You've waited six years for your apple seedling to grow into a tree. Once your appletree starts to bear fruit, the hold-up continues as you wait for the proper stage of maturity to pick the apples. Harvest day finally arrives, and now its time to skillfully pick the apples, place them in a padded bucket, and then carefully put them into the applecart. The last thing you'd ever want to happen is for your applecart to tip over and spill out your meticulously selected apples. In the case of employee feedback, though, tipping the applecart is the best way to improve culture and overall performance.
The concern many leaders experience regarding a tipped applecart is, "what if apples bruise during the tipping process?" Said differently, what happens if my culture's condition worsens by upsetting the cart? Having a professional cart tipper (experienced consultant) guide your team through the feedback process is critical to navigating the process smoothly. They will know how to successfully handle difficult subjects, challenging personalities, and keep the conversations on track, getting you one step closer to the ultimate goal of improved culture and financial results.
Another concern leaders contend with are the bruises that previously existed. A recent interview with a manager uncovered the following insight, "there are some apples I don't want to pick up and others I know I need to." Bruised apples are a gift in disguise. With the correct approach (right questions) and guidance (proper process), the concerns, unspoken wishes, and ideas your team has can turn those bruised apples into a pie.
The old saying "one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch" isn't just a great proverb, it's also scientifically valid. According to Alexandra Neilson, "as apples ripen, they give off a hormone in a gaseous form called ethylene, which is a catalyst for ripening fruit. When a well-ripened fruit is in close vicinity with other fruits, the gas is absorbed into the other fruits causing them to ripen." Tipping the applecart allows leaders the ability to reveal and quantify the number of individuals and areas where rotting exists and proactively manage the results accordingly.
There's a correct way to pick apples. There's a correct way to lead others. In the same way, apple pickers should twist apples instead of pulling them and use their palms instead of fingers; managers (particularly first time managers) should know the art and craft of handling their team. Understanding the behavior style, motivators, learning style, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving abilities of your team allows you to tailor your leadership style and approach to meet their needs best.
The thought of tipping the applecart can be unsettling at first, but in skilled hands can lead to amazing results. Alternatively, observing the applecart from a surface level perspective can be deceiving and lead to inaccurate determinations. Careful inspection is needed to expose the in-depth condition of your apples. Once the status of your apples is known, culture boosts, harmony increases, and financial growth are just around the bend.