4 Simple Tips to Effective Leadership

4 Simple Tips to Effective Leadership

Are you striving to lead more effectively? Here are 4 simple tips drawn from my extensive experience of working with leaders, that will help you build team engagement and achieve results. 

4 Simple Tips to Effective Leadership

Tip 1 – Get Direct

Be willing to engage in real and direct conversations with your team.

The longer you avoid having a challenging conversation, the more complicated and open to misunderstand a situation can become.

Address what needs to be said as soon as you identify an issue, keeping the following in mind:

  • Be curious and generous in your approach. Others will view an issue from their own unique perspective. Their subjective truth is equally valid to your own. Rather than an ‘either / or’ approach, seek to understand how both perspectives are partially true.
  • Listen to others in the same way you would like to be heard.
  • Own your own part.
  • If you need time to digest, reflect, or calm down, take a break, and agree to come back to the conversation at a specific time.
  • Set clear boundaries. For example, it’s okay to feel frustrated by this situation, but it’s not okay to yell at others on the team.
  • Show up with an open mind and heart.
  • Be crystal clear about your expectations. How can you expect others to be held to them if they don’t know what they are?

For a comprehensive guide to having challenging conversations click here to download your e-book on difficult conversations made easy

Tip 2 – Get Objective to Culture

Culture is how we do things round here. It’s a set of spoken and unspoken rules, agreements, assumptions, behaviours, beliefs and values.

When starting work somewhere new, the culture will be visible to you initially. Whether overt or implied, the message is loud and clear – this is how we do things.

Before long however, culture becomes invisible as you get ‘enculture-ate-d’ by it, you too become part of the status quo.

“You can’t change what you don’t see.”

– Anon

As a leader in an organisation, if you do not take a step-back and separate yourself from the culture to observe it, then you are subject to it. In other words, it leads you rather than the other way around.

By becoming objective to the culture you are now in a position to create change.

Tip 3 – Lead Through Meaning

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

– John F. Kennedy

To impact change and facilitate the best from your team, seek to understand the meanings they bring to their work, projects and participation.

To illicit meaning, ask questions like:

  • Why is this important to you?
  • What difference will achieving X mean to you, the team, the organisation, the broader community?
  • What do you believe about X project?
  • What facets of working with this team do not align with your values?

Meaning drives performance, which means uninspiring meaning lead to under-performance.

If a team member lacks motivation ask them what they need to motive themselves about. Their answer will inevitably be the frame they hold that is the problem in the first place. This is the real obstacle.

For example, one person I spoke to said the administration part of her role felt like enslavement. No wonder she found it hard to motivate herself!. When she stepped back and saw that completing the admin work enabled her to make a difference to the lives of the young people she worked with, she was no longer enslaved by her own meaning.

It is because we frame things (activities, people, to-do’s) in a particular way (frustrating, dull, tedious) we then have to motivate ourselves in the face of our own framework of meaning. Reframe the meaning and the problem is solved.

Tip 4 – Lead by Example

“Change the world by your example not your opinion.”

– Paul Coelho

We learn by example. If you are a parent, you know that to be true. The classic example is the young child swearing in the kindergarten playground whilst a red-faced parent cringes nearby. Children model themselves on what they see and hear us do, not what we tell them they should do.

The same is true in the workplace, your team will follow your lead. Your integrity and leadership inform the culture. What kind of team and culture are you leading by your words and actions?

In Conclusion

Use these 4 simple tips to effective leadership to expand your skill-set as a leader. Remember though, that all leadership starts with self-leadership. To be the best leader you can be, you need to seek out feedback to be able to see what you cannot see about yourself.

This is where the help of a skilled coach can show you the blind-spots and habituated patterns of thinking and behaviour that run outside your awareness and impact your ability to lead effectively. A developmental coach is going help you see yourself clearly, encourage you to inquire into it and not stop when the going gets tough.

To start unleashing your full potential as a leader, click here to book in for a 30-45 minute no-obligation Discovery Coaching Session now.


Integral Leadership Coaching Sydney

Written by Soo Balbi

Soo is a behavioural expert and one of Australia’s leading Developmental Coaches who helps women thrive. Soo assists her clients to cut to the heart of any challenge, enabling choices and possibilities previously unavailable.

Contact Soo today

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