Looking in the mirror to see your true self can be scary. You may see behaviors that are not serving you as a leader. And once you are aware of these behaviors, there is always the big question: What are you going to do about it?
A leader’s role, while serving as a role model of performance and development, is to help others accomplish objectives. Anyone who is striving to be an effective leader, the role of the mirror is key! Leaders who are aware of their own behaviors and emotional intelligence are able to influence effectively, build deep connections with others, and intentionally serve as an inspiring example.
However, even when identified, adopting a new behavior is not always easy. Have you ever tried adopting a new behavior such as asking open-ended questions before offering a solution? Or adapting your communication style to the style of the receiver? Or sharing your thoughts rather than remaining silent?
Most of these behaviors are challenging for leaders—and this is exactly the type of objectives professional coaches work on with clients. Here, for example, are some of the communication behavior goals I’ve worked on with my clients.
- Communication Goal: Developing new behaviors that open up lines of communication instead of shutting them down.
- Listening Goal: Managing the tendency to provide solutions rather than ask open-ended questions from a curiosity perspective to promote self problem solving.
- Executive Presence Goal: Learning how to manage emotions to increase confidence, credibility, communication, conciseness, and composure.
A quick check in the mirror is a good first step toward identifying and altering leadership behaviors that might be holding you back. In addition, working with a coach is a great way to double-check the accuracy of your perceptions and get going in the right direction.
If you want to continue to develop as a leader, you must be willing to look in the mirror on a regular basis—to reach deep down into the depths of your soul to identify values, motivators, and behaviors. When was the last time you took a good look?
Could you be more effective as a leader? Take a deep breath, open your mind, and repeat after me: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”
About the Author
Terry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 150 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.