Leadership is a two-way street. As we are developing our leadership skills, we need to remember that feedback and difficult conversations are welcomed from the people around us.
True leadership requires open and regular collaboration between leaders and the people they lead. Leaders must encourage everyone to regularly ask questions. Leadership from the heart fosters open communication that encourages people to freely bring up conversations that elevate our leadership game.
If you want to be an effective leader, you must allow the people you work with the opportunity to be honest with you regarding your leadership. You must solicit feedback as part of your growth potential.
Authentic leaders are mature and secure enough to allow people in their life to share their perspectives in a candid way. If the leader is unable to step back from a position of coaching someone into a role of being coached, that leader is risking of being perceived as a know-it-all or as someone superior to another.
Here are some suggestions on how we can develop into being a coachable leader:
Many leaders like to tell everyone that their office doors are always open and should anyone need their assistance to come and see them. As leaders that value openness and transparency, we have to walk the talk by demonstrating our willingness by being approachable. We have to ask ourselves the question, “Are we willing to let people into our lives because we really interested in their feedback to improve our leadership capacities?”
Do you want to listen and learn?
The great thing about being open to coaching is that other people are more perceptive to you as you are willing to listen and learn from their point of view. People like to be around an open-minded leader because people tend to feel more comfortable as you will welcome and listen to their thoughts. Leadership should always be about inviting people to have an honest dialogue that elevate creativity to our challenges. Inviting people to our learning and growth is a sure way to create an environment of active listening and progress.
Taking responsibility as a leader means we are not only welcoming the feedback but we are also admitting our judgments and errors as part of the on-going coaching process. By being an accountable leader, we begin to have better clarity to help us understand better the challenges we face to move forward. Accountability helps coaching to develop the trust and transparency to be vulnerable to areas of improvement. It also helps us to gain better self-awareness and insight into our leadership potential.
Look for opportunities to ask questions
Leaders must not passively wait for people to help them grow their leadership capacities. An effective leader is one who is out in the front willing to ask the hard questions about their abilities to lead. When leaders actively solicit questions and answers, they communicate they care about the people they lead. The entire organization wins. In an open communication environment, leaders must have the ability to bridge the gap of trust by modeling the behavior of non-confrontational questioning.
These recommendations are important in improving our leadership skills as the world around us is changing. New ideas, new methods and new thoughts are emerging every day. True leaders are those people who can feel the change and embrace it fully to help themselves and others grow.