Be Aware of the Difference Between Ed Koch & You

I hope it’s not too late!

A comment on last week’s blog about the humble, direct leadership style of former New York Mayor Ed Koch triggered something I need to make you aware of.

Tom said, “I like the Koch approach. It is something that I’d like to model. I meet with my staff on a regular basis in 1:1s, and this is a question I’m going to add!”220px-Ed_Koch_95th_congress

After my initial euphoria subsided, thinking of the impact I’ve had on a subscriber, I realized something.

I failed to mention one important distinction between your situation and Mayor Koch’s.

Mayor Koch was a servant of the people. He was working for them.

You most likely will be asking for input from those working for you, or with you as a peer.

That is a much different dynamic.

It doesn’t mean it won’t work.

It most definitely will.

It’s just that if your company or team culture has not developed into the type of culture where this type of communication is expected, you may not get the candid commentary you are asking for.

There is a simple adjustment to make this work.

Just preface the conversation with your team members to create a safe environment to share their candid observations and experience.

Start the process by telling everyone (either individually or in a team meeting) that you would like their candid feedback on “how you’re doing?’

You need to communicate very clearly that:

  • You are doing it so you can become a better leader/manager for them,
  • All feedback will be considered coming with the best of intentions, and
  • There will be no negative repercussions.

Also let them know that you will get back to them after having taking all feedback under consideration and that you will identify 2-3 specific items to begin working on.

Then, ask them to monitor your progress, observe your attempt at improving and to provide on-going feedback as to “how I am doing.”

Have Fun!

Does this make sense? Please leave a comment to let us know how it goes.

Tell me what you think and continue the conversation.

’til next time Communicate With Power!

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