Being a first-level leader can sometimes feel like you’re pushing a boulder uphill.
Whether it’s changing the way you think about attaining success, sifting through feedback, or leading your team through a change initiative, frontline managers can become overwhelmed and fall out of step with their team if they are not careful.
In the chaos of day-to-day activity, we put on blinders so we can simplify decisions that theoretically will move the work along but, in reality, can damage the overall functionality and results of your team.
A mentor at FranklinCovey once shared with me three factors to take into account in every relationship: (1) empathy, (2) intelligence, and (3) execution. Simply stated, this is the level of connection, value-added information, and follow-through you bring to a relationship. When properly balanced, these three factors can help you navigate the hectic role of first-level leader.
1. EQ: Emotional Quotient
This is your emotional intelligence. How good are you at connecting with people? Are you holding your regular 1-on-1s? Do you know your team’s stories? Understanding the strengths and abilities of your team members will allow you to make wise decisions as you lead your team through their various projects.
2. IQ: Intelligence Quotient
This is the knowledge you add to your team. What new information do you bring to conversations and team dynamics? No doubt, you are smart, and during your time as an individual contributor, you picked up on skills, techniques, and technologies that made your work easier. Do not rest on the knowledge of the past—but don’t throw it out either. Allow yourself to explore new ways of engaging your audience, being creative, and using your inherent talent to build your team to execute on its highest priorities. Your team will benefit from value-added information and look to you for continued insight and knowledge.
3. XQ: Execution Quotient
This last factor relates to your proficiency in getting things done. What is your ability to follow through on commitments you make with your team? Leading a team comes with plenty of extracurriculars that can distract from your main role and keep you from seeing your commitments to the finish line. Build trust with your team by keeping the commitments you make. Balance yourself properly so you don’t overcommit. Be 7 for 7 on your commitments instead of 7 for 10.
Your warmth and sincerity won’t resonate if you aren’t credible. Good intentions and a balance of connection and competence aren’t helpful to your team if they can’t count on you. All three factors are necessary for building a cohesive, high-performance team.
As you balance your EQ, IQ, and XQ factors, the chaos of your role won’t bleed onto your team; the quick decisions you have to make daily won’t be hasty ones. If you’re balanced correctly, you’ll be able to move your team forward, placing each team member and objective on the path to success.
Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias.
About the AuthorMore Content by Pamela Fuller