Self-Directed Meets Connected: Gentle When Needed

Retail NL

Retail NL (Photo credit: . Shell)

Leadership challenges us to anticipate what is happening in the hearts and minds of our people.  This is particularly difficult when working with strong, self-directed human beings.  Strong performers are self-critical by nature and when the going gets tough, the tough get going… usually starting with beating up on themselves.  Leaders can help by staying connected, and offering compassion.

I experienced this first hand, when I was the one struggling.  I was the leader of a large retail sales team, and it was one of those big days with high expectations.  I had started at 4am and was driving from store to store to rally and inspire the team.  Each hour, the sales totals would flash on my phone via text message.  They were disappointing.  I felt more stressed with each incoming tone.  And then the phone rang.  It was my boss.  ”Oh great,” I thought.  ”He is freaking out too.”

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