Do You Transmit the Right Leadership Signals?
28 March 2018

Communication – management style - team building

Over the last few days one of my clients has expressed concerns about one of his supervisors, Adrian. Adrian has been promoted quite recently. He can handle most of the day-to-day aspects of the job and is generally very competent. The problem is that if work build up, Adrian panics and loses his temper. His anger is mostly directed at himself but other people in the business are starting to be aware of his outbursts and some colleagues feel a bit uncertain about him and don’t really want to deal with him now.
Taking on a new role which involves managing a team has its challenges. The way you interact with your team and others can have a direct impact on those you’re leading. It’s important to give the appearance of capability, confidence and calm, even if you don’t feel it. It’s one of those fake it ‘til you make it situations. An uncontrolled moment of anger or impatience may damage your team’s morale and undermine their trust (and that of others) as Adrian is now finding out.

The way you manage will have a direct impact on those you are leading and managing for the first time. So how do you go about building a positive leadership presence that has the right impact on your team and colleagues?

Start by setting yourself a leadership values-based goal. The way you define the role and what you value sends a message out to those you work with. As a new manager, give some thought to the kind of leader you are and hope to be.

Raise your emotional intelligence and situational awareness. The role of manager means getting more work done through others, so recognise that what motivates or influences you may not be how others are motivated or influenced.

Make sure your communication is clear and direct; always communicate with courtesy. Strong leadership is dynamic and fluid, and encourages a two-way dialogue where you can give voice to your views while staying open to the views and perspectives of others as you work towards a common goal.

Know what you think. Before important meetings or interactions, jot down a few bullet points to yourself: i.e. what are the three things I believe about this topic or issue?
Engage your team by asking, listening, and acknowledging. Show you are really listening by asking probing questions, clarifying what you’ve heard, or acknowledging how you’re processing the information.

Explain the reasons you think as you do. Make your message more powerful by sharing your reasoning. Help connect work deliverables or professional development to what’s happening at the organisational level. For example, in giving feedback to a team member, you could include additional context such as: “Because the business is growing so fast, there is opportunity for each member of the team to stretch and step up in the following ways. It would be great if you could take on ….”

Be a rock in the face of change, stress, or difficult news. When business is going well or when we are having a good day, it’s easy to be an effective presence. But as a new manager, ask yourself: “What do people experience when I’m stressed out, tired, under deadline, or bring me bad news?”

Step back and think about your leadership signals. Are you thinking, saying, and showing up as you most hope to and intend?

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2022 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.