By Anita Bowness
In yesterday’s Advisor, Anita Bowness, business consulting global practice leader for Halogen Software, discussed the leadership ripple effect and provided two tips for ensuring these ripples affect your organization in a positive way. Today Bowness has three more tips for our readers.
3. Teach Leaders to Be Self-Aware
The more leaders understand and recognize their own strengths, weaknesses, passions, and doubts, the better they can empathize and support others. The ability of a leader to understand and manage themselves, emotionally and in their actions, can greatly impact the individuals they lead.
Organizations can provide tools such as personality assessments, 360o reviews, mentors, and coaches for employees to better understand themselves and incorporate personal development into their work routine. Journaling and taking the time to debrief projects, events, and critical interactions are less formal but no less effective tools for personal development.
4. Develop Coaching Skills
Perhaps the most critical skill for leaders to develop is the ability to provide effective feedback and performance coaching to employees. Helping employees identify performance goals and providing feedback and coaching on an ongoing basis to monitor progress to ensure success are critical leadership skills.
In high-performing organizations, a culture of ongoing performance management enables leaders to build an open and transparent environment to regularly discuss what is and what isn’t working, identify learning opportunities, and establish and follow a career development path.
5. Build On Individual Strengths with Cultural Sensitivity
In an increasingly diverse, global workforce, it is important for leaders to get to know their employees as individuals, understanding their personal values and passions as well as their strengths, development needs, preferred working environment, and career aspirations. This personal approach to performance management enables leaders to build working teams where each member contributes from his or her strengths, adding up to an impact beyond the sum of the team members.
Organizational savvy should also include an awareness of cultural differences, such as methods of communicating, making decisions, timeliness, handling conflict, and other aspects of working together, in order to head off misunderstandings and create a climate of sharing, learning, and understanding (Erin Meyer’s book, The Culture Map, does an excellent job describing the differences in how individuals from different cultures communicate and share ideas).
The Leadership Ripple Effect
Great leaders create positive ripples by inspiring and leading others, by building a performance culture, and by leaving a legacy of future leaders. HR professionals can help ensure this legacy by implementing effective talent management processes in which high-potential leaders receive early and effective development, including interpersonal, cultural, and coaching skills.