Adopt a purposeful, intentional, and strategic approach to build a strong workplace foundation.
By Priya Prakasan
The best leaders often use vision and direction to great effect, bringing a strong purpose into the workplace. Their behaviour includes deliberate, purposeful actions that help push their team to the next level. So how do you become an intentional leader that inspires the team? Here are some strategies.
Become more self-aware
Self-awareness is a necessary trait in a leader. It can be empowering as it enables a leader to make better choices. Leaders who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses are on track for a position of growth and improvement. Such leaders are also acutely aware of the impression they make and make it a point to set the best example for their employees. They realise that the words they use, their body language, etc can have a huge impact on the team and determine the work culture. This awareness leads them to control the outward manifestations of their worry, stress, and pressures, as that would also cause employees to feel tense. So they intentionally take great care with their words and behaviour so as to motivate and inspire
Learn to respond not react
Bad leaders often have knee jerk reactions to situations without paying heed to the repercussions of their actions. They let their emotions get the better off them. This is a situation to be avoided. In order to be an intentional leader one must learn to think and respond, rather than react. Give yourself the time needed to process the information/situation, the variables involved, etc, and then act. It will help you and your team reach better decisions and make better choices.
Be cognizant of your influence
As a leader you wield immense influence, not just with your team, but with peers, management, clients, and vendors. Your behaviour has a huge impact on organisational culture. A good leader is aware of his/her sphere of influence and works hard to balance it with a healthy dose of self-awareness. Positive influence isn’t about control. Rather it’s about aligning people around a vision and providing the support needed to help them achieve great outcomes.
Treat people with respect
Power and control can get to a leader’s head and that’s never proved good for anybody. So pay close attention to how you treat your employees. Do you think they work for you or with you? The first mindset implies ownership while the latter signals a team spirit. So think about the approach you’re using. Respect is an important part of your relationship with every individual in the workplace, from your CEO down to the office assistant. Being treated with respect is more important to most employees than recognition and appreciation. So treat people with respect and courtesy, show them they are valued members of the organisation. When you do so, you will earn their loyalty and trust.
Give constructive feedback
Intentionally leaders don’t give feedback only during annual performance reviews. They recognise that constructive feedback is necessary for an employee’s professional and personal growth, and therefore they offer it frequently. Doing so also helps them impove performance, enhance engagement, and build a strong team.