The Seasoned Leader – F.Y.I.

FYI: For Your Improvement

Seasoned leaders (those who have “been there, done that” and think that they have seen it all), do you want to know how to keep from becoming lax and bored or non-responsive?  Well, practice doing these five actions and you will be the kind of leader who has, in the words of Myles Monroe, Bahamian minister, author, and leadership consultant, “the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vison, produced by conviction, and ignited by a purpose.”

  1. Listen to the nay-sayers

This might seem counterintuitive, but you will find that if done properly, you will become more productive and confident as these naysayers will stress test your decisions.  Unknowingly, the naysayers will poke holes in your processes and question your judgement.  Because they have a different perspective, you will start looking more closely at your decision-making process. And, by looking through a new lens, you can use their perspective to your advantage.

2. Correctly identify the problems

This tip is actually making reference to “problem” employees.  Ask yourself, what makes them a problem?  Is it because they didn’t get along with someone, had a different background or other challenges that might not have been noticeable or evident?  It’s time to give the person a clean slate.  With a new start and a world of possibilities, anything is possible.  In fact, you will likely find that this “problem” employee will turn out to be a high performing individual who just needed a chance and/or change of pace.

3. Give everyone a voice

Everyone has a different communication style.  As a seasoned leader, you’ve likely honed yours and are comfortable with it. However, notice that every workgroup has those quiet employees and those boisterous ones.  Pay attention to the quiet ones to ensure that they have opportunities to speak, share, and ask.  Most importantly, listen to what they are saying as well as what they are not saying.  Those who aren’t as boisterous tend to have a critical eye but might not want to provide input because their voice is overshadowed by others. So, make a conscious effort to provide space and time for their voice to be heard as well.

4. Be friendly

You can’t make everyone happy, so don’t try.  It’s a leadership statement that is similar to “don’t be a friend but be friendly”.  Confused?  Sometimes employees see their leaders as all-knowing and all powerful.  As a seasoned leader you know that this mentality is furthest from the truth.  You make decisions sometimes based on little, if any, data.  You have to design, strategize and modify plans and procedures based on real-time, ever-changing circumstances.  So, follow the Golden Rule and treat others like you would want to be treated.  Remember, though, to be true to who you are, your ethical standards and character, because to be everybody’s friend will result in you sacrificing some of who you are. 

5. Overcommunicate

Have you ever gotten into a rut and don’t know how you got there?  If you were able to push a rewind button, you’ll find it is likely because you didn’t communicate enough.  To check how well you communicate, give someone some instructions and after a while, ask them to provide your instructions to a co-worker.  Do this a few times and ultimately, what comes back to you is not what you said.  Specifically, overcommunication involves the saying, the writing and the telling.  Say what you mean, write specific information and follow up with the telling of a story.  You’ll find the latter is what sticks with your employees because the story you share will help them connect the dots or further relate.  Practice this technique and you will eventually see that your overcommunication results in the doing.

The overcommunication process:

Hopefully, you will find that these gentle tips and reminders will be just enough for your improvement, keeping your leadership skills and style top-notch.  As John Maxwell, a pastor, speaker and author, once said, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

After retiring from the Federal Government, Sandra Hill launched her business – New Horizen Coaching & Professional Growth Advancement.  She has a passion for coaching (life, business, and career), helping those who seek to build their confidence while facilitating transitions in their personal or professional life. Sandra is a best-selling author, podcast host and writes career coaching articles for Forbes and other industry magazines.

Fulfilling her personal mantra, “Each one Reach one”, Sandra also volunteers with several non-profits and serves as a mentor and partner with local schools. 

Image from Couleur Tendance 2021 Bureau

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