There is much to be learned from experts on their leadership skills, communication style, coach approach, and culture building. So many similarities despite the field of expertise if we take the time to listen and engage.

Knowledge in our chosen profession is not enough to bind our team and ensure a repeat customer. 

Everybody can … but not everybody will

Working in conjunction with LifeWorks, the Queen’s University’s “Workplace Mental Health Leadership Certificate Program” shows that active listening to involve our staff helps to stem the sometimes debilitating impact of mental health through early intervention. This means having conversations that are both positive and supportive without judgement. Working in a positive, proactive manner helps prevent both absenteeism and presenteeism.

The data illustrates that when employees have developed friends in their workplace, they are more likely to stay and be engaged in the overall goals and adapt the long term vision of the organization.

Humour is the magic, but not so secret ingredient

According to the research, people leaders with a good sense of humour are able to motivate, build confidence, instill trust, and boost the resilience of their workforce. Author’s Dr. Jennifer Aaker, Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Naomi Bagdonas, Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business know “Humour is Serious Business”. And as author Michael Kerr suggests, we should aspire to a “Jerk-Free Workplace”. Take the test. Do you effectively engaged with appropriate humour?

Process Drives Results

Moving beyond the buzz words to creating effective culture, we need to ask, are we holding on so tightly to what we don’t want that it is preventing us from getting the culture that we do want? While we know Process Drives Results, studies show there needs to be flexibility to unlock that discretionary effort reserved for when employees too are motivated by the goals, buy into the values and see the vision as clearly as the founders. This is when their productivity is fueled by what they want to do, verses what they have to do. 

As the creative minds at the Disney Institute show, this can be the process which ultimately drives results further than ever before, increasing the revenue stream to greater heights than previously imagined.

·      Have the value driven conversation, which requires an ability to be present, listen actively, and create a safe environment

·      Share rather than provide advice by being venerable, which will encourage trust

·      Notice the energy and be authentic to engage emotionally

·      Listen to understand, not to judge, question whether you “respond” to information, or “react”, which will dictate “how” other’s perceive the information flow and align behaviours to actions

·      Comment on how something is good, encourage the conversation on how can it be better, to re-enforces the desired behaviours

Ultimately, we know, regardless of what kind of business we’re in, people make the difference. As leaders, if we look after those who work for our organization, they will look after our clients/customers, and like a web, one leader can impact hundreds, perhaps thousands.

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