Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Discover How to Be Your Best
Four Simple Ways to Improve as a Leader
by Beth Wonson on June 24th, 2015

Do any of these statements resonate with you?

– I spend all my time putting out fires.
– I’m tired of getting blindsided by missed goals and deadlines.
– I thought I wanted to be the leader but I miss the camaraderie of the team more and more.
– I’m not sure my team really has my back.
– I let small things go that really bother me because people get so upset when I bring it up.

If any of these rang true for you, you aren’t alone. In my experience as a leadership coach, many leaders share these feelings. And all leaders can turn them around by getting support in a few key areas.

In the article, “Decoding Leadership: What Really Matters”, Claudio Fresser, Fernanda Mayol and Ramesh Srinivasan, use research from 189,000 leaders in 81 organizations in 7 industries to come up with a list of the top 20 leadership behaviors present in highly effective, strong leaders. They then focus on the four behavioral strengths accountable for 89% of leadership effectiveness.

1- Problem Solving: If you take the time and have the skills to hold space for tough conversations as a component of the decision making process, you will have better information, more creative and innovative ideas and more buy in and support.

2- Operating from a Strong Results Orientation: It is your role to be a strong communicator and motivator, however you must also be able to hold people accountable and see projects through to results. When I am called in to do teambuilding with teams who are missing deadlines and not achieving goals, I frequently discover a leader who has not yet found the balance between micro managing (viewed as controlling) and giving complete freedom (viewed as being weak). Leaders who practice being maneuvering on the spectrum between these two end points foster accountability and strong results.

3- Seeking Different Perspectives: How comfortable are you in inviting stakeholders to weigh in and share their perspectives, even when you’ve already decided you may not be in agreement? If you are like many leaders, particularly those promoted up through the ranks, you may worry about hurting feelings and alienating friends. The article indicates that leaders who do well in this area are able to invite stakeholders to weigh in and share their perspective, but are also able to stand up and make their decision on strong analysis and void of bias. This is one of the key areas where leadership isolation can begin to set in. Having to stand in your own truth, your own values and your own analysis to make the decisions that may not be popular or impact individuals but in supporting the good of the whole, develops trust.

4- Supporting Others: Are you an empathetic leader or a sympathetic leader? Do you know the difference? Can you truly see, acknowledge and support your team members without getting caught up in emotional fray. Do you clearly hear what they want and need without letting your own goals, interests or beliefs get in the way? By increasing your own self-awareness, authentic and predictable leadership style, you will be better able to support them to grow and develop and do their best work.

Investing in coaching and professional development in these four areas will help you to increase connection, trust, teamwork and collaboration while achieving business outcomes.

Have you had to work with that person who is too valuable to fire but whose communication and leadership style continually make others cringe and put the company at risk? Beth Wonson’s unique combination of experience as a business leader, a non-profit leader and 20 years consulting on team development, organizational change and coaching leaders, make her the go to person for transforming personnel liabilities into personnel assets.

“In my experience, no one truly wants to be the company bully, they just aren’t self-aware enough climb out of it. Their increasing isolation causes more and more drama within the organization. Human Resource staff feel powerless and over time, team members and colleagues choose to leave the organization. The remedy is simply to get this person the right coach. The coach who knows how to  give them the hard feedback and will stand in the fire with them through the change process”. Wonson’s unique methodology combines brain-based research, experiential education and coaching to engage and empower individuals and teams to overcome perceived barriers and gain success. 

She and her team work with businesses, non-profits and individuals across the United States. www.bethwonson.com

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