Chinese Whispers

For the umpteenth time, my words were misconstrued and I was beginning to think that I lead a team of morons who needed guidance every step of the way. Why can’t they just read my mind and by some magic, know what I’m thinking and do exactly what I require? I mean, is it too hard to follow my instructions?

These were the thoughts in my head but I dare not express them for I have come to realise that the quality of my team reflects the state of my leadership. I am no leadership expert but I know that whenever I get frustrated with the outcomes of my team, it is time to introspect and understand what I am doing wrong as a leader.

How am I communicating my expectations of them? How am I ensuring that they understand what I require? Do I give room for them to clarify any assumptions made? Am I catering to their needs? Do I even know my team well enough?

I have learned that after setting expectations verbally, I must follow up with a written outline of what was discussed and agreed.

It is easy to blame team members when the finished product has no semblance to the planned outcome; but the failure of the team to deliver is in reality my failure as a leader. I simply did not communicate effectively and until I own that, I would make the same mistakes even when I have a stellar team.

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