Having years long of experience, especially within the same company, is definitely a beneficial asset, especially as a high-level employee. Experience also proves to be crucial when leading a team, but leadership skills must adapt to new generations, new values, and new goals.
However, a change in strategy and change in mindset must go hand in hand as more effort on one end of the scale creates an unpleasant balance, leaving the business leader static. Therefore, any leader must embrace the change within the organisation by experimenting with new change from within to drive the team towards success.
Habitual change is easier said than done, but here are four steps for leaders, and if needed team members, to adapt when need be.
The first step towards making a healthy change is addressing what went wrong in the first place. Increasing self-awareness in the day-to-day operations opens opportunities to discover weaknesses and room for improvement. Listing flaws can be subjective and so it is imperative for one to ask for feedback, be it during good and tough times.
It is only natural to feel certain emotions when receiving negative feedback, especially if criticism is directed towards a specific behaviour. Nonetheless, noting these feelings can help you evaluate, assess and address the constructive criticism in an adequate way.
A little bit of humility goes a long way, and it shows your team members that leaders are also humans who make mistakes. Showing the team that everyone has their own shortcomings opens a line of communication with the team whilst simultaneously promoting growth both on a team and leadership level.
Knowing that you need to change your ways is important but acting on it and being committed is the driver that will take you to the next level.
This can be achieved by flagging reactions to situations. When faced with a problem, be sure to take a step back and re-evaluate the best way to tackle it, rather than go into auto-pilot mode.
Growing accustomed to a “new” leader is easier for team members that frequently interact with their superior. Nonetheless, people in a higher position might interpret certain behaviours, such as assertiveness, as rudeness or being condescending.
This might lead to a trigger of bickering or arguments during an ordinary monthly meeting but as a leader, you must be aware of the agenda behind the meeting and focus on what is important and of fruition. Ultimately, this will lead to more productive conversations, rather than angry discussions.
Although this phrase is overly used, it does speak the truth: Practice makes perfect. As a leader, you should take the risk to practice what you have learned so far and not fear making error.
There is no shame in setting small, but frequent goals towards the change you require.
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