Hold the Space

Are your people doing what they should?

#1 Leadership Challenge: Someone on the team isn’t performing the way you want.

Missed deadlines, poor quality, finger-pointing and excuses are both frustrating and exhausting.

Here are some common reasons people under deliver on expectations:

  • They don’t know what to do or why.
  • They don’t know how to do it.
  • They think something else is more important.
  • They think they are already doing it.
  • They think their way is better.
  • There are no negative consequences.

Why do attempts to deal with this challenge so often fail?


The question isn’t whether or not we are leaders, but how well we lead.

If you don’t think of yourself as a leader, then you are limited in your thinking. Leading is the way we help others move into action, including us.

Leadership is more about our state of being (our energy) than the things we do.

Ineffective leaders criticize, blame and judge others. Judging is a major energy leak. When we as leaders judge others, we are not doing our job because we are not in sync with the energy that moves us forward.

Effective leaders are great teachers. They love working with people—it’s that simple.

Effective leaders know the difference between managing others to success and teaching others to find success themselves. They project positive energy. They build others up, not tear them down. They take charge in subtle, yet powerful ways. They communicate without being dominate. They are grounded in their position as a teacher, mentor, facilitator, coach, guide and role model. They’re engaged and ask open-ended questions and then maintain the space for others to develop critical thinking skills.

Holding the space for others is not always easy. We have a human tendency to want to fix people, give them advice, or judge them for not being further along the path than we are.

Here’s a question to consider:

How would your approach (to an employee who isn’t performing well) change if you knew that individual was actually sent your way to help you become a better leader?

Don’t worry, I will hold the space while you consider that thought.