I am noticing as a leader at times I am drawn to others, seeking conversation, companionship, social interaction and intellectual stimulation. At other times I draw inward. Clearly needing time to digest all I’ve taken in and analyze my learning and growth. It’s a time for self-reflection.
One of the keys to strong leadership is personal growth. Leaders who constantly strive to achieve their highest abilities and personal best must take time to reflect on where they’ve come, what they’ve learned, the impact of how they’ve been leaders, the decisions they’ve made, the conversations they’ve had and the choices they’ve made. It’s about how they are being as a leader.
At this time, ask yourself some questions:
You may find yourself looking for guidance and direction from someone else when you do this. While it may seem logical to go to your direct supervisor, consider a variety of places mentors and teachers show up especially in some non-traditional ways you hadn’t thought of. One of my most impactful mentors was someone who didn’t work for our company but rather the one who our agency contracted with. I learned a ton from him about the importance of conversation and connection. I learned how to negotiate and find alignment towards common goals. And I learned how to enjoy my job.
Remember to take time for personal growth, which include inward reflection. Take the time to do this self-reflection and find someone to support you in that. It may be a mentor, supervisor, coach or elder. Your team will appreciate it and you will feel more connected to your passion and purpose in your job.
I have been blessed the last few weeks to have some stimulating conversations with individuals I’ve supervised over the years. As I listen to them, conversed them and observed them I realize I am very proud of them and yes also am appreciating that the system of supervision I had played a role in that.
Before I even took life coach training, I now realize I did a lot of coaching of my staff and giving them the gift to see they already had the answers within them. I just coached them to feel confident to voice them. Rather than telling them what to do, how to do it and when to do it, I encouraged them to think for themselves. By bringing their own education (school and life) and their experiences to the table I knew they had some valuable ideas. And by encouraging the team to do this together there was incredible strength and power in what was available to use to develop the program, team and to provide exceptional services.
The system I had was to meet often with staff. This time allowed for the employee to bring issues to the table, for me to provide correction and training when needed but more importantly to celebrate their successes, provide encouragement when they were struggling and help them find the resources internal and external to find the answers they needed.
Additionally, I was there for staff beyond the scheduled time. While I was busy and often stretched for time, if a staff member needed me or reached out for me, I would make time for them. At other times when they didn’t reach out, I reached out to them. A quick call or email to say “How are things going?” or “I really appreciated that thing you did last week” could go a long way to the staff feeling supported and connected.
Connections are a vital part of my work these days. Having people connect to themselves, their families and the world around them is what I do. It comes in a variety of ways from one-to-one coaching, teaching customer service or inspiring professional women to give themselves permission to do self care in the workplace. I know the strength of this when I look back to seeing the type of supervisor I was. The system I had was to ensure I made strong connections with individual employees, within the team and always encouraged them to remain connected to themselves and their own families.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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