Think more, do less and become a better leader17 May 2017
Management is a demanding role, and even more so when you're still in the process of leadership training. How do you manage this pressure and everything the position throws at you? Rather than leaning in and trying to do more, sometimes the answer is to stop and step back for a moment.
The value of self-reflection
When you're struggling to balance the various demands of leadership, it's tempting to think that the solution is to do more, and to do it faster. While the impulse is common, you're confusing activity for productivity, says Harry Kraemer of the Kellogg Institute. Getting stuff done is important, but you need to balance that with sitting and figuring out what you need to get done, and why it's important to you.
Make self-reflection a part of your daily routine – a 15-minute interlude when you stop and take stock.
Kraemer recommends that you make self-reflection a part of your daily routine – a 15-minute interlude during your commute or coffee break when you stop and take stock. These periods of self-reflection help you figure out what is important to you as a leader, which makes decisions easier. They also help you become more aware of what type of leader you are – and what you might need to do to improve.
Self-awareness helps identify the flaws in your management style
Writing for Forbes, executive coach and author Victor Lipman says that a lack of self-awareness is a common problem among leaders.
"Over the years I've seen numerous executive careers derailed by lack of self-awareness," Lipman says. "Individuals felt they were omnipotent and took crazy risks … or didn't recognise when actions that felt authoritative were actually demoralising … or in general didn't have an accurate "read" on how others were decoding the messages they were sending."
By contrast, Lipman says, leaders who are self-aware have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and how these affect the team they're managing. Poor leadership techniques risk disengaging your staff, and without the self-awareness to identify the problem, you won't be able to address it before it takes a serious toll on your team's morale and productivity.
Taking the time for reflection can help you take stock not only of how you're going – it can give you a better idea of how your team and colleagues are reacting to your leadership, and how you may want to develop your techniques to get better results. Our leadership training courses here in Melbourne can help you to develop these skills to their best potential. Get in touch today to find out more.