Early leadership and management mistakes that I’ve made when I first started leading teams.
- I had a lack of awareness of my own behavioral and communication preferences and how opposite folks could prefer to work. It's really embarrassing and so obvious when I look back on it now. In real-time and in hard lessons, I learned that others perceived me as quite extroverted and having a pretty verbose communication style. I learned that I was limiting my team by not making space for folks who were more reflective and introverted, who preferred fewer words (from me!), and more time to think and to process to do their best work.
- I didn't understand the complexity of leadership. The balance between completing the task and investing in the relationships. The connection between short-term and strategic solutions.
- I wasn't aware of the differences between managing work and managing people until I was already in the role of manager and being asked to scale my leadership, my team and the business at the same time. Oof, It was a tough learning curve.
Understanding communication styles to be a better leader
- those that are introverted vs extroverted and how we need to change the approach in communicating to both
- learning from DISC profiles and how to lean into other people’s styles is more effective.
- an example of starting a meeting by asking those about their weekend - some people may NOT want to share their personal stories. It’s better to be tuned in to different styles and who your audience is and who you are leading.
- Learn about your team, their behavioral preferences (and DISC profile) can be a helpful tool for any leader
Using tools for emotional regulation to make better decisions
- We have an emotional side of our mind and reason based side (or logic based mind) and in the middle is the the wise mind where we are making decisions from a place of honoring both sides. Often we default to one side.
- I love helping people find the tools to get into the middle more often.
- One tool is to take an emotional lap - take a breather, get in touch with your senses and get back to our ‘wise mind’.
- See the signs of when you may need to use these tools - holding your breath, fast heart beats. Think - Am I in the best possible shape to make important decisions?
- Jeff Bezos has a process where he only makes decisions in an optimal time of day when he knows he’s in his ‘best state’. Know and understand WHEN you are at your best.
- I look at where is this person experiencing pain, doubt, anxiety. Where are the limiting beliefs or thoughts that they are not good enough come from. I look at what the underlying cause is.
- Sometimes it’s life trauma or a bigger issue and yes sometimes it’s imposter syndrome. It’s important to define what the true problem is or where it’s stemming from.
- I use a leadership tool called Leadership Circle Profile. It gathers information on your strengths. And we may not have the clarity on what our strengths are as leaders, but we can use data to really help us inform some of our own internal negativity bias about ourselves. Get quantitative data on your strengths of yourself and those you lead.
- Create a hype sheet for yourself, a database of your amazing strengths and accomplishments, or put a post it note in the bathroom that you see everyday. Whatever works best for you (or them).
- Pivot your habitual thinking by using a countdown - 5, 4,3,2,1 - Countdown. Tell the negative thoughts ‘Thank you but not right now’ and then insert a new, more positive thought. It’s creating a habit to be aware and change your thought patterns.
- Imagine you see yourself as a friend, sitting on a porch. How would you approach them if they were struggling? With empathy, questions and encouragement. Treat yourself the same way.
- Those kinds of discomfort or uncomfortable feelings are like a beach ball. And our hope is that we can push them down underwater, and then they will just disappear. And unfortunately, like a beach ball, they’re coming back and they’re coming back and you’re gonna get water in your face.
- We keep trying to push on and push through - but it still keeps coming back. Self management and self care is key.
- I try to help people see that their pace is not sustainable. It can host your health, relationships, budget, business and so forth. Asking yourself what is it costing you.
- Are you feeling stressed, snapping at people at home, sleeping less, limited emotional capacity - all signs of burnout. Know it doesn’t have to stay that way.
- Managing burnout could include creating movement of your body and exercise, turning your phone off (unplugging), sleep, meditation, do something joyful, have some quiet time, walk your dog. I call these Waterfall habits - waterfall habits being those things, once we start doing them, they fill us in a way that it flows over into other pieces or other habits of our life.
- Recommend the book Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown who is building a language around emotion, that kind of support for yourself to be able to label and identify and work through emotion and communicate around emotion. Put that book in your hand, put that in the book, but that book in the hands of people you care about, and leaders who can have impact lots of people because it can give us so much capacity and so much compassionate for our own experience and for others.
- Be kind to others, assume they are doing their best. Show empathy. It’s part and parcel of being a conscious leader.