Would you describe yourself as a consistent leader?
For many of us, one of the most difficult parts of leadership is learning to become immune to the ups and downs of a typical workweek. Especially when our natural reaction when tensions run high is to succumb to reactivity and panic.
As someone who leads others, it is important that you behave consistently in all types of situations. Consistency is the key to establishing and maintaining trust with your team. If your reactions are unpredictable or if you give conflicting directions, employees might be unwilling or even afraid to approach you.
Unpredictable leaders create feelings of fear and nervousness in the people they lead. While you might think it’s motivating to keep the people around you on their toes, creating a work environment full of anxiety is one of the best ways to crush your team’s ability to innovate and create positive change.
So, how can you help your team to know what behavior they can expect from you?
Establishing routines is one of the best ways to create a stable and positive workplace. When implemented throughout an organization, standardized work routines can not only increase your team’s productivity, but also make it easier to see problems in your business that might have hiding within chaotic systems.
If you’re establishing processes for the first time, start with creating a clear routine for communicating with your employees. Maybe it makes sense to start each day with a 5 minute team huddle, or schedule individual check-ins every month. These actions will build buy-in and create an environment of mutual accountability and respect. You’ll also have an opportunity to check in on everyone’s progress. A standardized communication routine ensures there are no last-minute surprises, and gives your team members the opportunity to address lingering problems.
One thing to be aware of when creating new standardized routines is how you might be impacting existing informal routines your team is already carrying out. “Faced with any [major] changes, an employee is likely to feel deeply threatened.” write James R. Bailey and Jonathan Raelin in their article for the Harvard Business Review.
Fortunately, being open with your team can pre-empt any problems, say Bailey and Raelin: “Make sure employees are informed about, and trained in, new operational procedures well in advance of any change, allowing them to acclimate. If there are to be changes in performance measurement, painstakingly explain the shifts to illustrate their implications. If there’s to be a rethinking of culture, create a detailed and nuanced justification for why beliefs and values need to change — culture shift is less threatening if it’s honestly framed as a needed adaptation. And leaders should acknowledge that change equals loss. Otherwise they’ll appear clueless.”
Once your team has had the opportunity to adjust to your new routines, seek out feedback and be prepared to practice new behaviors that will create an environment where you and your employees can thrive!
If you want to learn more about coaching to build consistent habits for success, schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call with me.
Click to read more about consistency and building trust on DifferenceConsulting.com.