Leaders: Nine Chances to Cultivate Employee Maturity | #leadership
by Kate Nasser | 6 Comments »
Leaders and managers, have you ever wanted to tell employees to grow up? You’re not alone. Even companies as a whole report that recent graduates and new hires don’t have sufficient critical thinking and teamwork skills. These are but two aspects of employee maturity.
The truth is, for employees to contribute maturely leaders and managers must mentor a mature understanding of the business and of the collaboration needed to succeed.
Saying “grow up” won’t do it. Reflecting what you want them to do is the first step to great mentoring. Ask yourself what were they doing that brought you to say grow up? Itemize what you want them to do.
9 Chances to Cultivate Employee Maturity
Maturity is about balance, readiness, consideration, and confidence. It’s about attitudes as well as skills.
- When addressing employee concerns and complaints, always speak about the impact on the business. Today it’s popular to focus on changing the workplace to engage employees. If you want maturity in the workplace, balance caring for them with expectations of them.
- Illustrate the difference between honesty with diplomacy and rude bluntness. The former is a sign of maturity for it balances the message and the impact when selecting the words. The latter is a sign of selfish immaturity.
- Applaud, highlight, and reinforce excellence. When you set and reward a high standard, you mentor and develop that level of mature commitment. If you treat basic behaviors (like meeting objectives or showing up on time) as something special, you keep many in the weeds.
- Replace the misguided adage “treat each other like customers” with the more mature team mantra “grow and change to reach a shared success and common goal”. Team maturity has a deeper honesty and type of trust that surpasses that of a business and its customers. Cultivate it from the beginning and you cultivate maturity.
- Frequently ask, “what are we each doing to be ready for tomorrow?” When leaders pose this question, it asks employees to initiate some of their own growth. It is a call to maturity. Provide training and opportunities for them to develop further.
- Within a certain sphere, make it OK to make mistakes. Confidence grows when mistakes are lessons learned. Sometimes maturity comes from jumping a hurdle and knowing how to prevent a crash next time.
- Maturity owns the impact of behavior. Show them how to do it even in difficult moments. Related post: The Perfect Apology and The ONE Word That Destroys It.
- Give them access to situations that cultivate a mature open mind. In silos, employees continue to focus on their own jobs or possibly on the silo they are in. When you break through the silos and have employees see the bigger picture, their view of their own job matures. Now they can contribute to the whole not just to the silo..
- Think out loud. Employees learn critical thinking by hearing it and participating in it. If you want to speed this aspect of maturity, show them how you arrive at decision vs. just telling them the decision.
Most of all leaders, continue to evolve your self-awareness and maturity. Your growth spurs theirs. It expands this list of nine chances all the way to infinite. Highlight and applaud growth. You get what you focus on. If you want employees to stretch and grow, recognize and reinforce growth. If you focus only on results, who are you actually leading and mentoring to achieve those results?
From my experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Employee Appreciation: Be a Buoy to Be Appreciated
5 Immature Extremes That Harm Teamwork
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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I love this post Kate! Leadership development takes on so many faces in organizations, but developing maturity usually isn’t a part of it. If it were up to me, this list would be a part of the on boarding process for any person in a leadership role.
Many thanks William. Few if any as you say have “developing maturity” as a goal. They focus on skills yet not hastening the total development of judgment and insight. Very pleased and grateful for your visit and contribution to this blog post.
Have a super day.
One great way to encourage immaturity–treat the employees like children. Some people in management think that by acting as though the employee is never good enough, they will rise to the challenge. Actually, the best ones leave and you’ll be stuck cultivating weeds.
Very true Marla. I echo your thoughts.
Kate, great post. Individual success, comfort, ease or desire is not the goal, corporate success is. Any way you remind employees that they serve the team, and they benefit from (not the team, but) the team’s success, is always maturing and in the best interests of all the teammates.
As for the chances, I’d add teaching, or modeling, respect. I’ve written a bit on the subject lately. Respect for others demonstrates the grace that comes with maturity. We can respect those we correct and those we disagree with. When we do that with respect, we act like adults in the business.
Thanks again for a great post. Mike…
I very much like your addition of “respect”. It develops maturity and inspires more respect. Respect is the underpinning of collaborative success.
Many thanks for your insight and continued collaboration.