People demonstrate leadership qualities when they participate in activities that align with what is most meaningful and purposeful, from both a personal and professional perspective. Individuals and organizations are leaders in their areas of strength and followers in their areas of weakness. So, what might be going on when you discover partners are not stepping up to the leadership opportunities within your partnership?
How can you cultivate a culture of leadership among your partners that facilitates the performance of the partnership and productivity of your partners?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:
• How aligned are the partner’s needs, with the values and priorities of the partnership?
• Are partners asked to lead in areas they are weak in, lack interest, or see little value?
• How comfortably do partners communicate their needs and priorities?
• Do partners feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions?
• Are partners afraid to make mistakes, look silly, or be judged?
If you want to cultivate a culture of leadership, there are a few key steps you can take:
Step 1: Create an environment where it is safe to share.
Your partnership will benefit from partners openly discussing their priorities and needs, even if they conflict. When partners believe they can share their perspectives without fear of judgement or consequences (‘it is ok to disagree’), they will feel they can trust each other, knowing that their peers have their best interests in mind.
Step 2: Foster the practice of ‘curious conversations’.
When engaged in curious conversations, partners are focused on understanding the perspectives of their peers, rather than making assumptions, being judgmental or focusing on their desired outcome. By helping your partners practice asking more effective questions, they will shift their focus from ‘being right or getting their way’, to ‘understanding’. You will be able to discover the needs and strengths of your peers more quickly, and be more likely to help your partners meet their needs (which increases both trust and engagement).
Step 3: Talk about what is working and what is not working on a regular basis.
Promote the practice of soliciting and offering feedback that is directed at improving the overall productivity of partners and performance of the partnership. If steps one and two are in place, with regular feedback practices you will be able to identify potential issues before they become problems, because your partners will be more likely to give you honest feedback in a timely way.
Fostering a strong leadership culture doesn’t start at the top or the bottom; it’s an inside-out job first.
©2016 Enette Pauzé & Level 8 Leadership Institute. All rights reserved.
- Posted by Enette Pauzé
- On May 24, 2016
- 0 Comment