Leading the “Coaching to Develop a Leadership Mindset” course for the IABC Academy for the past three years, I’ve heard firsthand from many communicators about the challenges they face in the workplace and on the path to leadership.
Here are some of the most common concerns and requests:
- How to develop confidence, emotional intelligence and a leader-centric mindset
- How to become less “reactive” and able to communicate a position and proposed solutions without “shutting down”
- Tips and tools to handle difficult conversations and manage conflict
- Coaching/mentoring tips for team growth and development
- How to get more responsibility, more rewarding projects and more joy.
I believe that communicators are by nature ideally positioned for leadership positions. What follows are five of my best tried-and-true tips to develop a leadership mindset, get noticed and move up.
Leading is also about following
A leader is someone who others follow willingly. People want to be in a relationship with you. It is not dependent on power or position.
A great question for aspiring leaders to ask is “Why do others willingly follow me?” Look within yourself for the answer. You may want to ask others as well to see what they say.
Herein lies clues to your strength of character and the values you should uphold to naturally shine as a leader.
Often the responsibility of a leader is to get their people from where they are to where they haven’t been. This is a lot easier if people follow willingly.
Ask yourself: Why would others willingly follow me?
Leaders are relational
Effective leaders are adept at managing three relationships: relationship with self, relationship with others and relationship with the system(s) within which they live and operate.
Leadership scholar Warren Bennis famously said, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.”
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