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Friday, November 27, 2009


Tascha is a manager in small town near St. Louis. Tascha works hard to be a good manager and leader. There are problems, though. She is realizing that, based on some strong employees who have left, things are not right. Tascha would tell you that she never saw the departures coming.

She remembers what she was taught about employees leaving bosses before they leave organizations. Therefore, Tascha wisely looks inward to try and understand why people might want to leave. There are different reasons why her team members might have been thinking of their exits. Tascha wonders, "why didn't my people talk to me? I had their best interests at heart. I've always tried to be approachable."

Let's focus on the "approachable" idea for the rest of this post because it could really have had an impact, not only on Tascha's understanding of what happened, but also on a key way that the problems might have been avoided.

Was Tascha really approachable? She thinks she was and she felt she let her people know that. The questions that come to mind are 1) did Tascha actually let her team members know that she was interested in talking with them? 2) If she did so, did Tascha's actions match her words; in other words, did she make a habit of talking with her people and were her mannerisms (facial expressions, etc.) aligned with the approachability she was trying to convey?

If Tascha wasn't overly approachable, then that would definitely be something she could work on. Let's say, however, that Tascha's people found her very approachable. That's great, but the problems haven't been resolved. What else could it be?

Once Tascha's people approached her, was Tascha really engaged in their communication? 1) Did she actively listen to what her people said? 2) Did Tascha take what they had to say seriously or did she dismiss their comments? Even though some things her people would have told her might have been frivolous or even inappropriate, did Tascha let the staff know they were important by expressing her appreciation for them coming to her?

Strong communication is so often the key issue when problems surface and, just as often, a great way to fix or even ameliorate problems before they get out of hand.

Look at yourself. Do you see any Tascha in there?

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