16 Jan Speak Your Truth Without Judgement
Learning how to speak your truth without judgement will be one of the most positively impactful things you can do for your staff.
Staff engagement is a key factor in business success. We’re realising this now more than ever. If you have staff who are not performing and are unmotivated and not engaged and you need to have a conversation with them about this, consider the judgements you’re making when you speak to them because it could have negative effects and un-do your intention to improve things.
It would seem obvious that you have made a judgement about your staff’s performance and how it needs to improve, that’s the whole reason you need to have a conversation about it. But are you making judgements on them as a person or on their actions alone? Speaking your truth: identifying where they are falling short is one thing but having thoughts about their abilities, what they’re capable of, how they’ve come short in the past, will all affect how you have a conversation with them.
Every person on your team has a set of belief systems about themselves, let’s call it a ‘story’. Quite often, these stories are not great: “I’m not good at this”, “I didn’t do that very well”, “I could always do better”. They’re judging themselves. Their brain is offering this story to them and they believe it’s true. It seems true too because they have lots of evidence to prove it and here’s why, our brains are so smart that if you tell yourself one of these stories, your brain will go to work to provide evidence for it. Even if that means taking actions you’d rather not, also known as: self-sabotaging behaviour. And so, we get stuck in story spirals. We think it, so we do it, so we can find evidence for it and so that helps us think it and believe it even more. Next things we know, we’ve got a solid story about ourselves. It shows up in our actions and then our leaders start believing it too.
What would it be like for the people on your team to have a leader who doesn’t believe any of the stories they believe about themselves?
Imagine, being offered a fresh slate, full of potential and belief in your abilities.
When leaders don’t believe the same stories that their staff are believing and instead believe a story of capability and potential, what would the conversation look like then? Would it be more encouraging, more motivating, less biased?
It’s important to speak your truth, to ask for what’s required and expected but keeping the stories and judgements aside will open up a new type of conversation.
Be the leader who starts helping your people create new stories about themselves and watch their engagement and motivation snowball.
If you want help learning how to do this, start looking out for leadership coaching that offers a new approach to managing a team. One that fosters connection and community through deepening the experience of our humanity. When we’re seen and not judged, it paves the way for authenticity which in turn opens the door for motivation, innovation and engagement.