Becoming a better leader within your department can have an impact not only on the employees you oversee but on your work as a whole. A conscious leader is aware of their behaviors and works to improve them. Learning more about conscious leadership can help you better your leadership style and habits as an employee. In this article, we review what conscious leadership is, why it’s important and how you can practice conscious leadership in your workplace.
What is conscious leadership?
Conscious leadership is the practice of being more aware as a leader. Awareness, or consciousness, as a leader, can have some positive effects on the people you lead and the places where you work. If you become aware of habits that you can improve on, or new tendencies you can build for yourself during your workday, you may be able to develop more consciously beneficial habits for everyone involved with your department.
Conscious leadership doesn’t mean you’re perfect but rather aspire to improve your leadership tactics actively. It can also mean that you are conscious of your employee base, such as being aware of how they feel, what they think of you and how they can improve over time. Conscious leadership can be important not only for departmental growth and general awareness, but can also be important for your personal growth as a leader.
7 tips for developing conscious leadership skills
If you want to learn how to develop your awareness as a leader, consider some of the following tips:
1. Gather feedback
One way you can learn to be more aware of your leading ability is to gather and use feedback as often as you can. This can be feedback from customers or employees. Feedback from customers can help you learn how your leader is doing in terms of how it impacts the product. Feedback from employees can help show you what elements of leadership you may need to work on.
Being open and available to receive feedback can be one of the most helpful ways to receive it. If you make yourself approachable or consistently ask for feedback, you can eventually learn more about what makes you a capable leader, or what parts of leadership you can work to improve. Additionally, if you continuously gather feedback from your employees, feedback may become easier to accumulate over time, especially concerning how you act as a leader. This can make employees’ reactions to big decisions much more meaningful for your improvement.
2. Commit to honesty
Another thing you can do to become a more conscious leader is to commit to honesty with your employees. Remaining honest with your employees concerning expectations, the state of the department, and their performance can help them become honest with you in return. This can help feedback become more useful. Honestly also is a good way to prevent gossip in the workplace, reducing the likelihood of rumors spreading in the workplace concerning you.
If employees understand that you’re being honest and feel they can also be honest with you in return, this can help reduce gossip, encourage transparency and resolve internal issues more quickly.
3. Practice accountability
Practicing accountability as much as possible is a good way to be a conscious leader. Accountability in leadership is when you accept the results of the decisions you’ve made, whether those results be good or bad. By practicing accountability, you prevent blame from becoming another employee’s responsibility and show honesty for your actions. By becoming accountable, you show your responsibility to your employees and lead by example. If you remain accountable for your actions, it’s appropriate for all other employees to become accountable for their actions as well.
4. Exercise curiosity
Another way you can become a conscious leader in the workplace is by exercising curiosity, whenever possible. A healthy, moderate amount of curiosity in the workplace can lead to some benefits for both employees and leaders. For example, taking a new venture in an industry that is slightly different from what the employee base is used to does have some risks, but also has rewards if the department succeeds. Being curious about your department’s limits can help leaders explore more methods in leadership, and become more conscious about expanding tactics and learning new things.
5. Provide for your employees
You can continue to foster consciousness in your leadership by providing generous opportunities for your employees. This can be in many different contexts, such as opportunities for training, paid certifications or social opportunities such as employee meetings or dinners. Giving opportunities for your employees to improve or understand you better can promote honesty, which may lead to clearer feedback and improved consciousness between you and those you work with. The more you understand your employees, the better you equip yourself to make decisions concerning them.
6. Provide clarity
Another way you can improve your conscious leadership skills is by being as clear as possible regarding instructions. While clarity in work can help improve the effectiveness of your instructions, clarity can also help incite consciousness through your employee’s responses. For example, if you clearly state the expectations for a project, employees can understand those instructions fully and provide unhindered feedback. Clarity can help employees understand everything more effectively, including your requests to provide feedback.
7. Encourage communication
A useful tactic you can use to improve your awareness as a leader is to encourage open communication as often as possible. This can apply to your department in different ways, such as creating a chatroom so that employees can have conversations about different departmental goals, even when not present in the office. Another way you can encourage communication in the workplace is by having frequent meetings to discuss goals, improvement needs and expectations. Encouraging communication not only encourages feedback but also prompts the team to come to you with questions, concerns and ways processes or policies that you create can be improved or changed.