Part 2 of Perry’s excellent blog on getting buy in from your staff…
#3 – LISTEN TO THEM!
One of the greatest mistakes I’ve ever made as a leader is to make a decision that impacts a group of staff members without allowing anyone from the group that was being impacted any sort of input on the decision. We do this as leaders because it is easier and faster…but what is easy is hardly ever what is right! (AND…if you are always obsessed with the quickest and easiest way to get something done…the “end” is a lot closer than you think!)
Today there is hardly EVER an instance where a decision is made around here that someone from that area isn’t allowed the opportunity to dialogue with our leadership team through the decision.
- § Why would I make any sort of decision about youth or children’s ministry without actually talking to our youth or children’s ministry team?
- § Why would I make any sort of decision about programming without actually talking to the people who serve on our programming staff?
- § Why would I make any sort of decision about our volunteering process without talking to people who serve with volunteers?
I could go on…but you get the point. When a staff member feels like they had an opportunity to be involved in the conversation and ask the questions that were on their mind they are WAY more likely to buy into the decision that was made, even if they don’t agree with it.
(By the way…some people call people who want to be listened to “disloyal!” I call those who want to be listened to “leaders!” You can have leaders or followers around you…and only a secure leader is willing to answer questions from his staff that will clarify the vision!)
#4 – Say “THANK YOU!”
One of the things I have realized is that MOST staff members aren’t looking for a ton of recognition and/or huge monatary rewards…they just want to be told, “thanks!”
Reality is this…if we are not careful as leaders we can CRUSH the enthusiasm of a staff member…because…we all have people on our staff that ONLY get recognized if they screw something up. (Sort of like an offensive lineman in football!) BUT…if they show up, get their job done and do it well, then for some reason a leader thinks he can just allow that to go unnoticed…and this is an incredible de-motivator to a staff team.
Leaders…trust me, we CANNOT underestimate the power of saying “thank you.” I’ve heard leaders say, “well, I’m not going to thank them for something they are supposed to be doing.” That statement is both foolish and irresponsible. A leader who is QUICK to recognized “the bad” in a staff member but never stops to recognize “the good” is irresponsible. (Or maybe he/she is unaware! Trust me…”thank you” is HUGE!!!)
#5 – Lead With Integrity
If you want your staff to buy into your leadership then integrity HAS to be valued, pursued and encouraged. Because once a person sells out their character it undermines the platform that God gave them to stand on.
AND…leaders…if we do not make integrity an issue…then one day it WILL BE AN ISSUE!
Staff member cannot buy into a liar. At the end of the day they’ve GOT to know that you say what you mean and you mean what you say.
- § This means when we screw up…we admit it.
- § This means that when we don’t do our part…we admit it.
- § This means that when we are struggling with something…we admit it.
- § This means that when we declare direction…we are the first to step in that direction.
Leaders…at the end of the day all we really have is our integrity. Either people believe what we say or they think we are full of crap…the latter will always result in shattered dreams while the former will always result in a team of people who are on FIRE and CONSUMED about the reality of what could be and should be, and will never stop short of the vision that has been declared.