Leadership is about building emotional intelligence. A key attribute of this is the ability to listen and learn from others.
Engage in conversational 360-degree feedback on a regular basis by asking the people you manage, your peers, your suppliers and your boss: “What would you do if you were me?”.
Or ask “How would you rate my performance as your manager/colleague/supplier?” Give them a scale of 1-10, where 1 is dreadful and 10 is wonderful, and whatever their response, accept their answer. Then say, “What would I have needed to do to make it a 10?”
Pay careful attention to their response. Simply giving yourself the opportunity to listen more will improve your ability to engage others. Seek conversational feedback as often as you can
Learn from Feedback
When seeking feedback from others, don’t restrict yourself to those people whose opinions you already know and respect.
Effective leaders aren’t afraid to leave their comfort zone. If you can’t actually go and work on the shop floor or frontline for one day a year, like the CEOs of many a successful enterprise, seek out those people with a bug-bear and ask: “What annoys, bothers and irritates you about this company or process?”
The chances are they’ll already have thought long and hard about a solution, so ask: “What would you do differently?” Listen with an open mind you just might find you’re impressed by the innovative solutions they come up with.
Develop Yourself Continuously
Ultimately, an inspirational leader is dedicated to making others feel capable, confident and strong. That requires you to feel likewise. However your belief in yourself will move up and down with circumstances.
If someone told you that to get fit all you had to do was to go to the gym once, you’d laugh. Similarly to be mentally fit requires continuous development and learning – it’s not something you do once and that’s enough! Training needs to be ongoing.
Expose yourself to new development experiences. Leaders are readers – read something uplifting everyday. Seek out learning opportunities. Associate with positive, energised, goal driven people. Maintain your commitment to grow.
Check out LDL management development training