Every leader has their own leadership style and every manager their own management style.
Managers tend to manage goals, budgets, deadlines, clients, people and projects.
Whereas, leaders influence, empower, guide a team or a group of people towards a specific vision.
Most for the time, these terms are used interchangeably.
Sometimes, the line between managers and leaders get blurred because both leaders and managers have to make sure that their teams are successful and that their organization benefit from their intervention.
Wondering whether are the traits that set managers and leaders apart?
1. Short-term vs Long-term z
Managers oversee the short-term metrics, execute tasks and help others execute tasks in order to reach these metrics.
On the contrary, leaders pay attention to long-term goals, overall progress and drive change.
2. Problem-oriented vs Solution-oriented
Managers punctually correct mistakes and set people back on track.
Leaders value growth and provide solutions so that their team don’t make the same mistakes.
3. Task-oriented vs. People-oriented
On one hand, managers are task-oriented individuals. They encourage their team to achieve each tasks and reach each goals.
On the other hand, leaders are people-oriented. They delegate tasks and trust that their team will achieve them.
4. Trust building vs Team building
Managers build team-cohesion and motivate people to do their job.
However, leaders build trust, motivate and encourage others to contribute to the team and to the organization.
5. Title vs Exemplarity
Managerial roles usually come with a title and expect team members to individually take care of their problems.
Leaders are able to do the opposite and to lead without a title. Leaders lead by example, advice their team and transform problems into solutions.
6. Maintaining culture vs Building culture
Managers impregnate themselves with the company culture and the vision for the organization. They help their team members align themselves with the principles of the organization and to maintain the company culture.
Contrarily, leaders have purpose, have a vision, core beliefs for themselves and their organization that they are able to share with their team. They build the culture.
Last Words Of Advice!
Leadership and management are not mutually exclusive.
Sometimes, managers and leaders have overlapping yet critical roles.
Furthermore, there is no right or wrong way to lead or to manage:
Everybody is different and has a personal approach to dealing with other people.
Everybody has to figure out at some point how they want to be handled and how they wish to handle people, whether or not a managerial or leadership is more suitable.
Are you a manager or a leader?
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
We all have been exposed during a period of time to annoying, hateful, toxic coworkers that can drive us crazy.
Sometimes, bringing us to ask ourselves whether they’re the problem or we are…
Wondering how to spot these toxic coworkers from afar and how to handle them?
Every workplace has difficult employees and we all have been, to some extent, in different situations with hateful coworkers.
I do believe that we all, partially or fully, demonstrate some level of toxicity towards a third party in the workplace.
Below, are the 15 worst toxic coworkers that I have already met and have had to deal with.
Case Study #1: The Delicate
The Delicate is a sensitive person with vain imagination that constantly and easily feels under attack, and that takes things deeply and personally. The Delicate thinks that people are looking, gossiping and criticizing him or her!
Keep the conversation on superficial topics and crack jokes about him or her.
Avoid using sarcasm, making dry remarks, directly confronting this person. Instead, try to sugarcoat things and to give indirect constructive criticism.
Case Study #2: The Slacker
The Slacker is mostly concerned about personal life and regulating it during working hours.
The Slacker does not take his or her work seriously, spends his or her working life over the internet, cannot make a deadline to save his or her life, is not punctual even absent, unapologetically displays a lack of motivation.
The Slacker is visibly unfulfilled in his or her current position but won’t do anything about it.
Impose a deadline or better yet let him or her publicly impose a deadline.
Pick up the slack with the rest of the team and keep quiet.
This individual will sink himself or herself. Otherwise, this individual will eventually have to get up and swim, explain their behavior, their performance and their results to upper management.
Case Study #3: The Rocket Scientist
The Rocket Scientist is the individual on the team that is full of knowledge but who is in search for recognition for his superior intellect and who demands an immense respect for his expertise. The Rocket Scientist will feel insulted and will almost become passive aggressive if his or her ideas and point of view are being questioned.
Stop comparing his expertise to anyone on the team.
Avoid diminishing his knowledge and ideas in front of the team or behind closed doors.
Avoid criticizing his work and intellect.
Instead, tap into his range of knowledge by placing him or her in the role of a counselor but not a decision maker.
Case Study #4: The Gossiper
The Gossiper is an individual that enjoys gossip, that emphasizes and embellishes a rumor.
The Gossiper is nosy and loves to keep the rumor mill spinning. This person is even capable of destroying someone’s reputation in the office.
Listen to the rumor without adding any input. The information may not be malicious but indicative of office politics or of a situation that you can take advantage of.
However, learn to separate useful information from the gossip.
If this person only brings negative void information, crafted gossip, signal your disinterest by not responding or responding with monosyllables or challenging the facts in the story line, discreetly remove yourself from the circle, avoid participating in the rumor mill.
Be careful not to offense this person, for they would drag your name in the mud. If this person is actually gossiping about you, avoid any interaction and adding fuel to fire by striking back with gossip before damaging your reputation.
Confront this person in a non threatening and diplomatic way, in a private setting by stating that you are aware of the gossip and everyone is saying that she is a liar and the bearer of the negative information but you know that is not true.
Case Study #5: The Bulldozer
The Bulldozer is an individual that believes wrongly in his intelligence.
The Bulldozer doesn’t hesitate to make everybody’s life miserable if things don’t go his way.
The Bulldozer threatens, bullies, intimidates, steps on toes and remains on the verge of harassment in order to get things his way. “It’s my way or the high way!”. The Bulldozer imposes his way of doing things even if it is not the best way of doing them.
They make the worst managers ever but are the most common managers found in corporate.
Cultivate your emotional intelligence in order not to respond to negativity with negativity.
listen to this person point of view from beginning to end without uttering a word, then summarize their position and calmly expose yours.
Case Study #6: The Work-To-Rule
The Work-To-Rule discards any part of responsibility in a situation, does not understand tram work and does exactly what is stated in their contracts and no more. In fact, the Work-To-Rule insists on not taking on more responsibilities than his or her job description.
Stress the importance of team work and the value of this individual contribution at work.
Case Study #7: The Overly Friendly
The Overly Friendly is an individual that thinks that his coworkers are his extended family and that doesn’t mind sharing extra personal details of his or her life. These details will make you uncomfortable.
Explain that you don’t want to hear the gruesome details of his or her life. If his or her behavior are too intimate, it can be considered as harassment and can be reported to human resources.
Case Study #8: The Naysayer
The Naysayer is an individual that irritatingly pinpoints everything negative in a situation and predicts problems before they happen, without proposing an alternative and constructive solution to the situation at hand.
Position that person in roles that require to see problems before they occur. No need to argue and show the positive side of an idea. To inhibit this behavior, request an explanation why the situation would not work and a thought-through plan for the solution
Case Study #9: The Blameshifter
The Blameshifter is an individual that points the finger at everyone else but themselves and that comes up with very creative excuses to completely remove the blame from themselves.
It is a form of narcissism: the Blameshifter is afraid of confronting themselves.
Come prepared with evidence.
If the blame is pointed at you and you know that it is not your fault, give proof of your innocence without accusing this individual.
If this individual comes to you with an object of complaint on someone else, in order to avoid being put in the middle, claim that this is none of your business and suggest that they have a conversation with the alleged culprit.
Case Study #10: The Neophobe
The Neophobe is an individual that doesn’t deal well with change.
The Neophobe is capable of refusing it, sabotaging it or even halting it.
Demonstrate to him or her that change isn’t traumatic and can be positive.
Provide proof and facts that the change eminent is positive.
Help that person embrace change.
Case Study #11: The Chatterbox
The Chatterbox is an individual that drops by your workspace and starts chatting without solicitation about anything and everything.
This individual does not necessarily partake in gossip, but volunteers to share their point of view. This individual tends to makes you unproductive and inefficient.
Avoid using words of exclamation or affirmation to not encourage this person to keep on talking.
Avoid making eye contact when this person is passing through.
Politely and respectfully explain that you are on schedule.
Case Study #12: The Martyr
The Martyr is a dedicated employee, willing to “die” for their company without being asked to do so, and that searches for recognition and validation. For example, the Martyr does extra hours at work and manipulate the boss when someone else get a promotion.
Show appreciation for this employee and value their work within the company.
Case Study #13: The Stealer
The Stealer constantly steals coworkers ideas, takes credit for them and denies it when confronted.
Hold back on your ideas and opinions when having a conversation with this individual. Listen more than you speak.
Avoid confronting this fool but bite your tongue instead because he or she might not know how to implement your ideas.
Don’t report it to upper management before appearing to be salty.
Case Study #14: The Snake
The Snake is an overly ambitious — almost sociopathic — coworker that smiles to your face and that stabs you and everyone else in the back. The Snake will claim that your ideas are wonderful but will degrade them when you are not looking.
Keep your personal information, brilliant ideas to yourself.
Listen more than you speak.
Stay socially engaged and involved in office politics.
Case Study #15: The Ultra Competitive
The Ultra Competitive is an individual that is prepared to step over your dead body to succeed or to get recognition in the workplace.
Focus on your work or get involve in a project where the Ultra Competitive person is not involved in.
Stay socially engaged with your other coworkers and keep networking.
Consider the company culture, compare them to your values and figure out whether or not you fit in.
How do I deal with other difficult personalities?
Last Words Of Advice!
Most coworkers use extreme tactics to get advancements in the workplace and would do anything to trigger you, to demean you or sabotage your own progress. Some take job positions where they do not belong and that they cannot handle. Others are misusing their strengths and transforming them into flaws that are not accepted in the environment they choose to work in. Others are even responding to an already toxic workplace. Lastly some coworkers are oblivious to their visible flaws and practice them outside of work. In order to deal with other toxic coworkers:
cultivate emotional intelligence,
listen more than you speak,
look for the positive or the humour in negative circumstances.
No matter the reasons, you have to learn how to insulate yourself emotionally and spot a hateful coworker from a distance.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Transparency is defined as “the degree to which information flows freely within an organization, among managers and employees, and outward to stakeholders.”
This essay also describes ways to implement a culture of candor and stresses the fact that the rise of digital technologies made it almost impossible for organizations to keep secrets or remain opaque.
Transparency is a choice to make that brings success, additional clarity and instills trust. However, most companies don’t chose candor and openness: true transparency is hard, as much as true honesty is.
Leaders find it hard to be transparent:
In today’s world, the race to become number 1 brings leaders to overlook any wrongdoings or any existing flaws.
Another reason is that leaders need to make an immediate decision and look decisive. Therefore, leaders tend to dismiss information.
Knowledge is power and by virtue of human nature, most people, leaders included, enjoy hoarding information to feel powerful and superior.
Followers find it hard to be transparent:
Followers do not directly transfer raw internal information to the leader(s). The raw information is limitedly conveyed, colored and sugar-coated.
Followers think of leaders as demigods: they admire them and praise them. This attitude prevents followers from criticizing their leaders or speaking the awkward truth to them.
The need for whistleblowers
When there is no transparency, whistleblowers, loyal or not, patriotic or not, reveal the truth at the peril of their life because they believe that the organization’s secrets is too unscrupulous to keep and that the organization’s values no longer align with theirs.
Whistleblowers put their lives at risk, are often shunned, demoted for speaking the truth. With the development of internet, secrecy is almost impossible and whistleblowers are no longer at risk and can reveal secrets anonymously.
Blogs have become an unstoppable force, capable of damaging big and perennial corporations, institutions and individuals, of economically boycotting companies. Thankfully, blogs have protected and enabled whistleblowers.
How to create a culture of candor?
In order to implement a culture if candor, followers, on one hand, must feel free to speak up and to speak openly. On the other hand, leaders must value the truth, welcome unpleasant information and reward such openness.
Leaders must combat transparency by demanding feedback from their team and listening to the feedback.
Leaders must not to be overconfident about their own leadership capabilities.
Leaders must treat the follower’s ideas with importance and take counsel from the follower. Leaders must seek information at all level of chain.
Leaders should be allowed to be prudent and to take their time in order to make a decision.
Internal information flow must be treated as importantly as the information coming in and out of the organization.
Transparency should be mechanized by installing whistleblower software (EthicsPoint and Global Compliance Services for example) to enable employees to report anonymously any wrongdoings and to alert to any problems.
Whistleblowers should not be ostracized for speaking up.
The dangers of group-think
Bennis, Goleman and Biederman finally compare organizations secrets to the dark secrets kept by family members. In families as in organizations, the lack of transparency introduces toxic secrets that are unfortunately well kept.
These secrets tightly bond employees, which make it hard for a member to come forth by fear of being expelled, punished, by fear of threatening or destroying an entire organization.
Furthermore, these employees take pride in belonging to such a tight-knit organization, leading to feelings of superiority and to group-thinking.
Group-thinking is defined as the “subsequent congressional investigation made an explicit diagnosis of groupthink—a process in which unfounded assumptions drive a plan of action and contradictory information is suppressed, along with any doubts about the assumptions themselves”. Although group thinking brings in cohesiveness, it allows only one pattern of thinking and generally leads to one unique bad decision.
Creatingacultureofcandor, byWarrenBennis, Daniel Goleman and Patricia Ward Biederman is a very interesting and well written essay. It provides us with pertinent examples, gives rise to contemporaneous observations and administers great advice for effectively creating a culture of candor.
While I was reading this essay, the Volkswagen scandal kept coming to mind in 2015 where the performance results of 11 millions cars worldwide where altered to admit a low carbon-dioxide emission levels. In the race to success, Volkswagen has not been candid with the public or to the Environmental Protection Agency.
This essay still highlights many current issues where numerous ethical issues present in modern corporations. It was surprising to see, even with the rise of digital technologies, how many corporations, organizations and institutions remain opaque.
In idea-driven organizations—and which are not these days?—genuine, collegial Leaders collaboration leads to better morale, a greater likelihood of creativity, and greater candor and transparency.
Leaders often have to make tough calls, take huge risks and face their deepest fears on a daily basis.
Fear has been infused into us since childhood, is often employed as an employee management tool, and guarantees a unique and universal experience at the same time.
Indeed, the same fear can manifest itself differently, can be based on different experiences and interpretations of events.
The truth is fear can be a friend or an enemy, can have a positive or negative impact, can be a motivator or an hindrance. It all depends on your understanding of your emotions, of fear itself and your level of self-control.
Wondering what are the best strategies to overcome your fears?
Most of the time, fear is standing right in front of our personal goals.
Hopefully, to every problem there is a solution.
Below are 4 proven strategies leaders use to overcome their fears.
Once you have identified your fears and the triggers associated to them, you will have more control over yourself, see the situation clearly and understand that these feelings often times don’t make sense.
Control your fears before they control you!
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Journey To Leadership is now hosting networking events…
In our daily rush and in a constant desire to produce, we often find ourselves multitasking, overworked, stressed out, pretending to be busy but not completing any task.
Below are six principles of task management to help you finish what you started.
Wondering which Principles to use in order to manage your tasks effectively?
1. The Pareto Principle
In 1906, Pareto realized that 20% of the population made up 80% of the revenue.
Then, he also noticed that these statistics also applied to work productivity. Indeed, in the workplace, 20% of the work produced generates 80% of the desired results.
Monday.com is a platform containing key information about a project.
You can remotely add members, assign tasks, customize workflow, track team progress, update your individual progress, monitor team performance, manage time, set deadlines, comment on project, add links and upload files.
You can use Monday.com for
Marketing & PR campaigns
Agile development processes
Sales & business processes
Venture Capital Portfolio management
It is currently used by more than 80,000 teams in diverse industries around the world.
Simple & intuitive. With this app, you have a clear overview of projects, tasks and team progress in only one glance. You can start managing your projects as soon as possible without a training session.
Customizable & adaptable. Every user can create a brand specific board. This tool can be used to manage any type of project in process the way you want it. It fits every needs and every use case.
Easy communication and collaboration. There is no need for paperwork, long meetings or emails. You keep conversations, files and other data in one place. You can make your team and clients feel involved, leave live comments on a shared board, get automatic email notifications whenever a task is completed.
Accessible wherever and whenever you want. Stay on top of everything, manage your work in one place from your desktop or from your phone (iOS & Android).
Integrations. Monday.com has its own search engine and integrates different external platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Pipe drive, or Zapier.
Reasonable prices. You can sign up without a credit card for a free 14 day trial to see if it works for you. After 14 days, you have the choice between 4 different plans. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel your plan anytime you want to.
According to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.
Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.
In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.
How to characterize leadership blindspots?
First of all, leadership blindspots are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.
Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.
Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.
And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.
Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?
Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.
To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:
their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.
The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.
If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.
Are there different levels of blindness?
There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:
Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.
How to identify your leadership blindspots?
In order to identify your blindspots:
Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.
Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.
What are the different types of leadership blindspots?
Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.
There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:
“Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
“Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
“Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
“Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
“Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
“Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
“Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.
How to overcome blindspots?
According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?
To handle blindspot:
Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
“Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.
In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.
It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.
In Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses. He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away. Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.
In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them. I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.
It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity. After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.
Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.
I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.
People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.
Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.
The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.
Building an ideal team is one of the most complex but also one of the most rewarding and advantageous responsibility of a leader.
The leader has to select the team to ultimately create the best results for the organization, in light of the company’s culture and of the personality, motivation, commitment, values, performance, integrity level of his or her potential team members, with respect to his or her leadership style.
When the team is built, the leader has to look out for red flags that can destroy the synergy of his or her team and easily create a lasting toxic climate.
Wondering how to detect these red flags, avoid toxicity on your team, how to extract the best results from your team members and to become the best team member you can?
A few years ago, I worked on a year-long project, under a boss who used demotions and other measures to punish some of his employees when mistakes occurred. For example, he would quickly and sadistically withdraw work responsibilities from someone he did not favor to give to someone else.
As a result, the team was a unsalvable shipwreck: every man for himself, searching for a flotation device, fighting to get on land. My former boss manipulative behavior created a toxic climate where people were continually in flight or fight mode, were mistrustful towards one another, would turn on each other, retain information and sabotage every other person efforts to succeed, were obliged to seek his “affections” and to continually prove their loyalty to him in order to feel safe in their position, were more focused on office politics than on their work, were always on the lookout of a scapegoat, were afraid of speaking up and being transparent.
The lack of trust, commitment, performance was noticeable on a daily basis. By trust, I mean the ability of the team members to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, stay open, transparent with one another without any repercussion on themselves or their career.
Explain major decisions from the organization to their team and include them in the flow of relevant information.
Maintain trust overtime and create unanimity.
Consistently tell the truth to their followers, be comfortable with it and practice integrity.
Value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.
RED FLAG #2: Fear of conflict
In teams, conflicts do exist, are raw and real, are to be expected, and shouldn’t be avoided. In addition, they occur because we were born into different generations, backgrounds, with different personalities, values and morals.
Furthermore, conflict is always seen in a negative light or as a destructive process. However, conflicts can be healthy and productive too. And even though conflicts are uncomfortable and make you feel under attack, they are necessary for personal and organizational progress, are used to generate the best decisions for the organization and to make team meetings mire engaging. In order to establish a conflict culture, it is imperative that leaders:
Create a structure where it is safe for their team members to express themselves without feeling the need to attack.
Hold their team accountable to the conflict system established.
Focus the conflict on the issue at hand to avoid personal attacks.
Assess each team member conflict capabilities/profiles with MBTI to develop the appropriate approach.
Ask their team members directly how they deal with conflicts.
Define conflict resolution, ease anxious team members in the face of conflict and find courage to speak truth to power.
RED FLAG #3: Lack of Commitment
Commitment is the willingness to achieve common goals as a team, the ability of team members to align themselves with the organization purpose, values and strategies even in disagreement with the decision taken.
To enhance team commitment, leaders must:
Embrace conflicts, divergent opinions, ideas and perspectives.
Among conflicting ideas, make wise decisions and be unafraid to displease some team members.
Before making a decision, understand and consider all ideas.
Clarify their decisions with the team and write down them down to avoid ulterior assumptions and ambiguities.
RED FLAG #4: Lack of accountability
Team members must keep each other accountable for their behavior, their mistakes and lack of performance. If no one is held accountable, team members gradually lose respect for each other and moral decreases. Leaders must:
Lead by example, call out mishaps, low results and misconduct.
Make every team member aware of each other contributions and functions on the team.
Track everyone’s progress and accurately measure performance.
Measure team success using objective and liable means.
Measure progress with timelines.
Focus on areas of productivity.
Make sure that the collective interest in results exceeds the individual needs of the team.
How to be an effective team member?
Develop your communication skills.
Make sure that you are understood and are open to clarifying misunderstandings.
Monitor your non verbal communication. Keep your body language positive and opened.
Look at the person you’re exchanging with.
If a problem occurs between you and someone else, fix it before the problem festers by talking to that person as soon as possible. This shows that you are willing to work through issues, that you are a problem solver instead of being inappropriate and ineffective.
Give sincere and appropriate positive feedback to your team members.
Develop your listening skills.
To demonstrate your interest in learning new skills, to better understand the other person, you have to:
be willing to listen more that you speak and voice your opinion in due time.
Implement the conversation with probing question.
Request other people opinion before giving yours.
Avoid planning your responses during the conversation.
Encourage the conversation with nods, smiles and eye contact.
Manage your tasks and time.
Put your understanding of the team task into writing in order to clarify immediate issues and to have a reference for time and deadlines measurement.
Own up to your actions.
Failing to follow through on your team assignments is synonym to letting your team down. To stay accountable for your part:
Keep your promises.
Offer to help coworkers in time of need.
Avoid procrastination and do not hesitate yo ask for help.
Avoid blaming others for your mistakes take the blame if you have done something wrong.
Find solutions to issues instead if creating them.
Learn from each and very situations and move on group them.
Avoid repeating past mistakes.
Work on interrelationship skills.
Last Words Of Advice!
In the team, you have to cooperate with your coworkers and work well with your supervisor. To do so:
We all have a dream of outperforming ourselves at work and staying consistent and moving up in our career.
However, we have difficulties bringing our wishes and expectations to life.
Furthermore, in the fast and highly competitive corporate world, some of our attitudes, assumptions, values, flaws often render us completely ineffective, come in the way of us being the best version of ourselves, from learning new skills, from developing our talents.
The reality is that, despite our best intentions, we are often our worst enemies, are unable to improve our career, to achieve our definition of success, to satisfy our higher purpose.
We thereby harbor dissatisfaction, self-defeating thoughts and resort to self-sabotaging actions.
Wondering how to become a better performer, a better contributor, a better leader in the workplace and control the self-sabotaging tendencies?
Most of the time, self-sabotage takes roots from collaborators sometimes abusing substance, striving too hard for materialistic success.
Self-sabotage also stems from an inability to control extreme negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, guilt or resentment, and an inability to control other people. Indeed, in the workplace, low performing employees and leaders tend to either:
complain too much about circumstances,
not take action or initiative,
doubt their capabilities,
be addicted to praise,
struggle to live up to other people expectations. Not pursuing your true purpose and implementing somebody else dream cause you to subconsciously rebel against your current situation.
be unable to follow rules or respect authority figure,
be unable to handle the pressures of responsibility;
misinterpret the image they have of themselves
be busy or lack time management skills,
lack conflict resolution skills,
fear the unknown,
fear criticism, looking ridiculous or being embarrassed,
fear change or fear success,
feel rejected or reject their own being,
fear failure. Failures are usually blessings in disguise.
How to improve these bad habits and become an effective member of the workforce?
Becoming a better performer and contributor in the workplace doesn’t end at solely executing your duties and providing acceptable results, it also means working on your character and core values. To enable effective performance in the workplace, it is necessary to:
upgrade your moral compass and create new ethical standards,
accept our unique distinctions,
evaluate your role and contributions at work,
assist, be assisted by coworkers or team members with a complementing set of skills.
Understand your interests and abilities. This way you are able to develop your core capabilities, to choose the work that stimulates you the most, the workplace in which you best fit in and the team that complements you the best.
Keep learning, grow your knowledge and your emotional intelligence that you may increase satisfaction at work, to envision greater possibilities, to overcome obstacles and to be successful in every area of your life by:
doing something new, something different, challenging your thoughts and your routine,
nurturing your natural curiosity about the world, about what you don’t know,
breaking routine and mindless actions to stimulate your imagination,
tackling your fears and negative emotions head and listing the consequences of your actions.
Adjust your self-image to reality by writing down:
the qualities you have about yourself and the ones you want to acquire,
your trigger points. Don’t let identifying your trigger points to get discouraged and give up on yourself. Noticing your self-sabotaging habits is actually beneficial to you: you are probably not in the walk of life that you wish or supposed to be in.
Act responsibility, be proactive, take initiative. Take on more responsibility and assignments, perform them with enthusiasm and motivation in order to become confident in your abilities, autonomous, dependable, emotionally mature and trustworthy. Indeed, the more you take on responsibility, the more you learn about yourself, the more you understand the consequences of your actions, the faster you admit your mistakes as soon as you notice them, the better you remain accountable especially when things go wrong, the more you grow, the more you gain competencies, the more you are willing to take initiative and even risks.
Discipline yourself by inspecting and readjusting your thoughts, actions and behaviors to set standards, and dominating your immediate desires and impulses.
Stay true to yourself. Avoid comparing yourself to others and competing with others.
Allow yourself to think. In silence, without looking for distractions, confront yourself, make peace with yourself, strengthen your decision-making skills, observe bad habits, and therefore learn more about yourself, find your true purpose, learn to trust your intuition and inner feelings. Meditation, quiet contemplation, introspection are the key to staying alert, to increase your performance at work, to develop and recognize good ideas, to stay engaged and more conscious of your life.
Define clear goals and seek better methods to become more productive, more competent in the workplace.
Vary your experiences and get out your comfort zone.
Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly.
Make a good impression, from day one, without overdoing it and running a political campaign, by dressing appropriately and being punctual.
Respect and treat people the way you would like to be respected and treated. Uplift people instead of bringing them down or being considered as a toxic coworker in the workplace. Develop relationships and properly manage people emotions, don’t impose your emotions on others, don’t create enemies where you can have a supportive friend. As a result, you can become a good contributor and a valuable team member.
Expect to make mistakes, to learn from them and keep it moving.
Avoid naysayers and haters like the plague. Change your circle of friends if they are the ones bringing you down.
Service others. Servicing others doesn’t mean to submit to everyone and to every order. It means doing your best to get along with one another.
Last words of advice!
If you happen to abuse substance or are in emotional distress in the workplace, don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Please talk about it to your closest family and friends, or find the nearest Workplace Help Center.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
As a leader and as someone always searching for innovative ideas, I have to say that I have been struggling with staying focused on one topic at a time, controlling my train of thoughts and filtering negative emotions.
Although I come from a very disciplined home, my mind is sometimes undisciplined: tens of thousands of ideas flash through my mind in a second, which makes it difficult for my team to follow me.
By taking time out in the day solely for the thinking process, I have allowed myself to successfully manage my thoughts and become a self-disciplined leader.
Wondering how to acquire self-discipline or how self-discipline can successfully grow your career?
What is self-discipline?
Firstly, self-discipline is one of the most important component of leadership. Self-discipline develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits. Self-discipline means doing what needs to be done when you don’t feel like doing it.
In addition, it means that you accept your responsibilities and accomplish your goals because they are the best profitable option but not because you want to.
Self-discipline implies self-management or self-control, self-motivation, self-reliance, self-confidence and self-awareness and eventually, remains the basis for trust.
Secondly, self-discipline is an acquired skill, has several degrees to it and is not achieved overnight. It has to be practiced to become easier, to create routine and structure.
Lastly, early responsibilities in life, small tasks and assignments, given by parents or managers, allow people to gain discipline from a young age and shape their character.
Characteristics of self-disciplined leaders
Self-disciplined leaders are successful and ultimately become better at what they do. They are active, self-controlled, organized, are able to censor themselves and to build great relationships.
Leaders use self-discipline to sharpen their willpower and decisions making skills, to command respect from others and to lead by example, to achieve their goals regardless of their feelings, to gain profit and to look beyond hard work, to stick to their decisions, to evaluate themselves and place boundaries, to compartmentalize their emotions.
Furthermore, self-disciplined leaders have no fear of the future, are respected and dependable.
Self-disciplined leaders practice thoughts management, emotional intelligence, time management, character building, self-awareness and team building until they turn those soft skills into habits.
HABIT #1: MIND MANAGEMENT
Your thoughts, negative or positive, become your reality whether you want it or not. Self-disciplined leaders have peace of mind, no matter the situation.
For self-disciplined leaders, controlling your emotions is barely about becoming stoic, but about acknowledging your emotions, understanding them and keeping them in check before acting on them.
In order to control your thoughts:
Nurture your mind with the right stimuli, with empowering thoughts and success stories. Remove distractions from your workspace. Block social media sites during working hours.
Train your brain to handle different situations, and to prepare for both positive and negative outcomes.
Meditate or turn to religion. Meditation brings a sense of contentment and allows you to accept and deal with your thoughts. In religion, controlling your thoughts is more about admitting God’s control over us and relinquishing our problems and emotions to Him. Which is why you need to keep your eyes on God and your focus on your purpose.
Forgive yourself for past mistakes, let go of grudges and regrets, and keep moving forward.
HABIT #2: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Self disciplined leaders don’t allow their choices and decisions to be dictated by their impulses or feelings. Instead, they:
enhance their logical and emotional skills to be able to make sound decisions,
control their facial expressions,
resist and reject negative feelings,
handle stressful situations, conflicts and toxic individuals in a healthy manner,
adopt positive attitudes and behaviors.
To discipline your emotions:
Control your thoughts and don’t leave them on autopilot. Pay close attention to your habits, especially in negative situations. Identify which behaviors you consider undisciplined and those that reflect your values ans goals.
Change your self talk.
Meditate on a daily basis, a least 10 minutes a day, to quiet the mind, gain serenity and suppress regrets.
Cultivate gratitude. This will help you transform negative circumstances into positives.
Change your sources of data that you intake and abstain from vain entertainment.
Change or increase your social circle to individuals who possess the qualities and skills that you wish to acquire.
Manage your health by taking care of the essentials. Your mind and body are interconnected and the health of the one impacts the other.
Sleep healthy hours and develop a steady night routine. Set an alarm at the same time everyday, put your phone in an unreachable area, don’t hit the snooze button.
Acquire a healthy diet.
Exercise regularly instead of procrastinating and drown your negative thoughts with dopamine.
HABIT #3: SELF-AWARENESS
Self-discipline allows leader to monitor their behavior in various situations and to assess their strengths and weaknesses, to find their purpose.
Without being aware of your strengths, you are unable to lead effectively. Trying to emulate another leader’s style, strengths destroys your natural talent, your uniqueness, your personality and your therefore your chances for success.
Furthermore, most leaders are blind to their own strengths and weaknesses. Some lead thinking that they possess a particular set of strengths and others lead blind to their own weaknesses.
Get to know yourself at a deeper level, increase your confidence, become more self-aware and quiet your ego:
Renew your thought pattern, invest in your personal growth and don’t allow setbacks to mentally set you back.
Reverting back to the memories of your childhood and recalling what you did well and with pleasure.
Look for a common thread in the things that immediately and sustainably attract your attention throughout your life experiences.
Read books and gain knowledge.
Hire a professional to help identify your strengths and how to employ them.
Surround yourself with supporting people. Stay away from yes men, undermining people or groups.
Seek the truth about yourself and be unafraid of failure or the said truth.
HABIT #4: TIME MANAGEMENT
Successful individuals manage their time effectively to ensure that they accomplish their goals, allocate and maximize their time.
In the workplace, missing deadlines irritates and disrupts everyone on the team and makes you appear non accountable. So, to manage your time effectively:
Define an achievable specific goal and apply timelines to it to create overviews of the milestones you wish to achieve. If you don’t have deadlines, create some for yourself.
Make time to achieve your personal goals, follow-up on schedule and meet deadlines. Do not procrastinate, find excuses to postpone your work or allow anyone to distract you and squander your time. Instead, stay busy and focused, and put in the hours required to accomplish your goals.
Prioritize your personal goals and accomplish the most important ones before hand.
Implement a routine and stay focused on the prize.
Make time to be proactive. With an increase in leadership responsibilities, people start pulling the leader in different directions, and the leader ends up doing more of what people desire than what is necessary to be done. Carve out an hour in the day or choose a day in the week to isolate or insulate yourself and execute your tasks that matter.
Make time for yourself. Carve out another hour in your day to recharge your batteries to be more productive and efficient as a leader for your team. You may have to arrive earlier to work.
Respect other people time.
HABIT #5: CHARACTER BUILDING
Not all hardworking and talented beings are disciplined. Therefore, not all hardworking and talented beings are successful.
On one hand, self-discipline helps in creating routine and structure, holding yourself and others to a high standard ( integrity and respect), remaining accountable for your actions on your job, executing your job in detail and delivering on time. Self-discipline also increases maturity and builds stamina and resistance to walk down the leader’s path. That means that you can take a licking and keep on ticking.
On the other hand, self-discipline makes you resilient. You are empowered to stick to your decision, are able to get up when you are knocked down and to keep going when you hear “no”. Building character is a gradual process:
Be consistent with your values (integrity)
Tenacity is also key. Don’t be discouraged or perturbed by obstacles, by failures, by the illusion that your goals are unreachable. Instead, resist the urges of giving in or giving up.
Read, listen, watch motivational elements. For faithful people, turning to your belief system is a great way to stay on track.
Draw lessons from your mistakes.
Monitor what you say. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.
HABIT #6: RELATIONSHIP & TEAM BUILDING
Being disciplined allows leaders to command respect from others, to work well with their team members, to handle interactions with employees or customers judiciously.
In order to minimize supervisors intervention:
Define your responsibilities or tasks, avoid stepping on anybody’s toes, delegate tasks appropriately,
Play by the rules, treat your team members as adults and with respect,
Look out for the best interests of the company and your team members,
Coach your team, promote self-discipline amongst them, encourage innovative ideas without even if they fail,
Share your performance expectations with your employees and help them direct their focus towards achieving their goals
Address unacceptable behaviors immediately without punishing or humiliating the perpetrators,
Model yourself as the best leader, avoid taking your job for granting or taking credit for team success or outstanding performance, and stay humble and .
HABIT #7: EXECUTION, MOTIVATION & STRUCTURE
Self-discipline brings predictability, consistency and order to the leader. Self-discipline captures the meaning of the word expectancy and provides the leader with latitude for risk assessment and management. To create structure and improve task execution:
If you are somehow already disciplined in executing task, share your timeline and your attention to detail with others and help them pick up the slack without micro managing.
Clearly, your order brings a sense of control to the team. However, don’t impose your discipline to anyone else.
Focus on starting tasks rather than completing them.
Follow through on your ideas and finish what you have started. Also, track your progress: record the starting time and the end time of your tasks.
Execute your plan in silence, and respect yourself enough to put your money where your mouth is and to come through on your promises.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
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