“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. And when you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” – Bruce Lee
Conscious leadership has never been more valuable and more important than it is now. With the challenges we have all faced in recent months, both professionally and personally, it has become much more necessary to be mindful of the individual challenges of our colleagues, and to work together to overcome a cascade of logistical and productivity hurdles.
As we continue to move forward into this year leaders will need to continue to show sensitivity in their approach and creativity in their problem solving. A conscious business approach will go on adapting to the ever-changing status quo by trading the fine line between solid planning and allowing for adjustment and sudden change. Here are a few pointers on how you might wish to adapt your conscious leadership approach going forward.
1. Availability of Information
Many of us are working from home now and will likely continue to do so into the near future. If you work somewhere where home working is not an option, you will surely be experiencing many measures and challenges in your place of work. Trust is always an important element when demonstrating conscious leadership, and this is more important than ever. In a world where nobody really knows 100% what is going on, it is crucial that you keep your employees and colleagues as abreast of the current state of things as possible, and to be transparent when you don’t have the answers. If they feel that you are being honest with them, and that you value an ethos of genuine teamwork, they will feel much more comfortable being honest and open with you.
As communication is a little harder now, especially if you are rarely in the same room as the people that you work with, you must try to be as clear as possible with your vision. When communicating tasks or information it is as much about what you say as it is about what you don’t. Try not to muddy the waters with unnecessary additions. Clear and simple instruction is a good way to encourage productivity and eliminate wasted time and resources.
3. Stay in Touch, But Not Too Much
Checking in is important. Of course it is. You need to keep tabs on what is going on with your business, and where your colleagues are at. However, nobody likes to feel like they are being spied on or baby-sat. Be conscious of this as there is a fine line between the two.
One thing that can help with this is to arrange for your colleagues to contact you for an update a regular basis. This means that they do not feel that you are leaning over their shoulder, and that they have some control over when to clue you in as to what is going on.
4. Advocate Structure and Resting
Working from home, or with less supervision than one is used to, can lead to overworking. As somebody who works from home, it is easy to try and power through without breaks, and to work far past the end of the workday. You must advocate breaks, set working hours, and general structure. Work-life balance is crucial to being productive and contributory to a business, so try and make this a core concern as we morph into a world more comfortable with remote working.
5. Be Sensitive to Your Team’s Situations
Know that, especially with what the past year has thrown at us, that many of your employees will have challenges that you might not have thought of. These might include working with children in the house, having non-traditional working hours, or, indeed, dealing with grief or bereavement. As a conscious leader it is important to deal with your colleagues as individuals, and to create a culture where they feel that you can work together to find a work arrangement that benefits everybody involved.
By Chris Thomson
Conscious Leadership is, first and foremost, about positive connection with your employees. The pandemic does make this a little tricker, so here are a few thoughts on how to keep that connection live… Connecting with Your Workplace Community Mid-Pandemic
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