Strong leaders are self-aware, self regulated and able to build strong workplace relationships with their teams and stakeholders.
Strong leaders are not dictators. Nor are they distant, unapproachable or untrusting. In order to achieve success, organisations need their leaders and teams to work together – to be truly collaborative to find solutions in challenging times. We know that people own what they help to create, and in doing this together they form unassailable bonds that get them through the toughest of situations.
The Zoom/Teams era hasn’t helped. It’s really hard to gauge the reactions of participants on a video call. Determination to get a point across can lead to ‘extra’ behaviour to make impact when under the heightened pressure of a pandemic. Over using dimensions such as assertiveness and even self-esteem to such an extent that they become an alienating rather than unifying force. This isn’t leadership from a position of strength, it’s symptomatic of someone who is struggling, possibly facing burnout.
But how can senior leaders find out what is really going on? And, what if it is the senior leaders who are setting a poor example of leadership?
It can be hard to face unpleasant truths about our own behaviour. Yet focusing on yourself is proven to have amazing growth benefits, imagine what it would be like for everyone to do that. Left unchecked, poor leadership is hugely damaging. Wide-scale anonymous surveys will tell you much about the state of your organisation, especially at this stage of the pandemic. Ask your people about their supervisors, managers and leaders. Look at using a 360 leadership review and most importantly, take action where you see red flags. This is not just for the well-being of your people, but for the overall health of your organisation.
Recent research from Gallup showed that employers with happier staff report 147% higher earnings, showing a clear business case for putting the staff first.
The most effective way to put your staff first is to give them leaders who are fair, trusting and trustworthy, emotionally consistent and approachable. We know that people leave managers, not organisations. But it is up to the organisation to put the strategy in place for managers to flourish, not flounder.
Develop your leaders with emotional awareness and emotional regulation
Leaders with emotional awareness are able to understand their emotions, they are mindful of their reactions and approachable, reflective and intuitive. When this is combined with emotional regulation, they can consistently respond appropriately and remain composed under pressure.
These people not only tend to make sound decisions, but also create the culture for their people to make reasonable rather than knee-jerk decisions. Those around them know that their voice will be heard, rather than shouted down. They therefore grow the confidence to be creative and engage with the organisation’s values and goals.
Can leaders improve their emotional awareness and regulation?
Yes, definitely. It might be uncomfortable at times, but it is entirely possible to improve emotional awareness and regulation. To do this however, organisations must provide support through assessments, training, education and coaching. Some leaders may need more support than others and it is important to apply a tailored approach to the process. This is a deeply personal journey and it is important to be sensitive to the needs of the individual.
Start with a combination of eqflow® and the upcoming flowprofiler® dimension labs series to get your leaders to reflect on how their behaviour manifests In the workplace. These steps will encourage them to consider what they can do to improve their behaviour at work for greater effectiveness. With further training and coaching will come greater results, not only in terms of their own personal effectiveness, but also in team cohesion and ultimately in productivity and performance.
Register your interest for upcoming flowprofiler® dimension labs here:
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