Has someone ever called you a negative leader? Ouch! If you are trying to develop more enterprising teams then you need to look at your behaviour and make sure you provide a positive environment for enterprising ideas to thrive.
It’s easy to blame others in an organisation for the failure of tasks or projects but as a leader of a team, group or a whole organisation have you looked at yourself recently? Are you the negative person who holds the team back? If so, have a look at my top tips for overcoming negative aspects of your behaviour as a leader.
- Foster more positive?relationships
Try to?begin meetings/discussions with the positive things and celebrate success. See negative things as areas of challenge – things which are not yet finished or need improvement – rather than just negative issues. Finish on a positive note and where possible be positive with others so they begin to see you as a more positive person.
- Don’t be defensive even if you feel staff are always attacking you as?negative?
Learn to recognise when your defensive mechanisms come up. Realise that you are probably not really being attacked personally.?When you catch yourself feeling defensive, do not react so quickly, take time to consider all sides of the discussion before responding.
- Staff complain that you?don’t?listen to them?
Learn how to listen when someone asks a question or makes a suggestion. It may not be what you expected or wanted to hear, but it can be valuable to hear other ideas and ways of thinking. Ask people to re-state their question/comment/suggestion if you’re not sure you have fully understood, or ask them to give an example of how they see it working.
- Do you jump to conclusions when people ask questions?
If you’re not sure what someone said try by repeating back what you think you heard or what you think they mean, it gives them chance to alter or re-explain things. ?You may want to ask for more time to respond, then get back to them. This will give you time to work with the question/comment/suggestion without the pressure of being on the spot.
- Find it hard to listen to the ideas of others?
Do consider that other people have good ideas that are just as valid as yours and sometimes a combination of ideas can be the best course of action.
- Work on your negativity
Find someone who can help you work on this negative aspect of yourself – a trusted advisor, or mentor. Ask your mentor to let you know when you are being negative and call your attention to what you are doing. That will help you learn to see what situations and events trigger your insecurity.
- Don’t give up
Recognise that changing learned patterns of insecurity and defensiveness may take years of work. Do not give up on yourself.?Learn to understand your own personality and your unique strengths and weaknesses.
The effort to improve your ability to get along with others will be rewarded as you find more career opportunities open up for you and your team become more engaged and supportive of your projects.
If you are finding it hard to engage staff as a leader consider using a mentor to work on your leadership style. To find out more about my work as a mentor contact me.