Ever worked for a leader that was so inspirational and gifted,your memories of how he or she took care of the team remain vivid to this day?
Chances are,the reason you still talk about this leader from years past is due to how he or she made you feel.
Famous 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 results and relationships. Therefore,if you are in a leadership role now or aspiring to one,the journey toward leadership greatness never ends. However, it does have a beginning point.
And sometimes the start of the journey requires some tough questions you will 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 lead,this is an important question to ask. Because if you are going to lead,you want 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 team members could be disconnected from you; and
- your team members will dread taking ownership of the work,and will only look to you for answers.
To be approachable means promoting a culture where feelings of loyalty and a sense of purpose are felt among employees.
How to be more approachable:
- Keep an open-door coverage;
- share information;
- spark non-work relevant discussions;
- be person and show your sense of humor;
- participate in volunteer or professional development activities with your employees;
- be an advocate for your employees when they face challenges–private or professional.
2. Do you foster an environment where people are emotionally secure?
Research on freedom and mental safety by Amy Edmondson of Harvard indicates that when encouraging leaders foster a culture of safety — meaning employees are free to speak up,experimentation,give opinions,and request help — it contributes to better learning and performance outcomes.
When emotional safety is absent,fear is present. And fear is detrimental to achieving a company’s full potential. We just can not be engaged or innovative when we’re afraid. Some subscribe to the idea that fear is a motivator,but what fear does is kill trust — the ultimate demotivator.
How to create more psychological safety:
- Create a bond with employees,and remind them of the value;
- praise them for their functionality with specific examples for positive reinforcement;
- keep your people in the loop regarding forthcoming 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 employees are on solid ground.
When tough problems arise,address the issue straight away by meeting with the team 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 is required to meet the needs of your people–demonstrating that you value them not only as workers but also as human beings. Finally,do not leave anyone hanging by going radio silent.
3. Are you leading with integrity?
|John Wurzburger leadership|
Let me 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 have already lost the battle for respect.
Psychologist and best-selling author Henry Cloud wrote the book on why ethics matters and sheds great light on this issue. In Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality,Cloud says,”Who a man 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 elements of your integrity,you’ll eventually arrive at a point where it becomes easier to develop trust,repair a relationship following a battle,listen with empathy,and provide critical feedback to build up someone.
How to lead with more ethics:
- Lead by example,be reliable,be plausible,speak with truth;
- raise the bar and hold yourself accountable to a higher standard — one in which 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 as well. They will respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.