Five characteristics of good leadership
According to the Gallup Engagement Index, many employees are dissatisfied with the way their superiors manage their companies. It is therefore not surprising that experts have been calling for a change in leadership style for corporations, organizations and companies in recent years. What does a good leader bring to the table and how can a modern leadership style build resilience?
1. Engage in critical self-reflection
Start by questioning your own leadership behavior – if you make demands, you should be aware of how they may be perceived. This also requires a comparison of your self-perception with that of others and, if in doubt, adapting your behavior by learning new skills and ways of communicating. Openness to supervision in resolving conflicts is indispensable. Admitting your own mistakes is no longer a sign of weakness if you deal with them honestly and self-confidently and make your insights accessible to everyone.
2. Act with self-confidence
This point is essential: a confident manner paired with personable openness. However, be aware of the risk that great self-confidence can quickly be perceived as complacency, an inability to accept criticism and arrogance. Steering a middle course means to strengthen the team spirit and to express appreciation for your colleagues. Confidence is especially important for young managers. If the trust of older, more experienced employees is lacking, you should openly express your interest for their concerns. These conflicts should not be allowed to smolder in the undergrowth – clear up where doubts are not appropriate and where they may be, create a space for discussion and mutual learning. This way, you demonstrate your leadership qualities even to skeptics.
3. Communicate effectively
This is such an incredibly important and too often neglected aspect. For a long time now, it has not only been the manager’s expertise in the field that counts, but also who communicates what and how. It is worth creating structures that enable interactive, clear and team-oriented collaboration. Everyone should have the opportunity to bring ideas, doubts and feedback to the attention of their superiors without long detours. Keep the lines of communication as short and effective as possible and grant more trust than was usual in the conservative style of constant control.
4. Be the compass for business goals
As a manager, you are a role model. You set the course for navigating through both gentle and rough waters. It is important to create a positive outlook for the future and to radiate optimism because it is incredibly motivating when everyone has the feeling that they are jointly working toward a promising future. This is especially true in times of crisis and for challenges associated with technical innovations such as digitalization. Exemplify the company mission.
A keyword that is currently heard in many areas of modern management. It requires the ability to decide on a course of action that is appropriate to the situation – both professionally between risk and safety and personally between strength and compassion. At the same time, it is important not to lose sight of the goal. The demanded range of competences has increased considerably which makes further training and adaptation necessary, rather than a complete upheaval of pre-existing structures.
Food for thought
Beginning with your own mindset. This is what significantly influences the resilience of managers. With both a crisis management plan and a satisfied team that communicates well, overcoming tough challenges is much easier.
7 Things You Should Absolutely Avoid Doing
- Conservative leadership style: passiveness instead of progressiveness. Authoritarian control instead of trust and dialogue. Exerting pressure instead of motivating. Constant criticism instead of appreciation of achievements.
- No self-reflection: According to the Gallup Engagement Index, the vast majority of all managers are convinced that they have a good management style, while many employees criticize the lack thereof. This disparity must be closed.
- Indecisiveness and poor communication about decision-making
- Assumption that one coaching seminar on communication and leadership will do the job. Continuous learning through interaction is important.
- Avoiding uncomfortable conversations will not achieve anything, they will rather become an even bigger problem. No one wants a scaredy-cat as a team leader who cringes at every difficulty.
- Ineffective coping with failure: suppressing a defeat in the long run or even denying it and pushing it off on others is a big mistake. This leads to a poor error culture throughout the team. If you demand that your employees be honest about their misjudgments, you have to set an example yourself. Say goodbye to the idea of having to appear infallible.
- Arrogance: The potential thought that one’s higher degree is worth significantly more than years of experience is a fallacy. Ideally, practical experience and theoretical expertise complement each other in your company, without one being appreciated more than the other.
You will only get to know a good helmsman in stormy seas.
Who can help managers navigate a crisis?
In addition to the Seven Pillars of Resilience, which are well-known from psychological research and which we have already highlighted in the article about Resilient Business Design, we would now like to include the role of HR here. A modern leadership style is currently more in demand than ever, especially due to the digital transformation and the pandemic, so that companies can continue to live up to their claim to success in the long term. Therefore, it is advisable for team leaders to seek support from HR management. When changes occur, it can be consulted for innovative ideas and solutions. It also creates a framework for the continuous personal development of managers through training and supervision.
After all, despite their prominent position, managers are not left to their own devices. All those leadership skills mentioned earlier can be honed and improved with the help of human resources or other networks. They help to turn defeats into learning effects, to improve the basic positive attitude and not to dwell on past mistakes for long. In the process, you will be guided to ask the important questions of failure: What do I take away from this experience? Does the defeat also have positive consequences and how can I maintain my reputation in times of crisis? What skills will now help me to regain fresh strength?
Reframing is a good key point for this. It refers to the ability to look at things in a new light, from a different angle, and thereby reevaluate them completely. If you constantly focus on how bad a situation is, it will not change. But with a new way of looking at things, completely new visions emerge. This is best achieved with guidance from experts.
HR departments are also familiar with innovative measures outside of mindset work that break up the routine, such as integrating a fixed sports break into the office routine or loosening up the work environment with purchases such as a darts set or the like.
Such networks provide support for getting to grips with new leadership situations and overall provide guidance for self-management. That way, things will work out on the grand scheme, too.