In part 1 of “How to Motivate Your Leadership for Success", you'll recall that leading by example and motivating your team through delegation and mutual support are 2 components that maximize high performance from its members.
As a successful team leader it is equally valuable to understand the emotional underpinnings of shame and fear, and the adverse effects they have within a team. As a leader, demonstrating and living by principled behaviors are indispensable, if you want a strong motivated team.
As you “Walk the Walk" of a true leader, the principles of Trustworthiness, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender become the bedrock from which all success occurs.
Please listen carefully to this next piece!
Fear is the master at creating the illusion that we believe we'll lose something we have, or not get something we think we need or are entitled to. Shame is the great deceiver that tells so many people that they are flawed and that something is fundamentally wrong with them at the core of their being. “I believe these 2 toxins are woven into the fabric of the “Human Condition" says Bob Sugar, President of Trans-World Dynamics, LLC.
He goes on to say that “I believe that these core toxic energies carry destructive belief systems that create and perpetuate mistrust, dishonesty, resentment, hatred and blame. People will guard these beliefs with everything in their power as a way to not look bad".
Consequently, it's all too often that we experience in unhealthy leadership, the need to feel superior (masking a deep sense of inferiority) and project negative judgments, resentments and criticism onto others. Fear and shame are usually operating outside of the conscious scope of awareness, and are the driving forces that create poor leadership and team upheaval and dissension.
They are also destructive forces within families as well. Living the THANKs paradigm is the antidote to these destructive forces of fear and shame, so long as they are used in a heartfelt manner.
Once you as a leader can fully understand your own underlying fear and shame, and can successfully utilize THANKs, you will have much greater insight and understanding of the inner workings of your leadership team. It will also increase your capacity for empathy and compassion which go a long way in the support of our colleagues.
Here are some additional ideas in creating successful leadership by reducing fear and shame, that you can implement with your team.
1. Invite your team members to meet with you 1 on 1 and share three things with you that intimidate them or that they fear about you (I guarantee they exist). Let them know that you are working on improving your leadership skills and value their feedback, and that there will be no repercussion for their honesty. Respond with “Thank You" and an appreciation for their honesty. Let them know you will think about what they have disclosed and will follow up with them in a week.
2. Take a week to think about and assess how you can alleviate some of these fears and intimidations (plugging in the THANKs principles will certainly help in your assessment). In a 2nd 1 on 1 meeting, let them know what you have thought about and how you will work with them to dissipate their levels of fear and intimidation.
3. Follow up monthly with a brief check in on how your strategy is working with your team members. This will let them know you've taken them seriously and haven't forgotten about your meetings with them.
4. Catch them doing their work well. Give praise and incentives (dinner gift certificate, health spa package, a round of golf, etc. ) for meeting objectives on time.
5. Model Trust, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender (THANKs) every day and encourage each team member to do the same.
6. Be a good, understanding listener to your team members, and encourage openness and honesty without compromising respect.
7. Once you've listened to what your team member(s) have expressed, reflect back to them what you have heard to assure for accurate understanding. If you are corrected because you have misunderstood a part of what has been expressed, it is vital to accept the correction graciously. This will assure that you fully understand the message and make it safe for your team member(s) to speak openly.
8. Once they feel understood (not to be confused with agreeing), then feel free to disclose your ideas, perceptions and input. This form of communicating will enhance productivity and reduce mistakes, since everyone is assured of operating on the same page.
Focus on Trust, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender as the building blocks to success both in life as well as business!
All businesses need a collection of written policies and procedures, establishing clear behavioral standards in and out of the work place. You ask: What business is it of mine how my team members behave outside of work? As stated earlier, fear and shame will violate behavioral standards that are necessary in any organization or system.
Sometimes these standards will be violated internally (in house) and sometimes externally (out in the community). An external violation exposes the company to negative publicity and embarrassment. Hence, this translates into damage control and potential loss of business.
A professional sports team that I once worked with over a period of 5 years had a hazing ritual for their new recruits. I suggested they stop this practice due to a poor image it could create in the community. The new recruits were forced to dress up “in drag" (as women) and with the veterans they would go to bars around the city.
The new recruits would be “put on display" by the veterans at the bars. One year, a few bar patrons started harassing the new recruits dressed in drag, and it escalated into a fight which resulted in one of the athletes getting stabbed and being rushed to the hospital.
Later in that same season another athlete was arrested for DUI and another athlete was expelled from the team due to a drunken rage where he broke windows and did damage at the residences where the athletes lived. The articles in the newspaper over the course of the season and the sports radio talk shows reflected very poorly on the organization as a whole.
Team members need to fully understand that their actions will have a far reaching effect and impact on their place of business, their families and their loved ones, either positively or negatively, depending on their behaviors. All we have to do is look at Enron as a prime example of poor behavioral practices, the absence of thanks, and how the behaviors of a small minority impacted so many people adversely.
Below is a list of some tools and ideas to create awareness and expectation of behavioral standards that need to be adhered to in the work place.
Element # 2
1. Design a written document of policies and procedures regarding necessary behavioral standards and practices. In addition, address how violations are dealt with in your organization.
2. Be very clear with all of your employees as to what the behavioral standards are (give them a copy of the policies and procedures) by going over them.
3. Be exemplary as a leader in the practice of these behavioral standards. Always lead by example.
4. Publicly reinforce outstanding behavioral practices by your team members and employees.
5. Establish open communication that serves as a pressure release valve for fears and frustrations to be vented. It's far better and healthier to talk out these issues then create an environment where they will be acted out.
6. When behavioral standards have been violated meet privately with that/those individual(s). Never address behavioral violations publicly. This type of practice is humiliating and your team members will not trust you. It becomes a cancer as even the members who weren't in violation of these behavioral practices learn that it could be them next.
7. Deal quickly and fairly with violations of behavioral practices. Let your employee know what the infraction is, how it needs to be rectified, and get their “buy-in" and agreement that they will take the necessary steps to change their behavior. Document the meeting, and if applicable, have the employee sign an agreement of discussed changes that need to occur. If necessary, have a top management individual present, in order to witness the process.
8. Follow up with your employee(s) at a predetermined time to discuss how the changes are going. As always, validate and reinforce any positive changes you've observed and/or heard about, in regard to the infraction that initially occurred.
As per usual, these tools are only as good as your ability to live by them and practice them in your leadership position. You will never go wrong by applying any of the above tools with a pure heart and compassion. As the Dalai Lama states “Be the Change". Others will follow as a result.
Brad Stevenson and Bob Sugar of Trans-World Dynamics’ (TWD) mission is to guide individuals, couples, executives and businesses toward the practice of-
Trustworthiness, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender (THANKs®).
As these sustainable principles serve to guide individuals in all areas of their lives, the rewards that we have seen CEOs, companies, executives and individuals experience are unprecedented.