Six Actions to Strengthen Your Leadership Effectiveness
1. Listen More
Effective leadership starts and ends with your communication skills. And effective communication starts with great listening.
Listening offers the double-bonus of showing respect and providing you with critical insights from the people you engage with daily. Strengthening as a listener is hard work demanding deliberate effort every day on your part.
2. Empathize More
Seeing the world through their eyes may be the most crucial leadership superpower of all. People respond positively to others when they “feel-felt.”
Your challenge is to find a way to jump out of your shoes into theirs. Look around, strive to understand the issues, challenges, goals, and obstacles from their point-of-view, and then offer support. Once you see it from their perspective, you can guide and coach with precision.
3. Trust More
We’re stingy with our trust, and in many cases, that’s a problem. Performance happens at the speed of trust, so instead of requiring individuals to walk on hot coals for months to earn your trust, try giving it first and then watch the response. Good people value your trust and will move mountains to live up to it.
4. Talk More About Career Development
Looking out for the growth and advancement of those you lead is the ultimate display of respect and a powerful trust builder. Too often, we reduce career development discussions to the timetable of performance evaluations, and that’s a mistake. Instead, make career development a regular part of the dialog and treat it as an agile project. While they own their development, you own bringing it front and center and enabling the right opportunities.
5. Think Deeply More
Sadly, our days are structured to defeat the opportunity to think deeply about your business, customers, markets, and leadership. Much like the physical and cognitive benefits of sleep, investing regular time in thinking deeply provides you opportunities to think differently about your situations and actions. The context and concepts that emerge from regular reflection serve as rocket fuel for innovation and growth.
6. Develop Yourself More
Too many of us underinvest in the most important person in our professional lives, ourselves. You own your development, not your firm or boss. Investing time and money in your growth and development is the only sure-thing investment of your life.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Instead of annual resolutions, why not resolve to succeed at each encounter every day? Incorporate the above “do more” items into your daily checklist for success, and you’ll be amazed at the positive progress you’ll make.