Everyone is a leader. Every day, each human is leading themselves, and in some cases influencing others, to make choices that impact themselves and those around them - for better or worse. In the workforce, people are thrust into leadership roles every day, with or without the appropriate training, desire, or support they really need to accomplish their goals. The ability to develop and practice more consciousness in whatever way you lead is the key to creating the outcomes, energy, and emotions people want most - all signs of what most people consider an effective leader.
The following activities may seem simple and obvious, but they are a reminder of some foundational practices to continue to hone, no matter where you are at in your leadership journey. Here are four foundational conscious leadership practices to cut through the white noise of outside influences, remain present, and center yourself in a mindset for exceptional leadership...
Observing people, outcomes, thoughts, and perceived problems as objectively as possible before taking any action can improve decision-making and prevent exacerbation of existing negativity or issues. We will never completely rid our minds of stories, judgements, or gut feelings, but we can slow down, attempt to validate them, and be open to the idea that they could be wrong.
Asking questions that clarify goals and details, validate observations and people’s points of view, and leave space for truth to emerge is an artform. Preparing for conversations, particularly the difficult ones, with a set of carefully crafted questions can prevent accusatory tones, leading questions, and omissions of important points of view.
Listening is critical, not only when you ask a question, but also during daily operations, discussions, and meetings. Active listening coupled with keen observation is a recipe for greater awareness, decision-making, and problem-solving. As a team leader, it can be a game-changer to prioritize these practices and develop the skills to listen for energetic levels of engagement, values, and beliefs of the people you lead, serve, and inspire.
If done effectively, observing, asking, and listening will help you align people with the right activities, responsibilities, roles, reporting structures, expectations, and goals. This allows you to motivate people through their values, skills, personal goals, and accomplishments, rather than through force or fear, and to recognize, support, and develop leadership in others.
A workplace culture that prioritizes these practices and takes the time for continuous alignment for their people is much more likely to create an attractive and productive environment created for growth and well-being!
Andrea MacKenzie, Founder of Lead With Harmony, is an MBA, multi-certified coach, Kolbe-Certified consultant, and leadership and team-building expert with over 20 years of combined experience in corporate roles and business consulting. Andrea enjoys working with growth-oriented business owners and executives who advocate for the advancement and well-being of the people they serve, hire, and inspire.