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Why leaders should be questioning everything they think they know

Leadership 13 Oct . min read

As a leader you know your organisation inside out, right? You’re connected to your people, you’ve got a handle on your organisational strengths, you’re confident that you know what’s going on, and you’re equally confident about the risks, opportunities, and challenges that your business is facing. It’s all under control.

Or is it?

You may have seen recent media articles about the latest aggregated research from AskYourTeam, looking at New Zealand private sector business leader effectiveness and comparing results over the past three years.

It shows that leaders’ perception of how effective their organisation can be quite different from that of their teams. This misalignment can inhibit business performance, employee experience, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
At AskYourTeam we measure alignment by asking the same questions of leaders and employees. We call gaps greater than 10 per cent between leaders and their employees ‘blindspots'.

Our latest insights paper shows that over the past three years, blindspot gaps have widened, and the number of them have risen to record levels.

You may be asking if blindspots matter? You bet they do. Disconnection between leaders and teams not only inhibits performance, it’s also a significant risk to the business. Leaders are unaware of threats and opportunities because their teams aren’t raising them. This leaves the business exposed, and unable to mitigate effectively, or on the back foot in a competitive market.

In the context of these challenging and uncertain times, this should come as no surprise. Leaders and their teams are ‘spinning more plates' than ever before.

The good news is there are steps that leaders can take to address the perception gaps between themselves and their teams. Here are some handy tips:

  • Focus on improving communication – it’s what employees want more than anything
  • Create a safe place for people to speak up and share their views without fear of recrimination
  • Remember that all feedback is valuable, whether it’s praise or constructive
  • Ask your team for their input
  • Listen to what they say
  • Act on what they say to make positive change.

New Zealand Business Leaders: Navigating Through Disruption

If you’d like to be better informed by benchmarking employee insights and perceptions within your organisation, download our New Zealand Business Leaders’ Effectiveness 2019 2021: Navigating Through Disruption insights paper now.

Download now
Navigating Through Disruption

Andre Clarke

Commercial Director

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