Quality Leadership and Better Outcomes
A wealth of research and your own experiences confirm without a doubt that effective and quality leadership positively impact EVERYTHING: Motivation; Engagement; Commitment; Communication; Climate; Culture and; Conversion on Greatest Results.
Conversely, we also know that when employees experience leadership as being inadequate, negative and/or of poor quality the outcomes are less than preferred. There are clear links between less than satisfactory leader experiences and low morale, poor job satisfaction, negative work climate, increased stress, strain, disengagement and burnout. These negatively affect and are detrimental to people, productivity and profit!
5 Ways Leaders Can Inspire
The following priorities have demonstrated a profound and positive impact on greater leader-member experiences and, have inspired employees, teams and whole organizations to feel better and do better in their work.
Better Leadership = Better People, Productivity and Profit.
1. Make the Leader-Member Relationship a Priority
According to thousands of employees and research, a quality leadership experience is dependent upon a relationship characterised by a high degree of trust, liking and respect.
Quality relationships are also dependent on relations-oriented skills such as effective paraphrasing, empathic listening and variety of open ended questions. When trust, respect and liking are high, it is much more likely that team members will be open and honest about their experience and share what is most important to them.
Leaders that make relationship a priority, can check-in with their members by asking, “How do you think we are doing?” or “How would you say our relationship is going?
2. Get to Know What Motivates Employees
Great relationships are conducive to better communication, which is necessary to learn about employees. Finding out what motivates members is helpful so that leaders may work towards “greatest-fit” for staff within the work and the work environment. In addition to this, knowing what motivates members can provide insight into what and how leaders can enhance an increase in positive and supportive interactions/experiences.
Several questions that are helpful to uncover and connect with key motivators are:
- What brought you to this role?
- What keeps you here?
- What aspects of your work are you most excited about?
- When work gets tough, what are the things that keep you hanging in?
3. Get to Know Employee Needs, Values, Goals and Strengths
Although most employees value team and a shared mission, their individual stories can be very diverse. When people describe their experience with their leaders as being the most positive, supportive and meaningful, it is often because to some degree their unique needs, values, goals and strengths are being acknowledged, aligned and/ or realized.
The following questions can be helpful for the leader to surface important needs, values, goals and strengths:
- When you consider your work, what do you feel you need to be and do your best?
- What values/principles of the company/department values are most important to you?
- What are you hoping to accomplish with your clients/customers?
- What do you feel are your personal/professional strengths?
4. Operationalize Important Values in Practice
Research and thousands of employees confirm the importance values, in operation, play in contributing to a quality leadership experience. When leaders consistently behave in ways that operationalize key values such as trust, respect, empathy and integrity, they will enhance the leader-member relationship and directly contribute to a quality leadership experience.
Role modelling important and guiding values by leaders is critical for two important reasons. Leadership integrity is based on whether leaders do what they say is important and, higher levels of leader-member trust is the result great values in practice.
5. Focus on Employee Strengths
Everybody likes to hear about what they are doing well. When leaders focus on strengths point to concrete successes and real potentialities for development, growth, and productivity they create a positive, supportive and meaningful leadership experience. When leaders take a strengths approach to support and performance development, employees experience hope, optimism, and sense of real competency, ingredients that are essential for inspiration, positive and effective staff performance, and achievement of preferred employee and client outcomes.
Several simple and practical approaches for initiating a strengths approach within leadership are:
- Start conversations with, “What’s going well?”;
- Ask team members about their strengths;
- Consistently catch them doing great things;
- Document a growing list of identified strengths, and;
- Provide opportunities for staff to demonstrate and build on strengths.
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