When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.
Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.
Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.
Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.
Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?
The benefits of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.
Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.
It allows you to reach a state of inner calm to put negative memories at rest and get rid of negative emotions. Indeed, after forgiving, you feel re-energized, empowered, free and present.
In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.
Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.
How to forgive?
People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:
Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.
Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.
See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.
Understand that all situations can be resolved. Do what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.
Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.
Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.
Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
Provide additional training for those who lack confidence and competencies.
Allow your team to take breaks throughout the day to recharge their batteries, to relax and to think.
Give people their dues. Acknowledge when someone is doing good by privately or publicly complementing them. Also, be honest when an employee is underperforming.
Treat your employees with fairness and respect. Don’t play favorites or openly disregard someone just so you could feel better about yourself.
Support your team throughout difficult situations. When an issue arises, be compassionate and be a problem solver. For example, if someone on your team perpetually misses a deadline, find out why they are underperforming.
4. Encourage positive behaviors
In the workplace, negativity often upstages positivity. Leaders must take on the responsibility to bring positive behaviors in the forefront. To do so:
Reward those with an exemplary behavior.
Incorporate a code of conduct and policies that promote positive behaviors.
Call out bad behaviors or behaviors that don’t meet your standards.
Celebrate success as soon as it happens. This suggestion seems obvious. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate success? I once worked for a company whose higher ups would bully anyone who seemed confident, content with themselves.
Don’t condone workplace bullying.
Don’t shut down people who are expressing joy or who are celebrating success.
5. Hone your communication skills
Leaders who want to build a positive and healthy workplace must effectively and regularly communicate with their team so they can clearly reach their goals and achieve their vision.
Leaders with a positive work environment share their visions with their team, make sure that every employee connect and align with the vision.
Then, they encourage positive discussions, debates and brainstorming. They all people to say what is on their mind or to challenge the status quo without fear of retribution.
6. Help your employees grow into leaders
When it comes to healthy workplaces, there is no such thing as competing with your employees. If you help your employees grow, you will grow too.
7. Hire the right people for the right job
During the hiring process, it is critical to respect people, identify and hire the people who will fit into the company culture and who will add value to the company culture.
Last Words Of Advice!
If your team doesn’t see you taking continuous action and investing in their well-being, they will not implement your vision or strategies.
Commit to making your workplace a healthy environment!
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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Read books, listen to music, watch shows that will inspire you and that do not necessarily pertain to your are of interest.
Learn new skills. Learning new skills will give you the opportunity to explore.
Remove fear or other negative emotions that may block your thinking process.
7. Write down whatever comes to your mind
Ideas come to you at impromptu moments. It becomes handy to keep a notebook with you at all times so you can write them down as soon as possible.
To jumpstart your imagination, you can try brainstorming techniques or stare at a blank canvas as long as you need it. Blank canvas can be intimidating because there is an unlimited amount of outcomes.
When you are writing down your ideas, remember that there are no good or bad idea, just an unlimited number of ideas.
8. Monitor your surroundings
To get inspiration, you must surround yourself with creative people or with people from different backgrounds who hold different opinions.
You can also sit in public and observe the movement of people.
Last Words Of Advice!
It is one thing to be creative and another to maintain the creative process. You must learn yourself well and stay confident in your ability to create.
To maintain your creativity, first share your vision and ideas across your organization. Then, encourage others to come to you with ideas.
Is your organization doing enough to increase the creativity within the company?
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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Be aware of your negativity. To become self-ware, practice silence, define your passion, principles and purpose.
Prohibit the negative self-talk.
Focus on positive self-talk or affirmations. Add positive imagery and feelings to those affirmations.
Find a mantra or an affirmation that will run in the background of your mind.
How to gain mental toughness?
Mental toughness is sustaining positive focus on one task, on the one thing that keeps you going.
Mental toughness helps you concentrate on your tasks for long periods of time without any distractions.
To develop mental toughness:
Practice concentration on a daily basis.
Understand that your overall success depends on every single choice that you make.
Acknowledge that the small choices lead you towards excellence and shape your life the most.
Educate yourself on how stress works, how you react to it and learn to eliminate it from your life.
Develop the disciplines of a Warrior
According to Mark Divine, Warriors are those who have achieved mental control and mental toughness.
They have learnt to discipline their mind so they can focus on the things that matter most, maintain positive focus when they need it most, avoid being distracted by negative emotions and negative beliefs.
Since the Warrior is committed to mastering himself or herself, he or she has mastered the following disciplines:
Simplicity. They have learnt to detach themselves from material things that they don’t need.
Dedication. They apply themselves daily but don’t take themselves too seriously.
Personal power is essential, removes fear, quiets inhibitions, protects you against your negative emotions, allows you to forgive easier and fluctuates in time.
In addition, your personal power makes you fearless, gives your more freedom, and makes you less susceptible to external pressures.
However, it can be acquired using different tactics. For example, you can use breathing techniques and power poses to trigger personal power.
When we have personal power, we tend to remain calm, to have more control and to expand ourselves in order to take place.
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy revolves mainly about managing your nonverbal cues to induce Presence, identifying your best authentic self, nurturing your boldest self, and creating personal power.
In Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy:
Aims to help people with imposter syndrome, who are in difficult challenges, who feel powerless and distracted.
Gives advice on how to handle conflict, how to stay optimistic, to act confident, even when you don’t feel confident, until you become confident.
Wants people to gain more control over their lives.
Uses stories from people around the world who have seen her TED Talk to inspire and convey her message.
I have to say, I enjoyed the topic of personal power the most. Often, we see leaders who are afraid of going against the grain, try to fit in and to please their team, only to find out that it’s an impossible task.
Some lead using their social power, leveraging salary for work but lack influence and personal power.
Needless to say, their success will depend highly on how they carry themselves, on their verbal and non verbal cues.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.
Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.
A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity. A confident person—knowing and believing in her identity—carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.
Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.
The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on the behavior of others.
#6. When You Find Your Purpose or Renew Your Vision
You need to know why you work and your team needs to know why they work for you.
It is the vision that leads you and propels you forward, that wakes you up in the morning, that drives your performance, that is communicated to your employees, that gives meaning to your actions and decisions, and that leans on your belief systems.
Leaders with a vision are ambitious and satisfied with their lives, become hopeful and optimistic about the future, invite change, and select their employees according to their strengths and not their weaknesses.
They are also daring and don’t fear failure, are emotionally invested in their goals, flexible, persistent, resistant to social pressure and are convinced of their future success.
You have experienced different cultures and are now culturally sensitive.
Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is not the same. It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.
Cultural sensitivity means viewing everyone as a unique individual. It promotes unity and has become a skill that is most useful in the world of today.
You are now capable of adapting your leadership and communication style to every single member of your team.
You are also capable of shifting the focus from yourself to your team.
#9. When You Thought You Knew It All
Not because you are the leader, that you have all the solutions or are always right.
In fact, being a leader is being placed in a position of service and humility.
To be a humble leader:
Be confident about your own capabilities.
Take the time to think and to come up with a solution.
Understand that being a leader is not about being right.
Give people the time to think for themselves and to make their own mistakes.
Acknowledge that someone on your team may have better ideas than you do.
Learn to ask for help and to detect if someone needs help.
Learn to ponder your responses.
#10. When You Have Foot In The Mouth Syndrome
Sometimes, we say whatever comes to our mind.
Other times, we blurt out things that we don’t mean but we haven’t measured the real impact of our words.
In these moments, we understand that we should be quiet, that we should learn to speak less and listen more.
#11. When You Get Caught Up In Office Politics
Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, calculated and manipulative.
Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.
Other times, properly navigating office politics can give you access to leadership opportunities and promotion.
Once you have experienced office politics, you become aware of the power play, of how you speak and listen to people.
You start making sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.
#12. When You Have To Deal With Toxic Coworkers
We all have been exposed during a period of time to annoying, hateful, toxic coworkers who can drive us crazy.
Whether it’s confronting a team member about their behavior or their performance, toxic coworkers can take a toll on you.
However, it can also help you grow and become a better leader.
#13. When You Have Identified Your Core Leadership Values
Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down.
In life and in the workplace, your core values will definitely be put to the test.
For example, some people will not hesitate to lie on you or to sabotage your work to advance their career.
Consolidating your core leadership values requires hard work, determination, daily practice and self-discipline.
#14. When You Welcome Change
If you have experienced drastic change in the workplace, you know that is better not to resist it.
Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.
Furthermore, it has the ability to stimulate interest in your job. It also creates an opportunity for promotion and to develop new skills.