Today I had the opportunity to witness something, that not only have I done, but Leaders have done for years on end. Have you ever gone up to a pull to open door and pushed on it? Perhaps you approached a push to open door and pulled on it. Either way, the result was definitely not what you had planned as you came up to that door. The comical thing is when the person does it again as if to say, “If I do it harder this time, it surely will work!” Once I tried the door four times before stopping to see what was wrong and corrected my method!
The reason people do this is because we often move through life in a very assumptive mode. Working on a form of auto-pilot not really paying attention to what we are doing until the “door” does not do as we thought it should. Leaders often fall into the push/pull syndrome when they fail to take time to pay attention to the ever-changing environment around them and to the people who make up their Team. Too many times Leaders are so determined to push when they need to pull, or pull when they needed to push, that they strongly move forward convinced that their way is correct and if they just put a little more effort into it, it surely will work. Then to top off the ill-fated effort, when the mistake is brought to light, they frequently do not accept responsibility for the incorrect move, shift blame to the “door” or worse yet, simply ignore it and their credibility goes into a downward spiral.
Even though the push/pull syndrome happens daily across our great business world, there is a remedy. First, the Leader needs to take time to properly plan their moves and be aware of the people and happenings around them on a daily basis. Review at the beginning of the day the events of the previous day and the challenges of the day ahead. Then plan for success in that days activities. Second, once you have a plan and are prepared for what you know the day will bring, work the plan, but be flexible as the situations may call for last-minute changes. Third and finally, once you work the plan, review either your success or identify your area for growth in the plan. Then make the changes in your future plans when confronting similar issues in the future.
We all make mistakes and often we are slow to recognize when we are working in the wrong methods. If you fall victim to the push/pull syndrome, don’t be too hard on yourself if it is just an occasional happening. The key is to identify it early, change it quickly, plan and then adjust the course as needed for the future.
Until next time, watch out for that door!