What do great leaders do? Take positive steps forward

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My last blog was intended to cause a PAUSE – a time for you to reflect and decide what to stop doing as a leader.

Whilst I know it struck a chord with many, it’s easy to advise people what to stop doing without really offering an alternative, and it also feels like a criticism. So this week – here’s some positive encouragement. I am going to offer 4 simple things to focus on when you get back to work.

 

1. BUILD TRUST

“She cared for the whole team like her own family. We always felt secure.”

This is the pillar on which you build loyalty. But being someone who trusts others and someone who others trust is not the same. Don’t expect that others will trust you by default – you need to consistently exhibit and maintain the right behaviours, such as:

• Clear and unambiguous communication
• Confronting reality
• Clarifying expectations
• Holding yourself (and others) accountable

The list is not exhaustive, but if you make trust your number one priority then make sure you test your behaviours against it.

 

2. RESPECT HUMANITY

“My boss values me as a human being.”

Create the environment at work where everyone is treated with decency and respect, irrespective of their position. Step back and observe the workplace. Does everyone have a role and a purpose that makes them proud? Do they all feel dignified? Are there silos that need to be broken? Create the right environment for everyone to have a voice, and feel they will be listened to. Watch the collaboration and productivity increase.

 

3. LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS

“He communicated openly, and let us do the same. We were real with each other.”

One sure way to stop others talking is to dominate the meeting room. Be curious, not furious as a leader. Ask lots of questions and become part of the conversation. If you don’t like what you hear – ask more questions, don’t try and find a solution to the issue without taking it away and reflecting. You don’t learn anything while you are talking – so say less and you will find that others will be much more willing to offer advice and take ownership of problems.

 

4. ASK FOR FEEDBACK

“She was interested in our ideas and input. We had a voice.”

When was the last time you carried out an objective assessment of your leadership style?

Imagine the possibilities of leveraging such behaviours to get the best out of your teams. You can make the change now if you really want to. It all starts with a PAUSE.