Leadership and all that goes along with it
It is tough starting out as a new leader and unless you have a mentor, it is difficult to know where to turn when it comes to situations that arise. How do you gain perspective? Is it the right perspective? Who do you seek out to help you? What happens if the situation is urgent and nobody is around?
I have been in leadership for over 15 years; in those 15 years it feels like I have encountered almost every employee situation I could encounter, but I doubt it. In most complex or worrisome employee scenarios, I like to counsel with a trusted colleague or HR partner. When I think back to when I was a new leader, I remember how I struggled with even the simplest scenarios or tried to come across as too hard assed. I used my authority to lead and not my leadership skills.
I wanted to start this blog in hopes of helping others in leadership, guiding them in the right direction through my experience and making conversation interactive. Seasoned leaders and new leaders can learn from each other, so why not start with this blog!
There are a few basics when dealing with employee circumstances that will help you and are good guidelines to follow:
- When meeting with an employee have another leader in the room with you. This person can document the conversation you have with the employee, but the intent is for you to have a witness. You can explain to the employee that you are having this person join to take notes of the conversation, so you can focus on the dialogue with the employee. Not every conversation will warrant a witness; if it is a quick touch base probably not, but if it is a sensitive topic, addressing a trend, or anything that could develop into more, then a witness is good to have in the room. Partnering with Human Resources (HR) is your best bet.
- Make sure there is thorough documentation with dates, times, who was present in the room, conversation high points, follow up items and end result. This is critical especially if the situation is ongoing or escalates later. Notes can be kept in a secured desk file, just as an unofficial document or of course in the employee file if official.
- Once conversation is complete, make sure any action items that need follow up are addressed in a timely manner. It is important to follow up, follow through and not leave anything hanging out there or unresolved. That is your responsibility as a leader.
That’s it for today. I appreciate any feedback and engagement; lets learn from each other.
Disclaimer: the advice in this blog is meant to provide guidance and be thought provoking. It is the writer’s opinion only.