Who You Are is How You Lead

Approximate reading time: 
under 1 minute
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

No matter how self-aware we may be as leaders, few of us have an objective view of how others experience us…it is valuable to give this some thought, given the fact that every time we interact with someone we are either strengthening that relationship or potentially creating distance with others. Our communication with others creates the fibre of the relationship.

People talk.

What is it that you’d like them to be saying about you?

What is the experience you hope others are having in your presence?

What is one relational behavior you’d like to cultivate to become a better leader? For example: (listen more, talk less, be more appreciative, give more positive feedback, be more patient with others, etc.)

Who you are is how you lead. Nothing is more important than raising your self-awareness and getting feedback from others on how you can improve your relational or EQ skills. A valuable exercise you could undertake is to get some feedback from your direct-reports and peers asking them to answer one question:

“Going forward, what is one thing you think I could do differently be a more effective leader?”

Be curious. Be humble. Listen with an open mind and heart.

Note that nothing is more important to people than having the experience of being valued and understood. It is worthwhile to reflect on how you can cultivate this quality for others not only in your own behavior but also in your company culture as a whole. If you’re looking for ideas about how to do this, just ask your people, they will have many suggestions.

Any feedback should be focused on what you can do in the future, not on talking about the past. Have the courage to ask people on your “chicken list” or those from whom you secretly seek approval.

An inspiring Leader holds a high level of self-awareness, is not afraid to make mistakes and is not afraid to apologize. Although many leaders are committed to technical or industry learning, to know thyself is even more important to your leadership success.

Leaders are learners, they act, they fail, they learn- and then the cycle repeats itself, there are successes along the way as well~ don’t forget to take time to balance the “acting” with “reflecting” and learning, particularly about ourselves~

As a leader, you build relationships and teams one conversation at a time. To learn more about how to engage in impactful conversations that get results, let’s connect.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou