Having ways to develop your self leadership will make you a better leader and enhance the impact you can make.
We’re all leaders. We don’t need a leadership title to be a leader. The things we do and the way we behave makes a difference to those we interact with regularly.
How we lead ourselves will influence how we lead others. If we want to be a better leader, we have to give more attention to our self leadership.
What is Self Leadership?
Self leadership is our ability to be who we are and be congruent with our thoughts, actions and behaviours.
It’s knowing our values, standards and intentions to achieve what we want, while remaining true to who we are.
Why Your Self Leadership Will Make You a Better Leader
To have a strong self leadership capabilities, we need to have:
- High self-awareness.
- Strong self-belief.
- Immense self-confidence.
As we develop our self leadership, we’ll gain new awareness, have more self-belief and self-confidence. This will also help us communicate better and influence others in a positive way.
The more we influence others positively, the better leader we’ll become.
High achievers know how to use accountability to have more success. Being accountable is a key to their success.
What is Accountability?
Accountability is defined as “the state of being accountable, liable or answerable.”
When we’re accountable, we’re held responsible for doing or achieving something we’ve agreed to. Accountability is a powerful motivator.
Why Do We Need to Be Accountable?
We’re driven to gain rewards or to avoid a pain or a consequence. In an ideal situation, if we agree to do something, we should get it done. However, we know that’s not always the case.
Human beings are more driven to avoid a pain than they are to gain a reward. If there’s something we consider painful on the line if we don’t complete what we’ve agreed to, we’ll be motivated to avoid that pain.
When we use accountability to have more success, it doesn’t make us weak or unreliable. It means we’re serious and committed to achieving a particular result.
Accountability is a tool or a system we can use to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be.
The Benefits of Accountability
Using the power of accountability can benefit us in many ways, including:
- Staying focused and being reminded of the outcomes we want.
- Having someone we can talk to about what we’re working on.
- Receiving support and encouragement to keep moving forward.
- Getting new insights or perspectives when dealing with challenges.
- Celebrating our successes with someone who has been with us throughout the process.
When we learn how to use accountability to have more success, we’ll progress faster towards what we want.
Those who can deal with a cluttered mind when under pressure have a better chance of making progress.
Knowing how to have a clear mind is necessary if we want to operate at a high level. Whenever we feel we have a cluttered mind, it affects our ability to make good decisions.
What is a Cluttered Mind?
A cluttered mind is the opposite of a calm, focused mind. When we have a cluttered mind, we’ll:
- Experience confusion and uncertainty.
- Have a lot of mental chatter.
- Be indecisive.
- Make poor choices affecting our health and relationships.
- Not keep our agreements and break our commitments.
Causes of a Cluttered Mind
Things that can cause us to have a cluttered mind include:
- Influenced by the opinions of other people.
- Stress or pressure.
- Bad diet.
- Lack of sleep.
- Too many things going on with no prioritisation criteria.
- Lack of exercise and self-care.
- Having a medical condition.
- Being on medication.
Having ways to deal with a cluttered mind will help us ease stress or pressure and handle our responsibilities well.
In the coaching profession, being able to develop the skill of curiosity is essential to be an effective coach.
Curiosity is a valuable skill to develop as a leader. It shows a willingness to learn more about those we work or engage with.
What is Curiosity and Why Develop it?
We define curiosity as the “desire to know or learn.” When we’re curious, we’re in a state of being in the unknown and ready to learn something new.
There is a fine balance between being curious and being nosey. When someone is being nosey, they want to know something for their benefit, without considering how to serve another person.
When someone is being curious, they want to better understand a person or situation for the purpose of helping them reach an outcome they want.
If we develop the skill of curiosity, benefits will include:
- Expanding our perception or point of view.
- Greater levels of empathy with others.
- Deeper connection with others.
- Better problem-solving ability.
- More personal growth and self-confidence.
As we develop the skill of curiosity, our ability to communicate effectively will improve. This will allow us to support others in achieving what they want, while we achieve what we want.
Learning how to use frustration as fuel for more motivation is a mindset that can be developed.
It’s not uncommon for us to have experiences regularly that cause us to get frustrated. If we don’t turn our frustration into more motivation, it may affect our progress towards our objectives.
Since we generate motivation from within, we have to ensure we’re doing all we can to have a healthy mindset.
Things That Trigger Frustration
Whenever we feel frustrated, it means there is a gap between what we’re experiencing and what we want.
Common things that can cause frustration are:
- Being unable to do something we want to.
- Having an experience we deem to be unpleasant or annoying.
- Not having something go the way we expect it to.
By using frustration as fuel for more motivation or inspiration, we can continue making progress and accomplish what we want.
Committing to becoming a lifelong learner is one of the most valuable decisions we can make to improve our lives.
There is a law of nature that states if something isn’t growing, it’s in a state of decline. As human beings, we grow when we challenge ourselves to do things we haven’t done before.
This can involve learning new things and taking new risks. If we stop learning, it means we’re starting to die. Those who don’t believe they can or don’t want to learn, are telling themselves they’re old.
Benefits of Being a Lifelong Learner
Being a lifelong learner will reap significant benefits, especially over the long-term. Some of the benefits include we’ll:
- Have a sharper mind and be more alert.
- Have more self-confidence.
- Improve our communication skills.
- Be better informed of future trends and anticipate better.
- Attract or be more aware of opportunities.
- Improve our problem-solving skills.
An advantage of being a lifelong learner is that we’ll keep ourselves mentally stimulated. This can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, which affects a person’s ability to recall or process information.
Becoming a lifelong learner will bring about mental, emotional and physical benefits.
Having good listening skills is essential if we want to be a better communicator and have more influence with others.
As listening is a key component of effectively relating to others, knowing what we can do to improve is extremely beneficial.
If we observe most people during conversations, they’re not actively listening to what another person is saying. It’s been said that instead of listening attentively, most people are thinking of what to say next. This means it can be easy to miss something that has been said or even misunderstand someone.
The Advantages of Having Better Listening Skills
- It will improve relationships and build friendships.
- It will facilitate better understanding and agreement.
- It will avoid conflicts.
- It will solve problems faster.
- It will reduce errors and time wasted.
Poor communication skills has been known to cost people money, friendships, personal or professional relationships, and careers. Focusing on developing good listening skills is one way to start becoming a better communicator.
Stress is part of our everyday lives. We experience and respond to stress differently.
What one person considers to be highly stressful may be very manageable to another person, therefore we should evaluate each situation on its merits. No matter what we consider to be stressful, one thing that’s common is whenever we generate negative emotions as a result of feeling stressed, our decision-making ability will be affected.
How Stress Affects Your Decision-Making Ability
Interestingly, making a decision can be perceived as being stressed in itself, however there are some common patterns when we make decisions under high stress.
- We tend to more consider positive outcomes rather than also consider negative outcomes.
- We pay more attention to positive information and discount negative information.
- We find it more difficult to control our urges as we focus more on the rewards rather than the consequences.
- We may take risks without fully considering all options and scenarios.
- We will not operate or behave as we normally would.
The amount of stress we experience will affect the way we make decisions.
The ability to not let external conditions, circumstances or events affect us is a vital skill to have if we want to be mentally tough and remain level-headed.
Knowing how to respond when things happen in a calm, confident manner is a better quality to have than always reacting to things, which means we’re controlled by things outside of ourselves.
What Does it Mean to Be Level-Headed?
When someone is considered level-headed, it means they:
- Pause and think before they respond in any situation.
- Have developed their mental faculty of perception so they can look at things from different points of view.
- Are able to make the right decisions, most times.
- Are comfortable with who they are and what they want to do.
- Have a healthy attitude and tend to be in a positive mental state more often than not.
Developing the characteristics of level-headed people will help us be mentally strong, result in better mental and emotional health, and a higher level of self-confidence and self-esteem.
The challenge is knowing how to be level-headed, while staying true to who we are, and not coming across as someone that’s robotic, who does the same things and operates the same way over and over.
Knowing how to be calm when dealing with difficult people can be a huge advantage.
Sometimes, it can be tempting to respond in the same manner when someone is being difficult, but that very rarely leads to a mutually beneficial outcome.
It’s valuable to know that when someone is being difficult, most times, they may not be aware that they’re coming across as being difficult. If we have ways to handle difficult people, we can turnaround a difficult situation and still get a positive outcome.
At a personal development training program I once attended, during one of the sessions, the facilitator was explaining a concept and leading an open discussion about the concept with the participants. Everyone were sitting on the floor in an open space, with the facilitator walking around managing the discussions.
One participant asked a question, which the facilitator answered, and they had a short dialogue, that would have lasted less than thirty-seconds. Something the participant said may have been misheard or misinterpreted by the facilitator and suddenly out of the blue, the participant screamed, “That’s not what I said!”
That certainly got everyone’s attention. The tension was building and I remember thinking at that time, “How would I handle a situation like this?”
What the facilitator did in that moment I thought was best thing he could have done to deal with the situation.