Tag Archives: Leadership behaviours

Misery loves company

misery loves companyAre you a glass half full or glass half empty type of person?

We are now exactly half way through the year. So while on the subject of halves are you more inclined to be saying “Gosh, where did that time go, half the year has gone already!” or “Hooray, we’ve still got half the year to go!

In this context being ‘half empty’ it may provide the motivation we need to take action on a goal, but in many cases the ‘glass half empty’ approach can be appear negative, demotivating and demoralising.

I’m sure we can all relate to the type of person who constantly looks at the downside of everything; the type of person who drains your energy and your enthusiasm the whole time; the ‘Mood Hoovers’ who have the ability to suck the life out of everything.

But…

Have you ever stopped to think about whether you ever have this impact on those around you, and in particular your team?

We all have our off days. Your football team lost last night, you had a row with your spouse this morning, someone cut you up in traffic on your way in, you’re fed up with the lousy weather, your boss has just set you an unrealistic deadline, or the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment… you’re worried about the impact of Brexit on you or your business.

Like it or not, your mood has a profound impact on the mood of all those around you. It influences your team’s attitude, their enthusiasm, their willingness to take responsibility, their confidence in you and the business and their loyalty towards you.

And in turn this certainly influences your customers’ perception of you and your team, their level of engagement and ultimately their loyalty to your business.

It’s important you remain self-motivated even when things are not going well; are you prone to displaying your frustration, doubts or hesitation; and resort to using negative language, expressing doubt in your own or others’ ability? In short, do you act as a role model for your team to follow?

Behaviour breeds behaviour

When you get home from work can you normally sense what sort of mood everyone else is in? Even when no words are spoken it’s usually pretty easy to tell. Our moods and emotions are usually evident to others from our behaviours, facial expressions and tone.

Certain emotions or unresourceful states will inevitably have a knock-on impact on everyone around us – family, friends, colleagues and customers alike. Such as miserable, worried, angry, bored, frustrated, resistant, confused, irritated, flustered, tired, impatient, or distracted.

When you, your team – any of us – are in these unresourceful states if faced with challenges: the tiniest problem can lead us to frustration or aggression; the slightest failure can lead to disappointment, blame or self-doubt; a hint of rejection can lead to anger or defensiveness.

If you want your team to be: enthusiastic, flexible, motivated, interested, confident, energetic, happy, welcoming, and friendly this has to start with you.

And from a position of these resourceful states we’ll much more readily find solutions to problems, learn from our failures and bounce back from rejection.

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Can you train leadership?

As I work on my new on line leadership coaching programme for hoteliers I was asked today if you can train leadership.  Good question; and brings us back to one of those perennial questions – are leaders born or made?

According to extensive long term research carried out by CHPD (for whom I work as an external leadership consultant) a proportion of leadership performance is influenced by personality, values, beliefs and attitudes, which are either inherent or formed relatively early in life. A second component is the person’s skills and experience, which although can’t change over night, can be developed over time. But by far the biggest proportion of leadership performance is determined by our behaviours, which are the easiest component to change.

So can you train leadership? Yes, I believe you can. Providing you identify the behaviours needed and then work on developing those behaviours that will give the biggest impact on a person’s performance.

These might not be where the person is weakest. Rather than plugging a gap to develop a weak spot (unless it is having a detrimental impact) and end up with mediocre performance, it may be better to capitalise on a person’s strengths and develop those instead. (I think back to my recent interview with Peter Thomson – “people will never consistently do who they aren’t”.) Then set up teams where individuals complement one another. Think of a football team; if someone showed an aptitude to do well in goal, you would be more likely to develop this skill rather than try to develop this person in every other aspect of playing football; what you are more likely to do is develop their goal keeping skills.

One of the first things to do in changing someone’s behaviours is making them aware – being aware of what they are doing, and the impact this has (see article on feedback), then help them identify how to build on positive behaviours and change negative behaviours.

Foundations in Leadership is a new approach to hospitality leadership development. Do you ever feel you aren’t getting everything you want from your team?  Instead would you love to tap into their true potential so you can focus on the bigger picture? Find out more about the programme here and take advantage of the fast action bonuses.