“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John Maxwell
Conscious leadership is not always easy. There are many facets to pulling it off successfully. When we put it down to basics, a description of what it means to be a conscious leader could arguably be, ‘a leader who consciously looks after the welfare of the business in economic and operational terms, as well as consciously looking after the wellbeing of the people who work for it’.
In this blog, we suggest that, if you haven’t dipped your toe into the workforce experience for a while, it might be time to check-in. After all, it’s been a rough few years for employee welfare, and with things allegedly returning to ‘normal’, some aspects of the workplace will be shifting again. as the old saying goes, ‘happy workers are hard workers’. Take that step back, and take a little time to ensure that you are doing everything you can to not only keep your workforce happy but also, in doing so, to look after the wellbeing of your business.
So, here is a brief list of questions to ask yourself as a conscious leader in that regard…
1. Are Your Workers Happy?
It’s a simple question. The main question, in fact. But do you know the answer? If you do, great? If not, then why not. Perhaps it’s because you simply haven’t asked in a while. However, if you were to ask, could you be assured of an honest answer.
Getting an honest answer depends on the relationship you have cultivated with those working around and for you. For an organisation to work mindfully and efficiently, communication is key. That communication must also be honest, constructive and kind. It must be a communication built on respect and an understanding of how your business works.
This relationship can be cultivated in several ways…
a. Have a genuine open-door policy for your workers. You must also treat each issue with the same weight and respect as the others.
b. Act upon concerns and issues. It is all very well to listen to the criticisms from your workforce, but for them to continue to share you must take action on their issues. And if you cannot take action on them, you must be honest about why.
c. Create specific systems and forums in which people can make suggestions and air concerns.
2. Are You Listening to Your Workforce?
To hear your workforce is one thing… but are you really listening? Are you fully understanding their point of view? And if you aren’t understanding their point of view, are you asking questions and making a conscious effort to ensure that you are all on the same page?
3. What Small Changes Can You Make?
By this I mean two things. First, if an issue arises, is there something small you can do to deal with it (or work towards dealing with it) in the short term? Let’s say, for example, your employees would like more natural light and better air quality as they cannot spend much time outside. To solve, this might require windows being installed, air conditioning units being put in, maybe even a complete reshuffle of your workplace’s geography. In the short term, the addition of plants and more sensitive lighting might buy you some time.
Secondly, small changes that solve actually a problem are easy to make and build trust between you and your workforce. So, if there is something simple you can offer, it works in your favour to do so.
4. What Large Changes Can You Make?
Are you open to discussing large changes to company policy and working conditions with your employees? It might not be possible to make every big change that is being asked of you, but you should at least respect, discuss and consider them… which includes keeping your workforce part of that conversation.
Conscious leadership may not see you pleasing everyone all the time. However, to be seen to be listening and respecting everyone that you look after will have huge benefits to your relationship with your employees, and, subsequently, to the quality of how efficiently your business operates.
By Chris Thomson
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