Are You a Workplace Diminisher?

In this installment of my blog series on Liz Wiseman’s excellent book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, I will discuss how to determine if your actions are diminishing or multiplying the collective intelligence of your organization.

To recap, multipliers are leaders who amplify the talent and potential of their employees. People who work for multipliers feel empowered to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and generally become their best selves. On the other hand, diminishers do the opposite—they decrease the effectiveness of the people who work under them and foster dissatisfaction. Employees of diminishers often feel micromanaged, unappreciated, and that they have no opportunities or motivation to pursue new challenges or personal growth.  

The first step on the path to becoming a multiplier is determining which of your leadership practices are leading to positive results and which are preventing your team from actualizing their potential. Be honest with yourself here, and know that many former diminishers, after recognizing their negative behaviors, have gone on to become highly successful multipliers.

According to Wiseman, leaders who make a conscious decision to change their ways often pass through three developmental stages. They are:

  • Resonance—This is a period of recognition. While reading this blog post, for example, you might find yourself reflecting on a boss or a coworker who embodied certain characteristics of a multiplier or diminisher. You will likely begin to recognize the multiplier/diminisher dynamic all around you, perhaps even beyond the workplace environment.
  • Realization—During this stage, you will engage in critical appraisal of your own behavior. This requires honest introspection. As I have said in previous posts, none of us is a multiplier all of the time. What is crucial is to determine whether you are stuck in a pattern of diminishing behavior, or if you just have a few bad habits that need some adjustment. This is a very good time to turn to an executive coach for advice and an objective perspective.
  • Resolve—Once you’ve identified the behaviors you want to change, you must make a firm commitment to put in the work required to enact those changes. Depending on the specific habits that are preventing you from becoming a multiplier, you may need to solicit feedback from both employees and mentors, keep a journal of your daily interactions with others, and practice mindfulness and self-awareness.

Becoming a multiplier won’t necessarily be easy, but it will be well worth it in the long run. Multipliers energize those around them and instill a sense of loyalty and commitment in their employees. If you’d like to have a conversation about how you can take the first step to becoming a multiplier, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via my website, LinkedIn and on Twitter.

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