Have you ever found yourself juggling numerous responsibilities, striving to maintain harmony, and also seeking the elusive balance between pleasing your team members and steering them towards success? If so, this pursuit can lead to burnout and boundary issues, especially when we grapple the fine line between being liked and being an effective leader.

Let’s explore how building the feedback and accountability muscle can be a powerful tool to manage burnout, set healthier boundaries, and achieve a vision for our teams.

The Yearning for Likability and the Challenge of Accountability:

One common challenge many leaders face, and we explore in coaching, is the desire to be liked and the tendency to avoid tough conversations. It’s natural to want to maintain positive relationships with team members, but when this desire overshadows accountability, it can hinder growth and development. Leaders may become the “go-to” person for technical assistance, but struggle to trust their team members, leading to burnout as they shoulder the entire burden themselves. Shifting from wanting to “please” and be “liked” to an accountable leader starts with understanding the importance of balanced feedback and delegation.

The Boundaries Dilemma:

Setting boundaries is another critical aspect of leadership that often gets overlooked. Leaders who find it difficult to say “no” or to delegate effectively may inadvertently hinder the growth of their team. They may micromanage, provide feedback long after the fact, or struggle to redirect their team members when necessary. The fear of appearing “too soft” can lead to boundary violations that not only exhaust the leader but also disrupt the team’s dynamics. To address this, leaders must learn to embody the principles of Radical Candor and prioritize open, constructive feedback.

The Vision for Success:

Every leader envisions a thriving, high-performing team, but achieving this vision requires more than technical expertise; it demands an understanding of team members’ motivations and goals within the organization. Leaders can start by engaging in conversations to truly grasp their team’s aspirations. This empathetic approach can serve as the foundation for building a culture of accountability and mutual growth.

The Accountability Quest:

Many leaders fall into the trap of “no news is good news” when it comes to feedback. They may wait for team members to approach them with questions or concerns, failing to provide mid-course corrections when necessary. This lack of clarity from the outset can result in misunderstandings and performance issues down the line. Leaders can benefit from adopting models like Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) to foster open, non-judgmental discussions from the beginning.

Energized by Goals, Not Overwhelmed:

Staying energized by goals rather than overwhelmed by them requires leaders to establish a connection with their team members’ aspirations. By challenging limiting beliefs and asking thoughtful questions, leaders can help team members see the bigger picture and remain motivated. This approach aligns with effective delegation, as leaders empower their team members to take ownership and share in the responsibility for achieving the team’s objectives.

Building the feedback and accountability muscle is not just about achieving professional success; it’s about creating a balanced, thriving work environment that prevents burnout and fosters healthy boundaries. Leaders who master this art not only elevate their teams but also ensure their own resilience and career longevity. Embracing accountability, setting clear boundaries, and nurturing the vision for success can transform leaders into effective guides, empowering their teams to reach new heights while maintaining their own well-being.

Would enjoy hearing your take on this topic and what has worked for you. If this topic resonates with you as a topic to explore in more depth reach out to schedule a Discovery Session. These sessions are tailored to delve deep into your leadership challenges and aspirations, habits and patterns, and what has been getting in your way towards attaining your goals. You’ll walk away with actionable insights to elevate your career journey.