Nowadays, we expect customisation to fit our specific needs in many areas of life. Thanks to streaming services, we can select from a vast range of entertainment choices. No one bats an eyelid if we order a large soy cappuccino, extra shot, extra hot, extra chocolate on top with extra froth on the side. (You know who you are.) We don’t even mind if it takes longer for the salad to come out – as long they take out the coriander!
This mindset also applies to leadership. Nowadays, your employees expect you to customise your interactions to suit their specific needs. From the person in the corner with their head down, barely speaking and diligently working to meet their deadlines, to the person in the office who immediately spreads joy whenever they enter a room. Both will interact with you quite differently – yet both of these employees expect you to personalise your interactions and treat them as individuals. But when you’re stretched for time and resources, it’s easy to fall into the trap of treating everyone the same.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to leadership. But you can take steps to create more personalised, meaningful interactions – and make your employees feel they are seen, heard, and valued.
The following are behaviours and traits shared by all great leaders.
- Demonstrate compassion and empathy
- Listen to your employees, give them your full attention, and watch for non-verbal clues about what they might not be saying.
- Inspire and motivate others
- Action speaks louder than words, and inspirational leaders must do what they say. It’s not enough to simply say that you are committed to your organisation, or your company’s vision.
- Engage in servant leadership
- The traditional organisation hierarchy is out the door – with a new emphasis on sharing a more equal and collaborative relationship between leaders and employees. But don’t let the title put you off – you won’t be fanning your team with palm fronds and feeding them grapes!
- It’s not about you – but it is about you
- At the core of all these great traits is you – and your ability to evaluate and assess yourself objectively. Self-assessment is the process of genuine reflection on your performance – forcing you out of your everyday work bubble to take a hard look at your own professional journey.
- I don’t have these traits! I need help!
Anyone can be a leader, but we’re not always prepared for it. Or we may not understand the complexities of leading a group of people – all with their own learning methods and ways of interacting and coping.
The People Practice can help you understand your own leadership style, and cultivate the traits and skills to foster a welcoming work environment that inspires the best from your employees.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to leadership. Talk to us today for your own tailored leadership strategy – and create genuine connections in your organisation to inspire change for the better.
Founder & CEO at The People Practice