Have you ever withheld feedback for concerns about how it may be received? Have you ever suppressed your questions in a meeting in fear of appearing ill-informed? Have you ever failed to take a calculated risk because the anxiety of potential failure is far too great? Such apprehension often prevents you and your colleagues from being the vest versions of themselves individually and collectively.
At CEEK we often encourage each other and our clients to Care Enough to Care Less. We find that most individuals we work with care deeply about their work. However, many of us tend to let irrational or self-oriented fears and anxieties keep us from serving others and ourselves most effectively.
We challenge you this month to care less. Care less about your image. Care less about how other may perceive your perceived value. Care less about potential mistakes or failure and more about the impact you can and should have. As a leader in your organization, consider setting the example for openly sharing the following three steps with your respective teams. Or are you worried how they might perceive it…care less.
1. Build Self-Awareness
Honesty is the start to providing open communication, trust, and well-being amongst your employees and yourself. Push for feedback from the members of your team, ask questions like “What am I missing?” or “What concerns you?” or even better, “What would you do if you were in my position?” When you are more self-aware, people are more willing to tell you things and it shows that you are willing to listen.
2. Speak your Honest Sentiment
Be sure to talk to your team members, not about them. By speaking with your team members directly about either their accomplishments or things they could improve upon you are opening up communication with your team and ensuring that expectations are clear. Be honest that you don’t know everything and ask experienced team members for guidance to better understand their work. Admit when you are wrong and take responsibility. Not only is it relieving to be honest, but it also allows your team to start feeling safe to take on more responsibility themselves.
3. Care Enough to Care Less
Sometimes it’s better if we care less about our own image or what others might think to have a greater impact with those around us. By caring too much you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, or completely thrown off when your work isn’t going according to plan. This can also lead to micromanaging and blowing up at small setbacks, which will translate negatively to your team members. Set emotional boundaries and encourage team members to do the same by putting less value on mistakes and instead focus on the wins, no matter how small. Mistakes are part of human nature after all.
We challenge you as a leader to take a breath and encourage yourself and team members to care enough to care less. Establish that open communication environment that allows honest feedback and transparency to help wash away heavy stressors on small mistakes. Creating this environment will lead to productivity as employees spend less time stressing and more time getting things done.
CEEK, a Better Way!