Ever worked for a leader who was so inspiring and gifted,your memories of how he or she took care of the group remain vivid to this day?
Chances are,the reason you still talk about this pioneer 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 mind and the heart–it is about relationships and results. So,if you are in a leadership role now or aspiring to one,the journey toward leadership greatness never ends. However, it does have a starting point.
And sometimes the beginning of the journey requires some tough questions you 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 direct,this is an important question to ask. Because if you are going to lead,you need to be approachable. If you are not,it could hurt your leadership in several ways:
- Your employees may be less willing to share information for fear of disapproval;
- your staff members may be disconnected from you; and
- your staff members will fear taking possession of their work,and will only 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 relevant discussions;
- be human and show your sense of humor;
- take part in volunteer or professional development activities with your workers;
- be an advocate for your employees when they face challenges–private or professional.
2. Do you foster an environment where people are psychologically safe?
Research on liberty and mental security by Amy Edmondson of Harvard indicates that when encouraging leaders foster a culture of security — meaning workers are free to speak up,experimentation,give opinions,and ask for help — it leads to better understanding and performance results.
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 workers,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 happening,bad or good;
- give your employees a sense of security by ensuring that their work and status as workers 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 it takes to fulfill the needs of your people–demonstrating that you appreciate them not only as workers but also as human beings. Lastly,do not leave anyone hanging by heading radio silent.
3. Are you leading with integrity?
Allow me to give it to you straight: Your employees are watching your every move as a leader. If you are acting unprofessional or dishonest,they understand. And if they know,you’ve already lost the battle for respect.
Psychologist and best-selling writer Henry Cloud wrote the book on why integrity matters and sheds great light on the topic. 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 triumph.”
So,who are you,really? As you learn and adapt to all aspects of your integrity,you will eventually arrive at a point where it becomes easier to develop trust,repair a relationship following a battle,listen with compassion,and give critical feedback to build someone up.
How to lead with more integrity:
- Lead by example,be reliable,be credible,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 right thing;
- be true to yourself rather than be someone you aren’t. By being who you reallyare,you not only trust the judgments and decisions that you make,but others trust you too. They’ll respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.