Leadership or ego-trip and how to tell the difference.
Now you made it into the leadership position, finally THEY have to do what YOU say! Or do they? Leaders aren’t born, leaders are made. But, all too often leaders just slip into the role because it is their time to move up the ladder. And that is a problem.
How many faces does leadership have? Which approach is the right one and where is the bottom line here? What is powerful leadership and how does one do it consistently and effectively?
Leadership first and foremost is being able to influence human behavior in a way that increases productivity and motivates your team to perform effectively. Leadership at its very core has very little to do with facts, roles and regulations, commands and obedience. But, it is empathy, understanding and communication on an emotional level, yes on an emotional level.
This might be an uncomfortable question but I have to ask, how much attention do you pay to how everyone in your team feels? Do you know what is alive in them, what they tell themselves and how this affects their performance? A great leader can slip into any shoe and see how it fits and then walk the talk back to productivity effectively.
Leadership is about employing strategic empathy and understanding and using language to guide emotions to the right place to ensure the self talk is healthy and top performance is guaranteed. So how do you do that? Easy, simply ask yourself this; from what perceptional point do I communicating from, my own or theirs?
Sadly, most leaders still communicate from their own point of view not taking into account how what they say, and how they say it, is going to be perceived by the receiver. The tasks might be a clear picture in the leaders mind but it may paint a very different image in the listeners mind. And these mental images or perceptions of reality are creating the underlying reality we know as emotions which in turn drive our actions and motivations.
Resentment, anger, upset, anxiety, guilt, negative pressure, unworthiness and fear are not what any leader wants to trigger. But all too often we end up triggering these exact emotions unconsciously by a tunnel-visionéd narrow mindedness caused by pressure and stress.
Here is where mindful leadership can build a bridge. What if you would pay attention to what emotional response your dialog is causing? What if you would chose your words and the image you paint in someone’s mind cautiously and with intend to trigger certain positive emotions? And, if you would do that effectively, how would your conversation change and, even more importantly, how would your message be perceived by the other party? What would change if you would employ strategies of empathy and right framing of the information flow that causes the ‘right’ emotions?
Mindful leadership is about being able to infiltrate the other person’s emotional decision making center by using effective language patterns to cause positive emotions to surface and in turn, drive positive perception which in turn causes better performance on the team member’s part.
Once positive feelings are driving the thoughts and actions your people will automatically take ownership and accountability for tasks willingly. Mindful leadership builds confidence in others, allows them to be response-able and feel autonomous, in charge and in control of the venture guided mindfully and empathetically by you in the background with their best interest at heart.
Mindful leadership helps you to build self-driving super performers who can tackle the obstacles of the day not because they have to but because their emotionally hungry to. Drive your team from the back and allow them to shine at the front. Give them praise even for your own thought babies and see how people blossom into the very best versions of themselves, a very different approach to leadership altogether. Mindful leadership wraps altruistic, transformational, charismatic, democratic and coach leadership all into one and allows others to become the best version of themselves. Try it sometime.