People look to their leaders and managers more in times of uncertainty for guidance and an example of how to respond to challenges and opportunities that arise. So if we as leaders are asking others about their performance and wellbeing, we need to demonstrate that it is something we care about through our everyday actions. Some of those actions are more hidden now people are dispersed and working remotely so leaders need to find new ways of being more explicit when they are communicating virtually or via online platforms.
Being resilient to life’s challenges and owning our own response to those positively can have a huge influence on how others experience working and being with us. Often when something significant happens it puts us into a mode where we can respond in a particular way or make assumptions of how we should react. Yet those leaders who bring others through significant challenges are often the ones who are able to remain open minded when a challenge occurs. Being able to see many different perspectives, invite others to explore the issues together and encourage creativity through difficult times can be the story we most hear afterwards about those who helped us through. It demonstrates both servant leadership and stewardship to be able to remain open and involve others in the resolution of a problem.
Building our confidence to be able to remain open like this can come from reflecting on how we have experienced challenges previously and working on building our own psychological capital. This comes from 4 key areas: Hope, Self Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism. All these states can be improved through a variety of different yet simple methods and a combination of all 4 called psychological capital have been shown to be critical resources we can draw on to get through challenging times.
Being able to reflect on and build our psychological capital is a great way that leaders can role model self management. All 4 resources are applicable to all human beings which makes this accessible learning that leaders can use with their teams to guide each person to take accountability for their own wellbeing and performance. Being a human leader is less about applying complex theories and models and more about listening to our inner voice, trusting our intuition and doing what we know is the right thing for us and for our teams. Turning up the volume on our inner voice and asking ourselves regularly:
- Do we have goals we act upon?
- Do we have confidence in our abilities from past experiences?
- Do we remain open minded through challenge?
- Do we view the future as a source of opportunity?
Focusing on our continual learning is a key part of self management and finding the most human and positive ways monitor how we are as a leader will help us do so more regularly and with greater effect.