Success in leadership doesn’t come from reaching the summit, the level that you are aiming for, it comes from the journey on how you got there and what you left in your wake - that’s the true measure of leadership success.
So, how have you been leading lately in the new world of Covid-19?
Is your team dispersed and have you had to lead remotely? How’s that going for you?
Are you leading the way you want to? Are you hitting boundaries or having issues that you didn’t expect or anticipate?
Leading remotely highlights the importance of the fundamentals of leadership and how making sure these are in place can help you navigate any situation.
In my experience of coaching, training and being a leader there are a few non-negotiables to true, effective leadership.
The most important leadership essential is to develop trust – without trust you do not have a team and you are not a leader. Without trust there is no tribe, no connection and no collaboration.
But trust is an emotion, it is a feeling, it is a sensory experience. You cannot tell someone or direct someone to ‘trust’.
Trust has to be built, it has to develop and when it does you have a true sense of connection with each other. You will help and protect each other – you will do things for others instinctively because you know that they would do the same for you.
This aspect of leadership is the fundamental beginning of creating a team, a tribe, a
community and without trust, you cannot lead effectively. Without trust you will have infighting, people will keep to themselves, protect their patch, they won’t share or engage freely with others and this leads to teams being siloed, imploding, not delivering and can negatively affect individuals.
Authenticity is about being genuine and true. You will instinctively know if you are being authentic to yourself and to others.
Being authentic takes courage and not enough leaders show their true, authentic self, because to do so is scary and may leave them open to criticism.
If you can genuinely be yourself, the way you want to be, show your own unique style, in the face of what others are doing around you, if you can develop self-awareness and stand up for what you believe in, even in the face of adversity and even if it means you maybe criticised or ridiculed, then you will see others wanting to be on your team.
Being vulnerable allows others to relate and connect with us. Connectedness builds trust and tribes. Be authentic, be true, be vulnerable, and know that it’s ok to say “I don’t know” - you do not have to have all the answers. Give it a try and see the difference it makes.
3. Protect & Develop
What I mean by this is that if you are a ‘leader’ you need to look after your team. You need to safeguard them from others - you know what I mean, there will be someone that is ‘coming at you’ or your team and you need to be the one to take the blow.
Even if they have mucked up or not delivered something quite right. You need to be the one out front, the one weathering the storm, the one steering the ship. Instead of throwing them under the bus, you protect them from the unnecessary criticism or sarcasm.
You filter the message so that it comes through clearly on what you want done differently next time and you manage expectations and explain the level of quality that you expect and want. But you do it in a way so they learn, grow and develop, not be deflated and feel berated.
You can and should hold them accountable, but you do not criticise publicly – not even in a team meeting, you do it one on one with the intent of them learning from the experience and doing better next time. If a whole team has failed, do a post-implementation review and see where the issue was – discover it and learn together.
Develop your team so that they can be their best, then you can delegate to help them to grow even further. That means you will have time to look at ways that you can develop yourself, because you know that they have got the skills to do more, which releases you to take on new opportunities, to focus on the things that drive you, that inspire you, that interest you.
Always develop your team – that’s how you grow too. Remember that old saying “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Create that tide, so you can all rise with it.
As a leader, you are their protector, that’s part of your job as head of the tribe. You need to set the vision, to bring the troops together and in order to do that effectively you have to be prepared to give yourself to that tribe, to the team that are following you.
You have to create a safe environment, a sense of belonging, and you do this by protecting them from petty internal politics and harsh, unnecessary criticism. What I mean by this is that they know ‘you have their back’ at all times.
By protecting them doesn’t mean they are not accountable. It doesn’t mean they get away with not delivering, not meeting deadlines. It is the opposite.
You develop them by holding them accountable, by setting clear expectations, timelines and agree deliverables, you empower them to make decisions, you teach them to make principles-based decisions, not hide behind rules-based decisions.
Encourage them to experiment and learn and when things go wrong, it’s about how you deliver the message and how you encourage them to learn from their mistakes and their experiences.
Be upfront! Tell them what’s going on, as much as you can – especially if you are leading remotely. Keep the communication regular, clear and concise – use plain English and explain what’s happening. If there is a change occurring and there’s no change in the change, tell them that. Tell them that today’s update doesn’t have any more information than last time., that there hasn’t been any progress since last time we updated you but that you’re doing what you said you’d do, giving them a regular update, even if there’s no further information to share.
Don’t leave a void in communication – if you do, they will fill it with their own imaginations and it will be ‘worst case scenario’ for them. You can stop that from happening with regular communication.
At times, there will be some things that as a leader, you cannot or should not share.
If that’s the case and you get asked a direct question, tell them you can’t discuss it.
Bang! You’ve just been transparent with them and they will thank you and trust you for that.
If you try to ‘avoid the truth’, avoid answering or give them half an answer they will not trust you next time, so be honest and transparent about what’s going on.
Do you take time to reflect each day? Or are you too busy running around trying to get things done? Are you creating a false positive of thinking you’re being productive because you’re busy? Busy does not equal productive.
Creating a habit of reflection allows you to look at your day through the lens of ‘double loop learning’. Looking at it from the aspects of:
You can capitalise on the things that are going well and you can review and amend your approach to those things that are not working, not progressing or just not giving you want you need.
Reflection is time well spent – taking 30 minutes each day – either at the beginning or end of your day – to reflect will allow you to learn from your experiences and approach things with new learnings and sometimes lessons learnt in hindsight.
Respect and treat others as you want to be treated.
Think about your career and who were the people in your life that you trust and respect?
Who is the best leader you’ve ever worked for or been around?
What made them great as a leader?
What traits did they demonstrate?
Now think about that leader that you couldn’t wait to get away from?
The one that every time you saw them you had a gut reaction, you wanted to turn away, you didn’t want to speak with or engage with them.
What was it about them that made you feel that way, think that way and see them in that way?
When you look back at your career, what do you want to see?
Do you only want to see that you achieved your highest goal?
That you got to CEO, you got to be captain of the team, you got to lead the church group – whatever your goal is, do you just want to look back and see that you’ve achieved that – even if it means leaving a trail of destruction behind you?
Looking back and seeing the disappointed faces of those that once followed you, but now don’t want to have anything to do with you?
Remembering those that you ‘stepped on’ to get to your goal? Those that you forgot about, pushed aside, took credit for their work or quashed their dreams so that you could look good or get that promotion?
Or do you want to be the leader that made a different in people’s lives?
The leader that lifted others up and that helped them be the best they could be?
Ask yourself these questions:
So, reflect now, reflect on how you are leading so far in 2020 – in these uncertain times, are you leading the way you want and should lead?
Or are there areas that you’d like to approach differently?
Are you leading yourself and your team to the best of your ability or do you
need support and assistance?
Through coaching and leadership development, I’ve been able to
develop confidence and help leaders build their teams. If you’d like to find out
more about this and to develop your confidence and ability as a leader, give
me a call.
Tell me about your leadership experiences, what has worked for you?
The current Covid-19 environment is challenging in many ways. We all react differently to change and with varying degrees of restriction from country to country and state to state and even regions within states, it can leave us confused and uncertain.
Our world has been disrupted and we don’t know what the ‘new normal’ will be like. This disruption has impacted everyone in some way. Whether that be a change in how we work (working from home; social distancing etc), or whether that be as severe as losing your job or coping in Stage 4 Lockdown, with restrictions on how often and how long you can go outside, right through to curfews being decreed.
With this disruption brings fears, worries, uncertainties about ourselves, our families, our friends, our futures. We are learning to live with this uncertainty like we have never had to before. During times like this we need to remember to ‘check in’ on ourselves.
I have been coping quite well during the Stage 4 lockdown, I accepted the restrictions and curfews, I abided by the rules and regulations, limited when I had to go out for essentials, stayed home, did my one-hour exercise per day and thought all was well. That was until the Victorian Government announced the extensions to the Stage 4 restrictions. When I heard it, I thought, “OK, I’m doing alright, I’ll be OK”.
But…. as the day went on, I found myself getting angry and I didn’t really know why. After all, I’d accepted that I had to do my bit and stay home so that we can get on top of this pandemic. So, I checked in with myself and delved a bit deeper into what was going on for me. I discovered I was angry, not for myself, but because I’m seeing all the small business struggling and I’m hearing the hurt and pain that they are going through because they cannot open their doors. I’m hearing about those people that have had to walk away from years of building a small business and the heartache that they are going through. That’s what I was angry about.
Now that I understand my anger, I can address the fears and worries that come with it. I can manage my emotions so that I am in a better position cognitively to make decisions for myself and how I can support the local businesses in our area.
But if I hadn’t checked in with myself, that anger could have manifested in different ways. A couple of weeks ago I write an article on Coping In Uncertain Times and I went back and read that and took my own advice. https://www.helenluxford.com/blog/coping-in-uncertain-times
The Black Dog Institute Research identified that previous outbreaks of infectious disease have been known to have an impact on mental health of the population, for example, the SARS epidemic was associated with a 30% increase in suicide in over 65s and 29% of healthcare workers experienced probable emotional distress.
This is indicative of what can happen and highlights the need for heightened awareness around mental health. There is research, advertising and discussion around physical health, weight loss etc every day, but how often do we actually talk about our emotional state, our mental well-being?
We need to start these discussions and get them to be common practice amongst ourselves. A problem shared is a problem halved and that saying goes the same for expressing how we’re feeling emotionally. Sharing your emotional state with someone else helps you express how you’re feeling and being able to do that can help you talk things through, get and offer support to each other.
It is normal to feel anxious, sad, upset in the midst of a pandemic. Each of us will experience different feelings and emotions but some common responses include:
Whatever you’re experiencing, focus on yourself, and not on others. Your response to this situation is right for you, acknowledge how you are feeling and know that it is a valid response. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, seek some guidance and support – think about what will work for you, to help you in this situation.
Mental Health Care Plan
Think of your mental health care plan, like your teeth. You brush your teeth once or twice a day and that keeps them healthy and stops you from getting decay.
Your mental health is the same, you need to nurture yourself on a daily basis. So, work out how you’re going to do that. What will work for you? I have discovered that when I’m feeling ‘foggy’ or ‘overwhelmed’, that going for a walk – even as short as 10 minutes, helps me reset emotionally.
Another strategy that works for me is doing 5, 10, 15 minutes of mindful meditation. There are numerous free resources available on the internet for guided mindfulness – here’s a link to some of them: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=guided+mindfulness+meditation+
Think about what works for you and then plan that into your day, each and every day. The more you do it, the better you will feel and the better you feel, the more you will do it, until it becomes your new routine.
As humans we are tribal beings and need to be connected to a community, whether that be your family, friendship group, community group, local neighbourhood – whatever your group is, stay connected with them.
Remember that this too shall pass, but until it does and until we establish what the ‘new normal’ is, please look after yourself and those close to you.
I’d like to hear what you’re doing to reduce stress during the pandemic, so leave your comments below.
If you’re struggling and need some support, please reach out to a friend, a support network, a community organisation (listed below), your doctor or call 000 in an emergency.
https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 13 11 14
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ 1300 22 4636
http://www.mensline.org.au/ 1300 78 99 78
https://www.kidshelpline.com.au/ 1800 55 1800
https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/ 1300 659 467
How are you coping in the current environment?
Everyone will have their challenges that come with a pandemic and the restrictions we need to adhere to and some of us will cope better than others.
We are in times of change, and whilst the world figures out the ‘new normal’ in a Covid‑19 we need to understand ourselves and our responses to what is going on.
Remember what you were doing this time last year? No-one could have predicted such a life changing event. However, here we are.
With restrictions differing from country to country, state to state and even locations within states, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on. One thing is clear, that we need to adapt and adjust as this pandemic develops.
So how are you coping in these uncertain, changing times?
We know there will be a ‘new normal’ but we don’t know what that will look like. Leaders in different countries and states are navigating unchartered waters and whether we agree or disagree with their approach, we have to adjust to what is happening.
So let’s have a look at how you can do that.
1. Remember that you adjust to uncertainty everyday
You may not have realised it, but you do. No-one knows what tomorrow will hold and you cope with small changes in your life everyday eg: you run out of bread or milk, the train or bus is cancelled, you’re stuck in traffic and you can’t pick up the kids, get to the meeting on time, the hot water service blew up, the power company cut your power accidently etc.
Remember that you have adjusted in the past, so you’ve got the ability to do it. We just need to practice that ‘adjusting’ muscle and build it up to cope with bigger uncertainties such as Covid-19. The Australian Health Department has some good resources to help strengthen your muscles to adjust during Covid-19. https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/ongoing-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions
1. Look at what you can control
Humans like predictability, structure and routine. We’ve been thrown into new ways of working, or for some, not working at all. This is a bit adjustment, recognise this and allow yourself to work through how you can get some control back in your life.
Are you moping through each day and feeling sad?
Do you have a routine?
Set up a daily routine, like you had pre-Covid-19. Get up at the same time each day, have a morning routine, breakfast, shower, exercise? Whatever it is for you – make it a routine that you do each morning.
If you’re still working and working from home – with or without kids at home, set up structure and routine around working and home schooling the kids.
Have dedicated time that you focus on one thing – either work or teaching the kids – not both at the same time.
Schedule in breaks – if possible, go outside and smell the air, hear the birds, feel the breeze on your face and the sun on your cheeks. Do something that emulates what you would have done before the restrictions were in place.
2. Evaluate your situation
Are things really as bad as you think they are? Are you making assumptions and then catastrophising about what ‘might’ happen?
In times of uncertainty our subconscious mind can become very active and influence our decision-making processes. Check in with yourself.
Now evaluate what’s on your list and how much you believe it will or won’t happen.
Look at what you’ve written down and notice if there are things on that list today, that you wouldn’t have thought of a year ago?
Have any of these assumptions come true?
Are there any on there that you want to reconsider your scores?
3. Self Care
During times of change we will have set-backs, that is normal. But it’s how you handle those set-backs that is important.
Recognise where you’re at and if you’re not at your best, work out what strategies you can do to lift yourself up just a little bit.
Practice this when you are overwhelmed and increase it to 5 seconds, then 6 and see how it helps you rebalance. https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing
Getting outside is important, especially if you don’t have a garden to sit in. Get outside and feel nature around you. https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/ongoing-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19/exercising-and-staying-active-during-coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions
Remember there are some great organisations out there that you can reach out to - see the links below. You can also engage a coach or hypnotherapist to help you.
Take care and stay safe.
We all have inner thoughts and sometimes they’re encouraging us, supporting
us, egging us on and helping us succeed. Other times, we have thoughts that
are not so helpful.
Let’s recognise our thoughts for what they are – our inner selves.
We have different version and visions of who we are and what we are.
Depending on our mood we have different inner dialogue going on inside
– there are multiple voices in each of us.
You may recognise yourself as a helper, a teacher, a warrior or a worrier, a romantic, a realist, a genius, a fool, you may even be a rock star, an astronaut or an explorer.
It doesn’t matter what labels you put on it, you should recognise and embrace
your inner believer, your biggest supporter and your inner critic.
Realise that we are complex beings. We are not just ‘one thing’, we are
many things. We could be a daughter, son, sister, brother, cousin, friend,
teacher, trainer, mother, father, trusted adviser, partner, boss, coach, neighbour
and many more.
How can we be all of those things to others and not have many complex parts
In my experience I have found that we are normally very hard on ourselves.
We sometimes push away our ‘inner supporter’ and try to quieten them
down when they’re encouraging us and egging us on. But we don’t do that
so often to our ‘inner critic’.
You’ve got to wonder why that is?
Ask yourself, if you had a friend who was as harsh on you as your inner critic,
would you want to hang out with them? Would they still be your friend?
You should surround yourself with people that lift you up, that give you a spring
in your step, that believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.
As John F Kennedy said “A rising tide lifts all boats”.
I believe we live in a world of abundance. There is plenty for all of us, if we allow
there to be. This saying means that if we support, encourage and lift each other
up, we will all win. So, embrace helping others and open yourself up to ask for
and accept help. Let’s lift each other up and make the world a better place.
Let’s reduce fighting and encourage collaboration.
And you should do that within yourself as well. Your inner supporter is there to
help you grow and do well in life. Your inner critic is there to protect
you – although sometimes that inner critic just needs to shut up!
Try this exercise* and see how you go.
*adapted from Bryan, Cameron, Allen 1998, The Artist’s Way at Work, Secret Selves(11)
Identify your different ‘inner characters’. You will have a few inside you.
There may be the supporter and the worrier etc. etc.
Name each character, then write a description next to their name of what
you imagine them to look like.
You know, if they were actually standing in front of you giving you that bit of advice, what do you imagine them to look like, sound like and be like?
Then describe their behaviours – these are the things you say to yourself, the way
in which you say them and how that part of you impacts on you eg: is it one of
your supporters or one of your critics?
Have a bit of fun with this – let your imagination run wild and tap into your
Here’s an example to get you started.
The point is, they all have different aspects and as a human being, we need
to realise and recognise our inner thoughts that help us and hinder us.
This exercise will help you identify the different aspects of yourself and realise
that each you these different ‘you’ have a purpose, role and a value, you just need
to embrace and harness them.
Sit down by yourself and think about a situation or issue in your life at the moment.
Ask each of your inner selves to give you an insight or opinion regarding
Really think about what each part of your inner self thinks about it.
Then see if each part is in agreement or if there are different opinions
because they’re looking at the situation differently, through a different lens?
Using this approach can help you look at opportunities and threats because
you’re tapping into the ‘whole of you’, instead of just listening to whichever
part is yelling at you the loudest in that moment.
It can give you a different perspective and hidden insights and sometimes,
it can and will surprise you.
Try it a few times in different situations and see if it helps.
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist meditation ritual, but more recently, research has shown its effectiveness in personal, school and work life.
In essence, mindfulness is “being present”. Most of us don’t take the time to just ‘be’ and to calm our mind. But if you do make the time to practice mindful meditation it will change your world.
I became aware of mindfulness when I was chatting with a colleague and we ended up engaging Dr Craig Hassed from Monash University to come and speak to our staff at one of our health and well-being initiatives. Dr Hassed has been a mindfulness meditation teacher for over 30 years and as a professor at Monash University he developed a mindfulness-based healthy lifestyle course. https://www.monash.edu/medicine/spahc/general-practice/our-people/hassed
Mindfulness is being present, in the moment, paying attention to ourselves, being open to whatever thoughts come our way and just ‘being’ with curiosity and without judgement.
At first, I found it hard to ‘just be’. But as I practiced, I became better at it. Funny that, if you practice you get better at something 😊.
Mindfulness involves training yourself to be quiet, focused and pay attention to the present moment, not the past or the future, just the present moment.
It allows you to be in the moment and to focus on whatever you are doing, being at home, with friends, family, studying or at work. Mindfulness teaches you to be present without judgement or criticism.
You’ve probably experienced being mindful in your life, but you haven’t realised it. Have you ever been ‘caught up in the moment’ and you forgot where you were or what you were doing? If so, you were probably being mindful.
Being present and focusing on what was in front of you, paying deliberate attention to that one thing, person or task. This could happen when you’re cooking, making something, doing craft, playing an instrument, dancing, building a project, exercising, being outside and admiring nature, lying on the grass looking at the clouds, spending time with your kids, parents, grandparents, teaching the kids to ride a bike etc.
The point is, you were fully present and engaged and it was effortless to be ‘caught up in that moment’. That is the point of mindfulness, you activate different parts of the brain when you’re fully focused and attentive to what’s going on around you.
Conversely when we are not being mindful and paying attention then we are normally reacting to what is going on around us. You know those times when you’ve been asked to do something or to help out and you really don’t want to do it?
Your brain kicks in and you start having self-talk, your mind will wander onto other things that you’d prefer to be doing and you may even be worrying about the past or the future.
This all results in your mind being judgemental and critical of what you should be focusing on and has been linked to mental health problems, depression, stress and anxiety. Research has shown that this is our ‘default’ setting – our brain activates areas that make us ‘think’ about what we’re doing instead of experiencing it with our senses. https://www.pnas.org/content/108/50/20254
Mindfulness is about bringing yourself back to the present and feeling the sensation of the task, hearing what’s going on around you, seeing what you’re doing and engaging your senses, not just your thoughts.
In other words, mindfulness is about:
Now admittedly, it’s easier to be fully focused and engaged when you’re doing something you love, rather than having to go through emails, finish a management report, write a university assignment or clean the toilet! However, you can train your brain to look at this work/study/day-to-day task (not so much fun) activities without judgement, criticism or complaint.
Why should I practice mindfulness?
The benefits of mindfulness are well documented with more research and articles being published every week. These techniques allow you to focus on sustaining attention in the ‘now’ and becoming consciously aware of your behaviours. With practice, it helps you to control your self-talk/internal thoughts and feelings.
By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can positively affect your sense of well-being emotionally, physically and spiritually and can lead to inner peace.
Various research papers have shown that when mindfulness is practised regularly the benefits can include:
How Can I Do It?
Easy, follow these three steps.
1. Commit to yourself to do something different
Get a piece of paper and write down on that piece of paper your commitment to yourself to find 10 minutes each day to focus on you.
Go on, do it now. Get that piece of paper and write,
I …………….. commit to myself that I will make time to practice
mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes every day.
You are probably busy, but you need to make time to find that 10 minutes
First thing when you get up? Before you go to bed? On the train/bus? During your lunch break? Stay in the toilet for longer and do it there – whatever it takes, make the time for you!
Now take that piece of paper and put it somewhere where you will see it each morning?
Stick it to the mirror in the bathroom, put it on your bedside table, stick in inside the cover of your phone – use it as a visual reminder of the commitment you’ve made to yourself.
2. Start practicing mindfulness on a daily basis
Yep, I said “daily” basis.
It’s 10 minutes, that’s right you can do it. Make it part of your routine, just like having a shower, brushing your teeth, making the bed, making the kids lunch, buying your coffee each morning – make it part of your daily routine.
3. Make it Not Negotiable
Block it out in your diary or in your daily routine. Just like you do with other things in your life. Think about something you do regularly that is a “not negotiable” eg: getting your coffee every day “don’t even talk to me before I’ve had my coffee”.
So make that “don’t even talk to me before I’ve done my 10 minutes of mindful meditation practice”.
If you had to choose between spending 10 minutes checking social media or practising mindfulness meditation – which one do you think you’re going to benefit from more?
You can do this. You can start to practice mindfulness.
Remember, where our focus goes, energy flows.
There are loads of resources available on the internet, including articles and video tutorials - go online and look them up.
What if I don’t do this?
Well, if nothing changes, nothing changes. You’ll continue to go about life the way you are. You’ll continue to activate those parts of the brain that cause stress, worry and anxiety.
Only you can make this happen, so really, it is up to you.
Do you want to invest 10 minutes a day in yourself, to be a more content person for yourself and your loved ones?
Or do you not value yourself enough to do it?
No matter what your current state, you have what you need within you to achieve your goals if you want to work at it. If you’re still not sure or don’t know what to do, do research – Google it, talk to others, reach out to groups, engage a coach, just do something to help yourself get ‘unstuck’.
Go on, commit to doing it for one week – give it a go and see how you feel.
10 minutes a day for you – that’s definitely something you should be doing.
If you have any hints, tips or suggestions on how to decompress please leave your comments below.
When most people hear “I have some feedback for you” it raises negative connotations. Why is this so? Why do so many people have a problem with giving and receiving feedback?
In my experience it is because most Leaders only give negative feedback. That’s right they only give ‘feedback’ to staff when something goes wrong and this creates an uneasiness with the word feedback.
So in order improve how we go about our day to day tasks, we need to make Feedback welcomed and included in our daily conversations.
Now don’t have a fit thinking you have to give negative feedback and tell people they are doing things wrong every day.
Ideally feedback should be given regularly regardless of whether things are going well or not. Feedback should occur when things are moving along well, when you see an opportunity to do things differently to meet changing needs or when things are no longer working or something has actually gone wrong.
To increase your effectiveness feedback should be considered in a manner of “it’s how we do things around here”.
Feedback should be welcomed by all, you should give and receive feedback to each other regularly regardless of your position and level within the organisation. Feedback should be organic and immediate – as soon as you recognise something that is working well, tell the person! If you can see an opportunity for improvement, tell them! Don’t sit on it and tell them days or weeks later.
Likewise if you notice something that no longer works or that has been done incorrectly, approach that person and let them know. Explain to them what you saw, why you feel there is an opportunity to do it better and what the outcome of making the change will be - what’s the benefit of the change, and how you can work together to make the change.
So how do you implement this approach into your team.
Here’s 11 handy tips on feedback
1. Feedback should only be given with good grace and a desire to help others.
2. Concentrate on the How and What of the situation – not the why – when you ask “why did you do that” people become defensive.
A better way to find out why someone did something is to ask:
“How does your action help you achieve the outcome you are looking for?”
“What outcome were you seeking when you ….. (raised your voice in the meeting?) or
“When you spoke over the top of *person A* in the meeting, did you intend to make them angry?”
Use questions to check whether their actions achieved their desired result.
3. Feedback should be given in a timely manner – ideally immediately, or as soon as possible after you notice the good work, opportunity or problem.
4. When giving feedback watch for their body language, movement, eye contact as well as words and tone of their voice to see if they are onboard with your comments or whether you need to alter your approach to get your message across.
5. Check for understanding – ask them how they feel about your observations and ideas and if they see it as something that can be implemented or is there something they think would prevent your idea from moving forward?
6. Be consistent in your feedback, don’t say they are doing something well today and tomorrow tell them it’s wrong.
7. Give praise where praise is due and congratulate people on their work and things that have been done well – this is still feedback and will encourage them to continue to do good work.
8. Encourage your team to experiment! Yep, try things out and encourage them to make mistakes!
Get them to give each other and you feedback on their learnings when things don’t go the way you (or they) thought they would – embrace this process.
9. Feedback should be given in a learning manner in order to embrace and enact a change. Use words such as:
* I noticed that ……
* Have you considered…..
* I have heard of a new way of …….
* Have you ever thought about how we could do things differently with …..
10. You should be able to explain what the problem/issue/opportunity is, the need for the change and what the benefit or outcome of the change will be.
11. Consider who you are giving the feedback to and adjust your approach accordingly:
* you asking someone who has designed and developed a process to change the whole thing – how can you approach them so that they will not be defensive and will listen to your feedback?
* ask them how they feel the process is working and get their feedback – they may have already noticed the same thing as you, but didn’t know who to approach or how to change it.
* ask them if they can see any opportunities for change/improvement and listen to their ideas.
* explain to them that you have seen an opportunity where you think if a change was made it would benefit them/the department/organisation by explaining the benefit.
* then explain the change you want to make.
* get their buy in and listen to their thoughts about the situation.
* agree who is going to take this forward to the next step and clarify expectations.
If you want to grow and develop, or learn more about leadership and coaching, contact CLC to get started
Now is the time to reflect on what you did in 2017 and plan for what you want to achieve in 2018.
Let’s reflect first
If you want to achieve something you have to take action towards achieving it.
If you didn’t get the results you wanted in 2017, then plan to take action and do something in 2018 to move you towards your goals.
Don’t sit around waiting for the world to come to you – go out there and grab hold of what you want. To create new opportunities, you will have to do things differently and make changes – that’s OK, change is good.
Start by doing small simple things every day. Make changes by creating good habits. Good habits done daily will become second nature to you and be ‘just what you do’.
Think of some things you can do differently every day – right now – thing of some things and write them down!
Here’s a few things I’ve thought of or have worked with people that have made these simple changes every day:
Are your priorities still the same at the end of the day as they were at the beginning of the day or have things changed?
What are you going to achieve in 2018?
Now is the time to sit back and think about what you want to achieve in 2018. Take 30-60 minutes to write down whatever comes into your mind – do it now!
Look at the list you have just written.
Now look at one or two other goals you really want to achieve this year – focus on them. Ask yourself the same questions for these other goals. Now make a plan.
Know what you want
Know what outcome you want from each goal
Create an action plan for each of your goals
Be aware of what is going on around you – eg: how will you know if you are working towards achieving your goal, or just wasting time?
Read the signs, what is going on around you that tells and shows you that you are on track?
How will you know when an opportunity presents itself? Be prepared to utilise all opportunities that may arise.
Notice changes when they occur – take note and learn from experiences.
Whilst you need to create a plan and have a goal – don’t be too stringent upon that plan. Be flexible. In life things change and plans don’t always work out as you think, so don’t be fixated on doing it ‘your way’.
See the signs and go with the flow and change your approach if circumstances change or your plan moves.
Show your intentions
Tell yourself every day something that you are going to do to move closer to your goal.
See any obstacle or situation in a way that creates an opportunity for you to learn and understand more or to allow you to look at things differently.
Be responsible for your success, overcome obstacles when they arise. If you find yourself ‘facing a brick wall’, don’t stop - find a way to go around it or climb over the top.
It’s only a temporary obstacle. Be in control and don’t allow other things to get in your way, learn from those blockages or experiences and move forward.
Now, make those plans and start looking forward to the future you can create for yourself.
If you know you want to achieve something and are unsure of where to start, Corporate Leadership Coaching can help you gain focus and clarity around your goals, so make contact and let CLC help you.
As we draw near to the end of 2017, it's time to start thinking about what 2018 holds for you.
As a leader you also need to think about what you’re going to achieve for the next half of the financial year, but also what is beyond that.
Think about what you need from your team and what your team need from you. If you are not sure what your team need from you – ask them. As a leader, keeping staff in the loop with what you need is important. Asking them what they need from you is powerful!
It shows you care and that you want to work with them. It demonstrates you are listening, being open and transparent, it builds a bond and creates trust.
If you don’t communicate to your staff what you want, need and expect from them, then how can you expect them to know what to do to achieve your team, divisional and organisational goals? If you don’t support them the way they need supporting then you are not being an effective leader – you are being a transactional manager.
Communication and trust are two vital components to effective leadership.
Helen brings a wealth of experience gained over 20 years in Human Resources in Australia and overseas.
Images by JKO
Copyright © 2017 Helen Luxford & Corporate Leadership Coaching - All Rights Reserved