Ever worked for a leader that was so inspiring and gifted,your memories of how he or she took care of the team remain vivid to this day?
Chances are,the reason you still talk about this leader from years ago is due to how he or she made you feel.
Renowned poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou famously quipped,”People will forget what you said,people will forget what you did,but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
3 Questions John Wurzburger Asks To Assess Leadership Skills
Leadership is a matter of the head and the heart–it’s about results and relationships. So,if you are in a leadership role now or aspiring to one,the journey toward leadership greatness never finishes. However, it does have a beginning point.
And sometimes the beginning of the journey requires some tough questions you will need to ask yourself to raise your own bar. Can you answer yes to some — and all — of them?
1. Are you approachable?
Before you assume you are fit to lead,this is an important question to ask. Because if you are going to lead,you want to be approachable. If you are not,it could hurt your leadership in several ways:
- Your employees may be less inclined to share information for fear of disapproval;
- your staff members may be disconnected from you; and
- your staff members will dread taking possession of their job,and will just look to you for answers.
To be approachable means promoting a culture where feelings of devotion and a sense of purpose are felt among staff.
How to become more approachable:
- Keep an open-door coverage;
- share information;
- spark upnon-work related conversations;
- be person and show your sense of humor;
- participate in volunteer or professional development activities with your employees;
- be an advocate for your employees when they face challenges–personal or professional.
2. Can you nurture an environment where people are psychologically safe?
Research on liberty and mental safety by Amy Edmondson of Harvard indicates that when encouraging leaders foster a culture of security — meaning employees are free to speak up,experimentation,give feedback,and ask for help — it contributes to better learning and performance outcomes.
When emotional security is absent,anxiety is present. And anxiety is detrimental to achieving a company’s full potential. We just can’t be engaged or innovative when we’re afraid. Some subscribe to the idea that fear is a motivator,but what fear does is kill hope — the supreme demotivator.
How to create more psychological security:
- Create a bond with employees,and remind them of their value;
- praise them for their functionality with specific examples for positive reinforcement;
- keep your people in the loop regarding upcoming plans and projects,deadlines,and any changes taking place,bad or good;
- give your employees a sense of security by ensuring that their work and status as employees are on solid ground.
When tough problems arise,address the issue straight away by meeting with the staff in person (if physically possible),or send an email to set people’s expectations. Always pull on the side of hope,strength,perseverance,and compassion. Your job as a leader is to do whatever is required to fulfill the needs of your people–demonstrating that you appreciate them not just as workers but also as human beings. Lastly,don’t leave anyone hanging by heading radio silent.
3. Are you leading with integrity?
Let me give it to you straight: Your employees are watching your every move for a leader. If you are acting unprofessional or dishonest,they know. And if they know,you’ve already lost the battle for respect.
Psychologist and best-selling writer Henry Cloud wrote the book on why ethics matters and sheds great light on this issue. In Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality,Cloud says,”Who a person is will ultimately determine if their brains,talents,competencies,energy,effort,deal-making abilities,and opportunities will succeed.”
So,who are you,really? As you learn and adapt to all elements of your integrity,you’ll eventually arrive at a point where it becomes easier to develop trust,repair a relationship following a conflict,listen with empathy,and provide critical feedback to build up someone.
How to lead with more ethics:
- Lead by example,be reliable,be plausible,talk with truth;
- raise the bar and hold yourself accountable to a higher standard — one where your followers will want to emulate;
- follow through on your promises or commitments;
- do the perfect thing;
- be true to yourself rather than be someone you are not. By being who you are,you do not just trust the judgments and decisions which you make,but others trust you as well. They will respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.