Written by: Anna Krzysztoszek, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Developing helpful soft skills related to leadership roles is a big topic. Nevertheless, the following selected four tips are a good starting point, regardless of the business you are in on how to prepare for a leadership role.
4 excellent tips on how to prepare for a leadership role!
1. Learn about your triggers
Human beings have a certain codex of behavior, but next to it, each of us has its subjective filter of perception. Be mindful and observe what situations or circumstances trigger such reactions as anger, irritation, or similar. We tend to be less observant and attentive in such a state of mind. You would not like to make any business-harming decisions only because you were fed up or irritated at a certain moment, wouldn’t you? The better you know your triggers, the less control they will have over you, as you will be able to prevent potential damages caused by irritation or anger.
2. Learn about your basic reactions to stress and defense mechanism patterns
Most of us know the three basic reactions to stress: fight, flight and freeze. Be clear about your basic patterns so that you can work out a balanced attitude to stressful circumstances. The same with defense mechanism patterns. Recognize what is typical for you ‒ projection, denial, rationalization, or something else. Which mechanism is preventing you from seeing the bare truth? What wishful-thinking fog is preventing you from seeing reality as it is?
3. Learn to handle and read possible, hidden messages standing behind the criticism, attack, and rejection
The more fast past business is, the more probable it is the level of stress in everyday working life will increase. The majority of us are sensitive to criticism, negative feedback, aggressive, non-polite communication, or rejection. Train yourself to be as much responsive and as less reactive as possible. Being too reactive will narrow down the space and time you need to reflect on making the best possible business decision. Train yourself in recognizing the core message of somebodies reaction, even if it might be expressed in an impolite way. What is the actual message somebody tries to express? How could you help in getting clear why somebody is impolite? Is your employee stressed out, overwhelmed, or close to burned-out? Do not be ego-driven, be truth-driven.
4. Learn to listen
The greatest leaders I was honored to meet were mixing and mingling with employees. During a break or lunch, they even pretended to be more uninformed than they were just to encourage employees to share their point of view and express their opinions end expertise. Steve Jobs said it did not make sense to hire smart people to tell them what to do. Smart people should be hired to tell us, leaders, what to do. Encourage your employees to share their opinions with you. The more fast past business will become, the less possible it will be for you to remain an expert in every area you are responsible for and to micromanage your team. Being able to listen to experts is not a gift given from above but rather an ability that needs to be developed continuously – parallelly to the increase of the complexity of the businesses and industries we are working in.
Anna Krzysztoszek, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Anna Krzysztoszek has more than 20 years of international experience in business ‒ from large corporations to start-ups. She is the owner of Green Butterfly ‒ Coaching & Recruiting. The completion of her German and Dutch studies, her pedagogical education, the certificate of a Psychological Advisor and various business degrees, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), reflect Anna's main focus and passion: combining her economical expertise with the always present interest in people and the art of making the best of our lives. This especially applies to professional matters ‒ after all, we spend a third of our life at our workplace.