Check Yourself – Part 3

The last few weeks we talked about having a check yourself mentality and the need to gauge your effectiveness, you can read about that here. We also talked about ways to gauge your effectiveness, you can read about that here. Today I’d like to talk about another way to gauge this. This is geared more towards leaders as opposed to the 1/3 rule that is geared towards entire groups. You need to gauge how your leaders are doing personally and in their task since they set the pace for everyone else.

We’ve just started doing this with our leaders, and after the first few weeks we’re already seeing where this has pushed us into harder conversations about effectiveness that have turned out to be really good us. Those we lead have also found these conversations helpful.

The metric is the 3F metric. The question is how are you doing in the 3F’s. This is a Faithfulness, Fruitfulness, and Fulfillment. I’ll define them.

  1. Faithfulness – How are you doing with the gifts and talents that God has given you?
  2. Fruitfulness – Are you effective at those things?
  3. Fulfillment – How are you doing at experiencing joy in your roles?

I find that often people can feel that they are, or aren’t, doing well but don’t know how to put that into words to tell other people. Part of our job as leaders is to help people develop language to tell how they’re doing.

Now I’ll explain each of these a bit further.

Faithfulness – If a person isn’t operating in the natural gifts and passions that God has given them, I find that they aren’t going to be happy. They may even be effective there, but over time they’ll find themselves less effective than they would be otherwise. Now at the same time, if a person doesn’t know what their natural gifts or talents are (read: as a general rule this is anyone in their 20’s). The goal for those who are younger is to help them figure out their natural gifts and talents and as people mature, to make certain that they are being placed in the right roles based on that information.

Fruitfulness – If a person isn’t effective at their goals, then they will tend to feel disappointed. I think most people know when they aren’t, but don’t want to admit it. Not because of failure, because of rejection. If you push the conversation forward in a way where the person realizes that you want the to succeed and care about them, their threshold for this type of conversation will increase and they’ll become more comfortable admitting the places where they are lacking.
To state this more clearly: a grace filled organization makes people comfortable being honest about who they are.

Fulfillment – At this point I would argue for Joy being the most important part of any job or task. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing on some level, then why are you doing it? Life is too short to waste time on something you don’t enjoy on a significant level. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t ever times where a task is hard and there are difficult parts in any job. However, the moment that the difficult overshadows the joy on a consistent basis for a longer period of time, you’re on the road to burnout. I’ve found over and over that a lack of joy will inevitably lead to the levels of Faithfulness and Fruitfulness taking a hit.

So now you know the measures, the question is how to gauge them. I’m not sure the best way, but I know how I’m doing it. My wife and I are taking time to sit down with each of our leaders and have a conversation. Yes, this takes time and effort. But I also find that it’s the best way to develop clarity about where someone is at regarding these three metrics. (It’s usually somewhere in the middle of where you think they are, and where they think they are.) So the best way for everyone to be on the same page is to have a conversation. There are things that you can pull out of a face to face conversation that would never be possible in email form or via phone. Also, keep in mind that, unless someone is perfect and blowing their job out of the water, there will probably be hard parts about that talk and face to face is the best way to do those so that you can clearly communicate in a way that the person knows and feels that your intentions are for their success.
To say this a different way: Communicating that your intentions are to support someone while saying hard things is best done face to face.
At the end of the conversation we’re setting up some action plans for each of us that we believe will help the levels of each of these areas increase. Part of the intention here is to not waste the time of those we lead and if you walk out of a meeting without any action steps you’ve probably wasted time. I also find that most people aren’t great at setting goals on their own. Most of us need someone to push us there. In setting goals at the end of a conversation like this, I think there are three main steps.

  1. Throw-in
    1. Everyone gets to say what they think the steps and the outcome should be.
  2. Buy-in
    1. If you disagree, then work it out. Whoever you’re talking to these are their goals for their life and you both need to be on the same page enough that everyone has buy-in. (not consensus, buy in)
  3. Own-in
    1. As I said before, whoever you’re talking to about those steps and the outcomes, those are their goals for their life. They need to agree to own them, otherwise accountability will be difficult when you’re assessing how things are going 3, 6, or 12 months down the road.

I’ve found that as I’ve worked at having a more grace filled environment in my immediate team, I’ve had more face to face conversations by necessity. Next week we’ll go back to talking about the group as a whole, not just the leaders, and other ways to measure how you’re doing as a whole. For now, I want to hear your thoughts. What do you think about this? Does it make sense? Are you leading in a place where you don’t feel like you’re getting this type of feedback? Are you working in a place where you do? Are there other ideas about better ways to work this out?

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