There are times in our role as manager and leader when we have to do things that aren’t very popular among our staff. We may have to make decisions that others don’t like. And we’re human. We care about what other people think of us. It’s dangerous to care so much about what others think of you that you always want to be liked, and it’s just as dangerous to stop caring what others think and listen only to yourself. So how do we walk that line of being brave and vulnerable at the same time?
In Brene Brown’s book, Dare To Lead, she shares an idea that helps her: Draw a one-inch by one-inch square on a piece of paper and write down the names of the people whose opinion of you matters, those people who give you honest and real feedback. This square is small intentionally because it forces you to edit who will have a place in your square. Once you’ve written in the names, take 10 minutes to reach out to these people – your square squad – and share a little gratitude. Keep it simple: I’m taking a minute to recognize and thank you for your candid and honest feedback with me. I’m grateful that you care enough to be direct and real with me. If you’re unsure who to put in your square squad, here are a few tips. This is not your “Yes” squad. This is not the suck-up squad. These are the people who care for you personally and are able to challenge you directly.
Reach out to your square squad today! I have shared this idea with a few of my coaching clients and they have expressed very positive results. We can’t control what everyone thinks of us, nor should we waste time worrying about everyone’s opinion of us. Instead, let’s focus on what our square squad thinks and use their feedback to help us grow and develop.