Did You Just Call Me the “D” Word?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I’m sorry, but there is no way I am or have ever been a diminisher!  I value people far too much to ever fall into that trap. My goal is to enlarge people and help them grow so they can reach their full potential. I am what Liz Wiseman calls a multiplier.          

Well, at least that’s the way I thought I was coming across.

Last year at Live2Lead, Liz talked about accidental diminishers, and I saw an entirely new version of me. Yes, I need to admit that I was an accidental diminisher.

Perhaps the best place to start is to give you a simple definition: A multiplier is a person who works to bring out the best in others. They have high expectations for their team members and act as the encourager. Multipliers challenge their team to achieve greater results and practice higher levels of thinking. Conversely, a diminisher is someone who shuts people down and ends up holding them back. The great danger is when we aren’t even aware that we have become a diminisher. Here are three of the six accidental diminisher behaviors that Liz Wiseman identified in her research:

  • Idea Guy – You are the person that runs in with new ideas all the time. You read an article, hear a podcast, and you are ready to share it with everyone. The problem is, you are actually shutting people down rather than inspiring them. They start to wait for your ideas rather than think for themselves. To counteract this tendency, just ask more questions. It’s that simple, just ask great questions.
  • Always On – You are the Energizer You have answers for everyone’s questions. In most situations, you speak too soon and say too much. Your energy level is so high that you dominate the office. To counteract this tendency, carry around four poker chips in your pocket. Each time you speak move a chip to the other pocket. When the chips are gone, you’re done for the day. Play your chips carefully.
  • Rescuer – You wait for someone to need your help and then you rush in because you can solve the problem. In reality, you are the problem and the team isn’t thinking anymore, and they have become conditioned to let you solve everything. Rather than solve the problems, give them back to the team with some tools to help solve them.

I never knew that I was an accidental diminisher. It goes against everything that I believe in, and yet I fell into several of the traps. By learning these behaviors, you too can engage the proper tools and move from a diminisher to a multiplier.

Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we explore all six of the accidental diminisher behaviors and the tools to counter act them.