An embarrassing story of my time as a new manager. Even as I’m recording it I can’t believe I’m sharing it with you. I was in my early twenties, I was confident and competent, but on the inside I was worried that they might notice that I’d never led a team before, and would I be good enough?
As a new leader, I thought it was my duty to deliver hard feedback. I thought tough love was the way to go, even when facing real challenges, because I believed honesty was what every team member desired. Then came a situation where a team member approached me with an issue. Without hesitation, I shared my unfiltered thoughts on the matter, adhering to the notion that effective leaders rule with an iron grip.
Listen to this episode to find out what unfolded and how my perspective has changed over time. This story holds valuable lessons about giving constructive feedback. I also want to invite you to a free online masterclass happening in August: “How To Give Feedback (that Doesn’t Suck).” Together, we’ll explore how to create a feedback-rich environment that paves the way for your team’s success. Simply click the link in the show notes below to secure your spot.
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If you are a regular listener to the Level Up Leadership Podcast, you’ll know I often share stories from my clients or my personal experiences. And the story to share today is an embarrassing one. It’s a story about my time as a new manager.
I was in my early twenties, I was confident and competent, but on the inside I was worried that they might notice that I’d never led a team before, and would I be good enough?
As a new leader, I thought it was my duty to deliver hard feedback. Tough love, even if it was truly a tough, because everyone wants an honest boss, right? Well, a team member came to me with a problem. And I told her what I really thought of the idea. No holding back because good leaders rule with an iron fist, right?
Yeah, no. To say the least my feedback was overly critical and I completely disregarded her perspective, all in an effort to try and look confident and [00:01:00] competent. She was devastated and yes, there were tears.
I was embarrassed at the time, and I’m embarrassed now thinking about it. I realized I just had so much to learn about leadership.
Thinking back to this story. There’s two lessons that I took from this experience.
Lesson One: feedback needs to be delivered with empathy and respect. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to show you value the other person’s input. There’s a quote by Brene Brown “clear is kind”.
Lesson Two: feedback is a two-way street. As a new leader, I thought feedback was all about telling someone what they did wrong and how to improve. And I was so far off the mark. I really understood at that point, I had to listen to their perspective and find a way to work together to improve. Clearly, I used to suck at giving feedback. But I can confidently say now that I’m pretty good at it. Positive leadership is kind of my thing.
[00:02:00] And this is one of the reasons I’m giving a free masterclass. It’s all about giving feedback that doesn’t suck, and you can still save your seat. It is on the 21st and 22nd of August, depending on your time zone.
My goal is that this one hour master class can help you feel more confident and competent in your role as a leader, and not be like “new manager Kate” who makes their team cry when trying to look confident. Not my best moment.
So jump into the show notes and grab your seat, or you can go to campus.zenithjourney.com/feedback. I’ll see you there.
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