Not a day goes by without a leader talking to me about their management challenges, particularly those related to establishing, or even developing, trust and team culture.
In this context, how can we, as leaders, ensure that our leadership approach has the maximum impact? This question can be approached from several angles:
- How to build trust remotely?
- How to have crucial conversations in a virtual environment?
- How to maximize the impact of our communications?
- How to adapt my approach to create the desired impact within my team?
- How to ensure I’m working at the right level?
Hence, I suggest initiating, at the onset of 2024, a sequence of 5 editorials offering my insights into these crucial inquiries.
I’ve opted to commence our investigation by focusing on trust, recognizing its fundamental significance in every aspect.
Trust is a broad concept, and here are the three axes we address with my clients:
- First, the trust you have in your own leadership abilities.
- Then, the trust you build with the members of your team.
- And finally, the climate of trust that you create through your leadership style.
1. How confident are you in your abilities and skills as a leader?
In my profession (which I adore, have I told you that before?), I meet dozens and dozens of leaders every week. As you can imagine, leaders obviously have varying levels of confidence in their management abilities and skills.
There are those who are convinced that their approach is THE right one, not always aware of its effect on their team members. There are those who question everything, forgetting their instincts. And then there are those who know their strengths and development opportunities well. This last category of leaders demonstrates lucidity and openness to what they put forward for the benefit of their team, knowing that they must adapt their approach sufficiently, without losing themselves, to meet the needs of the situation and have the desired impact on their team.
And you, do you know your strengths and development opportunities as a leader?
2. Are your team members confident in your abilities?
Without a doubt, we can assert that the role of leadership has undergone significant changes in recent years – but you probably already knew that! Inclusion, compassion, mobilization, mental well-being, and the leader-coach paradigm are all topics that not too long ago were primarily championed by experts in leadership development, myself included.
Times have certainly changed, and leaders have a more developed self-awareness and an understanding of the importance of building a strong foundation of trust with their team members to be effective in creating a culture of inclusion, kindness, and mobilization.
But how, in this context, can we establish this foundation of trust, which is the basis of any high-performing team?
3. Had I realized it was that straightforward…
One of my clients (let’s call her Stephanie) with whom I spoke this week, said to me, “If I had known it was so simple…”.
Stephanie and I have been working together for a few weeks now. She came to me because she received feedback “I’m told that I’m super efficient, that I get projects done, but along the way, I’m too directive, which demotivates my team.”
So our coaching objective is to go beyond the pressure of having all the answers to move things forward. It’s more about playing the role of an attentive guide who aspires to develop her team, rather than simply providing answers or showcasing her own knowledge. The emphasis is on cultivating a development-oriented leadership, where autonomy, individual growth, and mentoring become the pillars of a successful team. By moving away from the need to have all the solutions, we open the door to a more collaborative and inspiring leadership, allowing everyone to contribute meaningfully to collective success.
At the beginning of our sessions, I sensed her stress, the weight of her expertise seeming to weigh on her shoulders, as well as the fatigue resulting from the pressure she was under.
What did she mean by “If I had known it was so simple…”?
Stephanie also told me that if she had had the right tools earlier in her career, she would have changed her approach a long time ago! That it’s much simpler, once you have the right tools, to focus on developing your team than it is to have the full responsibility of delivering results.
How did she achieve this?
- First, she became aware of the limitations of her initial approach, both on her team, which was demotivated by her overly directive approach, and on herself, tired of feeling the weight of holding the ship single-handedly.
- Then, she learned the necessary tools to adopt the leader-coach posture.
- Finally, she quickly noticed the positive impact that her renewed approach had on mobilizing and empowering her team. She also feels much lighter and filled with constructive energy. She now has much more time to dedicate to her team’s development and the strategic challenges related to her level.
Do you recognize yourself in Stephanie’s story?
My wish for you in 2024 is that you too can find some lightness, maintain a better balance while maximizing your impact as a leader!
And what if it were possible?