woman ears plugged“Darci, tell me a little about your current workload and where you are in the suggested training process we discussed last….” The “boss” cut me off mid-sentence, saying, “Don’t worry about what she has on her plate and when she’s going to find the time to get this implemented. Just tell her everything she needs to do and I will work with her on how to get it done. I need her up to speed – yesterday!”

I cannot tell you how many times, as bosses, we discredit the learning and training process with new employees. All we know is that X is not happening fast enough.

Nothing is worse as a new employee than the feeling of constantly fishing (guessing, assuming and resuming). Don’t give the team a fish.  Teach them to fish. Throwing them into the deep end of the ocean without the skills is a sure way to find yourself back at the hiring process.

Don’t make the mistake of taking up ownership of the team’s training process. Teaching them the firm’s culture, connecting with them, debriefing with them, YES. But taking the lead on their training process, NO!  It doesn’t create a team of empowered intrapreneurs who are invested in their own growth. It doesn’t teach them to survive on their own, which is what entrepreneurs across the globe tell us they are craving.  You are not doing them any favors.

Make team step up and handle things on their own.  You can coach them through how to handle a situation and offer to be in the room to “translate” through it, but don’t do it for them.

The best way to do this is by asking questions, not by telling someone the answer or what to do.  That’s just what we were trying to do with this new employee. So if your team member is not performing to the degree you were hoping for at this point, ask a few questions:

  1. “What’s not working/What is working?”
  2. “What resources do you need to support you?”
  3. “What do you need to have happen here?”
  4. “If there was one thing you could have a breakthrough in this week to make you feel like you are making progress, what would it be?”

Don’t think for them. Don’t dictate. Don’t defend. Don’t justify. Your job as a boss (coach) is to simply fact-find, issue-spot and provide them the resources they need to not just “get their job done,” but to soar. Your role is to facilitate the thought process so they come to the conclusions themselves and form their own opinions.

If the boss is having communication, training or “motivation” issues with a team member, don’t offer to go handle it.  (A better idea would be to download our  “8 Keys to an Empowering Conversation” webinar if you need help in this area.)

Champions of your continued success,

Molly and Laney



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