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Focus on People’s Potentials, Not Their Problems

Everyone has their own talents and skills. Some people are good at organisation, some are good at design, and some have great people skills. These and many more other diverse talents are what makes a team function effectively. But of course, the world isn’t so perfect.

Some people don’t put those talents to good use

They’re the kinds of people you don’t want on your team. Lazy, always complaining, too pessimistic, doesn’t cooperate, and what have you. They do nothing but bring the whole team down. Instead of contributing to the overall goal, they topple the tower even before it’s completely built.

Yes, this sort of behaviour is a problem. And yes, they must be corrected. The question is how. Firing them may be the easiest way, but finding a replacement isn’t easy.

Here’s my suggested alternative.


Instead of pointing out their problems, look at their potentials

In other words, think about what they can do, if it weren’t for those bad behaviours. Let’s say you have someone on your team who, during planning sessions, always shoots down the good ideas. You never know, he may just be very concerned about the business, may it be financial, logistical, legal, or anything. Another example: you have someone you observe to be lazy. Well, maybe he thinks there’s a way to do things more efficiently. And another: suppose you have someone who always argues with people. In that case, he may just have that nifty skill of negotiation. That’s a great skill to have in business, mind you.

leadership success potentials

The next time you encounter people like that, do a different approach

Instead of yelling at them or shaming them publicly, why not talk to them? Find out what things they have issues with. That way, perhaps you’ll learn something about your business that no one else has noticed.

And by listening to them, you’re already making them feel valuable. Having a good relationship with your team members is really one thing that sets apart a good leader from a mere manager. If people feel valued – more so if they can see and hear it – they will perform their best each time. You don’t even have to force them.

Also, more than listening to them, make them realise what they are capable of doing. Those bad behaviours that they have may just be them misusing their skills. If you work with them and make them see their potentials, they’ll surprise you with their performance. It’s just a matter of treating them as people and not machines.


Now, this leadership style is very different. Some of you might even say it doesn’t make sense. But trust me, it works. Try it for yourselves, and your team will thank you for doing it.



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