Change Your Thinking and Bolster Your Leadership Effectiveness
When things do not go your way, what do you do? Do you blame others? Do you chalk it up to bad luck? What if you simply decided to change your thinking instead?
I realize the pandemic has changed the world in both positive and negative ways. Sadly, lives have been lost, jobs have been impacted, and our day-to-day reality has changed. As leaders, we must recognize there are many things that happen outside of our control. Therefore, it is imperative that we focus on things that we can control – our thinking.
Recently in our blog, we have covered ideas like employee engagement, effective communication, and individual accountability. Today, I would like to share some ideas about how changing your thinking can improve your overall effectiveness as a leader. Shifting your thinking can also help you react better when situations like our present circumstance arise or when things do not go your way.
You must understand that no one else is responsible for the thoughts and ideas that flow through your mind. You are 100% responsible for your thinking, behavior and how you chose to respond to people and various situations.
Are You Engaged?
Leaders who want to lead successful teams and organizations need to understand that engagement is everything. Productivity and sales are improved when employees become more engaged. Absenteeism drops substantially as engagement levels rise. Clients and customers feel better about dealing with your company when your people display high levels of engagement and communication. But none of this happens if you, as the leader, are not engaged.
If your organization is suffering and not achieving the desired results, it's easy to blame others and find rationale around the lack of performance but reality is that engagement starts with you as a leader.
Do you find yourself thinking any of the following thoughts when things are not working in your favor?
- “If only that person would pick up the slack.”
- “My people aren't willing to go the extra mile.”
- “Customers and clients just don't understand the brilliance of our offerings.”
- “Why should I change? I've been operating this way for X number of years.”
- “No one takes pride in their jobs anymore.”
Before you look outside yourself to find reasons and individuals to hold accountable, we suggest you examine yourself first.
Are you exhibiting the behaviors you want your people to display? Are you sending out positive and supportive messages both verbally and written? Your thinking drives your behavior, so stop and look at yourself first before you look for circumstances and people to blame.
Keep an Open Mind
Anytime that you, as a leader, have a negative thought about your organization and its direction, you should take the opportunity to either deal with the problem or issue head on and take corrective action or shift your thinking.
Are you solely focusing on what is not working? Trust me. If you look for the negative, you will find it. If you look for the positive, guess what you will find? In other words, positivity breeds positivity and negativity breeds negativity – it is contagious.
I am not suggesting you live your life with rose-colored glasses on. What I am suggesting is that your mindset will determine your overall success. Attitude and perspective are everything. What you feed your brain will feed your actions and behaviors.
Did you know the human brain is conditioned to look for the negative? That is why being self-aware and mindful about your thinking is critical to your success in business and in life.
The more self-aware you are, the more you can manage the highs and lows that come your way. Your behavior will also influence the behaviors of your team and those around you. What do you want your legacy to be? Your thinking and behavior will define that legacy, so be mindful of your thinking.
As leaders, we also need to recognize when our employees are trapped in ruts of negative thinking. These are the times when you need to use your soft skills too, like empathy and compassion, to help move them forward and resolve the issue at hand, while leading and modeling the right behaviors.
The process of shifting our thinking starts with you. And might look like something like this:
- Recognize that only you can take control over your own thoughts
- Improve your thinking as a leader – eliminate negative thoughts as much as possible and be rational about how you go about resolving problems
- Instead of recognizing problems with your team and specific team members, get excited about the possibilities for improvement – be forward thinking
- Be aware of the language you use; it gives life to other people’s perceptions of you
Change Your Thinking and Transform Your Results
Are you aware of your own thinking? Do you choose to look at the glass as half full or half empty? Are you exhibiting the right thinking and behaviors for your team and organization?
Have you observed how your thinking affects your team and the relationships you have with others?
Please let us know what you think. I am here and available to support your leadership success, so give me a call at 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you!