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Leading Authentically

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Take it from me, as leaders, we have an active responsibility to engage our team members in an authentic and meaningful way. This means we need to take the time to understand their individual strengths, challenges, and perspectives, and tailoring our approach to meet their unique needs.

Authentic engagement starts with building trust. When team members feel that their opinions are valued and that they are being heard, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. This is where psychological safety comes in - creating an environment where team members feel safe to express their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution or ridicule. As leaders, it's our job to create this type of environment by actively listening to our team members and fostering open and honest communication.

But how do we go about meeting our team members where they are at? One approach is to use a coaching mindset. This means that instead of simply telling team members what to do, we need to help them to develop their own solutions by asking thoughtful questions and providing constructive feedback. By doing this, we can tap into their unique perspectives and strengths, and help them to feel empowered and invested in their work at the same time.

Another important aspect of meeting team members where they are at is recognizing that everyone has different communication styles and preferences. Some team members may prefer face-to-face conversations, while others may prefer email or instant messaging. As leaders, we need to be flexible in how we communicate with our team members in order to accommodate their individual needs and preferences. This is key in embracing and harnessing the diversity on your team.

Finally, it's important to recognize that team members are more than likely at different stages in their personal and professional lives. Some may be dealing with personal challenges or stresses, while others may be experiencing career transitions or seeking new challenges. By being aware of these individual needs and circumstances, we as leaders can provide the support and guidance that each team member needs to thrive.

To conclude: engaging our team members authentically requires a willingness to listen, adapt, and meet them where they are at. Yes, it's a lot of work. No one said leading was going to be easy, and if it's coming easily there's a good chance you've got a lot you can improve upon.

But, in integrating these points, we can build trust, foster open communication, and help each team member to reach their full potential. It's important to remember that each team member is unique and has their own set of strengths and challenges, and as leaders, it's our job to support and guide them on their journey.

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