In this episode, we present four common expressions of leadership and ask you to identify which one resonates with you the most. Then, we ask you to look at the “Common Issues” or flip-sides to those expressions and do the same. We hope you do this with a trusted friend or family member and see what happens.
The Importance of Self-Reflection
Over and over again, we are reminded about the importance of self-reflection for a leader. Some of the best teams have the most self-aware people. People that have a large sense of knowledge about themselves, both what they bring and also those areas where they may have common issues that they can over overlook.
The leaders that have it figured out understand that there’s a positive tension that exists between knowing those common expressions of who they are as a leader and knowing the common issues that they also bring as a leader.
How can you be more self-aware and more knowledgeable about the common expressions of who you are as an influencer and leader, and what are the common issues that you naturally tend to overlook?
Know Yourself and Your Team
The best leaders have a greater sense of self-knowledge, self-awareness, and acceptance of themselves in the context of their organization. That’s what makes them great leaders.
There’s a unique relationship that exists when you understand that development is integrated. It is with the team, but most importantly, with the individual. The teams that get it right understand that every individual member of the team is a contributing and shaping member to the outcome of what’s happening in that team culture, whether they’re fully engaged, disengaged, or anywhere in the middle, they all have a shaping influence. That means there’s a higher degree of importance on understanding what each person brings to the team.
How well do you know yourself with a simple understanding of what you bring? What’s the positive side of you and what are some of the common issues that you usually trip on?
Four Common Expressions of Leadership
What does it mean for you to be known? Choose a relationship or context and consider your answer to this question. Part of being known is understanding both the positive and negative of who we are, and holding that tension together.
As an individual, there are common expressions that you bring to each situation. These expressions are simple, consistent, and close to home. Maybe too close for you to recognize. The more we know ourselves, and the more we know others, the easier accountability and responsibility become. What are some of your common leadership expressions?
Here are four different, common leadership expressions:
- A first expression is a person who consistently brings vision or clarity whenever they show up. They either see the future as crystal clear to them or in complexity. They bring clarity and have a clear sight.
- A second expression is about awareness or understanding. When there’s confusion or misinterpretation, this person is naturally aware that things are maybe drifting to the side. They have a clear understanding and can communicate effectively so that misinterpretations are resolved.
- Another expression is a person who simply trusts or assumes positive intent all the time. They assume good nature when they are with other people.
- And a fourth expression is a person who just wants everyone to be involved. They bring invitation or inclusion. They may invite because they see talent or include because they see someone getting left behind.
Which one of these four common expressions do you believe best describes how you show up as a leader or as an influencer on a team?
Four Common Expression Issues
- Blind Spots
One side of the coin is vision and clarity. The other side of the coin is blind spots. It’s a way of seeing where you don’t see. This is oftentimes a place where team members make presumptions or quick conclusions about people. One of the things that we notice with blind spots is that sometimes it’s just a lack of experience, maturity, or opportunity.
The second common expression we said was awareness and understanding. The other side is misinterpretation. If you don’t have a common language or a shared experience, people can often be misinterpreted. It’s easy to misinterpret body language, facial expressions, level of awareness, intensity levels, etc.
The third common expression is positive intent or trust. The other side are the people that make assumptions and generalize. It’s almost like conflict. Oftentimes assumptions are also known as a person’s bias, their belief system, or stereotypes that they carry. Quick judgments often lead to assumptions and those assumptions really limit a person from being seen or feeling known.
For the fourth expression, the common issue is assimilation where new members are not really integrated into the team. They’re not encouraged to help shape. They like to just assimilate, just come along. Assimilation is not just limited to onboarding. Assimilation is also ongoing, and that is the marginalization of team members for whatever reason, an assumption, a misinterpretation, or blind spot, which leads to someone being sidelined and not included.
Common Expressions on Your Team
Start with this ice breaker question:
What does it mean for you to be known? In the context of this team, what does it mean for you to be known and what does it feel like?
If you start there, you’ll start to hear some of their values of belonging or meaning or what it means when they’re understood, because they can work even faster and be more productive. And when some of the ways that they’re not being known or there isn’t a knowing amongst colleagues, that’s when all these issues and expressions bubble up.
We’d love to hear about the common expressions on your team. Connect with us at email@example.com.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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