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Are You Following Up or Checking Up (VIDEO)


My friend, Jeff Nischwitz, posed this provocative question recently. For you, you may not see the difference, but for your team, for your staff, they do.

Here, I explain the impact from your staff’s vantage point, and how it will come back to haunt you.

Summary

For you business leaders, the scenario I want to pose for you today is are you following up or checking up?

That question came across from an email is received from my friend, Jeff Nischwitz, a Cleveland-based business coach who posed that scenario, talking about how for many leaders, delegation is a good thing but the problem they have is whether they follow up or checkup.

Following up is a way of empowering as Nischwitz comments. If you checkup, you communicate lack of trust in that individual or employee. That leads to something else that I'm going to add on to what Jeff writes.

To you, it may be no big deal because you are not on the receiving end. However, I now want you to remember what it was like to be on the receiving end of situations from your past where you are checked up on by a former manager. Result for you is that you are left with a few choices of how to respond.

You can give them push-back or try to change your boss. That's what you're inviting people to do because right off the bat you are in a situation of friction with your people.

You can try to influence your boss and, sometimes, they are going to try to be persuasive in certain ways that communicates to you that you need to change.

The 3rd way that most employees respond is with acceptance. Acceptance and resignation go hand in hand. Eventually, the grinder being checked up on wears them down sufficiently that you no longer get your best effort from them. As bad as this may be, worst of all is where they become resigned and they stopped giving you best effort. You are getting adequate effort to shut you up and wind up losing them all together because, after a while, they stopped caring and realize that this isn't the place for them.

I want to springboard off of Jeff's comments about checking up versus following up and encourage you to follow up with people so that they don't feel (I'm going to use a dreaded employee term) "micromanaged." Ask them to review with you where they are, do it on a regular and predictable basis and don't turn your office into a police state.

 

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been coaching people to play their professional and personal games BIG for what seems like 100 years.

For more No BS Coaching Advice & encouragement, visit my website.

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4 thoughts on “Are You Following Up or Checking Up (VIDEO)

  1. I’m afraid you’re behind the times on this. I see this micromanagement
    daily with outsourced resources because of cultural differences on the
    topic of proper and prompt execution. This carries over on everyone, and
    it’s best to confront this issue head-on, especially if you’re an employee.
    In almost all instances the cause is 4-5 layers up with a data obsessed
    upper whose style radiates down. No amount of persuasion will fix this
    issue, you will end up having to confront it head on, preferably with
    another written job offer in hand

  2. I’m afraid you’re behind the times on this. I see this micromanagement daily with outsourced resources because of cultural differences on the topic of proper and prompt execution. This carries over on everyone, and it’s best to confront this issue head-on, especially if you’re an employee. In almost all instances the cause is 4-5 layers up with a data obsessed upper whose style radiates down. No amount of persuasion will fix this issue, you will end up having to confront it head on, preferably with another written job offer in hand

  3. +Maurice Levie, you are writing as an employee when I am speaking to leaders. As an employee, people may be faced with ths choice and I explain that option as one of the reasons why leaders need to follow up.

  4. Jeff Altman I write as both, and I am guilty of it as well. The workplace I’ve been in for 2 decades is global, and 95% of my resources are in Asia. There’s a huge difference between what is considered as follow up versus checking up. Team leads spend most of their time filling in for team members that are unable to produce the minimally sufficient level of output, and I have on many occasions had to hold team leads’ hands through simple tasks that took them out of their subject matter. In a globalize workplace you defer to the French team leads, be 100% clear in writing to the Chinese team leads, humbly suggest an outcome to the Japanese team lead (doubly so if he’s older than you), micromanage the Indian team lead, and treat the Philippino team lead as an equal.

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