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How to know when to intervene as a leader

When problems and issues arise within your business, they can have the ability to dramatically affect the productivity performance and profitability of your organisation. But as a leader, not all situations need your attention.

In fact, it can be far better for your team, culture and business if you don’t intervene or micro-manage every individual or situation. So how do you know when you should? Start with these five questions.

1. What signs have I been missing?

Often a change in behaviour will alert you to potential problems you need to act on. Are you experiencing high staff turnover? Are your team having more time off? Has productivity dropped? Are some team members unusually quiet? Has their body language changed? These are indicators that there may be a problem you need to address.

2. Will our brand or customers be adversely affected by it?

Ask yourself will our brand or customers will be affected by it. If there is any chance of this happening, no matter how small, you need to act.

Depending on the situation, your actions may be as mild as offering guidance or support or as bold as taking matters into your own hands.

3. Will our culture or staff morale be impacted?

The next question you ask should be around your employees. If I didn’t intervene, what is the impact? Will I have team members resign, will they become disengaged? Will this conflict escalate?

Conflict and challenges are inevitable in a workplace where multiple generations and personalities exist, when the situation is escalating, ceasing to be resolved, or having a domino effect on several team members it’s time for you to step in.

4. Does this situation have the potential to escalate quickly?

Most conflicts and challenges start small initially. As a leader, you need to be able to identify which situations have the potential to escalate quickly within your team and business.

5. Are the people involved ‘repeat offenders’?

If you notice most challenges and conflicts within your organisation are coming from one or more of the same staff members, it is time to step in.

Repeat offenders can be damaging for your organisation, if not dealt with they can upset productivity, increase conflict, cause high performing employees to become disengaged and erode your culture.

Do you have processes in place that help you identify when to intervene? What can you implement today to help you the next time a challenging situation arises in your business?

Thank you for reading! I’m Kylie Denton, a qualified Organisational and Leadership Coach. If you want more tips delivered to your inbox sign up for email updates above and be sure to connect with me on Email, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Kylie Denton

Kylie Denton

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