Wearing the HR Hat as the CEO? Recognize when it’s time to engage the professionals.

Hi, I’m Jamie Davidoff, founder and CEO of Spark Success, where we work with leaders who want to make a positive impact on themselves, their teams, their organization and the world.

Many CEOs I work with spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on people matters, some of which include inappropriate behaviours of individuals, or concerns about addressing the problematic behaviours.

As humans, we are not always the best at giving or receiving feedback, especially as it relates to specific behaviours, and so some CEOs spend their time figuring out the best way to address the specific behaviours and the possible negative consequences of addressing them. Many times, this situation occurs when the CEO is new to the role, is overly dependent on the person, is concerned about the impact of providing constructive feedback to a ‘political’ person or is trying to please everybody. They may be operating from fear rather than from possibility. They may find themselves in analysis paralysis.

There are some typical aspects that we work on:
1. Uncover the underlying fears holding the CEO back.
2. Look at the gifts of providing feedback rather than solely the consequences.
3. Consult HR or an HR Consultant. Understand the playing field and the rules in your area.
4. Prepare to provide constructive feedback and consequences for not changing the behaviours, remembering that feedback is a gift to the other person. It enables the person to be aware of their impact and give them a chance to then change their behaviours.
5. Find ways to stand in their values, what they know to be right and true, when in the conversation.
6. Prepare for the potential negative consequences and have a plan for those.
7. If they have not already done so, decide who will be involved in providing the feedback to the person and the expectations and consequences moving forward.
8. Ensure there is a feedback and support loop, to create the best chance of success for the behaviour change.
9. If the behaviour change, does not occur, follow through on the consequences.

Of course, in some cases, this will go well. In others, it may not, and it is important to know when enough is enough and take the hard action to let the person go, and enact the damage mitigation plan.

Most people want to do well. In providing ongoing feedback and support, the above scenario is much less likely to occur, and it is much easier to address in real-time versus having mounted up to this level.

Feedback can be as simple as having a weekly conversation about what’s going well, and what could be going differently, and supporting the person with ways to leverage what is going well and changing what could be going differently. … much easier than dealing with it after it has accumulated and taken on a life of its own.

If you are ready to look at how coaching can help you navigate your way through the terrain of being a positive impact leader, please reach out to me for a complimentary exploration call. The link is in the comments.

If you have additional contributions to the topic, I’d love to hear your comments! Until next time, keep up the great work!