As a manager, it is very challenging to find a balance between being too strict or not strict enough. There are many situations where ‘laying down the law’ is called for, while in other situations, it is inappropriate and counterproductive. But when is the right time? Below I have addressed some tactics and questions that you, as a manager, can explore in understanding this very common workplace dilemma.
REFRAME THE QUESTION
Next time you feel those words floating through your head (either am I being too strict? or am I being too lenient?) replace them with these questions, in this order:
1. Am I being a consistent leader?
2. Does my team have the instructions and tools needed to succeed?
3. Has my expectations been properly and clearly explained?
4. Is this a reoccurring issue or a one time mistake?
The tone you use in handling matters should 100% rest on the outcomes of these questions above.
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