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Team Building and Leadership

Balancing Support and Empowerment

Often we take some actions with good intentions to help others and our teams, and yet, these actions are not perceived positively and instead have a diminishing impact.

In her book, Impact Players, Liz Wiseman mentioned six such diminishing behaviours that we should be mindful of.

Rapid responder. We tend to respond quickly to manage different situations without giving our team any opportunity, which creates disappointments in them.

Protector. We intend to protect our team by doing their job to avoid failures and setbacks. As a result, the team don’t get the opportunity to grow.

Pace setter. We set the playbook or the pace of work for the team without a deeper understanding of the context. As a result, the team members become spectators rather than empowered contributors.

Rescuer. We rescue our teams too early and too often from challenging situations. This sends the message that they are not capable enough and hinders capability building.

Always On. We stay vigilant in every situation and put forward our opinion with the intent to keep the team on track. This is perceived as micromanagement instead of empowerment.

Perfectionist. We always set a high expectation bar, motivating people to bring their best. However, without flexibility and autonomy, it creates anxiety and stress. It also prevents people to take risks and do things differently.

To avoid such undesirable impacts, we can have a balanced approach in supporting our teams by being curious about our impacts, seeking feedback, and being more aware and connected to our teams.