This Engaging Leadership Series is aimed at managers who want to build high performing teams and who see becoming an engaging leader as a key part of their success strategy. We will look at how you can take key steps to become an engaging leader before, in future articles in this series, guiding you in building an engaged team.
Why Being Engaging is Important
Employee engagement has been shown time and again to be the key driver of individual and team performance. Engagement refers to how committed an employee is to the organisation and how this is demonstrated by how they think, feel and act. Engagement is significantly affected by how an employee is made to feel every day by the company, its culture, its line management and by their colleagues.
Engaged employees are more likely to show pride in their work, deliver great customer service and bring their full intellect to work so they can innovate and solve problems.
However, in all this, the most significant influencer on how engaged employees are, is their line manager. More specifically, how their line manager makes them feel through his/her behaviour, actions and intentions.
This is why engaging leadership is important.
Are You an Engaging Leader?
Are you an engaging leader? Would you like to be? In an earlier article, we provided our readers with 6 questions to help them decide whether they are an engaging leader. This would be a great place to start your journey on this Engaging Leadership Series.
3 Key Steps to Becoming an Engaging Leader
So, what is it that makes a leader engaging? Where should we start this ‘Engaging Leadership Series’ to help you lead in a manner that engages your team?
We will start by looking at how you can start the transformation from being a manager to being an engaging leader. This first article is focused on self-assessment and developing your own leadership style and behaviours to engage others.
To become an engaging leader, you will need to take the ego out of your leadership and management practices. You must approach leadership from the perspective of what you can do to serve your team.
Our 3 key steps to help you kick-start your transformation are as follows:
Remember your early experiences
You need to revisit your early experiences as an employee, often in a less salubrious environment than your current working conditions. Reflect on how your managers behaved then. What did they do to make you feel engaged, committed and ready to break down walls in order to do your job to the best of your ability? What did they do to make you feel disengaged, desperate for a new job?
Learn from your early experiences. Use these to understand what your people need from you in order to become high performing. Use your early experiences to develop empathy and humility. These are common traits in engaging leaders.
Self-awareness: your beliefs and values
You also need to explore your own beliefs and values. How do you feel about your team members? Do you believe they are there to serve you and follow your commands? Or do you believe that you are there to connect your team members to the organisation?
For your team members, you are the face of the organisation. You represent the organisation and your behaviours and actions represent how things are done ‘around here’. It is you that creates the emotional bond between the employee and the organisation.
You must develop a strategy to create a personal connection with each of your team members. Remember, your people will not engage with what you do. They will engage with how you make them feel.
Finally, you should assess how you behave and act with your team. Do you show yourself to be an engaging leader through your behaviour? Ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you energise and motivate your people?
- How do you empower your team members?
- How do you connect your team to each other and to the organisation?
If you enjoyed this first article in our Engaging Leadership Series, and you would like to take your leadership journey further than reading blog posts, please visit my Engaging Leadership Academy. In the Academy, you can access on-line training as well as having live webinars, group call and action learning sets. I also provide access to a closed Facebook Group to Academy members for peer learning and networking.