It is supposed to be a fun day out. Everyone taking their turns swinging golf clubs at Top Golf. However, while the atmosphere is playful, you can feel the undertones of frustration as the majority of the swings are ending in a shank.
The golf “pro” watches from the sidelines. Suddenly, silently, he races to the golfer, picks up first one leg, then the other, re-positioning each, then races past the safety line, flashing a thumbs up. The golfer swings - a long shot hit with precision, landing on the green just right. Amazing shot! This scene is repeated many times over the course of the next few golfers. Each swing outrageously, unbelievably successful. A welcome relief from the previous attempts! Each time, the spectators break out in wild clapping and laughter.
The golf “pro” is my four-year old grandson, Beckett. With little knowledge, great assurance, visible encouragement, and careful positioning, he has positively affected the outcome of these golfers. Right now, he is an example of an amazing leader for our whole family. Because of his actions, we all DID have a fun day out AND the overall game was drastically improved.
All of us are leaders in at least one area of our life.
When we think of famous leaders such as Oprah, Sir Richard Branson, Princess Catherine, and Steve Jobs, specific characteristics of each stand out. Oprah’s emotional intelligence and social awareness; Sir Richard Branson’s willingness to listen and learn; Princess Catherine’s humility and caring for others; Steve Jobs’s ability to spur innovation.
Here are a few of the characteristics that come up most often in leadership trainings that I have conducted worldwide over the last 20 years. They bring PEACE to the growth of your employees and the outcomes of your business.
Position. Set up the individuals and teams you lead for success. This may involve introducing them to the right people, providing the right tools, or giving them the resources and training that will help them succeed. Provide coaching to ensure your employees have thoroughly considered all aspects of the project, discussed the barriers and how they will overcome them, and asked the questions that will encourage self-exploration and self-discovery. In my grandson’s case, he was physically positioning the golfers for the best shot.
Encourage. Show you believe in your employee’s ability. Let go of control, and let them shine. Support new ideas, celebrate their milestones, listen and encourage them to try out their ideas. Focus on their strengths. Step back and let them take the spotlight, and give them credit where credit is due. The more you learn about them, understand their dreams, goals, and aspirations, the better you will know how to encourage them. My grandson’s high five encouraged the person he was helping. He got out of the way quickly so the golfer could take the limelight and shine.
Accepting. We are all on a continuum of growth. Accepting your team members at their current level of development and being patient with them allows them to feel safe to grow and to try out new skills. Cultivate a positive work environment, even when things don’t go exactly as planned. Taking mistakes in stride and helping them work through missteps, permits your employees to learn and grow. It didn’t matter to my grandson what the golfer’s skills were, he was totally accepting and there to support them.
Celebrate. Celebrate personal milestones, even the small ones. Whether it’s birthdays, work anniversaries, engagements, or steps forward on a project, it shows you care. Institute a team-wide or organization-wide daily habit of writing three things you are grateful for. This celebration creates more happiness and positivity in the brain. Getting the whole team in on the celebration for our golfers created camaraderie and encouragement.
Evaluate. Embrace change. Use the skills and experiences of the older generations, and the new ideas of the younger generations to form the innovations that will take your company into the future. That was definitely the secret to helping our golfers!
Think of your favorite leader, supervisor or boss who brought out the best in you. What characteristics did they possess?
What characteristics do you have that bring out the best in those you lead?
Knowing the characteristics you want to exhibit to bring out the best in your team is important to help everyone communicate and interact effectively and efficiently. If you need help identifying your leadership characteristics and strengths, contact Joy today!