Leadership as we know it is evolving in today’s hybrid working world. With important employee trends like the Great Resignation and the continuing talent shortage, it has now become increasingly clear that organisations and their leaders, must care about more than just their bottom line and embrace consciousness in the workplace.
But how can leaders, such as yourself, adopt a more conscious approach at work? Simply put it comes down to leading by example and showing others what it means to act in an intentional way. When leaders improve their own self-awareness and stay connected to their needs, and those of their team members, it facilitates a productive, healthy work environment. Not surprisingly though, this can be easier said than done. Below are a few tips we think will help you become a more conscious leader.
1. Do not be afraid to set boundaries
Boundaries are essential, especially since the pandemic and working from home have blurred the lines between employees’ personal and professional lives. There is a concrete correlation between productivity and wellbeing, and when workers take care of themselves, both physically and mentally it has a positive effect on their work. Leaders must recognise this and set an example for their team members by outlining and creating their own boundaries. This could look like having clear windows for responding to your colleagues' work messages, making it a point to not reply after office hours. It could also mean that you aren’t afraid to say no to work tasks that fall outside the current company priorities and that you make sure no one on your team is overextending themselves.
As a leader, you play a key role in helping set these boundaries. Research completed at the University of Illinois found that when leaders lead by example and help their team members maintain a divide between their professional and personal life, it increases productivity, work engagement, and the mental wellbeing of everyone involved.
2. Identify goals and objectives
In addition to setting boundaries, outlining clear goals and objectives within the workspace can help you and your team stay motivated and increase overall job performance. Setting goals and having clear objectives allows leaders to make sure every team member is on the same page and working together.
Conscious leaders take this one step further and encourage their team members to set their own individual professional goals. This is because they understand the importance of their teams' ability to learn and grow within their careers. Your employees want to be supported by you and the organisation in their individual professional development and growth. Personal goal setting can help clarify long-term expectations and increase focus regarding development. This is very important because when employees, your team members included, feel that their own goals do not align with that of their organisations, they are less likely to remain long-term. According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
If you are new to the goal-setting process, the wheel of life is a great starting point. It is often described as a visual aid that helps you understand and explore your current life balance. Using this tool, you can then create goals and objectives around the areas you feel need the most improvement.
3. Reflect on what does and doesn’t work
Just as goals and objectives help make sure everything is on the right track, reflecting on successes and failures in the workspace is key for growth. That being said, having the ability to stop, think critically, and acknowledge what worked and what didn’t on any given task can be difficult, It is a continuous cycle of observation and evaluation and takes an incredible amount of consciousness.
When reflection is done correctly it allows all involved to objectively learn and gain insight. Reflection asks the question “why?” and looks at any given event from a number of different angles. When analysing why a project failed or why an objective wasn’t achieved these skills are crucial. Reflection is also important for you to use with regard to yourself and your own leadership style. Stepping back and assessing how effective communication was on a specific task and what needs to be improved upon can allow you as a leader to become more effective, and conscious over time.
While there are certainly other aspects to consider when adopting a more conscious approach in the workplace, promoting a healthy environment, setting boundaries and goals, and reflecting on workplace experiences are all good places to start. Leaders are essential to facilitating these processes and when they act in a conscious way they have the ability to promote wellbeing alongside productivity, which is beneficial to everybody.
Want to learn more about the benefits of becoming a conscious leader and our new psychometric? Get in touch here.