We all know what makes a leader great when you see it. Whether it’s the teacher who goes above and beyond to make her students feel special or the manager who supports you at every turn – those qualities are essential to lead by inspiring.
Being a human-centered leader means that you must focus on others rather than yourself. As a manager, when you empower the people around you to be successful, your team will reach its fullest potential. Even being a manager is not a requirement for being a leader – anyone can be a leader regardless of their role.
To get people to be the best versions of themselves, they need to feel like they belong and that their contributions are valued. They also need to be heard and understood. A leader has the opportunity to create an environment where everyone can bring their authentic selves to the workplace.
Here are a few easy to implement tips that will take your leadership skills to the inspiring level:
Lead with soft skills
The key to a human-centered way of leading is soft skills. Soft skills can be overlooked but they are critical to creating trust, strengthening culture, and bringing in different voices.
There are a few vital soft skills that go together with human-centered leadership: vulnerability and humility. It can be extremely beneficial when a leader acknowledges they don’t have the answer and sometimes that means stepping aside and letting others take the spotlight.
Join our course Project Management: Soft Skills for Project Managers to enhance communication skills and develop a better understanding of leadership and empower them to effectively lead the project through influence.
Create space for others
As leaders, it’s important to be intentional about bringing others into the conversation. It is also important to take to account the various styles and formats.
Instead of starting a meeting immediately, give people a second to collect their thoughts. Or maybe try a smaller one-on-one check-in over a large group. This will allow you to build a collaborative environment for engagement and participation.
It’s also beneficial to be mindful of who isn’t in the room. When making decisions that can impact others, look around about who may not be currently represented. If you’re talking about external client processes, but you’re missing your team members who are on the front lines and client-facing, you are missing the group that is going to be the most affected by the changes being implemented.
The key thing to remember here: A human-centered leader approaches decision-making with listening, curiosity, and empathy.
Leading by inspiring others can be difficult but if you stick with empathy and listen to what your team is telling you – then you will be an effective leader. Want to further your leadership experience, join us for our FREE leadership exploration series that kicks off on May 20th with The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor.