Our world is changing, and what we need from our leaders has changed with it. Flexibility, agility and knowledge – sure they play a part, but to get the most out of your leaders we need to encourage and support them to bring their A game to the role too.
What does that mean?
Well, it’s about creating a safe space for your leaders to be themselves, to use their experiences, history and personalities to bring their best to each and every part of their role. By allowing them to be themselves they can draw out the best in those around them too and build on the team’s success.
How do we get there?
Well, my toolkit doesn’t include any magic wands and I can’t promise any overnight successes on this one – It will take time. You see most leaders or people managers don’t get it right first time, not intentionally but at times, focus can go on other things – we’ve all been there when we feel we’re just about getting through the day to day rather than working on the business, on the strategy, on the development of the people and the business.
In recent surveys less than 1/3 of employees feel heard, or included by their leader.
Once an employee feels undervalued or overlooked, they can become disengaged and start looking for other roles. Attrition can lead to losing a great wealth of experience and diversity, so how do we encourage leaders to be more attentive and inclusive?
Let’s take it back to basics, knowledge is power right. So, lets get to know each other. That’s right, spending time getting to know team members is THE most important skills you can have as a leader. It gives an insight to their history, what they are interested in, what’s important to them, what motivates them. Understand what they can bring to the team and how you can best support them to show up.
Not everything is learned from textbooks or policy, allowing leaders to be themselves will help you understand what talent, knowledge and experience you have already in your team – also where gaps may be.
There’s nothing better than leading by example to create the environment for EVERYONE to thrive, having leaders to set the tone for their teams, well that is the goal. Showing empathy, recognising and praising great work and encouraging ALL to participate in the best way they can, are just some of the way that can contribute
Positively reinforcing a job well done, well who doesn’t like that?
I personally also think that leaders should have their coaches and mentors too, because it’s so easy to go off track and to get absorbed in the day to day and sometimes you need that person to keep you on track – my coaches and mentors are a God send!
It’s never too late to start working on these behaviours and we all have something new to learn, me included. Challenging ourselves on the daily is a great way to develop our inclusivity skills, times are changing and fast and it’s time we all did our bit to improve.