I have been thinking a lot about leadership lately, and the impact a leader can have on you as an individual and the broader team. How much keener are you to go to work and put in extra effort when you are working for someone who understands you as a person, has your back, allows you to take risks and provides guidance and support when necessary? All while holding you to account with a growth and collaborative mindset?
Sounds like a big ask doesn't it?! And in today's complex environment with leaders being pulled inevitably in many directions, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for these leadership skills to be found.
But what can we do about this? How can we develop leaders to inspire commitment and build collaborative relationships? I believe the foundation for all relationships begin with trust. Without trust people will not bring their whole selves to work and will become withdrawn and disengaged, ultimately leading to a decline in productivity.
So what can be done to help grow trust in an organisation? Trust can be developed through leaders making realistic commitments and following through on promises. We need our leaders to be open to hearing what their people have to say, without fear of retribution.
The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) use a three prong model: Trust of Capability; Trust of Character and Trust of Communication. Underpinning each of these dimensions are simple and practical behaviours which if implemented will help develop trust. For example, acknowledging people's abilities and skills, involving others and seeking input, admitting mistakes and delegating appropriately are fairly simple interventions that help people feel confident to contribute their best. When leaders and team members understand some of the inputs of trust they can make choices about their behaviours to either engage or disengage those around them.
Another element of being an effective leader is self-awareness. When a leader has the ability to understand their impact on others they are more likely to develop the trusting relationships required to create effective teams through open and honest communications.
Developing a coaching culture is another powerful way to improve leadership. This is definitely not a quick fix and requires sustained focus over a period of time. Senior leaders also need to be completely on board as it is to this group that team members look to model their behaviours. It is therefore imperative that the senior leadership group believes in its importance and practise it visibly and consistently.
There are many types of coaching interventions and these will be the subject of another blog. Briefly though they can range from a two minute conversation about a piece of work, to conversations around improving performance or career management. They can also include mentoring conversations and professional and team coaching.
With all of this in mind, I am about to embark on an exciting journey... learning about the neuroscience of conversations and what activates interaction dynamics that are healthy - and those that are not healthy. You can have a look at this work at www.creatingwe.com.
If you would like to discuss how Ritchie Human Resources can work with your leaders to create an environment where your people can thrive, contact us here or through the form below.
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