Up and coming managers and leaders need to see the gaps in their approach. In the old saying, what got them where they are today won’t get them where they need to be tomorrow. In fact, they might even need to unlearn some things that have seemed central to their way of working.
We may well need to help them see where they are falling short; where their current approach isn’t going to be enough. No doubt we can prove to them that they don’t have some of the knowledge or skill they need.
But some care is required…
If we demonstrate a learning need without moving quickly on to show a feasible way forward — the beginnings of a solution — the person is liable to reject the need to learn rather than accept it and act on it.
We all tend to avoid the discomfort of accepting a shortfall if we can’t see how we might be able to close the gap. Our egos won’t let us go there. That’s just part of being human. We need to feel safe.
So, yes, show people what they are missing, but show them how to close the gap too.
Make sure you have a good idea how that might happen before you start — if you want to avoid resistance.
Gaps pull us forward but only if we believe we can cross them. Otherwise we may pretend they aren’t there.