In discussions of job fit, promotions, candidate measurement, and doing that for which we’re each best suited, the idea of a “fit” takes on myriad confusing meanings. What does it mean to fit exactly? Why is it so important to find a fit and what the heck happens if you can’t find it? Whether viewed as the result of all team members liking you or viewed as secured when your own boss promotes you, feeling a fit or not, can have a pretty big impact, if you let it. Read or listen to today’s Monday Moment to gain valuable logistics involved in finding your fit, and the fit for those you lead, as well as guiding tips on how to become successful at achieving it…the fit.
When seeking out whether or not one fits in their leadership role or even in the team lead on a project, the very act of seeking confirmation of it from others indicates a desire for external validation. Become a better leader by avoiding the temptation to judge that sentence and simply keep reading or listening. Those with extroverted personalities will naturally seek out external validation as this is how they process. The stress of wondering whether or not they do fit in then prompts a more fervent need to hear that from others outside their own head. Of course, self-esteem and confidence also have an impact on how this desire is presented, but be aware that just because the employee you just promoted is asking for verbal confirmation that they indeed are qualified for the position, does not make them needy or lacking in ability. It may simply mean they are extroverted and in a period of time in which they are building their confidence in the new position.
“Belonging is a basic human need and we all need to belong in some way. The term belonging is used when the individual becomes involved in something; it is a feeling of security where members feel included, accepted, related, fit in, conformed and subscribed, which enhance their well-being with the feeling of home.” Does your workplace afford you the luxury to ask the kind of questions that would ensure where you work would feel like home for those you hire? Without this basic human need of belonging, employees become disengaged, resentful, unmotivated, and fairly obvious in their lack luster performance. They can begin to demonstrate attitudes and even concoct ways to get “even” with those seen to be leaving them out the most. Fit is a basic. From job skills that when done well build confidence to personalities of fellow team members we can get along with, to leadership styles we respond well to, a fit in each of these areas will lead to a powerful, long term, loyal, engaged, high performing workforce.
So, how does a leader accomplish this for those they lead, while also accomplishing their own fit needs? Finding the, at times, seemingly elusive fit can occur through a series of equally seemingly simple steps. First, examine the attributes of the current team. What are their personalities? What are their strengths and weakness? Conduct a SWOT analysis and personality assessments. (We can help here!) Second, identify what attributes or personalities are missing. Those would be the prized traits of a new candidate. Those also would be the traits a leader would practice for better fit with all leadership level colleagues. And third, consistently exert effort to value differences. Group think is not a strong strategy in a culture that now greatly values innovation. Being different is okay and does not prevent fit. Being different spawns creativity and provokes deeper answers to bigger questions. Accept and value those differences publicly, privately, and in each and every coaching conversation. Then request it of your team mates and team members who may find that since everyone is different, being valued on and by the team for their differences is exactly how they actually fit.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist who coaches, consults with, and speaks to leaders of all levels, building their skills, emotional intelligence and authenticity. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.