Conscious Leadership – How to Create an Organization That Promotes Innovation, Learning, and Growth

Conscious Leadership Scenario:

“No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

Growth in organizations today is driven by ideas and ingenuity. People must bring their wholehearted self to work and collaborate with each other to solve problems and accomplish tasks that catapult their organizations forward. Organizations must continue to support their talent and keep finding new ways to encourage the creativity that you’ve attracted to ensure its best and highest use. 

Leadership Fail:

For an organization to truly thrive in an extremely competitive marketplace where innovation can make the difference between success and failure, it’s not enough to hire smart, innovative, and motivated people.
A seven-year study completed in 2019 found that only 2 in 10 employees agree with their opinions count. The study calculated that by moving the ratio to 5 in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 38% reduction in turnover and a 24% increase in productivity. The top transformational executives unleash their talent by creating a safe environment where employees feel free to contribute ideas and share best practices to avoid mistakes. 

Negative Affect on Culture and Organizational Performance:

When we veer away from our heartbeat as leaders, we start to feel the grind of the job and lose focus on encouraging, inspiring, and empowering others around us to thrive. The following ensues…

1) Morale is low across the company.

2) Retention of high performers is impossible.

3) Revenue and growth are stagnant and start to sink.

4) Stakeholders and shareholders lose confidence.

5) Your team gives up on goals and milestone markers and are only working FOR you not WITH you.

Conscious Leadership Solution:

1) Include your Team in the Decision Making:

We have found that a lack of trust in senior leadership is the number two driver of disengagement.

When making decisions, consult your team. Ask for their input, thoughts, and feedback. Not only will this help them feel included in the decision-making process, but it will build psychological safety and lead to successful outcomes. 

2) Be Open to Feedback:

Always invite your team to challenge your perspective and push back. While this level of vulnerability may be uncomfortable at first, healthy interaction leads to better decisions and greater accountability—making it a win all around. You might also lead by example by taking interpersonal risks and sharing failures. Try getting up at the next all-company meeting and presenting on a failure—and what you learned.

3) Show Your Team You’re Engaged:

Being an active listener is an art that few senior executives can master. Executive engagement also means listening to what others have to say. Practice active listening and demonstrate engagement by being present during meetings. This includes making eye contact and shutting your laptop.

4) Avoid Blaming to Ensure You’re Build Trust:

It’s extremely easy when something goes sideways to look for someone to blame. But to build and maintain trust in the workplace, we must focus on solutions.

Instead of “What happened and why?” ask “How can we make sure this goes better next time?” A focus on the collaborative language: “How can we make sure this goes smoothly next time?” There are no mistakes, just lessons learned. Life is a journey outside of shame and blame.

5) Let the Team Know You Value Their Point of View:

When your people know you care enough to slow down, engage, and start to understand and deeply consider their point of view- you build a deeper rapport and they trust you.

Demonstrate understanding by recapping what’s been said. Use language like, “What I heard you say is ______. Is that correct?” This shows you want to understand their perspective. It also gives your team members an opportunity to clarify if you misunderstood something they said. Also be aware of your body language. Nod your head during discussions to acknowledge what an employee is saying. Lean forward to show engagement. Be aware of your facial expressions. If you look tired, bored, or unhappy, your team will notice. While you might not mean anything by it, employees may internalize the message you’re sending with your face: I don’t like this idea.

So, at Thomas & Taylor Partners, we are here to help. For us, our purpose is leadership for a better world, and we are here to help you in showing up as the leader you need to be. We are here to support you globally. We are on this journey together. This is an invitation, an invitation to join us in creating a collaborative movement: the movement that is leadership for a better world.