3 Ways to Actually Help Your Team (and Yourself!)

by  David Dye  |  Leadership Development

“No Way!”

I was working with a leader whose team was struggling. They were frustrated, felt like their leader did not care, and were dealing with the same problems over and over.

I suggested that the next time a team member addressed one of these issues he ask a simple question: “How can I help?”

He immediately responded, “No way! I’m already crazy busy, there’s no way I can do their work for them.”

His answer revealed a common misconception about what it means for leaders to help their team.

A Better Way

I regularly share my belief that effective leaders serve their teams, but how you help them makes a huge difference.

You team does need you and there are three significant ways you can truly help your team: [Read more…]


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Articles By david-dye
I work with leaders who want to build teams that care and get more done with fewer headaches.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Kevin  |  16 Oct 2012  |  Reply

I’ve recently partnered with a software developer who has 5+ yrs of coding at a fortune 100 company. I am the business “guy” and provided clear details on expectations, but after 4 months, he has nothing to show. I’m at a crossroads of whether to start looking elsewhere or trying to motivate him. I felt like I’ve given him every opportunity to be successful and put his own spin on the software, but he continues to miss deadlines. We have a final prototype due to our first (non-paying) client in January, and he doesn’t believe it’s worthwhile to put in the work for something that he deems useless. Any advice on how to handle this? Thanks


David M. Dye  |  18 Oct 2012  |  Reply

Hi Kevin,

I appreciate your question as it’s one that every leader shares with you at some point in their leadership journey.

WIthout knowing all the details, my advice is to:

1. Review expectations. “Mr. Developer, we agreed that…” [Note that the expectations you shared “in detail” may not have been as clear to the other party as you believe. It’s very common.]
2. Discuss the gap. “It’s been 120 days and to my knowledge you have not submitted anything.”
3. Highlight consequences. “Without this code, we have no project. Without a project, we have no paychecks.”
4. Share your interpretation of the facts. “I’m interpreting the lack of submitted code to mean that this project isn’t a priority for you and frankly, I’m frustrated by that.”
5. Ask for their perspective. “That’s the world as it looks to me. How do you see it?” [A vital step – you learn so much about your processes, their challenges, and motivations.]
6. Craft next steps. Depending on what you learn, you’ll want to move to a new set of expectations (eg concept delivered in 5 days with a full demo ready in 14) or, if their perspective reveals a lack of commitment to the team or project, it may be fully appropriate to thank them for their service and end the contract. Or you may even learn you goofed up somehow and need to apologize and get things back on track.
7. If you’re continuing the relationships, conclude by clarifying who is doing what by when and how you will both know it’s been done.

Anyhow, that is a quick thumbnail sketch of how you might go about it. Please contact me directly if you’d like to discuss further from a coaching perspective.

Good luck,


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