Self Awareness Leadership

Truly Effective Leadership Comes With Self-Awareness

Would you want to work for you? Self Awareness Leadership

Asking yourself this question can greatly improve your leadership skills. Why? Because it’s a first step toward greater self-awareness, which has been proven to be an essential trait of effective leaders.

Self awareness helps leaders to know their natural dispositions and preferences so they can improve upon or compensate for them as needed. It also improves the bottom line. A 2013 study by Korn/Ferry International discovered that “public companies with a higher rate of return (ROR) also employ professionals who exhibit higher levels of self-awareness.”

Wherever you are on the spectrum of self-awareness, consider taking a fresh look at how it can transport your leadership skills to new heights.

Self Awareness Leads To More Emotional IntelligenceEffective leadership

Being self-aware, according to Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, is “one of the core components of emotional intelligence.”

And strong emotional intelligence can give you the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others. You can then use that awareness to better guide your own behavior and your relationships with self and others — which makes you a leader that people want to follow.

World renowned researcher who coined the term “emotional intelligence,” Daniel Goleman, elaborates on this concept in a recent business article from The Telegraph. He explains, “If you think of the worst and best bosses you’ve ever had, it had nothing to do with their title or degree, but everything to do with the kind of person they were – for example, whether they were emotionally intelligent or not. People want to work for a person who is.”

If this all makes sense to you, then you’re ready to commit to gaining greater self awareness.

Try These Strategies to Improve Self-Awareness

Here are some easy ways to start down the path to heightened self awareness.

  1. Use one of the many tests available to better understand your behavior and mSelf Awareness Leadershipotives. Some good ones include:
  • Leadership Circle ProfileNot only tells you what is or is not contributing to a leader’s effectiveness, but also tells you “ why” this is so. It gives the leader causational insight into what is happening beneath the surface.
  • Myers Briggs – Reveals your “sweet spot” personality for working and communicating with others, which may or may not be the optimal approach in your work with others.
  • CliftonStrengths (formerly Strengthsfinder) – Shows you your “natural strengths,” which the test defines as your thinking style or the type of work you thrive on.
  1. Learn what triggers your behaviors. What particular drivers make you react a certain way—and why? What are your personal or professional blind spots? Identifying and understanding your triggers can help you achieve more productive interactions with others.
  2. Practice mindfulness. One of the key benefits of practicing mindfulness is a direct increase in self-awareness. The Harvard Business Review recently cited their work with a global IT company from Silicon Valley which showed that “even just five weeks of 10 minutes of daily mindfulness training enhanced the participating leaders’ self-awareness up to 35%.”
  3. Ask for feedback. This can sometimes be tough to hear, so choose someone you trust to share their view of your typical interactions. Be open to what they have to say – and be willing to implement changes if they are in alignment with your priorities and values.
  4. Be easy on yourself. Remember, you’re a work in progress! Look at your successes and what you’ve learned objectively, acknowledging what you did well – and what you might do differently next time. Learning from our mistakes is a key component of gaining self awareness.

Along with the tips above, there’s one more thing for self-aware leaders to practice…

Strong Leaders Combine Self-awareness leadershipSelf-Awareness With Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is simply being aware of how your behavior impacts those you lead and then making adjustments as needed. This proves to your team that you want to bring out their best, without being intimidating or negative.

Leaders with both self-awareness and self-regulation skills set a positive example for their team members to follow, building teams that are more motivated, productive, and willing to courageously grow in their own right.

As a leader, could you ask for anything more?

Looking for more strategies on how to be a leader who is courageously self-aware? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

Practice compassionate leadership

Listen Loudly, Speak Softly: How Being Compassionate Can Make You a More Effective Leader

“Strength and compassion are not mutually exclusive.”

Robert Kiyosaki

In many parts of the world, we’re all too familiar with phrases like “The nice guy always finishes last” or “Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile.” Many in the business world continue to associate compassionate leadership behavior with being too “touchy feely” or even unprofessional.

How true is that for you?

Whatever your answer, I invite you to take a closer look at the value of compassionate leadership.

Being Compassionate Leads to Success in Business and Leadership

Leadership compassionStudies have demonstrated that compassionate leadership strategies have positive results. My own experience has shown me the vital role compassion can play in enhancing one’s abilities as an effective leader.

The way to achieve measurable results is to take care of people: the relationships you cultivate always precede meaningful results.

Professor and author Adam Grant, who penned the best-selling Give and Take, discovered that in business, “givers,” a term he coined to represent those who care about others, are both overrepresented at the very bottom and at the very top of the success ladder.

You’re probably wondering “How can that be?!” – right? It all comes down to strategy.

While it is true that “givers” can be taken advantage of, those who learn strategies to prevent that from happening often experience very positive results – more so than those who implement no compassion at all. They rise to the top of the success ladder because people love working with and naturally gravitate to them. It’s a little like fire – a flame can burn you or keep you warm – it’s all in how you use it.

Compassion is a Leadership Strategy That Builds Trust

As you probably are well aware, establishing trust as a leader can achieve very effective results.Practice compassionate leadership

Think about it this way: which of the following scenarios do you think would build more trust?

Suppose that one of the newest members on your team who has shown promising ability doesn’t meet an important project deadline.

A – You express to her in no uncertain terms your dissatisfaction, without taking the time to more deeply understand what happened. You make it known that this isn’t something that can be tolerated and threaten to replace her if it happens again. It’s all about results, and it doesn’t matter how you achieve them.

B – You sit down and start a conversation with her to approach the situation in a way that seeks deeper understanding of what is going on. In doing so, you learn that she has recently experienced some significant personal issues in her life that you may even be able to relate to. Perhaps you share something about yourself to put her at ease and let her know you care. With this new understanding, you both come to a workable solution.

Displaying Compassion Can Help Make You a More Influential Leader

Scenario A simply perpetuates an attitude of harsh indifference; Scenario B opens up the opportunity to cultivate a trusting relationship where the person is not seen simply as a disposable “resource” – but as a valued and respected member of the team. And, more importantly, as a human being.

As I am sure you realize by now, displaying compassion helps others – even when the stakes are high and the situation is very stressful – to feel safe. That cultivates a sense of trust.

It’s that trust you build in your relationships that can help make you an influential leader, and this is just one of the many positive takeaways from practicing compassion in leadership.

Strategies to Enhance Your Abilities as a Compassionate Leader

Use these simple strategies to inject more compassion into your everyday leadership activities:

1- Practice the power of the present moment. Especially in the high-stress, fast-paced business world, it’s easy to let your mind run off in a million different directions. Staying present allows you to be a more effective listener and to focus on what matters in the moment.

2- Listen loudly, speak softly. For many of us, being brief can present a challenge. But compassionate leadership asks us to listen more than we speak, to come from a place of understanding, and to use our words as effectively as possible – especially because humans cannot retain more than a tidbit of information at one time.Effective leadership strategies

3- Be gentle with yourself. Without a deeper understanding of and a willingness to be kind to yourself, you will find it very difficult to show self-compassion to others. Self-compassion can also help boost your self-esteem as you come to see “mistakes” (by you and others) as opportunities for learning and new growth.

May this information inspire you to begin incorporating more compassion into your personal leadership style!

Looking for more strategies on how to effectively practice compassionate leadership? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

Workplace culture | Corporate culture in the workplace | Inclusion in the workplace

Leaders, Inclusiveness Improves Corporate Culture

“Our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service or building a great long-term brand, or empowering passionate employees and customers will happen on its own.”
– Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos

Recent news headlines have given us much to think about when it comes to what’s accepted within an organization’s culture. It begs the question: What would it be like if all workplace cultures were built on mutual respect and openness? And how do we make that happen?

Let’s start by understanding the importance of culture in business and then consider how leaders can be the catalysts for positive change in their specific organizations.

Culture: The “Immune System” Of The Workplace

There are myriads of ways that workplace culture impacts an organization’s short- and long-term success. In a recent article on Time.com, Arianna Huffington referred to corporate culture as a company’s “immune system.”

When a workplace culture is healthy, it values and celebrates each person’s contributions, so current employees want to stay and potential employees are eager to come on board. Conversely, an unhealthy culture will damage a company’s reputation and make employees more prone to the “illnesses” of human nature.

The more fit and strong the culture at your organization, the more easily employees can recognize the onset of these issues and take steps to remedy them.

What Makes A Healthy Workplace Culture?

Rather than focus on negatives, here are a few of the positive aspects that define a fit and thriving corporate culture. If they don’t necessarily describe your company right now, consider how you might incorporate them going forward, starting with your teams.

  • Diversity – Do you find yourself (or those within your organization) saying, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”? No more! This is essential if you want to foster well-being and improve performance. Diversity enables new thoughts, ideas, and possibilities to emerge so that you’re continually thinking, looking, and moving forward.
  • Transparency – In a culture of openness, you can spot issues and correct them before they create a crisis. Transparency makes it safe for people to admit their mistakes, learn from them, and use those lessons to benefit the organization. Be honest – could your organization benefit from greater levels of transparency?
  • A Larger Purpose – Millennials, in particular, thrive in a culture where principles are as important as profits. But doesn’t everyone want to feel they’re part of something beneficial -not only for customers but for the world as a whole? Where does your organization stand on this?

Your Role As A Leader: Build Inclusiveness

If a healthy corporate culture could be summed up in one word, it’s “inclusiveness.” An Inc.com article states that inclusive workplace cultures are healthier, more productive, and make team members feel more valued.

However, leaders can’t always gauge their efforts at inclusiveness, according to a ten-year study by leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. So here are some key benchmarks to help you be a more inclusive leader and create a healthier corporate culture:

  1. Try to ignore your ego. – It’s human nature to think of ourselves first, but our role as leaders is to keep the focus on success for our team and for our organization as a whole. When you make this shift toward intellectual humility, you almost automatically create inclusiveness.
  2. Remember the value of listening. – As a leader, there’s a time to talk. But often, the way to reach the best ideas and solutions is to listen, and you create inclusiveness when you do. This doesn’t mean you have to use every suggestion, but you should always be willing to at least hear them.
  3. Encourage collaboration on your teams. – When your team members contribute to a project or solve an issue, they gain a great sense of motivation and accomplishment. Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” And empowerment often starts with collaboration.

Every person deserves to work in a culture where they are valued, supported, empowered, and encouraged to be all they can be. As leaders, we play a major role in creating this safe and nurturing environment not only for the benefit of our employees but for the success of our companies in the long term. Are you ready for the challenge?

Looking for ways to be a bold leader who is a catalyst for creating a healthier, more inclusive culture within your organization? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

Why it makes sense to trust your gut | Authentic leaders trust their gut instincts | Follow your instincts

Leaders, Do You Trust Your Gut?

In our information-based world, many leaders have learned to make decisions based on whatever solid data can be gathered regarding a particular situation. But neuroscience has proven that there’s another important factor you should employ in leadership decision-making: trusting your gut.

Authentic Leaders Address Emotional Needs

Working effectively with people isn’t about how fast or how well your brain can process information, says the Forbes article The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading. As humans, we want and need to connect with each other on a deeper level—which takes empathy and imagination rather than just data.

More and more studies show that people perform better when their emotional needs are met. Leaders with good emotional intelligence and strong insights about their team members are better equipped to handle this.

Authentic leaders know themselves. They don’t depend solely on the “hard facts” – instead, they rely on their inner instincts and aren’t afraid to trust themselves, even if that means going against the grain when a situation dictates.

Why It Makes Sense to Follow Your Instincts

Human behavioral science believes that your gut collects and holds all your experiences and learning since you were born. When you trust your gut, you draw on this wealth of valuable information that can help you make better decisions, often more quickly and without having to process myriads of information.

Research has shown that when you combine this gut instinct with a thorough review of data, it can improve your decision-making in big, bold ways.

The leadership transformation coaches at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), can show you leadership approaches that use the right mix of facts, bold insight, and emotional intelligence to create a successful and empowered team.

Leaders, Try These Tips to Trust Your Gut

From FastCompany.com, here are some easy strategies you can use to trust your gut when making leadership decisions:

  • Take time to reflect. Avoid the temptation to make a snap decision and instead tell team members you need time to “sleep on it.”
  • If you tend to overanalyze, set a time limit for your decision and go to your gut at the end of that time period to see what your instincts tell you. Also be mindful of how you’re feeling, as that’s another way to access your gut intelligence.
  • Make a list of all your gut decisions and their outcomes. You’ll start to equate how you felt on a “gut level” with the results of your choice. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize when your instincts are giving you the thumbs up (or thumbs down) on a situation.

Bonus BOLD Tip: If it’s been a challenge for you to get in touch with your inner instincts, try meditation. Regularly participating in this powerful practice offers benefits that can not only help you deepen your capacity as a leader, but also give you fresh perspectives in your personal and professional lives.

Adding gut instincts to your decision-making tool box as a leader can help you and your team achieve impressive and on-going success.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including how to add an instinctive approach to your decision making process and leadership skillset? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

 

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Career advice for leaders , Smart leadership strategies , Career achievement moves for leaders

Leaders, Try These Smart Strategies to Reach Your Goals

Strong leaders spend a good deal of time focusing on the success of the people who work for them – sometimes at the expense of their own career achievements.

If your leadership abilities alone are not taking you where you want to go in your career, try incorporating the following smart strategies to reach your goals.

Career Achievement Moves for Leaders

Shift Your Leadership Focus – Just like the people they supervise, leaders are more effective when their work feels meaningful. Have you lost the drive for your work? Look for actions you can take to create more meaning in what you do.

Try “job crafting,” says Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski in a recent Inc.com article on successful leaders. This means being proactive about adding meaningful tasks – however you define them – into your workday and making them part of your job.

Don’t Wait To Be Ready – Even the best of us can create excuses about why we’re not where we want to be. Yet, putting off your career goals means waiting that much longer to actually achieve them. Take some common sense advice from a FastCompany.com career advice article and “ just go for it” – even if you don’t feel ready. Now that’s what I call a bold move!

Lead by Building Up Others – While this may seem like a given, it often takes conscious effort. When you show your confidence and trust in others, you make them stronger and build relationships that can help you reach your career goals. A win-win!

Leaders Practice Accountability – According to a 2015 study done at Dominican University of California, over 70 percent of participants who sent weekly updates to another person accomplished their goal or made steady progress – compared to the 35 percent of participants who didn’t write down or share their progress. As a leader, demonstrating strong accountability skills sets a strong example for your team.

At Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), we partner with leaders around the globe to develop effective ways to improve your leadership skills – while keeping your own unique career goals in mind.

Words of Wisdom from Successful Leaders

While we each have our own path, it’s often good to hear how other corporate leaders have achieved success. Here are a few quotes to inspire you from the Inc.com site:

  • Richard Branson: The Virgin Group founder asserts, “The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures, rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me… a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
  • Emily Hughes:  A business consultant for Google Fiber, Emily’s advice is to talk to a lot of people. “It was a way for me to recognize what skills I had, and also what skills I wanted to learn to be able to do what I wanted to do.”
  • Sheryl Sandburg: “Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how,” affirms Facebook’s COO.
  • Jim Whitehurst: The Red Hat CEO states, “Find a rhythm where you can have enough time for family and friends, feel satisfied emotionally, and still excel at work, because building a great career is a marathon, not a sprint.”

As a leader, focusing on your personal career goals is never wrong. In fact, it sets an amazing example for your team members on what to do right to succeed.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams while making steady progress in your own leadership career? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

Image courtesy of freedooom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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