feedback like this from one of their employees? If so, then you were probably witnessing a very healthy culture and work environment.
People regularly tell executives what they think they want to hear, but rarely share anything they think the person would perceive as negative…particularly if it is less than flattering information about the leader. This behavior gives the executive a distorted view of reality and lulls them into the belief that they are good, or good enough, at everything they do. Changing this paradigm is critical and it is the responsibility of the leader, not the employees.
Even with great self-awareness, we can only get better at the things we know about. To become a more complete leader, we must also work on our blind spots. Discovering them requires us to ask our people to share uncomfortable information…something they can only do if we have created a culture that is safe enough. Safe cultures are not always comfortable environments…they are environments where uncomfortable things can be done safely.
Be intentional about it…