I’ve noticed that the mere thought of leading a team is often a source of anxiety, yet many of the people I’ve worked with need to grow their team to grow their business. And from my own experience, even those of us who aspire to lead people still have to work at developing skills & modifying behaviours to suit the situation.
So how do you go about calming fear and building skills?
I believe that the starting point is knowing and understanding yourself and how you show in your relationships.
How well do you know yourself? I mean really KNOW YOURSELF?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding ourselves. Today we literally can take hundreds of quizzes and categorize just about every aspect of ourselves – personalities, behaviour, management style, emotional intelligence and even our love language. It’s a lot to sort through and can be very overwhelming!
I’m sure most of you have done at least one type of assessment / quiz or questionnaire. (No? Where have you been and HOW have you avoided this?) So let me ask you – What are you doing with this information??
Does it just sit in your inbox? Filed away to be lost and forgotten??
Do you take the time to really understand the information?
Do you reflect on how the results are showing up in your life and then consciously think about what you will do differently the next time you encounter this situation? Do you use the information to have more meaningful communication and effective relationships?
When we know the details of our personalities, strengths, weaknesses and biases and then use them to our advantage we actually lead ourselves with deeper insights and in turn become high performing effective leaders. We become aware of self-sabotaging behaviours and can work to change them. We communicate our needs more effectively without all the emotion (yes, I can have a little emotion behind my words some days) which ultimately helps us achieve our desired outcomes.
To be able to lead others successfully we must first know, understand and be able to lead ourselves.
Sounds simple and perhaps it is, in theory. In practice and in reality, this is a much taller task than most people realize.
Relationships are like windows into ourselves. Leadership is many relationships with many people – all of whom will offer you different glimpses of yourself.
I urge you to pay attention and be curious.
I’ve created a simple worksheet which will help get you started. As you work through the questions you will begin to understand yourself and how certain pieces of who you are, are positively or negatively showing up your relationships. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to work, it applies to all your relationships both business and personal!
I would love to know how you gather feedback and information about yourself and how you use it in your life to improve your ability to lead yourself.