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Eq #26. Contribution Spirit Killers > COACHING TIPS FOR THE COACH/TRAINER

COACHING TIPS FOR THE COACH/TRAINER

Based on our research, employees identified four ''spirit killers'' that they believe contribute to low productivity and morale. These four spirit killers are:

  1. Expectations that apply only to some— Employees feel betrayed when leaders expect some employees to perform at a given level while they perceive that other employees are not held to the same standard. When this occurs, some employees react by withholding their efforts. Not all employees withhold their contributions, but even with those who continue to perform, resentment builds against coworkers and the leader Employees perceive that it is the leader's responsibility to uphold the standards fairly, so when this does not occur, they blame the leader for not doing his job.

  2. Incongruent actions— When the boss does or says one thing and then turns around and does or reinforces the opposite, employees are quick to see the inconsistencies. High trust environments are built on consistent and congruent actions. Therefore, when actions and words are too often perceived as inconsistent, trust erodes. This erosion of trust dampers morale and creates negative emotion inconsistent with high productivity.

  3. Wimpy leaders— When leaders are perceived as not taking a stand on issues that require a decision, employees get discouraged. The employees' perception is that when a decision is clearly the responsibility of the leader, the leader should make the decision. Indecision drains energy and breaks up the positive flow of energy, thus destroying momentum. (We are not suggesting that employees want leaders to make all decisions. Participative decision making is preferred in many situations by both employees and leaders. However, at times, participative decision making is not the right choice, and at those times, leaders need to step up to the plate and make the decision.)

  4. No follow-through— When the leader takes a stand and doesn't follow through with the expectation, employees learn that the leader's words have no meaning. The leader creates a culture where employees know that if they wait long enough, nothing will happen because the leader won't follow through. This is demoralizing for employees and breaks trust bonds because the words that the leader speaks are not backed by actions.


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