To support performance, leaders need to balance a focus on ‘daring’ (goal setting, performance management, accountability) with ‘caring’ (psychological safety, empathy and active listening). But what about when ‘caring’ becomes too much?
Here are 2 examples from real conversations that I had recently with leaders:
LEADER 1: has made himself so ‘available’ to the team emotionally and personally that he found himself taking calls at all times of the day and weekend. This is having extreme costs on his energy levels, and a sense of work-life balance.
LEADER 2: has received negative feedback that team-members are feeling smothered by her concerns for their welfare experienced in daily check-ups and un-solicited support with stakeholder management.
According to concepts of secure-based leadership the added value of ‘caring’ is that it supports the psychological safety to ‘dare’. But as our conversations show, if you overdo ‘caring’ – or the wrong kind of ‘caring’ – you can create emotional dependency in some team-members and a feeling of micro-management in others.
What is your learning about how to get the balance right?
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