A few years ago, I went through some executive coaching individually and as a group. In one of the individual sessions, the coach and I were talking about my team and the meetings I had with them. The coach asked me how I wanted someone on my team to feel after meeting with me. I had to think about it because I had never been asked that question before. And yet, it was an incredibly important answer to have. After a minute or two, I came up with the following answer.
After meeting with me, I want my team to feel:
- Clear. They know what I expect of them and what target they’re trying to hit.
- Aligned. We’re on the same page and committed to moving in the same direction.
- Confident. They know what they need to do — at least to get started.
- Supported. They know I’ve got their back and I’m going to help them be successful. They also know what other resources they can tap into.
- Motivated. They understand the rewards and consequences and are ready to get going.
- Energized. They’re excited about their job, tackling the next task, and achieving the goal.
- A little freaked out. They shouldn’t have it all figured out or have the goal be too easy. They want to grow and need a challenge to do that. On the other hand, things shouldn’t be stressing them out too much or creating a ton of anxiety over too long a period of time.
Related to the last factor of being “a little freaked out,” I often ask this question, “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your ‘freak-out factor’? 1 is ‘I could do this in my sleep.’ 10 is ‘I’m totally and completely paralyzed by fear.’” The sweet spot is 4. Lower than that and we need to make the goal bigger. Higher than that and we need to work together to bring the stress and anxiety down.
If you’re a leader, give some thought about what you want members of your team to feel after they meet with you. And then share that with them and ask for feedback on whether you’re achieving your goal.