Positive leadership isn’t just a feel good exercise. It’s about delivering results as well. The best intentions don’t count unless you put principles into action. To reap the full benefits of positive leadership, you have to continually be conscious and intentional about using positive language.
For example, instead of seizing on what your people do wrong, start to verbally acknowledge what they’re doing right. Track and recognize progress. Most people perform better when they know they are recognized and appreciated.
This doesn’t mean you should suppress bad news. Instead, learn to deliver it in ways that are less likely to provoke defensiveness.
Your execution will improve with continual practice. You will gain respect, increased engagement and better performance outcomes – whether you’re participating in official performance reviews or simply engaging in casual conversations with employees.
As leaders, if we want to staff our organizations with executives who can deliver results and demonstrate superior social skills, we need to start identifying them during the hiring and promotion processes. Then nurture and mentor their leadership capacity.
Hard-driving, results-oriented executives can improve their positive social skills by retaining an experienced executive coach. Additionally, organizations can improve their effectiveness by:
1. Hiring for both technical and social skills
2. Training equally for social skills and technical savvy
3. Rewarding goal attainment and displays of social skill
4. Promoting those who demonstrate social prowess
CEOs and upper management must realize that rewarding achievement alone has its limits. Organizations must provide incentives for behaviors, even when people take risks and “fail up.”
Leaders are most effective when they demonstrate social intelligence. Luckily, they can be trained, coached and rewarded for improving their capacity in this arena. Specific areas of emphasis should include:
1. Day-to-day conversations
2. Performance reviews and feedback
3. Incentives, rewards and pay
4. Connecting mission to values
Identify and implement action steps on multiple fronts – from the seemingly simple communication efforts to the more complex ones. Changes at the individual level will begin to transform your working environment into a positively oiled machine that values both results and relationships.
Employing positive leadership practices allows employees at all levels to flourish at work, sustain energy, be happy and reach peak performance. Conversations that highlight people’s strengths, desires and dreams generate emotions and energy that drive us to work harder.
The more positive the discussion, the more positive the outcome. What do you think about this? I’d love to hear from you; leave a comment.