It is challenging for all leaders at the moment as we navigate through Covid-19. It is unprecedented times as we work through unfamiliar challenges such as social distancing, working from home and health and economic restrictions in a range of areas in our life that we have all taken for granted over many years.
For leaders, the focus tends to be on what we do for others. How do we support our people and our teams? How do we make sure the organisation continues to run effectively taking in to account the significant impact Covid-19 has had and will continue to have in the future? These are all legitimate things for leaders to focus on as they are critical to ensuring that our people have the necessary confidence, security and constructive environment to continue to work effectively and sustainably for what could be quite a period of time yet. Ensuring we lead rather than manage is an important priority as change brings fear and fear leads to uncertainty and insecurity for people, their communities and organisations. Leaders understandably need to lead others through these uncertain times.
One of the big risks for leaders during Covid-19 is that they put all the effort and energy in to looking after others and not focus on themselves. Being a sustainable and effective leader requires all of us to “place the oxygen mask on ourselves first” to use a common airline taking off safety instruction in the event of an emergency. That is, we need to ensure our mindset, habits and practices continue to drive satisfaction which means we need to look after ourselves first. We are of little value to our families, teams and organisations if we aren’t resilient and aren’t focussed on our own mental health, well-being and satisfaction as a priority during Covid-19.
From a personal perspective, this has been an important focus for me over my leadership journey. Human Synergistics is an organisation I have been exposed to through their leadership and culture tools for well over 20 years in various forms initially as a leadership participant in different organisations and also in the last ten years as an Accredited Practitioner working with our clients to drive constructive change in their organisations.
It first started in a leadership role with local government where I had my first exposure to a 360-degree leadership development tool. I was debriefed using the LSI 1 and 2 tools. I was retested using these tools as well as the Leadership Impact tool over the next 15 years in various leadership roles in the private and public sectors which extended my knowledge of leadership and my impact on others further. At the same time, I was also exposed to Human Synergistics culture and climate measurement tools which we used for our teams and the organisation over many years.
It would not be an overstatement to say their tools and thinking have changed my life for the better in not only improving my effectiveness through feedback from others but through changing my thoughts to being more constructive which has led to a better constructive response in how I engage with others personally and professionally. My initial focus tended to be focussed on what others thought of my leadership effectiveness. This changed as I got more familiar with the tools and I realised that my thinking and knowing myself was far more important for me in working through my effective and ineffective thinking and what I gained satisfaction from and what I didn’t. It is the reason I have regularly got retested in my thinking to ensure my mindset and thoughts was aligned to what is giving me satisfaction.
The tool that Human Synergistics uses to measure your thinking is the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) 1 self-assessment tool. There is no coincidence that the tool is called Life Styles rather than Leadership Styles as the focus is around an individual’s thinking styles, personal effectiveness and satisfaction at work and home. The ability to understand your thinking can bring about positive change in your behaviour and your responses which can increase your overall personal and professional effectiveness. There is a great quote from Human Synergistics around the LSI 1 which is as follows:
“Knowing who you are now is the first and most important step in deciding who you will be in the future. Years of research have established that the information needed to allow insight, growth and self-improvement to occur is contained within our thoughts.”
From the perspective of being a leader during Covid-19, the link between your thinking and your effectiveness and long term wellbeing is very important. We need to be:
- Ensuring that we are doing the things that give us satisfaction;
- Understanding where our childhood and origins have shaped our thinking constructively and non-constructively and what we can do to shift our behaviour to be more constructive. Shaun McCarthy from Human Synergistics has a great podcast on this topic which can be found at: https://www.human-synergistics.com.au/resources/content/2019/01/15/childhood-origins-of-your-thinking-and-behaviour
- Understanding where our thinking is constructive (effective) and non-constructive (ineffective) and what strategies we can put in place to continue to gain more satisfaction;
- Working through what habits and goals are going to give us satisfaction and ensure we continue to be the constructive leaders our people and organisations need us to be without being burn out or fatigued;
- Working through what personal and professional relationships are important for us to continue to foster and maintain during these challenging times where face to face contact is limited; and
- Assisting you in understanding how to increase your ability to cope with pressure and change through shifting your thinking and building your resilience.
Investing in yourself and your thinking during Covid-19 is a great way for you to start to build your resilience as a leader. It starts with your thinking which will go a long way to you being able to withstand the challenges of Covid-19 and come out of it stronger and more resilient.
More information on the LSI tool can be found at https://www.human-synergistics.com.au/change-solutions/change-solutions-for-individuals/diagnostic-tools-for-individuals/life-styles-inventory
Human Synergistics have recently developed some fantastic packages, tools and resources to assist leaders and organisations during these times. The recently released Connection Meter is a fantastic tool that allows organisations to track the well-being of their employees and the impact of collaboration and effectiveness of leaders, particularly whilst many employees are working remotely.
They have also recently announce a webinar series IN-Sights Leadership Skills which focuses on opportunities to develop leadership capability and increase awareness and strategies to grow constructive thinking and to develop and sustain a high performing culture for your organisation. BRS are excited by this series and should you be interested in registering, please get in touch with us as we are able to offer a further discount to BRS clients.
We’re more than happy to provide you with further information on any of these valuable tools and resources to support the development of constructive mindset for all leaders. Feel free to contact us.