leadersedge inc. blog
Practicing self-care is simultaneously one of the easiest and most difficult things you will attempt to do. The momentum of conventional life will always pull you into a frenzied state if you let it, and the culture will never reward you for being good at self-care. But once you find what works for you – and make a commitment to doing it – it will seem effortless.
I think we can all agree that some amount of self-care is necessary for everyone, especially leaders who want to operate in a consistent manner and guide their organizations to greatness. However, every individual is different, so what might work for you may not work as well for your counterpart in a different department or another organization. With that said, there are some basic aspects of self-care that can be adapted to any leader or any leadership situation.
To me, leaders will perform at their best on all levels when they are comfortable integrating essential self-care into their lives. It is not just a “nice to have;” it’s necessary to keep up and to thrive in today’s modern organizations. Without it, leaders get burned out and are unable to provide inspiration. But when leaders practice self-care in a healthy manner, integrated fully into their lives, they benefit tremendously – and so do their teams, as well as their respective organizations.
As a leader, it is up to you to get people to buy in to the culture of communication and feedback you intend to create. So, how do you do that in a way that is sustainable? And how can you get your people to join the effort enthusiastically? I have some ideas…
If you genuinely want to improve your ability to lead, you need to create a culture in which people feel comfortable giving you feedback. Unfortunately for many leaders, this is easier said than done. So, how can you ensure that your organization is a place where feedback can flow in all directions?
Leadership is all about communication, and communication is often all about finding the right balance: For leaders, this means knowing when to speak and when to listen, when to ask questions and when to give advice, when to convey a message directly and when to disseminate it through different channels. Perhaps most important for leaders is the balance they must try to strike between praise and criticism when offering feedback.
As a leader, you know that communication is the cornerstone of effective leadership. However, you must understand that communication is an ongoing process. It’s not about occasional conversations, either; it’s all about a continuous discussion that happens within your organization. And you must be the one to drive the dialogue. That means giving feedback regularly, in addition to being open to receiving feedback about your performance. That might seem scary, but if you want to take your leadership and your organization to the next level, it is crucial that you create a culture of feedback.
Being an authentic leader means remaining grounded in your values, beliefs and approaches, regardless of what the latest, untested conventional wisdom might say. Authentic leaders never leave their people guessing about where they stand or what they think is right. They have a way of rising above the fray and providing perspective that their team members thrive on. And they know they can always trust their internal compasses to guide them.