Conflict-adverse leaders have narratives that keep them from addressing behavioral and performance problems. Listen closely, and you’ll hear the familiar, “I shouldn’t have to babysit my employees.”
If you’re hearing your managers use the “babysitting” phrase, here is a shift in perspective that I hope you can share with them/
The first step is in shifting the language. I encourage managers to stop using the term babysitting to describe the unfavorable parts of their job. Here’s why: The word “babysitting” is being overused and is too general. It doesn’t describe the real problem of what is happening or not happening in a given situation.
Babysitting is not about having difficult conversations, asking for updates, holding people accountable, correcting inappropriate behavior or talking about results.
Most managers don’t sign up for these things, but they are expected of leaders nonetheless as part of the job.
The less effective your direct reports are in conflict management, the more you’ll have to apply your own skills before developing them to become effective leaders.
If you don’t have the skills, hire a coach and start practicing. If you leave results, behavior and performance to chance, you’ll suffer, your team will suffer and the organization will suffer — end of story.
If your middle-level leaders need to learn the skills of initiating difficult conversations so that you don’t have to keep doing their job, check out my course on Difficult Conversations on LinkedIn Global Learning Platform.
Or if you want on-site help, reach out. I can help!