Efficiency and effectiveness are the key terms in teams, and everyone wants to get rid of the incompetent resources. But really, is that the right thing to do?
Here is how effective leaders deal with incompetent people …
Spending time with them: As a leader, it is essential to know and analyse people so spend some time with them to know what they are capable of – are they at the wrong place or doing the wrong job? Pressures and problems – temporary or permanent? Curable issues or incurable ones? Understanding the psyche and many a times, people need to be heard out to get intoxicated and leaders are meant to be good at intoxicating their teams.
Clear Communication Lines: Lack of communication and miscommunication are the biggest reason for failure of relationships across the board. Unclear communication leads of assumptions and gaps in expectations. In the Work Management Survey 2015, missing information was one of the leading work stressor, along with unclear accountability and unclear leadership. A good practice is to have a post-meeting follow up email to summarize the agenda, helping the audience re-gather in being clear about the message.
Document Everything: Nothing beats better communication than having things in black and white. Documentation allows a clear sense of responsibility and ease of audit when they say “what went wrong and where” – rather than the blame game structure, leading to organizational politics, etc. It allows objectivity to prevail. Using technology and project management tools and applications is one simple method of putting everything in black and white.
Stay Cool: Easier said than done is what people respond to this advice, and rightly so. And the incompetency of people is one of the major triggers for leaders and managers today. However, it remains one of the most essential ingredients for leaders today. When faced with such a situation, pull out of the situation – take a break, walk out and then get back with a fresh mind. Generally anger is a mixture of happenings rather than just one. Another methodology for staying cool is to have a glass of water. The undermined and at times over-rated laughter therapy is another effective method to stay cool.
Making the Tough Call: When nothing else works, it is time to call it a day. As a disclaimer, it is essential to make attempts beyond the mentioned pointers before throwing someone off the boat, but once tried, it is important to let go the excess baggage because face it, the down performance of team reflects on the leader scorecard as well. However, the decision needs to be objective and justified, else it may cause a riddle in the remaining team members.
The summary here is that no one is perfect and leaders are the ones that bring the best out of everyone. So before laying off someone, it is important to give it a try.
– Muntazir Haider
The writer is a senior business consultant, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. firstname.lastname@example.org