Five Effective Leadership Practices

Relationships are central to leadership. If we want our leadership to contribute to our thriving future, sooner or later we will find ourselves collaborating with other people.

Local community-based leadership involves among other things, partnering, working with volunteers and responding to emerging events.

It’s easy for groups to get stuck overdoing meetings and not getting to action. Other groups dwindle to a few members because of unresolved conflict, and others operate at the hands of leaders who think that everyone’s there to do their bidding.

Over the long term however, these situations point to the group’s potential demise. It’s not sustainable for any group to be stuck in meetings, or to dwindle in numbers because members withdraw due to conflict, or because there isn’t space for people to contribute their ideas or perspectives.

While these scenarios are common in community-based projects, they exist in the workplace too. Perhaps you recognize them.

There are many approaches, methods and systems we can put in place that will assist us in leading a successful and fully engaged group. Here are five interlinked actions you can take now that work together to make your leadership more effective.

1. If you are leading a formalized community organization you will probably be working with a vision, mission and aim. Even if you aren’t, a VMA as I like to call it, gives you and everyone you’re working with a compass point around which all decisions are made. If you don’t have one, make this a priority for your next meeting.

2. At every meeting make sure your agreed vision, mission and aims are visible for everyone. We’re all doing so much in life, it can be easy to forget the specifics of a group’s purpose and drift off course.

3. When proposals are made at meetings, whether that proposal is adopted or not, they need to be based on the aims of the group. Does the proposal move the group closer towards realizing its aims?

4. Adopt a practice of listening to feedback from the people you are working with. When someone makes an objection to a proposal, it may be because they can see something that you or the proposal maker is not aware of, it’s sitting in your blind spot. Part of the new story we’re co-creating is to see an objection as a gift.

5. Include a term limit on any proposal. This will make it easier for people to agree to it, because they know the proposal will be reviewed within a particular time.

Have you put these practices into place in your leadership or are you adrift and getting stuck? Leave a comment below. The richest part of this conversation is when you join in.

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