If Clarity is Kindness, How Kind Are You (Really) Being at Work?

We’ve all experienced an employee or coworker who underperforms. Expectations simply aren’t met and despite your attempts to correct and strategize, you just don’t see the improvement you are hoping for.

Chances are you’re not the only one suffering from this headache. I’m guessing that the employee or coworker who is letting you down, is just as frustrated as you are. 

It’s hard to be the one who is not meeting expectations.

Think of it this way. When was the last time you enjoyed letting your boss down? 

Better yet, in the past when you yourself have failed to meet expectations, what was the reason? Was it really because you simply didn’t care? 

I seriously doubt it.

I believe that most everyone comes to work with a desire to succeed – even if it sometimes seems like the opposite is true. 

When someone on your team underperforms, it is YOU as the leader, who is responsible. 

I know that can be a hard pill to swallow, but we have to look at how we are interacting with that employee and whether we are doing OUR part to make expectations clear and to FOLLOW-UP in a timely manner. 

I know this very well because I WAS the under-performer in one particular relationship. 

Now, I’m not blaming my former boss, but in hindsight, it’s easier to see how we both contributed. 

My job at the time was to write advertising copy. 

Yes, I had a marketing degree, but I had no experience with writing ads. 

My boss put her trust in me and set me loose. 

I failed miserably. 

I didn’t know the first thing about how to write compelling copy, and the worst part was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. 

I was young, and (I’ll admit) a little arrogant… and I thought there was nothing to it. 

Until I received a draft back from my boss that was COVERED in red marks. 

Unfortunately, she knew how to provide corrections, but she didn’t know how to teach me how to write. 

So we struggled along like that for a few months, and I got more and more upset about her corrections, and she got more and more frustrated with my inability to bring her a solid first draft. 

It didn’t end well. 

I’m sure after hearing that story you can tell what my boss was lacking. CLARITY. 

She couldn’t clearly express her expectations, so I was throwing darts at a wall with my attempts. 

They say that being unclear is being unkind. So I have to ask; if clarity is kindness, how kind are you to your team?

Are you providing clear performance expectations? 

Are you providing a step-by-step model of success? 

Are you teaching and supporting and coaching BEFORE delegating?

Taking a look at your own part in the process is a powerful place to work. 

Not only will being very clear with your team create better results and fewer headaches for everyone involved, but it will also create a culture of trust. 

I encourage you to DRIVE TOWARD CLARITY in your leadership. This will build trust! 

  1. Lay out your performance expectations from the start. (Show your employee what the successful end result will look like.) 
  2. Set up check-points and circle back frequently to ensure that your employee is on track.
  3. Provide support for learning the skills that are needed for success
  4. And don’t micromanage! We learn by TRYING (and sometimes making mistakes). Allow space and time for your employee to explore. 

And if you’d like to continue to foster a culture of trust, join me in my newest course, Building a High Trust Workplace!

Check it out HERE: https://www.clairelaughlinonline.com/high-trust-workplace


Photo by Patrick Janser on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/14WT4_DypTg)


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