April 23, 2019

Bill Blalock



“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” …Mattie Stepanek

I am amazed when a manager provides a status report on his goals and the performance of his direct reports only to emphasize the deficiencies expressed within his “team.” Sometimes it is directed at a specific individual. Remember, you should always be solution focused.

Is the objective to elevate a few and denigrate others? This happens all to often. We focus on the weak links and not the primary objective. What is that objective? I think it is not that complicated. The objective is to build an effective team of professionals to achieve a planned goal. Ongoing coaching in a supportive – “I want to help you” – way is the best approach.


Typical: Why did you make that decision? It was not thought out clearly and your plan of execution was way off base! It was an expensive mistake. Make sure it doesn’t happen again!

Preferred: Help me understand how you came to make the decision. What was your thought process as you planned your approach? I want to understand your point of view so we both get the best outcome! Yes, this was a costly mistake, but let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The preferred approach is to not only encourage but to have teachable moments that build self-esteem in the workplace. Having a constructive dialogue does not put others on the defensive but creates an atmosphere that is consensus building and is solution based.

More collaboration results in less systemic problems. If not addressed properly, you will be less progressive in achieving your goals and building an effective team.

What is your relationship with your direct reports? Are you engaged with them in the planning process? Are you providing the tools and coaching to make your team successful?

Many times, it’s what you don’t know that you “need to know” in order to be successful.