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3 ways to improve your leadership reputation

I do quite a lot of leadership work – coaching and classroom training, and I do like to make the point that no matter what technical skills you have or need, the personal quality that makes the difference is how you make people feel.
I recently came across some research which I feel captures really well what matters when you lead or would like to lead others. The research comes from the Humanistic Management Journal, and is around the topic of dignity.
The 3 top elements discussed are:

1. Acceptance of identity
– Go for a win/win approach e.g. I am not superior to you, we are equal
– Give people freedom to be themselves, not a mini version of you or the company
– Let people be free to interact without prejudice or bias
– Accept diversity
– Assume integrity in others

2. Recognition
– Accredit others for their talent and effort
– Be generous with praise
– Give credit to others for their contribution and experience

3. Acknowledge
– Give people your full attention

It all sounds a bit obvious but I can tell you that I have worked with people who spend their time judging others and describing them out loud as ‘thick’ and ‘stupid’, knocking every effort they have made to get something right and mocking them to each other. They would never do this to the faces of these people but it tells me a great deal about how unaccepting they are of what others do. They are also too foolish to realise that they are also being judged by those who can hear what they are saying (typically about customers).
It takes very little skill to cherish others for who they are and what they are trying to do. Take the time to make others feel good about what they can do and add to it rather wipe it out in a single unkind strike.
Never underestimate who is watching and listening and making judgements about you and your leadership abilities.
Make every interaction be one that reflects the you that you want others to think you are.

Penny Whitelock FinstLM



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