A short 3-question quiz to give your team so you can avoid common leadership mistakes.
Feel that? It’s your faint intuition that, as a leader, you’re not hearing the full truth. No one seems to tell you the complete story when someone decides to leaves. No one breathes a word about any leadership mistakes you might be making. As a leader, you feel you’re constantly the last to know something .
You’re right. You don’t know everything as a leader. Naturally, you have blindspots. And, naturally, it can be daunting to seek these blindspots out. What we don’t know is terrifying.
To uncover these blindspots in the most painless, least-overwhelming way possible, I’m sharing a short 3-question quiz you can ask your team. Because it’s just three questions, it won’t feel like you’re asking them to formally evaluate you. And because of the questions themselves, it’ll help you identify specifically if you have any of the three most common leadership blindspots we’ve found.
Below, I share the questions you should ask to uncover your blindspots, the data behind it, why it matters, and what you can do about the blindspot itself.
“Do feel there’s anything holding you from doing your best work right now?”
What most leaders find: 58% of employees say, “Yes, something is holding me back from doing my best work right now” (according to 1,027 employees we surveyed across 144 different companies through Know Your Team).
Why it matters: Stifled employees can mean increased turnover. When employees are stifled and disengaged they are more likely to leave a job for a 20% pay increase.
What you can do about it: Offer meaningful incentives beyond a paycheck, such as professional development opportunities.
“Do you want more feedback about your performance?”
What most leaders find: 81% of employees say, “Yes, I want more feedback about my performance” (according to 1,747 employees we surveyed across 172 different companies through Know Your Team).
Why it matters: Regular, helpful feedback leads to more engaged employees. Studies have shown — leaders who give honest feedback are three times more engaged than those who don’t.
What you can do about it: Offer honest, consistent guidance to employees (and not in the form of performance reviews). Be sure to open yourself up to feedback from your team, as well.
“Do you feel the company is behind the curve on anything in particular?”
What most leaders find: 65% of employees say, “Yes, I think we’re behind the curve on something in particular” (according to 1,267 employees we surveyed across 190 companies throughKnow Your Team).
Why it matters: Your team can provide a wealth of ideas. In fact, according to a national 2010 Cornell study, 20% of employees actively withhold an idea or a suggestion about a problem or making improvements.
What you can do about it: Don’t kill ideas too quickly. Encourage employees to write down ideas that challenge the status quo, offer “out-there” ideas yourself, and judiciously and rigorously evaluate them.
Ask these three question to your team, and compare what answers you receive with the percentages I shared from what other leaders have experienced. How do you seem to be fairing? Anything surprise you? And most importantly, what small steps can you take to act on the new information that you now know?
Don’t be afraid to shine a light on these blindspots. As Louis Brandeis was once quoted, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
P.S.: Please feel free to share + give this piece 👏 so others can find it too. Thanks 😄 (And you can always say hi at @clairejlew.)