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6 Tips Towards A Better, More Conscious Leadership!

Here are 6 tips I recommend to help you not only become a better leader but also take steps towards more conscious leadership!

This pandemic — and the new normal it’s created — has made us revisit the way we have been leading our teams. Conscious leadership is the need of the hour. People respond differently to love, trust, authority, freedom and appreciation. Employees are not machines that can be set on or off by the push of a button.

Factors of motivation are different for each one of us, and I believe it’s more important than ever for leaders to deep dive into understanding human behaviours and navigating through this complexity in order to support their teams.

From my perspective, healthy leadership, at its core, is about achievements that are derived from fulfilling human and social needs. This concept is explained well by Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. Maslow posited that self-actualization — or the idea that people are motivated by the need to reach their full potential — “sits at the top of a hierarchy above four ‘lower’ needs,” according to ThoughtCo. Generally speaking, until you meet those four other needs, the need for self-actualization likely won’t be met either.

I believe you can apply this concept to leadership. From my perspective, in order to reach self-actualization regarding your leadership role, you must ensure you meet your own goals while aligning your team with the right kind of leadership.

Here are six tips I recommend to help you not only become a better leader but also to become a more conscious leader:

Include happiness as a success metric for key performance indicators

The happiness quotient is a concept that objectively measures someone’s happiness based on a number of different aspects. In my view, if leaders were to apply the happiness quotient in their workplaces and with their teams, they could encourage a happier and more productive workspace.

To leverage this in your work, I recommend categorizing the happiness quotient into three buckets:

• Creating personal experiences

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• Achieving growth and learning something new

• Deriving meaning from work

Including this approach in our leadership style will not only make us more inclusive but also compassionate toward one another. To get started, leaders can inspire employees to write their individual milestones in the areas of experiences, personal growth and sense of purpose, and let those employees measure these milestones at least once a month.

This approach will ensure your team’s level of happiness and involvement in whatever they do on a regular basis for better outcomes for the organization, thus creating a positive ripple effect.

Nurture the team, and pay attention to their needs

Remember how frustrating it is to have bosses who micromanage? While not all leaders have an intention to do that, sometimes the lines between micromanaging and paying attention to the needs of your team and details of a project tend to get blurry. I’ve found that just letting your team know you are there for them if needed makes them feel motivated and valued.

Set the right expectations as managers

Sometimes, some of us end up being too nice and too giving. While this likely comes from a place of good intention, I’ve found this can create a sense of entitlement among employees. As leaders, it’s a wise practice to set the right expectations and create more specific KPIs to measure the happiness factor in employees.

While it’s important to care about employees KPIs for a high happiness quotient, it’s also important to align it with the organization’s success metrics. For example, a marketing manager might love her job overall but not be very happy with one or two objectives and key results. That’s when setting the right expectations for the job will ensure a better balance between overall accountability and a sense of fulfillment for everyone.

Embrace authenticity

I consider appreciating the uniqueness of each person to be extremely important when creating an inclusive culture. Encouraging the self-expression of each member of the team and embracing their authenticity will not only encourage them to become better versions of themselves but also help you optimize their strength in the right manner. Otherwise, it’s easy for them to slip into a state of questioning their self-worth and potentially disengage.

Take a values-driven approach when hiring

It’s important to hire people with similar values and who truly believe in the mission of the company. It’s much easier to find candidates who are a great match in terms of skills and experience. But it’s a long-term investment if there is a match between an individual’s values and those of the company.

To help guide you through your search, keep the following three questions in mind:

• Why does our company exist?

• Where do we want our company to reach?

• What are our values? You never want to compromise on these.

Make it a two-way street

As one Forbes article pointed out, truly listening to your team and offering compassion can make you a better leader. I saw this for myself when I recently conducted an informal survey of approximately 100 people via email, social media posts, Instagram, phone calls and text messages.

I asked participants to describe one habit that makes them a better leader or that makes them appreciate one. Many of the responses I received said listening, good communication and caring for one another’s well-being is of paramount importance to being a good leader.

From my perspective, working from home is blurring the lines between work and personal life for many, and if you ignore the need to listen, care and communicate, you could lose your best employees. To help with this, avoid requiring your team to over-engage with too many people. Don’t overdo group meetings and brainstorming sessions, as I’ve found doing so can sometimes curb creativity.

Leadership can be explained in many ways, and there are many ways to do it right. If we consciously dig deeper into the complexity of human behaviour and nurture the uniqueness of each individual around us with a focus to create a happier workforce, I believe the outcome could be creating a better business.

Image source: Still from Dil Dhadakne Do 

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