We often get caught up in the never-ending to-do list frenzy without stopping to ask ourselves if the work actually aligns with our goals. Being busy doesn’t automatically mean we’re being productive. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way, and so have my clients

So, how do we escape this productivity quicksand? It’s time to flip the conversation and approach things differently. I’m here to guide you through a three-step action plan, which is part of the Delegation Playbook.

If you’re craving even more leadership wisdom, consider checking out my mentoring services. Let’s face it: we’re often thrown into leadership roles without much guidance. But with a little mentoring, you can boost your confidence and supercharge your team’s performance. All the details can be found in the show notes, and you can even book a chat with me to discuss your unique needs.

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Episode Transcript

One of the services I offer is one on one leadership mentoring, and no matter the experience of the leader, whether they’re stepping into a leadership role, whether they’re currently leading a team or whether they’re business executive or even running their own business, there seems to be something that is similar across all of these people.

And the thing that’s similar is how they manage their team and the “to do” list.  I was mentoring a client who had a really competent team member who was always busy, but they never hit their goals. And this particular leader came into their session and was really miffed on why this was happening.

So picture this, you sit down for a catch up with your team and they start going through their to do list, all the things that they need to do or the things that they’ve done. Now this is all well and good, but here’s the kicker. We often neglect to ask ourselves if the work is truly aligned with the goals or we might find ourselves knee deep in a sea of busy work that isn’t necessarily productive. And let’s face it, being busy doesn’t automatically mean we’re being productive. So the challenge for this particular leader was their highly competent team member was doing lots and lots of busy work and doing it well, but they weren’t hitting the goals because they weren’t doing the right work.

So how do we escape this productivity quicksand? By flipping the conversation and taking a fresh approach. So instead of the usual routine, let’s try a different tactic to ensure everyone is on the right track.

I’m going to talk you through a three step action plan, and this is all part of the delegation playbook, which you can get your hands on through going into the show notes and purchasing online. There is a PDF document, but also templates that you can plug and play straight away. So let me tell you about this three step action plan.

Step one, start with a general check in. When you’re having a one on one with a team member, begin your one on one catch up by asking your team members how life is treating them. Showing that you genuinely care about their well being helps to build a rapport and establishes a connection beyond the work environment. Particularly with a tough employment market, people work with people that they like. So, starting with a general check in also helps you understand what’s happening in their life outside work, because we are all humans, and the stuff that happens outside our work, no matter how much we don’t want it to, does impact our life at work.

So after you do a general check in, the second step is talk about your goals. Do they have set goals that align with the team or business goals?  If they don’t have any goals, they don’t know the direction they’re headed in and they’re more likely to be doing busy work. It’s time to set some goals. Look at the overarching business goals or team goals and work with a team member to set goals that align with it. Remember, a well aligned team is a powerful force. Most likely, they will feel more satisfied because they know what’s expected of them and you will also have a way to be able to see if they’re working on track or not, or just doing busy work.

The third step of the action plan is a progress check. So ask your team members how they’re progressing with their goals. This way you’re not merely managing their day to day activities, but you’re leading them towards success.

By focusing on the goals rather than the activities you can ensure that the work being done truly contributes to the greater picture.

By following these three steps, which was start with a general check-in. The second was talk about goals and the third was a progress check, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your team’s individual aspirations and motivations, you’ll align their goals with the company’s overall objectives, creating this powerful synergy, you’ll also ensure that the work being done is purposeful and contributes to the team. Success, not just being busy, and foster a culture of growth and accountability where everyone is invested in achieving meaningful results.

Now, I know you’re thinking, how does flipping the conversation make a difference? Instead of asking what they’re doing, which is the to-do list, the busy list, you asking them what their goals are and how their activities are aligning with those goals.

The reason that flipping the conversation makes a difference, is when we shift our attention to what we should be doing, we become more strategic in our approach. We move away from the mundane and we start seeing the bigger picture and do the things that matters.

To this is all about shifting our attention to what should be done.

And what should be done is aligned to the bigger goals. So my fellow leaders, let’s flip that conversation and bring your focus back to what activities your team are doing that aligns with bigger goals, not just what they’re doing that’s making them busy.

If you are on at the weekly email from myself at the level up leadership podcast, through Zenith Journey. You will have received these three steps of action plan straight to your email. If you’re not on the email list, you need to get on that. Jump onto the show notes, click the link and add in your email.

If you’ve listened to his podcast episode and thought, some leadership mentoring would really support my growth as a leader because frankly we’re not taught how to lead, often we’re just given the job and made to figure it out.  Having some leadership mentoring can really support you in your leadership role and make a huge difference to your own confidence and the outputs of your team. So you can find more about my leadership mentoring through the show notes, and you can also book a chat to talk to me about what it could look like for your team.

And if you liked this leadership tip, you might like the free upcoming “giving feedback that doesn’t suck masterclass”. You’ll also find that in the show notes.

Thanks for listening.

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