Often when we are promoted to a leadership position it is for excelling at some unrelated aspect of our work and whilst the swell of pride and ego boost we feel from the validation and acknowledgment makes us feel great in the instant when it comes to actually leading, without the proper training and resiliency, these feelings can quickly slip in to fear, self-doubt and ultimately shame.
If you want your leaders to really fly you have to teach them about failure and the resiliency that comes with it so that when it happens, they are confident in how to use this data to help them move through and passed it.
If they do not have the skill set to get themselves back up when they fall, they may well just decide the risk is too great to ever try in the first place.
I am therefore in favour of a pre-emptive approach rather than an after the fact solution, as things are often far trickier to resolve when trying to pick up the pieces, once they have already fallen. Especially with no clear road map of how they should go back together.
Think of a jigsaw puzzle with no picture to follow, even if you got close to completing it the first time, if it were to fall to the ground without that picture to guide you, how would you know where all the pieces should go?
I call this “preparation over reparation” and it will undeniably save you time, energy, and stress. Not to mention improved employee engagement in the long run.
For me, the solution starts with the onboarding process, set the expectations and boundaries from day one, and then this is compounded by the ongoing training and development, either internally or externally. It is no good simply talking the talk without giving your leaders permission to walk the walk. Whilst it might be a cliché, it is absolutely critical with a new leader and/or a new team. Failure is part of the process and that is the key word here. Process. Learning how to process the data of failure into the great learning opportunity it is. Remembering all the while there is no failure only feedback.
We naturally internalise, speculate, tell ourselves stories to explain difficult situations, allowing our minds to fill in the gaps, but if we already have those base points to build from, processing the failure becomes easier and as a result, collectively the team are able to move through it faster with greater clarity, innovation and without fear of judgement.
When we all work toward creating that safe environment and promoting psychological safety, the anxiety around judgement, condemnation, and rejection are removed and the need for resiliency is diluted.
But until you get to that place practising this caring, supportive and resilient mindset and behaviour will go a long way to resonating your true intentions and future behaviour with your new team and affirming your position as a #truleader who always prioritises the needs of others before their own and values the importance of true connection as the catalyst for higher-performing teams.