“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can”.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
We all need someone to mentor and guide us on our journey. I have had some great people step into my life and provide guidance needed for successful outcomes. I reach out and thank them as much as possible because their lessons walk with me every day.
I purposefully relay those same messages to my tree branches when needed. So, the tree started with my mentors, and my goal is to keep it growing with new branches who will grow additional branches.
Had an interesting conversation with one of my closest branches. She mentioned she met with former students at their request and realized these students were branches from her tree. I hope to continue to hear about additional tree branches sprouting in other areas. How many branches have you added to the tree?
Greatest lesson learned
The greatest lesson I learned from my mentor is patience with others. The pace of the world continues to accelerate but patient leaders provide direct reports the space to learn, make mistakes and grow. Leaders who display patience in the work environment provide a space for reflection and active coaching when needed. The exact lesson my mentor gifted me I call: 3 check-ins. Sounds like a weird game for the work environment but I’ve seen it work and leverage it to this day.
So, how does 3 check-ins work? Great question!
You assign a work project to one of your direct reports with a specific due date. Instructions are provided but you allow the direct report freedom to get the project completed prior to the due date. The assigned project will have 3 check-in points built in where the leader comes back to the direct report to:
- Make sure the assignment was understood (reflection)
- Answer outstanding questions (learn)
- Offer support/guidance if needed (coaching)
- Adjust goals (as needed)
The 3 check-ins are spaced out to allow for adjustments to the project if needed but keeps the direct report focused on positive outcomes. Creating organized check points for the project shows the leader is a willing partner and seeks growth for team members. This also eliminates the direct report from feeling like they are alone on the project. We want them to take initiative but not feel they have no support.
The 3 check-ins approach is not designed as a fancy way to micromanage a team. It provides a support system to enhance professional growth and ensure successful outcomes for the entire team. Also, the approach allows the leader to serve their team and maximize individual talents.
How do you provide support when assigning projects to your team? How can the 3 check-in approach enhance your operation? (Please respond in the comments section below—thanks!)
“The best teachers are those who tell you where to look—but don’t tell you what to see”.
(Alexander K. Trenfor)
“Play chess not checkers in the work environment.”
Thanks for walking with me!