These days, a lot of leaders focus so much on being a manager, they end up forgetting how to be human.
This is an interesting trend found in recent studies, and it’s not without basis. Managers are so pressured to deliver results that they focus on helping their team get things done rather than forming meaningful bonds with the people they lead.
It becomes increasingly relevant when you consider the current demographic in the workforce. Most companies are now populated by millennials. These employees crave fulfillment and happiness in their jobs, rather than just paychecks and benefits.
There is a major discrepancy in how leaders view themselves and how their team members see them. Most managers perceive themselves to be great drivers and motivators, but most employees find their leaders uninspiring.
Most of the time, leaders fail to understand their team members’ need for a meaningful connection. They need to be able to use this as a key to unlock engagement and performance from their people.
How can a leader revel in being human in order to become an effective manager? Let’s take a look at some ways.
Make it personal
Truly human leadership will begin when you put yourself in your employees’ shoes. You can also start thinking about your team members as family or friends when making a decision that will affect them.
Think long and hard whether a family member or friend will appreciate the decision you will be making. It will give you a better perspective on how to proceed given your role as a leader.
Every managerial decision should become a personal decision. It’s one effective way to keep your power in check. Don’t let your status get in the way of you looking out for your team’s wellbeing.
Become more self-aware
A good manager should know how to manage himself. The performance of his team will also depend on how self-aware he is.
Good leadership begins with leading yourself. As a manager, you need to understand yourself better in order to empathize with your team members. When you find out what motivates you, you will be able to use it to push your team to do better.
How can you work on your self-awareness? Mindfulness exercises will help. It will help you become more attuned to your feelings and identify difficult thoughts, allowing you to make better decisions for everyone.
A selfless leader is a good leader. You need to remember that leadership is not about you. It’s about your team and your organization.
How can you practice selflessness? Start by putting yourself last and considering the benefits that your team members will get in the long run before anything else. By taking yourself out of the equation, you will be able to focus more on them.
Being selfless doesn’t mean you become a doormat. It simply means that you are self-assured in your capacity as a manager and you know enough to understand that you can take yourself out of the equation and still do what’s best for your team.
As a leader, you need to have your team’s back. That’s how they’ll know that you are committed to their wellbeing. They will understand what it means to have a compassionate leader.
Keeping your team’s interests in mind will have them feeling trusted and safe. When you’re able to be a compassionate manager, you will inspire loyalty and commitment from them. It’s going to be a win-win situation.
How can you become more compassionate? Engage your team more. Ask them how their day is going, what they need help with, and how you can make things better. Asking these simple questions will show them you care and motivate them more.