Ep 37: How To Turn Around Under-Performers


In this episode, Bridgette and Irvine explore how we as leaders can inadvertently contribute to or compound underperformance and what steps you can take to turn it around.



Don’t forget to check out Irvine’s You Tube channel with new videos every Wednesday on emotional intelligence, resilience, and leadership.

Check out Irvine’s new book Leadership Lessons From The Pub.

Check out Bridgette’s book which she co-authored with Bod Duggan  Resilient Leadership 2.0.

And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources some of which are mentioned in each episode. 


Bridgette (00:03):

Welcome everybody to the Resilient Leadership Podcast, where everything we talk about is aimed at helping you to lead with a greater sense of calm, clarity and conviction, even in the midst of escalating change and uncertainty. And my name is Bridgette Theurer, and I am lucky to be joined by my fellow collaborator and co-host Irvine Nugent. And Irvine, we’re coming off of Memorial Weekend as we record this. How was your weekend?

Irvine (00:31):

It was wonderful. It was very chilled, actually. Normally, I think we were just talking before we recorded this. I’m normally on the go, and this time I did, we did not, we did a little cleaning. Actually. The weather is just being divine. It’s more like spring, hardly, you know? Yeah. Yeah. I just read and, uh, really had a wonderful weekend, and I know that you were a little all over the place.

Bridgette (00:54):

Yeah. I didn’t have the same kind of chill weekend. I was in New York City. As I was sharing with you, my daughter and I went to see the Taylor Swift concert at MetLife Stadium, and we had front row seats. I didn’t tell you that part. No. And literally she was standing in front of us, and we could, we could reach out and touch her if we were elevated a little bit higher. But anyways, it was fabulous. But it’s good to be back and it’s good to be focusing on this conversation with you.

Irvine (01:22):

Yeah. So tell us a little bit more. What are we gonna talk about today?

Bridgette (01:26):

Yeah. So we are gonna talk about what can we do to turn around under performers, whether that be an individual under underperformer, a team, shoot, maybe even a whole division in your organization if you manage a lot of people, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think, you know, we’ve touched on this from time to time. There was an episode back in season one called Courageous Conversations. We touched on that being one of the conversations that you might have to have. But in, in today’s episode, we’re gonna tackle it a little bit differently. You know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna share three strategies for how a leader can turn around under performance. But before we do, I wanna share two quick stories that are very recent and tip of tongue for me. And then Irvine, I wanna see what you think about these, is, I have not shared this with you.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So one is the story of a great turnaround, a client who I coached, and in the beginning, pretty much every session we had, every coaching session, he would talk about this underperformer to the point, you know, where I’m like, are we really gonna spend all of our time talking about this other person? And then about four months, four or five months into the coaching, suddenly I noticed this person was not coming up anymore. And in point of fact, they had completely turned around their performance and they were hitting the mark. And what was interesting is that when we first started talking about her, I don’t think he had a lot of confidence that that would happen. I think that it surprised even him, and as we’ll discuss, you know, with our strategies, 95% of it was what he did to change that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, second story, not a turnaround. Maybe our listeners are more familiar with this kind of an outcome where there was an underperforming employee in an organization where one of my good colleagues, Jim Burns, I think, you know, Jim Burns, right? Irvine, yes.

Irvine (03:18):

Uhhuh, <affirmative> very well mm-hmm.

Bridgette (03:19):

<affirmative>, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so when he was managing a big hotel, he had a director, and that director was not addressing the underperformance of one of his employees who was failing to communicate clearly about everything. I mean, he was so hard to follow. And, you know, Jim said to his director, you’ve got to address it. And his director said, uh, Heden Hod. And said, I will, but never really did. And, and, and then Jim sort of lost his resolve. And anyways, when a new sheriff came into town, so to speak, and they had to actually let go of some employees, it was a riff of sorts, that guy got let go. And you know what? He was told, this is not about you. We just had to let go of some employees. But then six months later, so they found out he got another job, which was great, but six months later, you know what happened? He got fired from that job for the same reason. So it can go either way. Sometimes it turns around, sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s really what we’re going to unpack today. So, I don’t know, Irvine does, do my stories resonate with you? They

Irvine (04:30):

Absolutely resonate. It’s so interesting you talk about that, because I also am beginning some coaching sessions, some new clients, and actually underperformance has come up and it’s so interesting. And there’s a, a connection, I think, between some of them, which, which is new situations. So I have one situation where a person has moved from one organization to another, and what worked there is not working. Hmm. And they themselves are saying, you know, I’m, I’m just not performing. I, I’m underperforming, and it’s a mystery. And so it’s just the exploration of a conversation to begin with that. But that’s really gonna be the focus of the conversation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, why is it what seemed to work doesn’t work anymore and I’m underperforming. And then the second coaching client is from a supervisor who just got a direct report who was an incredibly good employee, but since they’ve taken over the supervision, they’re performance. So now they’re, now they’re this expiration of why is that happening? What, what have I done and what have I not done? So we’re just in the beginnings of it. But I think today’s episode is exactly a perfect, you know, conversation to have, because these are the situations that crop up time and time again.

Bridgette (05:43):

Oh, they do. And the consequences are significant, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, yes. I mean, one is it can hijack all of her time and energy as a leader, and we failed to put that time and energy to more broad brush strategic pursuits. But the personal consequences are just great. So yeah. Let’s, let’s unpack this with our listeners. So the first strategy, Irvine, might not be something that our listeners would consider. So why don’t we start there? Why don’t you share the very first strategy?

Irvine (06:13):

Yeah. Well, you know, what our instinct is, is to diagnose and to cut apart the other person and find out what’s wrong with them and cut it out. But of course, the first strategy is focus on your own functioning first. Now, that may seem counterintuitive because we’re not the problem. The other person is the problem. They’re the one that is underperforming. And so therefore, focusing on your functioning first may say, well, why would I do that? And I think it’s from, first of all, the idea that as leaders, we always have a role in what we’re getting or not getting. And this is not about a portioning fault or blame or pointing fingers, but rather it’s, it’s really being curious since we’ve talked about this before, the, the essential importance of curiosity and about what might be my role in either contributing to a problem, compounding a problem.


And I think, you know, the basic question of this is what’s my partner? And that may be very difficult to see firsthand, um, because we may be contributing to a problem that we are doing. So without even being consciously aware, we may be inadvertently doing this. So what are some things that, that might come up with an answer? What could be my part in this? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So for example, you could think about how much leeway do I give the employee? Am I giving them too much freedom, too much autonomy? You know, that’s always, um, an equation that a leader has to deal with. You know, do I want, how, how close do I wanna monitor them or do I want to give them some autonomy or good? And, and sometimes if we give them too much freedom and autonomy, and especially for people who are new to organizations, you know, that may hinder their ability to, to perform, uh, and their ability to really get their handle of what’s happening in the organization.

Bridgette (08:11):

Yeah. So true.

Irvine (08:12):

Yeah. And so then a second one would be, you know, we always make assumptions, oh boy, when it comes to communication, that we’re each have the same understanding of what exactly is expected. And of course, oh my God, if, if I had a dollar for every time that this came up, I would be a rich man. Because really, we think we have communicated it clearly, and yet at times it keeps coming up. And so therefore, what are your expectations for quality, uh, for thorough, uh, thoroughness, for, for timeliness, et cetera. And has that been adequately communicated? Really important. Also, you know, and I find this, especially with, um, some of the younger generations as well, is the lack of, on the moment, in the moment coaching, I find that, that some of the newer generations coming through the workforce are looking for that kind of spontaneous coaching on the spot. And so therefore, the lack of that mm-hmm. <affirmative> can also really lead to some underperformance.

Bridgette (09:16):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I’m thinking of Irvine, it just, what, yeah. What you just said reminded me of a couple of articles I’ve read recently about the downside of the virtual work world Yeah. And that it disproportionately negatively impacts younger people because the coaching and the mentoring does not happen as well. Right. When you’re working virtually versus when you’re shoulder to shoulder with people.

Irvine (09:41):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s so true. Now, another thing as well would be our own fear or anxiety around giving feedback. Hmm. You know, this is coming up. I’m, I’m just, uh, working with a, a new organization. And one of the problems that they presented was the fact that some of their underperformers really part of this is that their supervisor hasn’t really had an honest conversation mm-hmm. <affirmative> and hasn’t really been forthright in what are some of the issues. And of course, it’s so unfair. That’s like trying to improve in the dark, you know, well, what, what am I aiming at? It’s kind of, I’m throwing darts to try and improve here, but I have no idea. I’m in the dark. So really, you know, at times some of these conversations are not easy and they need to happen. And, and so giving that candid feedback is important.


And then another area, which I, I think many people could see as well is just the sheer busyness of life, and the fact that we have a multitude of things to do and to give feedback or to give instant coaching, et cetera. We just don’t have the availability that we would like. And so therefore it goes without answering. And then the final thing I would just say, another organization I’m, I’m working with at the moment, this is a very real pain point for them, is a lack of clarity to around roles and responsibilities. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now what am I responsible for? But equally, what am I not responsible for and what should I be giving to someone else? And at times when, when we don’t have that kind of clarity as well, it can easily lead to a lack of performance. So, so bridge, I’m wondering, do they resonate with you?

Bridgette (11:19):

Oh, yeah. Completely. All of them. And I’m thinking back to the two stories that I mentioned at the beginning, and you know, the, the story about the manager who had the, the great turnaround with his employee, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think there were some assumptions being made there that she should know what to do, because when he was in her role, he didn’t need a lot of feedback, he just did it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right. And he was in lockstep with his manager, so he just assumed that’s the way she would be. Yeah. And that wasn’t the case. And then I think also, you know, you’re mentioning the whole thing about candid feedback. What I think is interesting is sometimes we assume that people need the kind of feedback we would prefer. So he, he gave her feedback, but it wasn’t useful to her. Yeah. She’s the type of person.


And Irvine, I wonder if you’ve ever like, coached somebody like this or heard one of your clients talk about it. She wanted concrete direct feedback. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, don’t ask me questions that are kind of vague. Don’t give me sort of broad brush, just, you know, lead me right to the point. And so when he started giving her the kind of feedback she told him she needed, she really started to perform better. Yeah. And then that whole thing about the fearing anxiety, that was probably what was connected to the second story, is that even though my client did tell his direct report, look, you need to confront your employee, you need to have conversations, both of them at the end of the day, their own anxieties around really pushing this and, and getting this to the place where it needed to be, really kept them from holding him accountable. Yeah, yeah.

Irvine (13:05):

You know, it’s really that, that example you just brought up, because I’m just doing, um, some work with an organization about giving some feedback to surveys that they’ve done. And this disconnect about the nature of feedback has really come to the fore with some employees in their feedbacks, uh, in their, uh, uh, survey saying, you know, I really don’t get a lot of feedback. And the supervisor totally mystified. Well, I give feedback all the time. I, I, I, I have no idea how this, and it was just, you know, it, it was kind of a great conversation about, well, what do we call feedback? What’s the quality of it? What are we seeking? And do we understand what the other person is seeking? And I think it was a realization, you know, well, I’ve just assumed that what they thought I was giving was feedback, and maybe that’s not the case.

Bridgette (13:54):

Yeah. And so the more that we talk about it, and the more it’s clear that if a leader is willing to pause and say, huh, what is my part in this? Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yep. That they might uncover some, some ways they are, as you said, contributing to underperformance or compounding it.

Irvine (14:13):


Bridgette (14:14):

But you gotta look, you can’t, you don’t look, you’re not gonna see it.

Irvine (14:18):

And you gotta be curious.

Bridgette (14:19):

Yes. Yeah.

Irvine (14:20):

Curiosity. That’s the first strategy. How about the second strategy, what we wanna share with our listeners, Bridgette?

Bridgette (14:27):

Yeah. Well, it’s really building on what you just said. You know, I often say to my clients who are struggling with underperformance that, you know, people can’t hit a mark. They don’t know is there mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when you were saying earlier, it’s kinda like throwing darts Yeah. In the dark. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. The second strategy is simply this, make the mark much more visible and much easier to hit. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so what does that mean? Well, I think a couple things. Clarity, consistency, and shared understanding, right? We, we have to be clear about what the mark is. And I think leaders often assume they’ve been clearer than they have been about their expectations about the role, what, whatever the case may be. They’ll say, I said this already, you know, but then that’s not the same thing as building shared understanding. So, you know, you might have, as a leader said, Hey, you know, I really expect that you will show initiative more than you’re showing.


And the person nods their head, right? And then the conversation is over and you think, well, I did my part, but what if their understanding of showing initiative and yours is not the same thing? Mm-hmm. And to get to shared understanding requires dialogue. It’s a back and forth. Right. And you have to kind of test to see if you’re on the same page. Yeah. And I think that makes the mark a lot easier to hit is, you know, let’s have some dialogue about, well, what do I mean when I say this? And what do you, what did you just hear? Yeah. And, you know, until you’re confident that that shared understanding is this. Another example would be around job descriptions, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So like, let’s say this underperforming employee has a written job description. So the leader might think, okay, well the role is clear, I gave them the job description, but you know, most job descriptions don’t really spell out some of the more in between the lines stuff.


Yeah. Right. And so a conversation may need to be had around what is this role actually, and what’s your understanding of it versus what’s my understanding of it versus what’s in the job description. Yeah. Yeah. So making that mark clear and making sure we both see the mark in the same way is the second strategy. And, you know, the consistency piece of this, I think is another thing. Like, is the mark changing locations? <laugh>? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, is it, is it being moved? Are your messages inconsistent about the mark? And then what if they’re hitting the mark some of the time, but not all of the time. But, but you never really tell ’em, oh yeah, you, when you just had that meeting and you did this, you hit it perfectly. Right. But in an, in another meeting, when they miss it, you don’t capitalize on that moment and say, now that was an example of where you missed it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I think the second strategy is so key, and it’s a place for us to just ask ourselves, what is the mark? How well have I communicated it, and how can I make it easier for people to see it and to hit it? So Irvine, what, you know, I’m making kind of a big deal about this notion of shared understanding that which is not the same thing as communicating. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, does that resonate with you? Does that like remind you of some things yourself?

Irvine (18:01):

Yeah, it really does. You know, I, I think as well, to be honest and acknowledge that we’ve said many, many times before that we live in a world of rapid change. And part of that, uh, experience, I think for people is that it’s sometimes there is a lack of clarity because things are shifting, right? And I think the temptation, therefore, is because of that not to say anything or just to leave it wishy-washy. And I think people still crave for some help in measuring, are they doing okay in the midst of this? We may not know where the final target is because it’s shifting. And therefore, I think it is, even when you say we’re really, um, we have a lack of clarity around here, what can we be clear about? Is there anything we can be clear about? And, you know, some of the things would be defining success.


You know, what would success look like for this person to this team is a way of, of getting some clarity around it. What are expectations? So why we may, we may not be fully aware of the goal that we’re approaching, but can we have expectations of how each person is contributing, depending on the level or perhaps the role that they have in a team. And then responsibilities, this gets us into, I think there’s such a lack of clarity around this at times. You know, what am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> has that, has a discussion happened there, and are people clear about that? And then what resources are available to me, you know, at times, again, um, especially coming outta Covid, I’m not sure if you’re, you’re, you’re seeing this as well, Bridgette, you know, but, but organizations became very lean and they let a lot of people go.


Yes. And I think, you know, it’s interesting, some organizations are beginning to hire again and beef it up, but I think resources are very important because there’s times where people have felt all alone and they had to do it themselves. And it’s kind of important to Mark, you know, what, what resources are, um, do you have, what, what can we say that you can use? And then, uh, prioritize nations, I think as well, while we work in organizations where it’s hectic and there are so many different tasks to be done. And is there clarity about priorities mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which is important, and which one can I let go of? Because perhaps this one is more important now mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and that, I dunno about you. That leads to such an interesting conversation, because I think the message a lot of people get is, well, they’re all priorities, they’re all important. And, and then people find very, very, uh, difficult to have kind of clarity around that, around, you know, what’s the most important thing now? What should I be doing right now?

Bridgette (20:39):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that one is maybe one of the biggest impediments to employees hitting the mark is there are too many priorities. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the priorities are shifting too often, and or the manager hasn’t been clear enough about those priorities. And as you said, as things evolve and change, so do our priorities, that’s fine. But are we having the conversations around that? And, you know, employees, we, we typically are dealing with high achievers here. They wanna hit the mark. Yeah. So they’re gonna keep trying to hit everything until they are given explicit direction or permission to focus on these three, right. Instead of these 20 mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I think that’s a really, really big deal. Hmm. All right. Well, we have one more strategy left. And I think this is, again, maybe one that’s a bit counterintuitive, maybe not the first place a leader might turn to when they are frustrated with underperformance, but I think it’s so essential. And Irvine, why don’t you start us off on that strategy.

Irvine (21:52):

Yeah. It, it brings us back to really one of the key underpinnings of the approach that we take in this podcast. And that is looking at things from a systems perspective. And this is a classic example of why this is so important. Because when you get into a performance or underperformance dialogue, normally you reduce it down to you and the other person. And it’s what’s happening? What am I doing wrong? What are you doing wrong? What am I not saying? What are you saying that I can get? It can get into that relationship, just the two of you. And I think it’s really important to zoom back and to realize that we all function within a system, be it our family, be it a team, be it our organization. And that as well has to be critically viewed. We have to be just as curious about the system and what the system is telling us about what’s happening here, and is there any clues that the system gives us to why we might be experiencing underperforming in this individual or a team.


And let me just pull out just a couple of things that we might want to think about. So the first one then is our culture, the culture of the organization, and is there any norms, uh, within the culture that might mean it’s really difficult for a person to hit the mark? And, and some cultural norms here, which would be interesting, might be to consider, you know, how does the organization treat risk? Is it risk averse? And so therefore is the, the omni message that a person is getting, you know, um, I, I’m pushing hard for change, but I can’t risk, we don’t risk things here or else. Um, the other thing we brought up a number of times already is the importance of times of really direct conversations and honest conversations, open conversations about performance. But you know, in some cultures, uh, we don’t have those, it’s, it’s mm-hmm.


<affirmative>, it’s, we don’t that here, we’re not very direct. We’re very indirect or we don’t <inaudible>. And really we value kindness and compassion and, and that’s great. These are wonderful values, but, um, sometimes really the cost, therefore can be some really important conversation mm-hmm. <affirmative> ways that it makes it more difficult to give a person some feedback that they really need. So that’s the culture from a systems perspective. Um, the second thing as well is, is the organization going through a huge change at the moment. So, you know, you may be just focusing in what’s before you, and yet all around you, you have this huge amount of change that’s happening, which is leading to uncertainty, and therefore it’s contributing to, you know, a person’s lack of success. And that we, I kind of mentioned it the last time as well, you know, change as well can be, can be still in media, can be so rapid at times that we kind of really then scratch our heads with that question, what does it mean to be successful here?


It’s, it’s like the, the goal is changing because of the, the constant change around me. And then the third thing is patterns of reactivity. So one of the things that we have said before, when it comes to a systems approach, when an organization is very anxious, some of the behaviors we see are predictable. Um, they’re always, and always, it always happens. And so to be curious about am I seeing any of those predictable behaviors that happen in times of great anxiety? And of course, you know, one of the ones that comes to mind here is, is under and over functioning. So, you know, an underperformance can be a fact of someone who’s under functioning, who is really not taking the full emotional responsibility for their role. And, and when you see that, then you’ve got another person who is over functioning, stepping in mm-hmm. <affirmative> capable mm-hmm.


<affirmative>. And not just in the doing, but almost feeling this emotional responsibility that if I don’t do this, then things are going to fall apart. One of the other patterns that we’ve discussed in the other episode is triangles, that inherently relationships are not just the back and forth between two people, but because of the anxiety that we feel, we always bring another person into that conversation. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but sometimes it can be very toxic. So say for example, in this, if you are having problem with an employee who’s under functioning, instead of going directly to them and say, Hey, we have a problem, let’s talk about it. Well, no, you don’t do that, but you’ve talked to another person out there. And, uh, and I see a peer and say, oh, you know what? I didn’t know what we’re gonna do with Cindy.


She’s really underperformance <laugh>, and you’re bringing him into, you know, your peer into that triangling gets toxic. So, and then other things as well, when it comes to assistance approach to reactivity is some resistance and sabotage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And very often, uh, those are things that are seeing resistance to change or even sabotaging the change. So can we be curious enough to look at some of these behaviors and note them for what they are, that they are a normal part of a, uh, system that is highly anxious mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And of course, what we know from that is that the most important thing therefore to do as a leader is go back to that number one again, is to focus on our own functioning, but also realize that we have real power in that situation to influence the system around us, just by the way that we are showing up and by our very presence. Mm-hmm.

Bridgette (27:17):

<affirmative>, boy, you know, it’s so critical. And yet if you think about it, like in your experience as a leader, Irvine, when you, and I’m sure you had this when you were faced with an underperformer, I bet it wasn’t instinctive for you to say, well, let me get on the balcony and think about what’s going on in the broader system that might be contributing to this.

Irvine (27:41):


Bridgette (27:42):

It’s not intuitive. Right? Yeah.

Irvine (27:44):

No, I mean, for me, the great tempt, I mean, as I talk about this now, I can think, oh my God, the different triangles I created, toxic triangles I created because, you know, my, my gut is not to have those kind conversations because I want everyone to love me. And so, uh, part of the problem is that I can remember, it’s so easy for me just to relieve that anxiety I was feeling by bringing in another person in. Yeah. Yeah. Of

Bridgette (28:11):


Irvine (28:11):

This just happened so naturally and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, therefore to get on the balcony and to be curious about that. It, it really does. Uh, it doesn’t come naturally and it’s something we really have to try and do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> cause very anxious, you know, thinking is difficult. <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think straight about things is difficult.

Bridgette (28:30):

Yeah. Because I think bottom line is we do not perform or underperform in isolation. We’re always performing in a system. Yeah. Right? Yeah. And you know, even like in your example where you were people pleaser, and so you struggled to have direct conversations sometimes with underperformers, let’s say you’re a leader who’s pretty good at that, but maybe on your team, none of the other people are good at it, and they’re peers of the underperformer, so they never talk to the underperformer directly about anything. And you know what? You have a role in that. You can, you can explicitly say to your team, I am going to be direct with you, and you are gonna be direct with each other, and this is the practice that is expected. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s really interesting, isn’t it? Okay. So we’ve talked about, you know, culture, we’ve talked about organizational change, talked about reactive patterns, all part of the system’s perspective. And of course, this is not meant to excuse underperformance. It’s not like, oh, well, you know, the system is messed up. So I guess we’ll just let people underperform. But it’s rather to help you better pinpoint what obstacles you may need to remove systemically Yeah. For people to elevate their performance.

Irvine (29:55):

Absolutely. Yeah.

Bridgette (29:57):

So vital and, and

Irvine (29:58):

To realize that, that you are also competing with bigger forces. And until you recognize that as well, if we want lasting change, uh, you know, looking at the system becomes critical.

Bridgette (30:12):

You know, you, you reminded me of something when you talked about the cultural element. You know, how might the culture be both supporting and getting in the way of a performer? And you talked about risk adverse cultures, and I’m thinking about somebody that, you know, I worked with a a while ago who was brought in to create change, and she had a mandate to do so, but the organization was like 30 years old, and some of those people have been there for 25 years. Mm-hmm. And the culture was risk-adverse and change adverse. And the thing is, is her boss didn’t really guide her to understand that. In fact, he kind of pushed her to bring about change too soon, you know, not respecting the el the, the culture that he was quite well aware of and helped, had, helped create. Yeah.

Irvine (31:02):

Yeah. Yeah.

Bridgette (31:03):

So anyways, all right. So I think it’s time to leave with our listeners. Yes. A little bit of a practice.

Irvine (31:09):

Absolutely. What do you suggest?

Bridgette (31:11):

Well, I’m gonna suggest something very simple. Hmm. It’s just a question. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> the question to be curious about and to be an inquiry around is this, where might I need to be clearer about what and with whom?

Irvine (31:29):


Bridgette (31:31):

To assume that you think you’ve been clearer than you actually have been. That’s what happens with leaders. We’re busy people, we don’t always get it right. And we don’t always have dialogue to build shared understanding. So if we ask this question, it, it’s an invitation to be curious about, oh, you know what? When I really think about it, I probably could step in and provide some greater clarity around the way this new person’s role is affecting everybody else’s role and responsibilities. And there’s some work to be done there. Or when I asked that question, I realized that I think my expectations are clear, but actually that’s probably not enTheurerly true. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know? Yeah. So we invite you to ask the question and notice what surface is for you, and then step in and, and build some greater clarity and shared understanding. Because at the end of the day, clarity is the lifeblood of organizations Without it. People flail about going back to your, you know, ivin of throwing darts, just trying to hit something. And with clarity and shared understanding, that’s how we hit the mark, and that’s how we hit it and exceed it too. So that’s the practice simple,

Irvine (32:52):

Right? Yeah. A what a powerful question. Where am I gonna need to be clear about what and with whom? Whoa. That that’s really powerful. Hmm. Love that. Well, Bridgette, what a great conversation. This is an issue that I’m sure that many, many of our leader, uh, uh, listeners are dealing with. Or if they’re not dealing at the moment, they will have to deal with, it comes up perennial. And so hopefully these three strategies will have helped you. Strategy number one, focus on your, uh, functioning first. Number two, you can’t hit a mark that you don’t see. So can you have clarity about the mark? And then number three, take a systems perspective. Can we zoom out and look at what’s happening in the system? And there is a great question where might I need to be clear about what and with whom? So thank you so much. Uh, it’s been great having you and for this conversation, I just wanna remind our listeners as well, we’d love some feedback. And if you have any suggestions about future episode situations that you’d like us to address, please feel free, um, to email us. The email address is resilient leadership podcast gmail.com. Bridgette, thanks so much. I look forward to our next podcast. Hmm. And then I hope you enjoy this beautiful introduction to summer.

Bridgette (34:11):

All right, folks, Irvine, it was a delight talking with you as always. Take care everybody. Bye

Irvine (34:15):


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