5 questions leaders should ask themselves often

Be accountable, get engaged, and become a leader with these key questions.

In today’s ever-evolving world, leaders need to stay on their toes and a key aspect of this is developing self-awareness. Leaders need to cultivate the ability to analyse and critique themselves, so as to stay relevant and perceptive. One way of doing this is by asking probing questions to better understand the quality of your leadership, gauge areas that need improvement, and set an example for your employees. Here are some of the questions you should be asking yourself every day.

What did I get wrong and what did I learn from it?
Chances are you’ve had your fair share of bad decisions. No one can be right all the time. And when you do falter it’s important you acknowledge the failure and admit it. Rather than spending your energy on denial, find out what went wrong, learn from your mistake and how you can avoid doing it again. Mistakes don’t define you, it’s how you respond to them that does. Remember, success and failure are two sides of the same coin, you can’t have one without the other.

Did my employees make progress today? And how did I help them?
Good leaders don’t just focus on themselves; they also empower, encourage and motivate those around them. They’re helping strengthen their employees and increase productivity, which will help the team and ultimately the company. Looks for ways to provide new opportunities, enhance their skills, or just spend some one-on-one time offering feedback and discussing their performance. It’s crucial leaders investing time and effort in their team members.

Am I working towards my goals?
We all have professional as well as personal goals, and it’s important to keep both in sight. Goals keep you focussed and motivated, so you need to have a good, strong direction in mind. However, achieving goals takes concerted effort and you need to check daily if you’re working towards them. If you aren’t, you need to find out what’s holding you back and change what’s necessary to get your back on track.
Every small effort counts,

Am I empowering my employees?
Often leaders think they need to take every single decision, big or small. By doing this they take on too much, setting themselves up for failure. Good leaders know the key is to recruit effectively and build a strong team that you trust. This way you can let go and let some of your employees take on the responsibilities. Things might just progress faster and, more importantly, you’re building a relationship of trust and respect that leads to a collaborative working culture. Employees will appreciate the vote of confidence and work hard to meet your expectations. Their motivation will increase, leading to better productivity.

When was the last time I asked for feedback?
Constructive criticism is an important part of the self-improvement process and good leaders understand its value. Some leaders don’t wish to hear opinions and ideas (of any sort) and their employees tend to be most demotivated, exhausted, and demoralised. Good leadership is about setting aside your ego and actively listening to feedback being given. Don’t take it as a personal attack on your character/behaviour. Instead, don’t react instinctively and truly listen to the facts being presented because it’s likely there’s a pertinent point being made. Ask probing questions to get clarification and more information so you can better understand the feedback and gain knowledge about actions. You can now use this information to future hone your leadership and skills.

Photograph: Pexels 

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