Your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness. This should not strike you as earth-shaking news. It’s the stuff of great stories and legends as well as real history. Many of our greatest leaders in literature and real life rise by merit of an outstanding quality only to fall because of the same trait.
That’s why, as you grow into great leadership, I would like you to consider the flip side of your personal qualities and behavior. Your assets, whatever they are, provide you with the power to lead and the power to destroy. They are a double-edged sword. But they don’t have to be.
A scissors, if you think about it, is a double-edged sword turned around on itself so that both cutting edges work in your favor. The idea, then, is to turn swords into scissors.
Let’s say you are really good at holding people accountable. That’s quite an asset for a coach. Holding people accountable encourages them to do their best, achieve more than they may have thought they could. Your demands for performance drive your team and compel them to reach for higher goals.
This same skill, however, if you apply it excessively, can achieve the opposite. Your employees may see you as arrogant, aggressive, or too demanding. In that case, you can end up with lower performance. In response to your perceived aggressiveness, employees can unintentionally sabotage and even shut down performance. That’s bad news, of course, for your organization and also for your career.
The same goes for the contrasting leadership style. If you are a super-caring, high-empathy leader, you may not only achieve great performance results, you may also create a culture conducive to cooperation and commitment within your organization. At the same time, though, being too caring can encourage some employees to take advantage of your kind nature.
You may be perceived as too concerned about others, a shoulder to cry on. Too busy nurturing the needs of others, you may fail to achieve the results that matter most to your organization. Again—a barrier to career advancement.
You can solve the dilemma of the double edge by learning to balance the emphasis you put on driving accountability versus motivating engagement. We practice this balancing act in every CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop. If you join us at our next workshop, you will learn exactly which sword edge you use most frequently and how to use the other side to balance the effect you have on your employees.
With practice and continued coaching you’ll learn to use both coaching styles like a scissors. If you’d like to join us, register here, today.