Top 5 Leadership Behaviours

How you behave evidences not only your commitment to good leadership, but also the standards of behaviour you expect from others.
If a leader goes around barking orders, undermining people, and making negative comments about others, then this will be seen as acceptable behaviour. Before you know it, everyone is doing it!
You can say all the right things but if your words are not backed up by your behaviour then it will not come across as sincere or believable.
There are 5 top leadership behaviours that all great leaders develop.

1. Compassion

Everyone talks about the need for empathy, and it is a critical attribute. Compassion is what will take your leadership up to the next level.
Compassion will ensure that you are in touch with your team. Having compassion means that you see situations through another person’s perspective.
Compassionate leaders take the time to consider and understand people’s stresses so they are better equipped to take the right action.
Compassion gives great leaders the ability to proactively help another person.
Having empathy is one thing, but being compassionate enough to do the right thing is a whole new level.
This means showing genuine interest in your colleagues’ success and well-being. It being understanding, and although not necessarily agreeing, being prepared to find compromises.

How to practice compassion.

  • Be self aware. Understanding your own mental well being and looking after yourself emotionally, is the first step to improving your ability to be compassionate towards others
  • Find out about your team members’ emotional well-being: Are they stressed? Feeling overworked? Is there something going on at home that will impact on them at work?
  • Be transparent and honest with people. This isn’t about sharing negativity but being open when when things are not going well
  • Learn to forgive. Holding on to grudges and going over old ground is bad for your mental health and for everyone else.

Your team will learn that you expect compassion within the team, and between colleagues.

2. Adaptability

Things change – all the time. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, your role as the leader is to support your team through change. The more adaptable you are the easy you, and everyone around you, will find the change.
Adaptable leaders establish a culture of learning and trying new things. They enjoy pushing themselves and their teams forward, and will accept that sometimes things go wrong, but that’s OK. It’s OK because an adaptable leader will see this as a learning opportunity.

How to improve your adaptability

  • Be prepared to try new things and new methods – even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • Don’t always rely on the tried and trusted ways.
  • Challenge yourself each week in some small way.

Your team will see that you really mean it when you say there is a ‘no blame’ culture’ and will feel more confident to try new things.

3. Coaching

People develop well when their manager is actively involved in the process. Taking a coaching approach creates a partnership between the leader and the team member. They have a shared vision for what needs to happen and are equally invested in seeing that through.
Taking an active role in another’s development creates trust.

How to be coaching leader.

  • Focus on praising team members application of processes and how they handled specific situations.
  • If a mistake is made give feedback that enables your colleague to grow and fix the problem.
  • Delegate in a way that gives people an opportunity to develop..
  • Work with an individual to construct a developmental plan for them.
  • Always recognise effort.
  • Get to know team members as individuals. Understand what works best for them and how they learn.

Your team will see that personal development and taking responsibility for that is important.

4. Listening

Often we listen only in order that we can speak. We hear only just enough so that we can start formulating our response.
LISTEN is an anagram of SILENT.
And, to be an affective listener you need to be silent. You also have to pay attention. That means listening with all of your body.

How to be a better listener.

  • Stay silent and let the other person get out whatever they need to say.
  • Pay attention not just to WHAT is being said but also what isn’t. Pick up on hesitations, phrasing, half finished sentences. Aim to hear the meaning behind the words.
  • WATCH what people are saying. How is the body language supporting (or not) the words being used.
  • Think about how what is being said makes you FEEL. What is your gut instinct telling you? Does it raise questions that need to be answered to help you understand? What is your heart telling you? Show compassion and don’t judge.

Being a better listener will tell your team that you value them and what they have to say. They will feel more confident in their communications with you. They will also know that you expect them to offer the same level of listening to you, their colleagues and indeed their customers if they deal with them.

5. Inspiring

Being the leader puts you in the unique position of being able to motivate and inspire people. Whether it be to do their best, to develop thier skills, to pursue goals that they might otherwise feel out of thier league.
It is one of the most rewarding aspects of being the leader. You can make a huge impact on the future of others by believing in them and giving them the opportunities to grow. to do their best work and pursue projects and goals that enable them to grow.
Great leaders aim to create an inspirational work environment. They create a sense of community and belonging within there teams. They celebrate and reward achievement. They tend to have a lot of positive energy and share that with others for the benefit of all.

How to be an inspiring leader.

  • Set stretching goals. If you aim high, even if you don’t meet all the goals, you will achieve far more.
  • Have a clear vision. If you don’t know where you are going, how can anyone know whether it is worth following you?
  • Collaborate as much as possible with others. Share your knowledge and evidence that you are keen to take on others ideas.
  • Take the initiative and champion change. Be the one who volunteers to trial new working methods, new systems or procedures. If nothing else this gives you the opportunity to shape organisational change.

Inspiring leaders show their team that standing still is not an option, but that moving forward is full of opportunity. The team gains a strong sense of accountability.

If you want to develop your leadership skills, become a more effective leader and develop both personally and professionally I offer training programs that are designed to meet your specific needs. 30 plus years of experience in senior management and leadership roles mean that I understand the challenges you face.
Get in touch today to arrange a FREE consultation. No commitment and no hard sell. I will honestly discuss with you how I could help you to meet your aims.

How to cope with change

Do you struggle with change? If so this will make it difficult for you to lead your team through change.

I totally get you!

I have always been nervous of change. I naturally like order and find change hard to cope with because some disorder is almost inevitable.

In the past my perfectionist tendencies meant that I had to get everything back in order very quickly. This put me under lots of self generated pressure.

Plus, let’s be honest, there was a nagging voice telling me I might not be able to cope!

Once I started my leadership career I realised that no matter how I felt about change I needed to overcome that. It was my mission NOT to pass my concerns on to my team.

Over the years I have had many conversations with team members who have been gobsmacked to find out that I had been just as nervous as them. I worked hard not to show it!

As the leader your job is to help others through change. To do that you need to create a positive environment for the team.

Change is hard. It puts us in unfamiliar situations. And unfamiliar situations feel uncomfortable even when they are positive.

Very few people can honestly say that change doesn’t concern them. Often when you hear someone say this, it’s because they know that the change won’t affect them!

Here are a few suggestions for helping you, and anyone in your team to manage the fear of change.

Expect it to feel tough!
Expecting change to feel hard helps because it eases our discomfort. It allows us to assign responsibility for our discomfort to the right cause.

We can blame at least some of it on the fact that something is changing, rather than on the substance of what is changing.

This will result in questioning yourselves less. This in turn enables us to forge ahead with more courage.

Plus, when the going gets tough, we aren’t surprised. We can say to ourselves, “this is exactly what I was expecting. This is normal. I will feel better when this new situation feels more familiar. It’s just a matter of time.” And again, we feel better.

Prepare for change when possible.
If the change is planned taking some time to prepare really does help.
Think about what you can do to make it feel easier. Write down what the worst case scenarios could be and what you would do if they came to pass. Decide on your personal strategy for when things get tough.

Accept that change is happening.
The sooner we accept that change is happening, the sooner we can feel better about it. We have a tendency to hold on to the past because it is familiar. And familiar feels safe.

As long as we keep running back to the safety of the past (which often no longer exists except in our minds), we cannot move forward.
Gently accepting the fact that change is happening is helpful. Demanding that we accept it is not.

Gently accepting means facing our fears, dealing with them appropriately, and taking the time we need to deal with them. The sooner we get to a place of acceptance, the sooner we can take the next steps. The sooner we can move forward. Fighting change is tiring and pointless – put that energy into working out how to make the change feel good.

Cut yourself some slack.
When we’re going through change things go wrong. You will be coping with added pressure in managing the actual change as well as coping with the emotions of your team.

Be kind to yourself – you are a human being and not a machine. Things go wrong and you deal with them. Beating yourself up about it will only make you feel worse, and again will bring no tangible benefit.

Recognising that change is hard and making allowances for it helps. By cutting ourselves some slack, being gentle with ourselves, and giving ourselves a free pass once in a while, we are better able to make the transition.

Keep the familiar.
Change can feel jarring and can throw us off centre. The familiar feels comforting, and can re-centre us when we thrown off. So keeping what is familiar in the midst of change, sticking to a familiar routine, seeing familiar people, going to familiar places, really does helps.

Get help.
Some change is especially hard. The important thing is to get through them in the healthiest way possible. Sometimes, that means getting help from others – family, friends, colleagues, whoever. There is nothing wrong with getting help. It is the responsible and mature thing to do. Suffering silently and indefinitely when other options are available is pointless.

Find a new normal.
The familiar feels good because it feels normal. Change feels hard because it does not feel normal. As long as we keep trying to find the old normal in our changed situation, we will continue to struggle. Because the old normal no longer exists.

But a new normal is possible. When we establish new patterns for ourselves, those new patterns start to feel familiar. They become our new normal. And that new normal feels good too.

If you need help managing change, contact me to discuss how I can help you to overcome that challenge and many others. I have the experience to support you no matter what environment you work in.