Leadership: Proving Need Not Stop Improving

Leaders, do your employees spend most of their time proving their value to you or improving their value to the organization?

After your feedback or a performance review, do they truly feel the focus is on improving their skills or wonder if it is on proving themselves?

Proving Need Not Stop the Improving – It’s Up to You!

Leadership & Careers: Proving Need Not Stop the Improving! Image by: SweetDreamzDesign

If you are thinking you must constantly prove your value to your boss, then you are likely spreading this prove to survive outlook to your direct reports.

You are also at risk for spreading the disease of perfectionism throughout your teams as you minimize all chances of mistake and failure. Perfectionism makes proving and improving mutually exclusive. They aren’t.

It is through constant improvement that people create and prove their value. If you as a leader say and live the mantra “Let’s learn from our missteps and keep growing”, then employees will live that culture.

Your mindset and daily communication shape the focus long before feedback or reviews.

  • Clarity focuses on improving while innuendo and confusion foster fear; they drive and trap all in proving to survive.
  • Courage and communicating with gentle honesty promote improvement; fear and avoidance of conflict create a CYA culture of proving instead of improving.
  • Engaging employees for organizational success fosters learning and improving; climbing the ladder for your own success tells everyone to prove themselves to survive.
  • Broad views of what is possible elevate all to unforeseen success; vertical thinking and a shortage mindset confine all to proving themselves amidst limited possibilities.

Leaders, avoid the trap of the “prove to survive” mindset. Abandon the “prove me wrong” approach to leadership. Engage employees to learn, grow, and contribute their talents for organizational results!

  1. Separate your own personal pet peeves from the essentials of organizational success.
  2. See the employees’ talents as a pathway to everyone’s success instead of a threat to yours.
  3. Be clear in your feedback to promote improvement.
  4. Use honesty not bluntness to communicate clearly instead of scarring employees with negative emotion.
  5. Applaud the talents that carry the organization forward and guide all to remove behaviors that threaten success.

Constant proving robs improvement of valuable time and vital energy; continuous improvement breeds exponential success.

The path is clear. Let’s get going!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Image above by: SweetDreamzDesign via Creative Commons License.

Related posts:
Best 4 Steps to Engage Employees Initiative & Improvement
Leaders, 5 Legacy Attitudes to Replace for Employee Engagement
Leaders, Do Your Pet Peeves Disengage Employees?
12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement
7 Steps from Brutally Blunt to Helpfully Honest

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.

3 Responses to “Leadership: Proving Need Not Stop Improving”

  1. Angel says:

    Great insights! I like the focus on improving and distinction of proving relating to confining fear. Your piece gives a transformational objective with clear transferrable steps. Great for organization and insights for personal too!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Angel. The post came to me as I was coaching leaders and employees. I am grateful for your feedback that the distinction is valuable.

      Warmest regards and hopes that you will visit here often and share your experience and learning!

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