Friday, November 23, 2012

Quiet Rules When It Comes to Supporting Your Team

It turns out that indirect quiet concern works better than a direct "fix-it" approach does. If you're a manager, you may want to "support your team ... quietly".  So, when Joe gets it wrong, rather than saying, "How can I help?", it can be more productive, for example, to note in a matter-of-fact manner an approach that's worked for you and/or to offer positive feedback on some aspect of Joe's performance.

If you're an introvert, you've got the quiet part down pat. Your approach is quiet for sure, but is it indirect or directive?  Research suggests that the more indirectly supportive manager is likely to show better results.

If your go-to approach is direct when you're providing guidance or feedback to a team member, you'll want to consider changing that habit - which - like any habit - can be difficult to break.  It's not every managers' natural inclination to be indirect because, as a take charge go-getter, you likely aspired to management in the first place. What this means is that you may be fighting your natural inclination to take charge and offer help rather than offering quiet support. Further, as an introvert who naturally doesn't seek out group situations, it could be easiest for you to be direct and just get that interaction over with.

When it comes to teams, apparently quiet rules in more ways than one. And, for at least some of us quiet types, it could require some effort to be as quiet as we'd truly like to be. 

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