In the last week, I have had three very different conversations, with one very common theme: testing. So and so is a nice person, that’s where it starts. Maybe you’ve started there too. Then, the butt happens. We stick our rear end out and disrupt the niceness with a tester, which sounds like this: “but I’m going to give them this assignment that I know they won’t do, and then I will talk with them about it.” Or the butt gets thrown out like a hip check under a basketball basket, “…..but I know they won’t do it…” which really means “I’ll be right”. I have seen this increase as our face to face time decreases, and as the unsettling uncertainty prevails.
So, what are we really testing? I suspect we are looking for that certainty and validation that is lacking right now. We don’t have physical proximity to hold us accountable to being in good relationship, so we slip. And like any good slip, we will fall down, and then get back up again. The next time you find yourself about to test someone, pause, reflect on what you really want. And then build an expectation around that. Now put your butt back behind you and have a face to face (Zoom) conversation about the desired outcome, significance of contribution, and the expectation you have for the person. Stand up a little taller, embrace your leadership opportunity.