February 5, 2023

How to teach employees to be independent. Part 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The source of expertise: theory and paradox

The source of expertise area can be divided into two levels: theory and paradox. 

The theory level. At this level, the person understands how the subject area is arranged, sees patterns, and begins to systematize them. They may have the feeling that they have learned the truth and are ready to carry it to the masses.

At the theory level, the person wants to share the truth and thinks that this is feedback. But in the “I know the truth” state, a person expresses their opinion not to help colleagues solve their problem but so that everyone understands how cool he or she is. The difference is this: the person does not analyze what happened with their colleagues, what the task and the context are, but tells what conclusions he or she made based on their own experience. They do not take into account that their experience may be irrelevant.

Usually, people react negatively to the opinion of the theoretician: “Do you really think you’re that smart? You seem to be the same specialist as we are. Or do you have some special shoulder straps? Is your halo glowing? No, it seems. Then why are you telling us how to do it, if you don’t even know the context of our task? Back off.”

And then the person has three options:

  • Find a congregation to pray for them;
  • Be under constant stress and stress their colleagues;
  • Move to the next level of development.

How to give feedback: you are already experienced, and you know how everything works here. But let’s figure out how people view you and what they want from you. Let’s try to look at the situation through the eyes of different participants.

Sometimes people get stuck at the theory level. It is better not to solve this situation on the spot but to prevent it; otherwise, you will have to break the person. You can say
something like this: “First, you are a part of the team. By yourself, you can be as fabulous as you like, nobody cares. The only important thing is how you work in a team with other people: whether you strengthen or weaken them. My task as a leader is to make sure that you strengthen each other. If I cannot do this, even though you are valuable, we won’t work together. A team consists of molecules, not atoms, and an atom that does not combine with others, even if it is precious, it should be let go.”

The paradox level. At this level, the person understands: no matter how harmonious the concept of the world they may have, there are other realities, and they have the right to exist. At this moment, they grow up as a professional, they deeply know the subject area and understand that there is no single truth for everyone. The person continues to learn and grow and will respect other people along the way.

If the person has reached this level, he or she can be entrusted with the role of a mentor or with the education of other people. Usually, problems and conflicts arise because the people who manage the performers are on the previous steps: they either want a feat or prove the truth to everyone. The person who has learned to work with someone else’s picture of the world as an important one, though different from their own vision, will not have such problems.

How to give feedback: the way it helps the person to achieve their goals — this is a general rule. We will talk about it and also about goals in the next parts of the article.

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