Wize Communications

How to be a more personable leader

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. Many leaders today are hearing this word echo through their emails, their newsletters, their daily reads on leadership and on business podcasts everywhere. CEOS, leaders, managers and those in positions of authority are being reminded daily, that old styles of leadership are no longer effective and that collaboration is key in our post covid businesses and corporations.

But as a leader who is perhaps used to how things once were, who preferred a little social distance from his teams and isn’t the most personable of personalities, how does one embrace the new leadership style which demands a more warmer, in touch and a more humane approach towards ones teams. How does one elevate their levels of being personable to fit in with the demands of the younger workforces who refuse to be ruled by fear alone and are calling for their well being to be acknowledge in the workplace. In a few years GenZers will form the biggest cohort of active workers in any organization so their cries for more collaborative, friendly and authentic work environments is one that bosses need to take into serious and deep consideration.

As a communications expert who meets and works with emerging and established leaders in the private and public sectors, I have often noticed that for many business leaders, being personable in the workplace is something they can truly struggle with. There are immense demands on their time, traditional leadership role models never set the best example and there is also an uncertainty about how to go about it the right way.

But the truth is that leaders need to evolve, learn, grow and get in touch with themselves and others. In our current and changing times, the search is on for leaders and CEOS who have that added edge of emotional intelligence and ability to lead their teams without intimidation and fear, but through vision, inspiration, authenticity, empathy and sincerity. The search is on for leaders who can inspire, empower and coach their teams and empower them to be their very best selves.

As a business leader and CEO who may be struggling to find someone to deliver them a personality transplant, here are some surefire ways to start becoming a leader who is seen as more collaborative more approachable more personable and people focussed.

Firstly, being personable is demonstrated through our personality which is reflected through our body language, our voice and our communication. These are the things that we need to work with to develop a more personable presence. I always suggest that the very first step to become that more personable leader is to start finding leader role models that resonate with you and inspire you. One example is former President Barack Obama who is a great example of human connection and relatability and a man who possessed both authority and warmth. By following and observing a role model you admire, like Barack Obama or Steve Jobs, you will have a reference point, someone to measure up to and learn from and an individual who shows the way forward. It will also give you the confidence that you are on the right track.

One of the traits of personable leaders like Obama is that firstly they smile. Now some leaders feel that smiling shows vulnerability and can come across as a weakness but many powerful leaders have demonstrated that this is not the case. When you smile at your teams and staff more often you are opening up to them, welcoming them and saying that you are safe person for them to rely on. You are also conveying warmth and letting them know that you are open for conversation and communication. This is critical for leaders today where workforces and younger generations want leaders who want the best for them and who are tapped int them as human beings. So if your lips need a little exercising in the smile department, its time to start doing so. Practice smiling more at home and in public, even in if it just a little smile. Then start taking this is into your communications at work.. When you smile, others cannot help but to smile back at you and it is a way to ignite conversation, communication and collaboration on many levels. So always remember, to become more personable, it starts of with a smile.

The second tip to becoming a more personable leader is to make more conversation with your teams. Yes, I hear you say. I have so much to do and I’m under so much pressure, I can’t be having conversations throughout my working day. But think about it this way. By becoming a more personable leader, you will be more impactful and effective, so you will also be saving yourself time and effort in the long run by having those little conversations with your staff peppered on some of your days. Also, its the best way to be and is a natural endorphin booster. *****ACCORIDING TO THE LATEST FINDINGS IN NEURO SICNECE A DAILY CONVESATIO

Also, its good to remember that your staff may be your employees but they are human beings with emotions, feeling and families and lives. they come in each and every day rising our from their beds to build you business and when you start to recognise and appreciate their time and commitment and service, you will start to want to appreciate them for all they do. The best way you can demonstrate this to your staff is to take an interest in them. Remember details about them and ask them how they are, how their projects are going, how their recent holiday was in the Maldives. Just asking team members how their day is going, how their weekend was, how the family is and how their holidays went, shows them that you are interested in their lives and are a little more invested in them beyond them being just a work horse.

The third tip to being a more personable leader is to develop a more collaborative culture at work. Ask your staff for feedback in meetings, have a feedback board online and try to get their perspective on how things are developing at work. Younger generations of staff want a work culture where they are valued and their thoughts and feelings are taken into consideration. It will also generate fresh ideas, provide feedback on areas that can be improved in your organisation and create a more contented workforce who feels heard and valued. Your team are also the eyes and the ears on the ground and have an insight in to your organisation and corporation that you may never really get to see from their perspective. As a student, I had a part time job as a pharmacy assistant at Tesco. Being on the front line, I often thought how much the management team and leadership were missing out by not engaging with those of us interacting with customers on a daily basis. I often had idea for how thing at Tesco could be improved in terms of customer service from a staff and customers point of view and had a clear perspective on many grey areas that were being neglected by management. I knew more about the daily frustrations of staff on the tills and how things could be made more efficient and more effective in the pharmacy and the products that customers regularly asked about in the health and beauty department. But management had other ideas and were more concerned about wearing suits, walking around the store during our shifts and focusing on more petty issues when it came to engaging with us. Unfortunately, they were missing out on a wealth of wisdom that more enlightened leadership could have tapped into. In my role as a reporter and news anchor at the BBC many years later, I often thought about how little feedback we were asked for about about our work and input. Many of us were exhausted with the constant rotation of shift patterns at work which left us quite frazzled. Most of us were also overworked and strained with the cuts to staff and the extra responsibilities placed on us. But the lack of recognition by seniority about what we were all experiencing with the rota system meant that we were too fearful to express our concerns for fear of negative repercussions. No doubt, had our well being been taken into consideration, senior management and leadership could have created a work flow that was more balanced for their teams and addressed our concerns and this would have made us more motivated at work rather than just feeling like we were always under pressure to perform despite how it impacted us.

My own experiences have taught me that more collaborative leaders can boost the wellbeing of their teams, gain valuable feedback from their staff and produce a happier more productive and proactive environment. And it all begin with the leader making the decision to be more personable with their teams, more engaged with their employees and more interested in their lives. The above top tips will help you get started on this more inspiration style of leadership.

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