Being a great problem solver is something that can help further your career. So can being a great debater or someone who knows how to pick apart someone else’s argument. But while these skills are valuable, it is also important to know when to use them and when not to. Knowing when to pick your battles is a key lesson for any professional. It can be tempting to pick apart the work of every team member or to fight over the little details. But in the long run, this can cause divisiveness and bring down team morale. Here’s why you should learn when to pick your battles.
A Good Leader and Team Member Knows When To Criticize
A good leader knows that limiting negative interactions with team members is critical to getting buy-in. You want to create a positive atmosphere for your team where your team members feel they can thrive and be themselves. When you are constantly battling, belittling, or criticizing your team, things can get ugly fast and productivity can fall off a cliff. You want to make sure that you know when to criticize and when to lay off.
Fighting Over Every Detail Can Be Counterproductive
Being a good leader or even a good team player means understanding when to stop micromanaging. Fighting over every single detail can be extremely counterproductive. You have to learn how to give your team the freedom to be themselves while still executing your vision for a project. When you fight about the details constantly, your team loses its motivation and drive to produce at a high level. That is why you need to bring in the right people early on, trust them, and let them do what they are best at. Which brings us to our next point.
Learn To Trust Your Team
This one can be extremely difficult. It isn’t easy to let go and trust others. Especially when we’ve made it this far by being hands on or taking an active role in every project that we work on. But the reality is that your team is going to work best when they have some autonomy and you aren’t looking over their shoulder every five minutes. You need to make sure that you are comfortable trusting your team members to put in the work and get things done right.
Knowing when to pick your battles is a valuable skill. There will be times when you’ll have to criticize the work of your team or pick apart the argument of someone in your organization. It is a skill that can be powerful. But using it too much can create negativity and make it harder to work with your team members. You should pick your battles selectively, and make sure that criticism is targeted instead of broad. A good leader understands the right time to use criticism and when not to.