Take Note of “Diamonds in the Rough”
I’m willing to bet there are a number of people on your team who have certain skills, talents, or characteristics that have gone overlooked. For whatever reason, these individuals simply don’t realize that something they do is unique, exceptional, or carries potential in terms of making a significant impact on their work or in their world. So as their leader, it’s one of your responsibilities to recognize such greatness. Once “discovered,” like diamonds in the rough, these assets can then be mined and polished to really shine over time. However, remember that simply noticing raw potential isn’t enough—like other Disciplined Leaders, you’ve got to make a commitment to communicate these truths when you spot them. I encourage you to speak up. In fact, a minor mention on your part can become a major catalyst for change, triggering your people to transform, take action around what’s possible, and achieve new heights of untapped potential and success.
Take action and make this a new practice for the New Year! Here’s how:
Make it a habit. The moment you notice something unique and wonderful about someone, whatever is happening in that moment becomes “the cue,” or an opportunity for you to take a different (and better) course of action. For example, if your usual routine has been to say nothing to that person, perhaps because you’re busy or don’t know whether it will really matter, it’s this thinking and “routine” that must change. So change it…make a concerted effort to speak up, saying something that demonstrates your insight, offers encouragement, or gives a little coaching or advice to your people. Practice this new routine weekly or daily until it becomes a habit.
Be precise. Telling your employees they are really good at their jobs is nice, but, in terms of developing these individuals, it’s fluff. To make a more meaningful impact, be specific about what makes them an A+ player or how they’re a cut above the rest. For example, instead of “Hey Jane, you’re really good at what you do,” try something like this: “I’ve absolutely got to tell you something Jane…I’ve noticed you’re always so courteous in how you communicate with others and encourage their opinions and ideas. You tend to put everyone else first, and you’re a great team player. In fact, relationship skills are in your powerhouse!”
Don’t be afraid. Sometimes fear holds us back from sharing what we think or feel about someone’s goodness or potential. But as the title of Susan Jeffers’ bestselling book states, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” If your intentions to care about and help someone are genuine, you ultimately can’t lose no matter how awkward it may feel. So as other Disciplined Leaders do, find your courage to state what should be said. You might be surprised to find that it doesn’t just help others in their self-development but can inspire your people to respect you more as a leader, too. The key is to be authentic. When you are honest and your message bears truth, you will be more likely to inspire your people and enable them to succeed in that critical, catalytic change.
What keeps you from noticing—and speaking up about—the good you see in others?