10 questions leaders must ask themselves today
Much of leadership is keeping your employees engaged, helping them grow and making sure they're fulfilled in their role and career path. But in thinking about ways to keep your team on track, do you take time to reflect on your approach to leadership?
It's difficult to become a better leader if you're unaware of your strengths and weaknesses. Just as I promote conducting a self-review before setting new goals at the beginning of each year, I think it's important to assess your leadership regularly – especially if you're not seeing the results you want.
Leadership guru John Stoker poses 10 questions to guide you through this self-reflection process:
- Are people motivated to follow you? And as you think about this, how do you know if they are?
- Do people seek your perspective or insights? Being approachable is an important characteristic for a leader to have.
- How open am I to different perspectives about tough issues? Stoker recommends thinking about whether people are willing to disagree with you.
- What situations or feedback cause me to get defensive? Being able to identify causes can help better control your emotions and response.
- Why do I take certain situations personally? Stoker says that this is often because we feel like a personal value is being challenged.
- How does my communication style affect others? I write often about the importance of communication. It is critical that you are aware of your body language, what you say and how say it.
- How does my mood or state of mind influence the decision-making of others? For better or worse, our direct reports take cues from our behavior.
- Do people view me as negative and cynical, or positive and passionate? Seeking feedback from a trusted source within your company can ensure you're perspective matches what others see.
- What personal characteristics bother me the most? We are all prone to preferences, and understanding yours can improve your reactions.
- Do I make negative assumptions or judgments of others, or do I give others the benefit of the doubt? Past experiences influence future interactions. As a leader, it's important to work toward be open-mindedness and away from holding grudges.
Self-awareness is really the key to effective leadership – you must be aware of your communication style, your responses to situations and how people react to you. Identifying areas you can improve will strengthen your relationships in the office and the overall success of your organization.
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