28 februari 2018
Fred was raving about one of his people. He had hired Tom only 6 months ago, but it was as if he had been with the company much longer! He fit in, made great recommendations, asked clever questions - and best of all, even Mike who was always so critical of newcomers seemed to have taken to him.
'Have you told him this?', I asked. Fred looked at me surprised, and shook his head. 'No, but he knows'.
Tom didn't know, he wasn't sure Fred was happy with his choice. That he was feeling uncomfortable not knowing, but was also afraid to ask: what if Fred was not happy? He seemed so critical of everything.
Simon was complaining about one of his sales people: Sally was successful with her customers, but a diva inside the company. even though the numbers were there, Simon was starting to think about letting her go, the team was falling apart because of her constant demands.
'Have you spoken to her about this?, I asked. Silence. 'No, I haven't. But surely she knows, she must see what she is doing'?
Sally didn't know, she genuinely believed that her role was only to serve customers, and that everyone else was there to serve the sales team. She couldn't understand why Simon wasn't giving her a raise or a promotion. She was the star of the company after all.
People are not mind readers. Tell them if they are doing great. Tell them if something is not going well. They look at the world from their own perspective, they do not see what you see.
People need to hear it when they are doing well - you do not want your key people to start doubting whether they are in the right place, whether you are happy with what they are doing. Don't rely on their telepathic skills, tell them, so you know that they know.
People need to hear it when they are not doing so well. If you tell them, they know, and they can make the choice to change their behavior or not. If you don't tell them, chances are that nothing will change.
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