We are facing one of the biggest disruptions to how we work since the industrial revolution. Trends forecasting predicts a more socially conscious workforce as more “millennials” enter the workforce accompanied by the increased reflection and examination of our personal values and priorities afforded by months of living through the biggest global health crisis in our collective history.
In my post last week, I discussed the importance of emotional intelligence leading though time of change, such as now when there is a great amount of fear and anxiety present. This week I’ll address one of the precursors to emotional intelligence: Self awareness.
As leaders in these times of change, we need to understand self before can understand how to lead others. What does it take to lead through change and do I have the skills necessary? If not, how do I acquire them? This is a journey inward that may seem counter intuitive when talking about leading others in world of work.
The most successful leaders spend a lot of time on their inward journey. Knowing yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, values, beliefs, and being truly grounded is what sets great leaders apart from good or mediocre leaders. One needs to be grounded to build the foundation, and building a solid foundation is what leaders actually do for their teams. If the foundation is weak, the team will fall.
The shared experience of isolation, physical distancing, quarantine periods, and changing lifestyle has brought about the chance for the majority of us to stop and truly question what work means to us and how we are fulfilled by our jobs. Employers who have taken steps to engage and actually care about their staff are well ahead on the return to work. Those who have pushed for work at all costs and were disconnected from the realities of their staff teams who were juggling many new roles in new environments, with limited resources, must take the opportunity to rebuild trust and reestablish relationships.
As a leader, what are your core beliefs and values? How are they being met by your current role and the organization that you work for? When you answer those questions you are able to lead your team in similar conversations. This is true for staff at all levels of the organization. They need to believe in their organization and support it to be motivated to give their best. Employees want more than to just get a regular pay cheque; they want to contribute to what they value.
Being in touch with your values and how they are fulfilled by the purpose of your organization will demonstrate the alignment between them, and provide you with the basis of integrity to be a great leader. Believing in the goals of your organization and the vision to be realized will provide you with the genuine passion to motivate your team. Share with them the passion that you have for your organization and how these align with your personal beliefs. The shared vision will support the team through complex and potentially drastic changes encountered as we all look to find the way forward from the impact of the pandemic.
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