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Three Simple Ways To Transform Your Leadership Game

More and more organizations are facing a growing demand to deliver better solutions faster. This requires adjustments to the way leaders interact with others. It creates the need for a stronger focus on culture, challenging leaders to be more empowering versus controlling. To truly support the rate of change and a growing population of knowledge workers, leaders must focus on coaching and mentoring their teams rather than simply telling them what to do.

Here are three immediate ways you can start supporting and challenging your team to improve culture and drive change.

Take responsibility by actively engaging.

Take responsibility for everything around you. Yes, everything. This doesn't mean you should believe you are the reason or cause of what is happening. Instead, you play a critical role in taking part in the situation.

Say you're in a meeting, and you hear someone make a presumptuous statement. Take responsibility by asking, "How do you know that?" Another way is to ask them to elaborate in greater detail. Stay engaged in the moment and explore what is said and not said. Put aside the phone or laptop in meetings and conversations.

Being a leader requires you to be present and engaged with what is happening. You always have a responsibility to inspire thought and create opportunities for action and results. You can do this by being curious, listening deeply, asking questions and challenging thinking.

This will significantly improve your awareness of new possibilities, your relationships with other and your ability to drive powerful change for others.

Be spontaneous by exploring the present moment.

When you are present in the moment, listening and staying engaged in conversations, you create positive energy. By asking powerful questions, you motivate others to reflect and seek out new possibilities.

"What would happen if ...?"

"What else do we need to think about?"

"What if we didn't do that?"

These questions increase the energy level in the room, provoke thought and create stronger engagement and collaboration. It's easy to get caught up in your thoughts and start thinking about what you are going to say next or how you feel about what is being said. There's always time to explore your thoughts and actions by taking time after to reflect.

Meditation is an excellent way to practice managing your thoughts and becoming more present. Practicing meditation techniques will enable you to keep focus and gain clarity in your interactions with others.

Recognize and respond to patterns of language and behavior.

By recognizing others' language and behavior patterns in your organization, you become empowered to create a culture shift.

Deeply listen for language that expresses value, beliefs and perceptions of the culture.

For example:

"This organization doesn't deal with change very well."

"They don't care about the process here."

"You have great enthusiasm, but you'll soon find out that those ideas won't work."

These types of statements can seem discouraging. Instead, consider them opportunities to explore. Respond by asking:

"What about change is difficult for this organization?"

"In what way is the process not a priority? What is a priority?"

"What ideas work here? What is the best way to present ideas?"

These types of questions will create new patterns of thought, language and behavior. If you hear something that doesn't align with your perception of a good culture, engage with the other person(s) in creating the path to good. Recognize cultural patterns and hold others accountable for creating the actionable steps in improving culture.

These three simple and effective methods can significantly improve your leadership abilities and organizational culture. Pick one change you would like to make every day, and seek out opportunities to practice new behaviors. Taking responsibility, being present and becoming more aware of patterns will not only transform your leadership capabilities but your relationships with others.

What change will you hold yourself accountable to make today?

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