Workplace Wisdom: Q&A for Leaders, Part 2
In the latest Winner’s Way magazine, one of the articles included was Workplace Wisdom: Q&A for Leaders. This blog picks up where that one left off.
Q. What if you promote faithful employees out of their league? They were really good in a certain job, but you promoted them beyond their means. Or perhaps you inherited an area where you have an employee you don’t feel is able to do the job, but they’ve been faithful. When do you get to the point where you say, “This is obviously not working,” and put them into a different position? You don’t want to just throw them out the door.
A. As regards the faithful employee who has labored in a certain capacity and no longer seems to be making a meaningful contribution, I’ve always discovered that if I can’t provide them with the educational opportunities or improve the level of their skills so they can grow in that job, there’s always been another place in that ministry that is more commensurate with their level of ability right now that they can grow in. That’s one thing good about a growing and large and diversified ministry. There are enough opportunities within that ministry to take the faithful employee, put them somewhere else that they’ll be more comfortable and more productive.
I suppose there’s a scenario that could happen where you just couldn’t find a place for anybody and then I would suggest that they’re not in the right ministry anymore. God is telling them there’s another place for them somewhere else.
Q. Just what degree should personalities play in the management role? Should it affect your team building on your staffing?
A. As a leader, you need to be aware that different personalities appeal to different people. Some people will like you better than others. That’s a fact of life because of the way we are and the personalities we have. The way we express ourselves is appealing to some people and not to others.
I think we all sense those areas of friction that we feel with other people where we don’t mesh or blend well with someone else. As a leader, it’s important to be aware of those areas and de-emphasize them to the maximum degree possible. Personality will affect your leadership ability and performance.
Whether you want it to or not, it’s just a sad truth that people do respond to things that they like or don’t like in another person. Personality has a lot to do with it so when you are with someone and sense that there’s a certain rub somewhere, that is an area you should tread softly and not emphasize. Base your emphasis in that relationship on the things that you’re in agreement with and do mesh and blend. You’ll be more effective because they’ll be more open to the things you say.
Regarding staffing based on personalities, yes, to some degree it should be considered. Mainly, I am not going to hire somebody I just don’t get along with if I have an alternative. It may have nothing to do with their job skills, but if, for a variety of reasons, we don’t blend well together and I have an alternative, I’ll hire the alternative.
Q. How do you deal with a person who won’t communicate with you well? They constantly keep their emotions built up within them until the point where they explode.
A. We need to know the people we work with and establish a relationship of trust that will enable dialog to occur that will keep frustrations from being pent up and potentially explosive. This comes from being open to those under our leadership and letting them know that they don’t need to feel threatened by bearing their hearts to us; we need to bear our hearts to them regarding certain matters as well. Be wise about this, knowing that the goal is to reach an openness or a trust level between us and the people that we’re leading that will enable them to share frustrations before they become potentially explosive.
Even with open relationships in place, you will still have occasions when the explosions occur. I believe, though, that you’re equipped by the Lord to deal with those things in a way that will defuse the threat environment and reinforce your concern for them. You can pop that balloon of anger with a soft answer.