It is hard to follow someone who is not clear about where they are heading.
We have all been there.
- On a project that we are busy working, but not sure if the work we are doing is taking us anywhere.
- In a job where we kind of know what we are doing, but not sure what tomorrow will bring.
- Trying to meet a deadline for something that we thought we understood, but with the date looming we aren’t so sure anymore.
Clarity is critical in leadership.
This happened to me just last week as I was working with a client. We were talking about our last session together, what was accomplished, and what needed to happen next. Which is great…except we weren’t really sure. We had lost track of what we were supposed to be working on and had veered off into the weeds.
That happens. It actually happens a lot.
Since we all know that clarity is critical in leadership, our own success, the success of our teams, in everything really…how do we stay clear?
I think that it’s more important to have a way to get back on track, than to focus only on staying absolutely clear all the time. Sometimes, you uncover great stuff in the weeds and if you never veer off course, you won’t uncover them.
Here are 3 easy steps to get back on the clear path:
- Take a breather and try to explain to yourself or a confidant what you are feeling unclear about. There is so much that can be gained by just trying to talk through something, even if it’s with yourself.
- Ask what is the desired result. If it doesn’t roll off your tongue or the others you are working with, start here.
- Keep emotions in check. When things get messy, we can get frustrated. Everybody wants to do a good job, and if something isn’t clear that can feel like a threat to their success. Staying calm and objective throughout the clarifying process will help you and those you are working with!
My client and I are working through this process right now. We both stepped away and gathered our thoughts for our next conversation. When we talked this week, we were both much more clear about where the path was we were supposed to be on. The weeds that we veered off into were things that needed to be worked on, but in a different manner so we addressed how to do that. We both started out a little guarded…nobody wants to do a bad job or feel dissatisfied with their work. By going through this process objectively, we were able to be happy about where things are headed together as a team.
Take these steps the next time things get off-track and gain the clarity you need to succeed!