A positive leader gathers and unites his teams. If you have ever been asked to be a more unifying leader, here are 3 keys that will help you. What you will find in this article is the opposite of the type of leader whose motto is: divide and conquer.
We will first see what a unifying leader or a brain coach is not, then the 3 keys to being even more so.
Gather or divide?
If you are reading this article, I bet you are looking for tips on how to be a more inclusive leader. Perhaps despite yourself, there is division in your team, or you simply want to validate that you are adopting good leadership practices.
What does a leader do who does not gather enough?
You may act as I describe below, not necessarily excessively, but these behaviors are present depending on the context. You are invited to take a step back from your actions by reading this list. Whether you recognize yourself or not, you will appreciate the three keys to be even more unifying.
Behaviors that divide
Dividing behaviors usually create clans or subgroups in the team. For instance:
- Have favorites
- Give certain information to certain people
- Recognize unfairly
- Gossip about each other
Here are three examples of situations that can divide rather than unite:
Example #1: A person who did not achieve the objectives as well receives the same recognition as the others. The impact is a feeling of inequity on others, and possible demotivation and disengagement. In addition to potentially rejecting the person who received the reward, thus the formation of clans.
Example #2: The same small group of people has the most beautiful projects. We will find the same impacts as in Example #1.
Example #3: When the leader gives feedback to a person, he adds: “I’m not the only one who thinks that some of your colleagues too. The impact is directly on the person’s confidence in their skills and their group of colleagues.
Whether it is conscious or not, leaders who divide rather than unite generate negative impacts on the team, the retention of staff, and the achievement of objectives.
Leaders are human, I understand that they also have affinities with people and less with others. Simply, I invite you to enter your role as a leader and accept different people, with other ideas who can take you out of your comfort zone!
In any case, whether you adopt behaviors like those mentioned above or live it daily, here are 3 keys to being more unifying.
3 keys to being more unifying
Key #1: Show your vulnerability
A more unifying leader is a leader with whom we feel comfortable and with whom we trust. For that, essentially, it is that we must show our human side. And a human is not perfect, he makes mistakes, he has weaknesses and a certain sensitivity.
If you do not know this researcher who is an author, consult her books. I particularly appreciate “Braving the wilderness” which talks about courage, vulnerability, and difference. About vulnerability, there is also “The Power of Vulnerability”.
So, to be more unifying, it is necessary to express certain doubts, fears, and errors.
For example: Admitting that you have changed your mind because all the elements had not been considered.
You don’t have to justify yourself too much when you admit a mistake. I like the formula:
- It happened […] (the facts)
- I see the following impacts […] (on me, on others, on my business objectives)
- I learned that that […]
- And so, in the future I […]
This requires a certain self-confidence first. Because you know, it’s not because you make a mistake that you are not competent. If you admit it and you learn from this mistake and put things in place to improve on this point, for me you are rather an inspiring leader!
Key #2: Communicate frequently
There is nothing more mobilizing than knowing where we are going clearly! To be more unifying, you need to have a vision that unites. Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need a communication agency for this. Just you, your ideas, and your vision, and meet often enough that your team members won’t forget!
Here are the elements that I invite you to communicate, as well as their frequency:
- Vision, direction: between 3 and 8 weeks to remember them and adjust in times of uncertainty
- Team goals and results: term
- Individual objectives and results: term or semester
- General feedback on successes and areas for improvement: weekly during your one-on-one meeting when appropriate. You just don’t have to wait for a formal meeting.
- Adjustments, conflicts, and difficult conversations: never wait more than two weeks before talking about it, just wait until the emotions have passed so that the discussion remains positive.
If you are wondering what adjustments, conflicts, and difficult conversations have to do with communication to be more unifying, it is that in fact, the more you adjust with people, the more you develop a relationship of trust and demonstrate your vulnerability, set your limits, express your expectations, clarify roles. It’s very efficient to settle situations!
The frequencies proposed here must be adjusted to your reality, but tell yourself that
Key #3: Promote exchanges
To live the opposite of “divide and conquer”, promote exchanges. If you stay at the center of everything and transmit everyone’s messages, you are not in the right position to manage.
Here are some examples to encourage discussion:
- Organize team activities
- Invite your team members to come together to discuss a project
- Ask people who have conflicts together to resolve them together (if necessary, act as a mediator, but in a meeting of three, and not one at a time, being the person who is “responsible” for resolving the conflict.
- Organize team meetings to brainstorm operational improvements
You probably have ideas in mind! And you don’t need to be part of these encounters. If you want reports, you can request them.
A unifying leader or a motivational coach generates and encourages a work climate where life is good and where performance is present. The team is united, not divided. Team members help each other and have constructive conflicts.
To be a more unifying leader, it is often necessary to have a certain self-confidence and demonstrate courage. If you want to expand on this, take the online Self-Study on Managerial Courage.
Then you must communicate frequently you have to mobilize around a meaning, a vision, and a direction in addition to giving feedback on performance.