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|Wednesday, August 13, 2014|
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BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
In response to Why Your Employee Is Always Right, a reader writes in:
H, great question.
Is this employee right? (Is the employee always right, really?)
Yes, this employee is right
First, your employee is right to be confused. She’s also right to advocate for herself. (She might also be right legally. I don’t know the labor laws in your area, so I can’t tell you if she is legally right as well regarding the pay dispute.)
Your communication was ambiguous enough to allow for legitimate confusion. You also need to expect people to interpret vague things in the way that benefits them the most. Why wouldn’t they? We all do.
Lead People the Way they Need to be Led
Second, it’s your job as a leader to lead your followers in the way they want and need to be led.
When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”
Each follower follows in a specific way. It’s different from one follower to the next. Fortunately there are only a few basic patterns or styles for you to learn.
(If you’ve taken my “Becoming a Best Boss Self-Leadership Profile,” then you know your style. You can also make a guess about each follower’s style.)
Once you know how this person wants to be led, you can lead them that way.
My best guess is that you are (or whoever announced the policy is) primarily a Listener-Talker. That’s a very common pattern, and even more common in teaching environments. (I also acknowledge that your letter is clear and concise — I’m NOT saying you cannot write!)
This employee may be more of a Reader than a Listener. I am. About half of the population is. You should expect a person who’s more of a Reader than a Listener to maybe miss some things when receiving a solely verbal briefing.
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