There are those who take initiative and proactively contribute.
Those who look for ways to grow, serve and do more than simply what is required.
They don’t need someone to hold their hand before they attempt to take a step.
They’re motivated, eager to learn, and seeking.
And then there are others.
Those who want to be hand fed and leash led.
They expect everyone else to do for them, to “feed” them when they are perfectly capable of finding food on their own.
They’re okay with doing the bare minimum just to get by.
They’re afraid to take a risk or to make a decision unless someone else helps to make it for them.
They’re more focused on what they can get instead of what they can give.
And, especially in an organizational setting, they’ll be the first to complain and try to drag everyone else down (even if they aren’t doing so intentionally).
It isn’t to simply state the obvious between the two but to encourage you to help those who are being hand fed and leash led to break free.
Here are 3 ways:
1. Address Them: Most of the time the hand feeders don’t even realize they are the way they are. Sometimes they need someone who cares to spend some time talking to them and helping to show them their ways. Notice that I didn’t say “Confront Them.” It’s not about confrontation here, it’s about caring enough to want more for them… enough so to take an active role in encouraging and helping them grow.
2. Force Them: If you are a leader or a manger who has an employee or team member who is not making decisions or is performing at a bare minimum level, force them out of their comfort zone. Just like muscles must be stretched to grow, so do they. Sometimes we bow to their tendencies and do it for them but that won’t help them or you in the long run. Give them opportunities, don’t make all the decisions for them, let them have a win even if it’s not exactly what you would have done. The more confidence they build, the more they’ll contribute.
3. Release Them: The sad reality is that some people just won’t change despite our best efforts to help them improve. If this is the case with someone in your organization, it may best to let them go so that you can open up space for someone who will.