Dr. Phil McGraw is a very practical, no-nonsense clinical psychologist, made famous by Oprah. His ability to cut to the real issue has given him a reputation and a daily TV show.
One of his techniques is to direct the guests of his show to determine whether their behavior is getting them what they want. He asks, “So, how’s that working for you?” What people discover is that what they want isn’t happening because of the way they go about getting it.
In my training and coaching, I find that many of my clients struggle to achieve what they want because of the way they are going about it. It’s not working for them. Rather than redouble their efforts, we spend some time examining those efforts. More than likely, their actions are within their comfort zone, and doing more of them won’t achieve what they really want.
If it works best for you to avoid the risk of conflict, you will not give people honest, timely and clear feedback or hold them accountable. So they underperform.
If it works best for you to be in control of everything, you will avoid truly delegating and letting go, allowing others to step up, experience and learn. So they won’t develop.
If it works best for you to insist on your way, others will have to conform to your preferences and your schedule, with no consideration or care about the negative impact on them. So they aren’t inspired to go the extra mile for you.
The point is this: it’s only working for you if you are getting what you want. Otherwise, you have to do something different. Whatever it is, it will require you to step into unfamiliar territory. Use Dr. Phil’s question to determine what you should do next.