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How to Develop Human Leadership

Some people are natural-born leaders, but the constantly changing climate of the working world requires a perpetual questioning of managerial methods. Here are a few methods that help leaders become better "human leaders":

  1. Promote Transparent Communication. Internal communication is essential to establish and maintain relationships. Building a strong relationship takes effort, but it's mainly about being transparent across the organization. Honesty and transparency are values that help establish healthy relationships with the team, further engaging them and thus leading to better productivity.

  2. Prioritize Teamwork and Collaboration. When managers see themselves as part of a team, it changes everyone's approach to work. It's not just about saying it, but primarily about applying this principle. Great teams are built on underlying values of trust, fairness, and flexibility. Therefore, to achieve human leadership, managers need to form a cohesive unit with their collaborators. Developing company culture through various modes is an effective lever to promote team connection.

  3. Skill Up Your Teams. By investing in their team, managers support and encourage the growth and development of employees. This not only helps them excel in their roles but also stimulates innovation, loyalty, and employee engagement. However, it's essential to avoid dictating the path they should follow. Instead, let employees explore their professional interests and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

  4. Encourage Expressing Concerns. When no red flags are raised, and the team appears well, managers might easily assume everything is fine. However, this isn't always the case. In a toxic environment, some employees might be reluctant or discouraged from discussing conflicts or issues. Hence, it's crucial to regularly assess the social climate within the company to encourage open communication.

  5. Recognize and Compliment. Clearly, empathy is a vital component of leadership. Effective human leaders understand the importance of complimenting and valuing their collaborators' efforts. Recognition can take various forms, and it's up to managers to identify and understand their collaborators' motivations. What works for one person might not work for another. Addressing this requires taking the time to conduct individual interviews with team members to understand their preferences and recognition needs.

  6. Be Flexible. With the rise of hybrid work, employees increasingly expect a more personalized work experience that meets their needs and promotes a work-life balance. It's essential to understand collaborators' expectations and prioritize flexibility and trust.

  7. Use "I" and "We". Using "I" can evoke emotional attachment, especially when expressing emotions or storytelling, and helps create a bond with collaborators by acting on their empathetic fiber. However, a manager should share a vision and values that they genuinely and legitimately hold. Being guided by values provides a foundation that keeps teams more at ease. Using "we" promotes inclusivity, builds on the collective's foundation, and encourages team engagement. Whether it's about embedding values or company culture, it's about giving meaning to the collective.

In conclusion, there's an increasing emphasis on managing with empathy, humility, and authenticity. While this approach might sound idealistic, teams need to thrive in a safe environment where everyone can flourish. Although this work doctrine might suggest that managers should give up their status to lead a team, that's not the case. Embracing this leadership approach allows a higher engagement level, loyalty, and productivity. It also requires courage, as for many managers or companies, it might be a long and challenging journey. Sometimes, reverting to old habits when under extreme pressure is tempting, but the future is inclusive, empathetic, and collaborative. #management #leadership #empathy #inclusive


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