Groupwork Institute Blog

7 Tips to make your life easier as a leader

Two woman and one man eated on padded wooden chairs facing each other in an uncluttered room and smiling

Sharing generosity of spirit is one way in which collaborative leaders make life easier for themselves and their team.

Do you feel the need to be nice? Trying to achieve great results and enjoy productive relationships at work can be a tough balancing act, especially when you need to save time and money.

Take heart – you can make things easier for both you and your team! A key factor is emotional resilience, when you apply your emotional intelligence. With it, you have increased capacity to be bold, to speak up, share your ideas and take risks.

It also means you’ll have greater strength to respond appropriately to pressures and challenges, with clearer and more robust relationships with staff and clients so you can make use of your and your team’s full potential.

So how do you make life easier for yourself and for the people you work with? Here are some tips we share with participants in our Collaborative Leadership two-day training.

1. Increase your self-awareness

This involves doing some self-reflection in order to get to know yourself, your strengths and areas of emotional vulnerability. You’ll need to identify your emotional trigger points, where these come from, what’s likely to activate them and how to manage this. It’s also important to learn how to be aware of what’s going on for you in the moment, and why and how you’re reacting.

2. Develop your awareness of others

Life’s easier as a leader when you increase your ability to read the unconscious dynamics played out between people while remaining centred. Responding wisely without judgement in the face of tension or conflict immediately lowers stress levels for everyone involved.

3. Share generosity of spirit

Being willing to think well of people, asking them what their story is, means you avoid assumptions of malicious intent. Don’t underestimate the power of acknowledging your mistakes to your team and wholeheartedly apologising for them; this supports a culture of sharing wisdom around what works and what doesn’t. Practice deep listening so they feel genuinely heard.

4. Communicate across differences

You can diffuse tension during conflict or disagreement by putting aside your position to fully hear other people’s views and feelings. Expressing yourself honestly and in hearable ways is a welcome skill for your team. You increase the feeling of safety in your group, too, when you refrain from harmful gossip and develop your capacity to speak first to someone you’re having difficulties with.

5. Understand your power and rank

Privilege and position play out in many different and often unspoken ways, especially in complex or challenging encounters. Your awareness of what could be happening for others, as well as the effects of your own rank or power will be appreciated by your team. Reduce the potential for time-consuming, energy-draining tension and encourage, welcome and work with differences between people and any strongly held opinions.

6. Hold the big picture

How well can you maintain an awareness of the direct and indirect effects of your team’s decisions and actions on your organisation and community? When you don’t take time to consider the broader implications, there can be a lot of effort spent backtracking or rearranging. Make life easier for everyone by being conscious of the big picture perspective.

7. Prioritise self care

To remain emotionally resilient, you need to address your own needs. Allow for personal space and reflection time, as well as a decent balance of rest, relaxation, fun and caring for your body. The people you work with also benefit if you put energy into addressing any unresolved emotional issues, too.

Collaborative leadership fosters robust and sustainable relationships and work practices. If you’d like to increase your understanding and practical skills as a leader, we encourage you to participate in training with us. Join our next short course or engage our facilitators to tailor workplace training for your whole team.

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