Are you stuffed with food and sinking into your armchair deeply relaxed? That’s the cosy picture we often paint of Christmas but often it’s a frantic period that only stops when you all sit down for the meal!
Do you think coming up to New Year of how you could improve your Leadership skills and what resolutions you could put into place? Most people tend to think of eating better, losing weight, learning a language but their leadership approach is rarely considered.
Five points to consider:
- The first one revolves around time and people. We are often so busy we carry on doing other tasks while talking to our colleagues and employees. What sort of message does that give? It tells them they are not important and as the listener, you don’t really absorb what they are telling you. Always stop and give the person your full undivided attention and if you receive an interruption while with the person either say you will ring back or reschedule the time with the person.
2. Never get complacent about your communication to team members or others. Really think about what information you are sharing, how you are sharing it and what your message is really telling them. Use stories and paint the picture to create engagement and take people with you. Use a variety of mediums to share the message! Share good reasons for any changes and link it back to the people. Don’t forget your tone and body language as well. A monotone really does turn people off and stops them absorbing the message. The same if you are hunched up and look defensive in your body language. Show excitement and bring the people into the conversations. Ask them what they think and take their questions. If you can’t answer them take them away and make sure you go back with the answers. People who don’t go back with a response, wind me up!
3. Take time out to think strategically as that can make a huge difference to the business. We can get immersed in tasks and forget to look ahead and think about what the team and business need moving forward. We all need the time out to be creative and often ideas come when we are relaxing. Remember you need a work: life balance.
4. Consider your approach to employees. Do you show care, concern and compassion? From personal experience, it creates teams that trust you and want to go the extra mile for you. This builds the interaction with you and in doing this creates effective working relationships. Think about how you would like to be treated and do the same for them. It also creates a working environment where people want to be and builds teams that support each other. Have you ever been in a team where you are struggling and others haven’t supported you? It’s very lonely and if you all work together performance doesn’t falter. What I would say though, as a Leader if the same people are always needing support then you need to have a conversation and work out what the real issue is and deal with it.
5.Handle change better – first consider your approach to any change. Could you handle change for yourself better? Are you resistant or do you open your arms to change? It took me years to realise I could be defensive when a change to me was unclear. It took a training session and a questionnaire to make me see how I reacted and start working on improving myself. I’m still developing but I do think I have changed for the better and that’s a right step in the right direction. Leading a change shows your capability and you learn so much from it. It teaches points like communication, planning, coping with an unpredictable situation and so on. All great skills for a Leader to have.
Let me know how you get on with your New Year resolutions or any other tips to share for the coming year?
Find some time to think about your leadership resolutions and either write them down or share with a friend or colleague to keep you accountable and check your progress across the year.
Enjoy your New Year. May it be a happy, healthy and successful one.