Have you ever heard the phrase “Leaders are born, not made?”. Science doesn’t back it up.
So what makes someone a good leader?
Leading with heart has been especially important these last couple of years between the pandemic and civil
unrest in the US. We’ve thought a lot about leadership throughout these stressful times. Now more than ever
people leaders are expected to show their humanity, their empathy – it’s not business as usual. We cannot lead
powerfully at times like this if we don’t embrace the human experience and recognize that things aren’t perfect,
that the line between work and home has been blurred.
Creating an environment where people experience ‘I see you and appreciate your experiences and how they’ve
shaped you. I value what you bring to our team, our conversations, and what you share with us’. changes the nature
of how people work. Demonstrating that vulnerability and connecting with our people can inspire them to rise to the
occasion. And let’s not forget that it is important to always create space for ALL people, especially the
underrepresented groups, which don’t always have enough space and support in the workplace. When we support
our people in getting their needs met then they can deal with stress and continue to be creative and thrive.
What are some things we can do better as leaders to create a more inclusive and beautiful space for our people?
- Create clarity, alignment and get people on the same page to set people up for success.
Get rid of the burn that comes from unclear goals and unaligned expectations.
- Develop and support your people so they can grow to their fullest potential and remove
obstacles via one-on-ones. Create meaning and growth even in the most complex and uncertain times.
- Be a proactive ally. Unfair treatment is often unnoticed by those taking the actions.
Not only respond when you see an issue – but proactively learn to create an inclusive
place for all team members.
- Recognize signs of and mitigate burnout for your people, as well as yourself.
Consider workloads and realistic time availability when setting timelines within
the team and when agreeing to timelines with other stakeholders. Clearly establish
what is priority and what can be put on the back burner until time permits
(or perhaps forever).
- Community care – hold space for your team. Allow time to outflow about their
experience and get connected to what others are going through.
– Create a list of open ended questions to get deeper in the conversation
– Stay quiet and let the person talk, listen and take the notes to guide you around what
the other person needs and how to communicate with them.
When we lead with heart we show our humanity and we create a brave space for our people to also
show theirs. This exchange ultimately helps us grow and thrive within our organizations.
Join us on December 9th for a community webinar in which we will discuss other key leadership lessons
from 2021 and how to set up your people to thrive in 2022 and beyond!