A personality development coach I hold in very high esteem has a principle I find fascinating. Whenever he discovers weaknesses and strengths in a person, he only brings forward the strengths. If someone wishes for it, he will help with the weaknesses, but otherwise he just ignores them.
It is a principle I consider wise in more areas than just management and leadership coaching. It is also well suited to be applied in management. To me, it seems that it makes as much sense to apply it in an enterprise: first and foremost, you should strenghten those areas that perform well. Strengthen those persons who are responsible for the growth of the enterprise. Those who are highly motivated and enjoy their work. Bringing these people forwards should have priority.
In an enterprise, there will always be (hopefully only few and small) sectors that contribute little towards the enterprise success. They just do not seem to have the right kind of incentive. Where you find employees who are not motivated or even have already given notice mentally. In situations that are beyond therapy with reasonable cost.
To be sure, those are also sectors you should not totally ignore. But you should not waste all your strength on them. Sooner or later, these sectors will disappear, anyway. They will just vanish. In the ideal case, they might even jump onto the bandwagon of success they see in the strong sectors and actually manage to change. Applying strong measures should probably only happen in “ultima ratio” situations. When the pressure is so great that nothing else can be done, anyway.
To me, it seems that this kind of procedure has little potential for danger. One of them might be that it might happen once in a while that you look on a little too long. Well, you will just have to accept that. To make up for it, you save a lot of strength – which you can put to much more satisfying use elsewhere.
Sometimes, you might also give the impression of not treating all colleagues equally. The only thing that would help there is prudent and transparent communication.
On the whole, this theory is totally new for me. But somehow, it makes sense, too. And I truly hope nobody will now misunderstand what I wrote.
(Translated by EG)
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