Resilient leaders need to both support and challenge their employees. If leaders are centered in their heads, often all they can do is challenge. This is not empowering for anybody. The leaders themselves and employees reporting to them, often feel a relentless driving pressure which doesn’t contain enough support. Employees’ enthusiasm and energy levels drain when there is nothing positive to focus on.
Positive encouragement drives performance, creates a safe space, and demonstrates care. Pushing for results and having heart at the same time, enables humanity which increases motivation and performance. Employees will feel the support of their leader if they feel valued and respected for their good qualities. Everyone will be more open to seeing challenges and feedback as constructive because they feel powerful.
So how do you move from orienting yourself with your head alone to using both your head and your heart when you lead?
You can start down this path by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I appreciate about my life and work?
- What skills, passions, accomplishments, and strengths have I demonstrated?
- What am I proud of?
“To help others develop, start with yourself.”- Marshal Goldsmith
Then when you are able to appreciate, honor, and feel proud of yourself on a consistent basis, you can move your focus to your team. At that point ask yourself:
- What do I appreciate about my team members?
- What skills, passions, accomplishments, and strengths do my team members demonstrate?
- What makes me proud about my team?
You can’t just think about the answers to these questions, though. You will need to let the team members know the details of what you notice. The positive inner response you will gain from this focus will help you do the work of leadership more naturally and with increased ease.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”- Nelson Mandela
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