As leaders, we invest time and energy in learning and applying new skills, but do we ever ask how those receivers could help us? For example, if I want to be a great leader-as-coach, I need to become really clear on the specific behaviours that I want to put into action, for what kind of situations, what reinforcement I need, as well as the benefits staff can expect. And then, I don’t keep it a best kept secret. I make all of this transparent with my staff. Anecdotal evidence for the benefits of this approach are refreshing and help make the learning, stick further.
Respond or React?
Feeling run-ragged by a pile of increasing commitments, and running from one thing to another? It doesn’t really have to be this way. This is called reactivity and it can become a habit. Being reactive gives us an adrenalin boost and in the short -term feels good, because we are seen to ‘save the day‘ so that’s why we get into the habit in the first place.
React or Respond?
When we react, we feel an urgency, a lack of choice. We may feel as though we’re going down a tunnel or blind alley which seems to get narrower and narrower with less and less visibility. Conversely, when we respond, rather than react, our behaviour is based on conscious thought, the kind of thinking that considers options. We are able to take a breath amidst the discomfort, to see and scan the choices. This is the stuff that leadership is made of.
Over-using the fight/flight reaction, leads to wearing us out, literally. Too much adrenalin and cortisol inhibit the production of immune-giving white cell production. Another reason why we need to care what state we’re in, is that we use up valuable energy and head space that we could be using for other more long term benefit things, like strategy and planning. In our blog we give some powerful tips for a sustainable contented life style. They focus around your thinking and what you give your attention to. You are in the driver’s seat after all.
To paraphrase Dolly Parton; ‘sometimes its hard to be a leader’.The joy of leadership lies in chosing to do all those things that are hard at the time, and seeing the outcome of those choices come to fruition months later.So when you look at it that way, being a leader is only as hard as you want to make it.
Saying No can be a Big Yes
Saying ‘no’ is harder in a ‘jittery’ climate of organisational restructures. We’re keen to keep our jobs but then we make the leap between saying ‘no’ and losing our jobs. However, saying ‘no’ to more work is part of self-leadership because it is linked with job effectiveness.
Saying ‘no’ is easier when we: are crystal clear on our job purpose; understand our personal purpose and do more of our ‘sweet spot’ activities; know and spend the bulk of our time on our high leverage activities; sort out in our own head that ‘doing it all’ does not equate to feeling valued; set boundaries and expectations clearly with others; jointly find solutions; are proactive in managing changing priorities.
There is no one thing that will get us saying ‘no’ but a clear head, underpinned by a sense of purpose and progress makes it far easier to say ‘no’ in a jittery employment environment.
‘Get over Yourself?’
We fancy ourselves as pretty tough in this country. ‘Get over yourself’ is a reasonably common phrase here. However, just telling ourselves to ‘get over yourself’, and ignoring our state of mind, doesn’t work by itself. It’s important to take note when we’re ‘out of sorts’ because in fact brain-wise we may be. As simple as it may be, getting a good night’s sleep, and breathing well throughout the day, will set you up for integrated brain success. So, ironically by attending (i.e. ‘getting into yourself’) rather than ignoring your current state, you’ll make significant steps toward ‘getting over yourself’ and moving forward in an elegant and integrated way.