As I progressed in my career within organizations and businesses, the role of a “team leader” became multifaceted. Being in this role has refined my skills and methodologies in various aspects. The varied demands of my leadership positions in both business and community groups have expanded my perception and expression as someone who manages others. Over time, I’ve transitioned from a traditional manager to a team leader. This involves more emphasis on motivating and empowering my team to achieve our shared goals. I’ve also recognised that mindful team leaders are more effective.
The power of words
One crucial aspect of this progression has been recognizing the power of the words I use. Not only what I use, but ensuring my team understands them. I’ve realized that language is vital. It can impact our communication and effectiveness in achieving our mission and vision. As a mindful team leader, I’m thinking about the language I use. I strive to communicate efficiently and effectively.
For instance, in a business model, the word “demand” is often understood as the purchase need of the consumers. However, in a team sense, using the word “demand” might invoke a more defensive response when it describes the “demands” of the company’s needs. Instead, I’ve found that my team members respond positively to phrases that “enrol them in the company vision” or “mission”. By asking my team to engage rather than demanding that they do, we set expectations from the onset of employment and work collaboratively to deliver the outcomes required by the company
Quality of experience
In my experience, improving the quality of experience of our team leads to better customer service. One way they achieve this is by recruiting mindful team leaders.
In the most practical sense, as a team leader, I’ve found getting to know my team is key to improving their experience. Simply knowing the people on my team and understanding them more is so important I don’t need to know all the details of their lives, but having a sense of who they are. I can understand their learning and communication styles, motives for working on our team, and skill sets. Their ambition and where they want to grow and express their potential has been invaluable. Personalizing my approach has strengthened and enhanced my ability to serve both my team and the business’s overall success.
I believe in being mindful, which involves recognizing, honouring, and practising my strengths and challenges in leadership. This not only helps me give more productively, but it also increases my team member’s commitment to do the same. Being mindful involves applying the principles of neuroscience to improve focus, self-awareness, and communication. By doing this, we are left with increased respect for ourselves and each other, a more tangible and practical expression of our intention.