Four Simple Keys to Unlock Your Leadership Potential This Year

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If you want to unleash your full potential and make this year even better than last, you need to remember the basics. It is not always huge strategic moves that make the biggest leadership difference. To make 2020 your best year yet here is a reminder of the 4 things that make a difference to your leadership impact.

1. Two-way communication

Being a good leader means giving and receiving feedback. Two-way communication builds trust and strengthens working relationships. Supportive relationships help team members maintain focus and engagement. Active listening is such an important leadership quality, yet many senior executives fail to master this critical skill.   Research revealed in HBR indicates that 91% of workers experience communication issues that drag executives down.

Listening to feedback doesn’t mean that you have to agree with it, or do it - it is just feedback - but you do need to hear it, and that means taking the time to really listen especially when pace is a priority. Click To Tweet

Really listening means suspending your judgement and your addiction to being right and just listening with ears that are not threatened nor in ‘reply-mode’.  It will boost your leadership credibility and foster team collaboration and commitment. And you might just learn something!

2. Accept that you don’t have all the answers

Successful leaders know that they don’t need to have all the answers all the time, it is not expected and it is impossible to do credibly. So let go of that expectation of yourself and take the time to not always push for a solution, live with the uncertainty for a while and you may find the solution will be bigger.

Trust is eroded when as leaders we are observed making decisions that are not well-rounded or well-informed and then expecting our teams to make them happen. Your approach to challenges and asking for input as well as the time taken to find new solutions will pay off in the quality of the solution and how your team observes and models your problem solving and decision-making.

3. Develop your conflict resolution skills

Workplace conflict is a common issue within any organisation, it can’t be avoided but how you deal with it can directly impact how you are seen as a leader. It is uncomfortable stuff we tend to avoid. At our peril.

The ability to proactively manage, resolve and de-escalate conflict is a crucial skill for any leader. Issues don’t tend to just disappear and if you don’t act you risk team morale and motivation not to mention your own credibility. If you choose to ignore the conflict, you not only risk creating a toxic environment but the behaviour you are seen to tolerate will be reinforced and you will be judged by others in the team for not addressing it.  

4. Why are we here and what are we doing?

Everyone needs to know where they and the organisation are going. Lack of direction is a common complaint among the workforce. Only 40% of workers polled understood the goals of their organization.  Without clear direction, employees become less engaged and lose focus.  We often forget how diffuse goals can become as they filter down the organisation and how disconnected our teams can become from them.  Constant reinforcement of, and dialogue around, the organisation’s purpose and direction as well as connecting that direction to each individual’s role and efforts can’t be underestimated.

So here’s to keeping your eye on the basics to have your best leadership year yet!

Remember to:

·      Listen

·      Let go of having all the answers

·      Manage the tensions, and

·      Be the compass

As always thanks for reading this and sharing it. Feel free to read more on my blog page.


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One comment on “Four Simple Keys to Unlock Your Leadership Potential This Year

  1. Mello on

    Hi Penny

    I did enjoy your latest blog. I just wish my employer would read it. Everything you say about not listening/communicating etc is so pertinent to my work situation.


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