What Does Good Leadership Look Like?
Good leadership looks different to different people and that’s why feedback is important – what are you doing that makes a difference to those you manage? How can you become a good…no, great, leader for all?
The feedback below is real. The name has been changed but the feedback was given by a team member to the team leader (allocated position on grade) who had just joined the team and straight away had a feeling that all was not quite right……the leaders first steps were to speak to the team, individually and as a collective, not only to try and improve performance but to find out everyone’s motivations and drivers, their career aspirations and worries…..and then she set out to help.
3 Months Later, This Is The Feedback Received…
“It has been an absolutely pleasure working with Chloe over the last few months.
She joined the project during a time with lots of ambiguity and challenge on the project and made an immediate and drastic positive impact for the team. She is an incredible leader and immediately focused on how she could help the team find calm (within the storm of uncertainty) as she could sense that was needed. Her calm and collected nature is contagious and immediately brought new life and motivation to the project team. She was very quick to build rapport and trust with the [internal] and client team. She is a great listener and has a high level of emotional intelligence, which helps her identify the different styles and preferences of all members of the team and helps us all play to our strengths, coaching us along the way. On top of all this, she has a very large amount of experience around change/project management and learning design and development, which made her perfect for this team and project.
On a personal level – I have really appreciated how our styles have mixed well, I feel like we our skillsets complement each other really well. Since she joined the project, it has really felt like a team. She also has clearly shown that she trusts to take initiative and ownership of things on the project, which has given me the space to develop the skills and confidence to progress my career with [the company], and the ability to evidence these skills in a time when I’m seeking a promotion.
Chloe is a great leader and is really quick to build trust within the team, creating a psychologically safe space for everyone to contribute and perform at their best. She is a great coach, helping/supporting people to reflect on their abilities and find ways to learn and improve. Her calm and poise is really a superpower of her – she keeps cool in the face of uncertainty and stress. She is a great communicator, collaborator, and listener – working with her is easy and fun. She also has strong project/change management abilities, which make her a great manager. She also consistently shows that she is very flexible and adapts to make the best of any situation (and we’ve had to adapt a lot on this project!).
What could Chloe do differently to have more impact? Nothing different – keep showing up the way she has and continue helping the team learn!!
Thank you, Chloe, for everything you do for the team!”
Good Leadership Qualities Revealed
Wow…feedback like this is always amazing to receive, especially when arriving into a team that has already been formed and have their ‘ways’ of doing things!
When she joined the team, Chloe was observant and had that gut feeling that something wasn’t right. Instead of jumping straight in and ‘telling’ how to improve the cohesion and performance, she chose to get to know her team, really delve into the reasons and start to understand what works for THEM….so let’s look at what Chloe did that made such an impact to her team and the ‘why’ each areas had such impact….
- Immediately focussed on the team’s needs and empowered members to take the initiative and develop their skills
Chloe is a servant leader who knows that a team who feels valued, appreciated, and empowered will work hard as a collective towards the objective…and they will go that extra mile (discretionary effort) to get it done. She took time to listen to her team and understand their desires for development, meaning that she could look out for opportunities for them to take on work in areas they were interested in
- Stayed calm and collected, even in times of uncertainty and stress, which transferred onto her team
Coming into a chaotic project, Chloe’s high level of emotional intelligence helped her to understand and manage her own emotions, staying calm in the stressful environment. She was able to read the emotions of her team and also transfer to them the feeling of calmness and being in control through uncertainty – she did this through being honest and authentic about how she was feeling but also being logical in her approach and prioritising tasks to work through, this helped her team feel in control during the uncertainty
- Created a psychologically safe space, built rapport and trust quickly
We could spend hours unpacking how Chloe did this but there simply isn’t the space on this blog! The simple fact is that she put in the time to get to know her team. She strived to understand their motivations and fears and was able to create an environment where they trusted her and felt ‘safe’ with her at the lead. Safe to make mistakes and learn from each other and to take measured risk to find solutions. She also identified the styles and preferences of her team members and flexed her approach to accommodate these to enable team and individual development, making each individual feel appreciated and cared for
- Actively listened and a great communicator
Active listening is a learnt skill which Chloe quickly used to help create rapport. She demonstrated empathy for the feelings being described to her and then communicated her understanding back to the individuals and team and they collaborated on the best team solution. She didn’t dismiss anyone’s feelings as unimportant, and her team felt that they were heard and involved in finding the way forward
- Coached and supported and created the feeling of being a team
Chloe harnessed the knowledge within her team and coached them through problems rather than telling them the answer – this helped to build trust with her and as a team and also developed the team’s confidence that they had the ability to solve problems together
- Flexible and adapts to make the best of any situation
Chloe has a positive mindset and this transfers to her team. She also believes in learning from all experiences and promotes this growth mindset in her team meetings. She is a role model for the team, and they started to also develop this mindset
- Made working with her easy and fun
The project still went through periods of uncertainty and stress but, the feedback was that working with Chloe is easy and fun – Chloe knew her team well and she created this environment because this is the environment they needed to develop and perform to their best ability – there is a lot of research showing that humour helps you learn, and Chloe harnessed this in how she helped her team develop
- Demonstrated great project management and change management skills
This is mentioned very late in the feedback. Her project skillsets, the reason someone is often chosen for a role, came in as the last-mentioned point – because as a leader, it was her people skills that made the most impact to her team…
Learnt Skills Or Leadership Experiences?
This may on the surface look like a masterclass in how to lead a team, but remember, Chloe has learnt these skillsets through her own experiences and yes, through failing more than once! All of these traits can be learnt but one thing that comes through in every part of the feedback is Chloe’s ability to put her team’s needs first.
How Does Chloe Know What Her Team’s Needs Are?
She puts aside the time to get to know her team as individuals and as a collective – not just asking the questions but through actively listening to the responses, observing body language, and looking out for those more subtle signs. She then uses this information to tailor HER approach to what works best for THEM. In turn, they feel valued and empowered and ‘safe’ to use their initiative to come up with new ideas and continue to develop as individuals and as a team.
Feedback is such a powerful tool to help us keeping learning and improving our skillsets. As you can take from this blog, we learn so much from others…and that is the reason The Wild Clarity Club was born! If you are curious and would like to know more…pop on over and have a look at what it involve.The Wild Clarity Club