Former HR Director Natasha Wallace supports teams and leaders to optimise performance without compromising on wellbeing. Her business, the Conscious Leadership Company, seeks to help leaders to thrive in their roles using technology to continuously allow leaders to reflect and track how they feel so they can transform their leadership style.
“Leaders who want to create exceptional teams must cultivate a conscious leadership style”
Recently in conversation Natasha she shared her thoughts on how to be a conscious leader – we’ve paraphrased these five tenets and we’ll also be sharing an insightful podcast next month with Lisa Ward and Natasha, during which they delve deeper into the topic of psychological safety in the workplace.
1) Psychological safety in the workplace
Psychologically safe environments are those where employees can challenge their leaders. Google’s ‘Project Aristotle’ study on team performance found that no other aspect of a team – its diversity, skills, capability – were as indicative of strong performance as trust and safety. The ability for employees to tell the truth without risk is integral to high-performance teams. If you want to read how to create a workplace that engenders colleagues to achieve their full potential in an environment that also empowers innovation we would point you to Amy Edmondson ‘A Fearless Organisation”.
2) Establish a clear vision
Create a vision of your organisation that goes beyond profit objectives and creates roles that support its delivery. A disconnect between vision and the lived experience of employees day-to-day results in disengagement. Disenfranchised employees who feel like they can’t positively influence their organisation don’t perform as well as engaged employees working toward a purpose.
3) Cultivate resilience
It’s well-known that resilient workforces deliver higher performance over a long-term. However, leadership burnout doesn’t get much attention, but has a clear negative impact on organisational performance.
A recent Deloitte Report stated that 82% of leaders are exhausted, 68% of leaders are stressed by their workload, and 62% of leaders want to provide better wellbeing support to their employees. When leaders cultivate their own resilience by developing a conscious leadership style, the whole team benefits.
4) Fail fearlessly
Organisations should help their leaders to foster resilience by creating safe environments in which to fail. Leaders in safe environments have the autonomy to try new ideas and make mistakes in the process. Allowing time for exploration means that the infectious and positive values of creativity, innovation, motivation and excitement are fostered throughout the organisation.
5) Develop self-awareness
Self-aware leaders are strong leaders. Natasha recounted her earlier career as a HR Director and how she pushed her team to perform to the best of their ability without creating a safe space for people to self-express authentically. As a result, herself and her team suffered burnout.
Leaders who understand their strengths and weakness are more adaptive and flexible when faced with challenges. They understand when to step-up and when to withdraw, and as a result, feelings of autonomy within teams increase and overall organisational performance improves.