There is undeniable satisfaction in being able to toss a hole-y pair of socks that you haven’t worn in years. But the value of spring cleaning isn’t just getting rid of old things –– it’s about making space for what’s really important.
The same goes for leadership! The new beginning of spring is the perfect time to consider what dusty old practices just don’t fit anymore. Here are ways to welcome new techniques, tactics and ways of engaging your team.
Spring clean your environment
In the past, this might mean cleaning off your desk or giving a factory line a deep scrubbing. But with the rise of remote work, it’s worth considering if a traditional workspace even still fits your needs. A hybrid schedule might mean that office footprint can be reduced, while improving touch points and engagement through virtual calls or real-time chat. You may spring clean your office –– and never go back.
Scrub out the negativity
Especially after the difficulty of the past year, leaders may be persistently negative without even realizing it. One of our clients who treats his employees terribly — we’re working on this — has a sign in his office that reads “Honesty, Respect, Integrity… Always.” Until we brought this sign to his attention, he had not consciously thought about his treatment of people. Like most people, leaders are keenly aware of when they are being mistreated but are blind to their mistreatment of others. Pay attention where you can clean up your act.
Freshen up your praise
Select an employee on your team or someone you work with closely who is overdue for some positive feedback from you. So it goes beyond thought to action, make a plan for how you will deliver the feedback: Email, phone, handwritten note? Privately or publicly? “On the fly” or in a scheduled conversation? What specific examples will you cite about their effective behavior or performance? Use this to brighten their day.
Touch up your skills
Your technical expertise can be the very thing that helps you to coach, guide and grow the members of your team. At the same time, to be effective as leaders, we need to learn and develop additional skills and behaviors in order to get the results we desire from our teams. What leadership skills do you need to add to your repertoire? Take inventory of items like: Do I ask questions to involve others in problem solving and decision making? Do I listen to people when they speak—not just to hear but to understand?
Of course, cleaning and tidying are jobs that are never done, including for leadership practices. But after the long winter, it’s a good idea to take a deep dive into where you can scrub and throw out –– and what needs to see the light of day.
At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and achieve crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.
For more information, contact Steph Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org