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Becoming A Personable Boss – Building And Reinforcing Teams (8)

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Anger Management (1)
Prof Merino

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Akindotun Merino

Teams don’t immediately come together and experience success overnight. In fact, it takes a good leader to work at turning a group of people into an effective team. This module explores the various aspects of building and improving your team.

One of the most important activities that you will need to engage in as a leader is constantly assessing the state of your team, each individual employee, and yourself. Before you can put employees in positions to succeed, you have to have a good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are. Here are some guidelines for how to assess team and team member strengths and weaknesses:

Include other team-members in the assessment process. Allow each member of the team a chance to identify both his or her and other team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, this can be done privately so that no team-member develops resentment towards another for perceived unwarranted criticism. This also allows you to compare your assessment with others.

When an employee or the entire team experiences a failure or a success, try to identify why this came about, and who was most responsible. In the case of failure, identifying the responsible person is not about casting blame, but it is about identifying what went wrong, so you know where and how to improve. When you are analyzing a success, however, it is good to give credit when someone (other than yourself) was particularly instrumental in that success.

READ ALSO: Becoming A Personable Boss – Trusting Your Team (7)

Determine how consistently an employee performs in a given role. If that employee is consistently unsuccessful, try to find another opportunity and role for that employee to be successful. Identify the skills necessary for success in certain roles, and when an employee is consistently successful in a role, note these skills as part of that employee’s skill set. If an employee fails to perform consistently, you may also identify these skills as weaknesses in that particular employee.

Observe employees when they act alone or outside of the team structure in order to determine how their strengths and weaknesses might change in different contexts. Perhaps it is not a lack of a particular skill that is the weakness, but an inability to apply that skill in a team setting, or vice versa.

Dr. Meredith Belbin identifies nine team roles that can help make up a balanced and effective team.

The Plant. The plant is the highly creative and unconventional member of a team. They tend to be strong in thinking outside the box but their primary weakness is a tendency to be forgetful.

The Monitor Evaluator (ME). This person is good at providing a logical and dispassionate view of the range of decisions before a team. They tend to have difficulties with being overly critical and slow-moving.

The Coordinator (CO). This employee (often it will be you) helps the team to focus on goals and to delegate work effectively. They tend to either over-delegate or under-delegate and end up micromanaging.

The Resource Investigator (RI). This employee will tend to understand how your team’s work can best translate to the rest of the world. They will be good at understanding the competition and developing connections with others outside and inside the team framework, but they can have difficulties with following up on or getting in-depth information.

READ ALSO: Becoming A Personable Boss – The Importance Of Tone (6)

The Implementer. This role involves someone who is good at taking theory and putting it into practice. They try to find strategies on how to make an idea work in the most efficient manner. Implementers have difficulty considering alternative approaches and may be slow to give up on a favored idea.

Completer-Finishers. These team members excel at the end of a task. They make sure everything is functioning ideally. These employees act as a kind of quality control. Their strength, having high standards, can also be their weakness, in that they tend to be perfectionists.

Team workers (TW). These employees are really good at smoothing over the tensions and difficulties that come up when people are working hard on creative endeavors. They excel at working and playing with others, but they can be indecisive when it comes time to make team decisions about the best course of action.

Shapers. These employees act as a kind of engine for the team. They can effectively get others going and create momentum. Typically shapers are highly driven and enthusiastic individuals. Their weakness tends to be being overly aggressive and temperamental in their desire to get the team’s work done.

The Specialist. The specialist of the group might only know how to do one thing, but she or he is an expert at it. Their focus is narrow and in-depth, which can be both their strength and their weakness.

An ideal team will be balanced with all nine roles being expressed. Since many teams are smaller than nine people, you may find that different team members excel at multiple roles. When you identify a key strength in one of your employees, for example, an employee who is highly energetic, then you can help them fulfill one or more roles on your team. The energetic employee for example might be good at being a shaper as well as being a resource investigator. Someone who is highly critical can be either a completer finisher or a monitor evaluator or both.

Often you may want to give team members a break from working on their normal projects to meet as a team and improve team morale or functioning. Sometimes getting a team together for a meeting or a team building activity can actually be an exercise in futility. In order to use meetings and team building exercises effectively, it is helpful to have specific goals in mind, to identify those goals to your team members, and to follow up. For example, doing a trust building exercise after a time when team members were at each other’s throats  is helpful, but if you only do the trust building exercise the one time, after a while team members may forget the point or lose the benefits they gained from engaging in the exercise the one time. When planning a meeting, for instance, identify why the meeting is necessary and plan an agenda to keep the meeting organized. Sometimes the necessity is quite simple. For example, scheduling time for team members to play together can help them to recharge after a particularly grueling project. It can also help them build more of a rapport with each other. Having specific goals for an activity does not preclude having an activity achieve multiple goals.

READ ALSO: Stress Management: Part 2

When planning team-building exercises, make sure that you don’t undermine your attempt to improve your team. Here are some suggestions of what to avoid in team building:

  • Make sure that your team-building goals are relevant to your team’s needs, so that they are worth taking regular time away from other work to improve.
  • Make sure that your team-building activities are not simply one-time affairs; but that they are consistently worked on to reinforce your goal for the exercise.
  • While athletics can be fun for many employees, they can also be destructive towards building team morale, especially if they are focused simply on competition and winning.
  • If you use team-building exercises, try to incorporate them more frequently than once or twice a year. Incorporating these exercises monthly or weekly helps to reinforce your goals.

If you cannot lead yourself effectively then you will never be able to get others to follow you. The most important habit that effective people can have, whether they lead others or not, is to be proactive. Think of proactive as the opposite of reactive. Instead of having the world act upon you, you take action to make yourself into the kind of leader anyone would follow.

If you have been working on your mission statement and identifying your core values, this question is probably not too difficult to answer. If you understand what you value in both yourself and in others, then you can work at shaping yourself into that kind of leader. Keep in mind that developing into the kind of leader that you would follow involves constantly re-assessing where you are at in terms of your values, your goals, and your overall mission. The further you go down the path of leadership, the more necessary it becomes to refine your skills and improve yourself. This requires both detachment and self-honesty. Being detached means that you are able to dispassionately observe where you are strong and where you are weak. Self-honesty is the capacity to identify personal strengths and weaknesses.

In order to be an effective employee, an effective leader, and an effective person, you must have the capacity to reflect and be aware of yourself. Being self-aware involves multiple dimensions of the self. Taking care of physical needs through exercise and maintaining a good diet are factors in being aware of your physical self. Disciplining your mind through meditation that allows you to manage your emotions effectively is an example of developing your emotional and psychological awareness. You also want to have a good idea of the big picture. Are you satisfied with where you are and where you are going? Imagine once again that you are at your funeral. How would you imagine the things people have to say about you would square with your life’s goals and your mission statement?

Self-improvement is a long-term game, but as you work continuously on improving yourself, it is important to keep certain pitfalls in mind.

  • Navel gazing can occur when you become overly focused on yourself. This means that you become self-absorbed and self-centered.
  • Another pitfall of working to improve yourself constantly is that you can become overly convinced of your own self-importance.
  • Finally, if you are always working to improve yourself, you may find that you have gotten stuck in this sense that you are never good enough. A better way to frame this is to think that where you are is always good, but that there is also always room for improvement.

When you find yourself excessively self-oriented, this is a sign that you need to deepen your humility and refocus on serving others. Here are some ways to help you foster a greater sense of humility:

Allow others to be first and foremost. Insisting on being the first in line, the first to raise your hand in a class, the first to get the parking spot, and so on, has a tendency to inflate one’s sense of self-importance. However, when you allow others to have the spotlight or be first, it gives you a better vantage point to appreciate their gifts and what they are able to bring to the table. And when you can do this, you actually find yourself in a better position to lead others because you understand how they can best contribute.

Don’t insist on being right. Nobody likes to be wrong, including other people. When you are wrong it puts you in a vulnerable position, which can be scary. However, vulnerability is often what makes a person beautiful and appreciable. Allowing others the legitimacy of their beliefs without correction from you is a charitable act.

Listen to what other people think more than telling them what you think. Dale Carnegie once said that the sweetest sound to anyone is the sound of their own voice. Really paying attention to what other people have to say without having to correct or undermine them helps you to stay oriented outward rather than being self-absorbed.

Try not to judge others. An old saying goes like this, “When you point a finger at someone else, you have three fingers pointing back at you.” While it is tempting to judge another person, to assess what they are doing and how they are doing it, when you do so, you are presuming that you know better. Unfortunately, unless you have lived the experiences of another person, you cannot know what is best for them. Your grasp on another person’s situation will always be incomplete because you don’t have the complete picture.

Finally keep your balance.Throughout the whole process of becoming a more effective leader and a more effective human being, two tools can help smooth the way. The first is developing a greater sense of gratitude. When you wake up in the morning, or while you drink your coffee or eat breakfast, either write down in a notebook or type on your computer a list of five things for which you are grateful. If you keep this gratitude journal every day, it will have a cumulative effect on your keeping a positive outlook.

The second tool’s importance cannot be understated. No matter how much you have on your plate at any given time, it is important that you take the time to play. Whether this is a hobby such as painting or an activity such as playing video games, make a point of scheduling play time for yourself at least two to three times a week. This will help you to balance out all the stress you have in your life.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof.  Akindotun Merino

info@akinmerino.com

YouTube.com/akinmerino

Instagram: @drakinmerino:    Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Mental Health

Anger Management (1)

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Anger Management (1)

By
Akindotun Merino
Anger can be an incredibly damaging force, costing people their jobs, personal relationships, and even their lives when it gets out of hand. However, since everyone experiences anger, it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively.

Anger is a natural emotion that usually stems from perceived threat or loss. It’s a pervasive emotion; it affects our body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anger is often described in terms of its intensity, frequency, duration, threshold, and expression.

Anger typically follows a predictable pattern: a cycle. Understanding the cycle of anger can help us understand our own anger reactions, and those of others. It can also help us in considering the most appropriate response. The five phases of the anger cycle: trigger, escalation, crisis, recovery, and depression.

1. The Trigger Phase
The trigger phase happens when we perceive a threat or loss, and our body prepares to respond. In this phase, there is a subtle change from an individual’s normal/ adaptive state into his stressed state. Anger triggers differ from person to person, and can come from both the environment or from our thought processes.

2. The Escalation Phase
In the escalation phase, there is the progressive appearance of the anger response. In this phase, our body prepares for a crisis after perceiving the trigger. This preparation is mostly physical, and is manifested through symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure. Once the escalation phase is reached there is less chance of calming down, as this is the phase where the body prepares for fight or flight (to be discussed later).

3. The Crisis Phase
As previously mentioned, the escalation phase is progressive, and it is in the crisis phase that the anger reaction reaches its peak. In the crisis phase our body is on full alert, prepared to take action in response to the trigger. During this phase, logic and rationality may be limited, if not impaired because the anger instinct takes over. In extreme cases, the crisis phase means that a person may be a serious danger to himself or to other people.

READ ALSO: JARS Mental Health Group To Hold Trauma Awareness Walk

4. The Recovery Phase
The recovery phase happens when the anger has been spent, or at least controlled, and there is now a steady return to a person’s normal/ adaptive state. In this stage, reasoning and awareness of one’s self returns. If the right intervention is applied, the return to normalcy progresses smoothly. However, an inappropriate intervention can re-ignite the anger and serve as a new trigger.

5. The Depression Phase
The depression phase marks a return to a person’s normal/ adaptive ways. Physically, this stage marks below normal vital signs, such as heart rate, so that the body can recover equilibrium. A person’s full use of his faculties return at this point, and the new awareness helps a person assess what just occurred. Consequently, this stage may be marked by embarrassment, guilt, regret, and or depression.

After the depression phase is a return to a normal or adaptive phase. A new trigger, however, can start the entire cycle all over again.
We will continue our discussion in the next article.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:
Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Managing Workplace Anxiety: Identifying Mental Health Challenges (1)

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JARS Mental Health Group To Hold Trauma Awareness Walk

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Akindotun Merino

According to the Harvard Business News, mental and emotional health challenges have been around as long as humans have existed, but they remain ill-defined, potentially under- or over-diagnosed, and often shrouded in stigma. But they are a central part of humanity.

The workforce including staff, management, executives still struggle to bring mental health to the fore front even though there is a prevalence in our society.

According to APA, only one in five workers are comfortable talking about mental health issues at work, and more than one third are concerned about retaliation or dismissal if they seek mental health care.

READ ALSO: Mental Health Isn’t About Crazy People, It’s About All Of US – Akindotun Merino

Top leaders are also struggling: about 80 percent of executives reported mental health issues in 2020 and 38 percent turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with symptoms (Harvard Business).

Workplace anxiety cannot be overemphasized in Nigeria and we definitely have to reduce stigma if we want a healthier workforce.  Anxiety cannot be defined as one, isolated condition. It has many faces and can have hundreds of different symptoms. But before you can begin to understand and identify any type of anxiety, it is important to know the common symptoms and characteristics of different disorders. Only after you’ve identified the type of anxiety can you focus on the source and how to cope with it.

Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety where a person fears crowds or public situations because they feel it will lead to public scrutiny or embarrassment. This can range from simply eating in public to being among a large crowd in a store. Sometimes this person can be mistaken for having a shy demeanor, but these people have serious trouble socializing at work or even participating in meetings. This can keep them from being a team player since they frequently withdraw from the group.

READ ALSO: How Poor Mental Health Costs Nigerian Economy N21.6 billion Yearly – Merino

Characteristics:

  • Extremely fearful of unfamiliar situations and people
  • Feeling overwhelmed with anxiety when in social situations
  • Fearful of being judged or watched by other people
  • Unable to face social situations on your own

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety and is usually defined as a constant state of tension and panic. People who suffer from GAD generally do not have anything particular that they are worrying or obsessing about. They cannot identify the source of the anxiety, and therefore cannot find a way to resolve the problem. So they continue to feel anxiety every day with either no apparent reason, or will find a number of problems to fret about without knowing why.

Common symptoms of GAD:

  • Difficulty focusing, sleeping or concentrating
  • Constant restlessness, irritation or edginess
  • Feeling tired or having low energy levels
  • Tense or clenched muscles

Panic disorder is characterized by a constant state of confusion and fear which normally occur in sporadic episodes, or panic attacks. While it is normal to have some fear or confusion in our work, these feelings should not cause physical symptoms or interfere with our productivity. These panic attacks can cause sudden, debilitating symptoms, such as shallow breathing, sweating, increased heart rate, and physical pain. Often times many people do not realize they have a panic disorder since they may not recognize the symptoms of a panic attack, which can make this disorder hard to diagnose.

Characteristics:

  • Feelings of doom or losing control
  • Stomach pains, dizziness or even fainting
  • Overwhelming sense of fear, usually irrational
  • Sudden heart palpitations or excessive sweating

Phobias are more common types of anxiety and generally focus on one thing or situation, such as a fear of spiders or a fear of public speaking. People who suffer from certain phobias begin to have an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety when they are faced with their phobia and can usually return to a normal state once the item or situation has been taken care of. Generally these phobias don’t interfere with our everyday lives since we may not actually have to encounter our fears on a regular basis (such as snakes, spiders, heights, fires, etc.). But phobias that can occur at work, such as a phobia of public speaking or a fear of crowded rooms, should be addressed right away since they can hinder our ability to function normally on the job.

READ ALSO: Dealing With Mental Illness In The Family

Characteristics:

  • Fear is normally focused on one thing
  • Fear is usually instantaneous
  • Inability to control fears, even after facing the fear itself
  • Feelings subside when phobia has passed or has been avoided

Next week, we will discuss recognizing symptoms in others.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology and a Mental Health Commissioner in California. She is the President of Jars Institute.  Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof.  Akindotun Merino

Jars Education Group

info@akinmerino.com

YouTube.com/akinmerino

Instagram: @drakinmerino:    Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Becoming A Personable Boss – Trusting Your Team (7)

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JARS Mental Health Group To Hold Trauma Awareness Walk

By Akindotun Merino

When you lead others, you will find that they will rise and fall to the expectations you set for them. If you trust your team and act to be worthy of their trust, they will strive to be worthy of your trust.

One of the most difficult habits to keep under control when leading others is the tendency to micromanage. As someone who has a great deal of responsibility within the company as well as being emotionally invested, it is tempting to try and do it all yourself. However micromanaging, even for the most tireless of managers, is the kiss of death in being an effective leader. The dangers of micromanaging are manifold. Your employees will come to resent always having you looking over their shoulder, which can undermine whatever other positive qualities you have going for you as a manager. Another tragic consequence of micromanaging is that you stunt your employees’ growth. In order for each employee to become the best they can be, you have to encourage them to find their own way. Sometimes they may not do something in the same way that you would, and your standing aside may result in their failure. Keep in mind however that failure is often a prelude to success. Allowing an employee to make a mistake is akin to allowing that employee to grow and become better. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid the temptation to micromanage:

  • Develop a rule where employees cannot come to you with a problem unless they have also thought of two solutions to that problem.
  • While having an open-door policy is helpful in building a rapport with your employees, and it is useful in serving the needs of your employees, you must consider how useful you are being to those employees if you stand in the way of their growth. Consider limiting your employees’ access to you in some ways. One possibility is to allow a certain time of day for open access, while other times of day are reserved for appointment only.
  • A third suggestion is to resist the urge to jump in at any sign of difficulty. Instead, count slowly to 10 and consider whether this is one of those times where your help is truly necessary versus one of those times where in helping your employees you are actually hurting them.

READ ALSO: Becoming A Personable Boss – The Importance Of Tone (6)

What frequently stops us from delegating responsibilities to our employees is a fear that they may fail us. However, this distrust of our employees can be more damaging than failure itself. Living in fear keeps our lives in holding patterns and we never grow or allow others to grow. There is no reason to be afraid of failure because it is inevitable. If, however, we are able to view failure as a learning opportunity, then we can become comfortable with the idea and learn to take risks. Here are some suggestions to help you manage your trepidation about delegation:

  • Write down your concerns rather than voicing them or allowing them to swirl in your head. This can help to ventilate anxieties.
  • Manage your stress levels through exercise. When you do this regularly, you will tend to feel better physically, which gives emotions such as anxiety less room to take hold.
  • Meditate regularly to practice staying in the present. Worry is a future-oriented activity, but one over which you have little control.
  • Appreciate and celebrate healthy progress over perfection. Our notion of a perfect situation, a perfectly performed task, or any other number of perfect things that we can imagine is actually a linguistic construction. Actual perfection is something that is completely beyond our control.
  • Learn to recognize and counteract magnification, a distorted thinking pattern where you imagine the worst possibility as the most likely possibility. Often, when you feel in the grips of an arousal emotion such as anxiety, you tend to think in shorthand and images rather than in complete sentences. Identifying this shorthand, converting it into complete sentences and investigating the logic of that can help lessen your feeling of anxiety. For example, when you delegate an important task to an employee, your anxiety over the situation might prompt shorthand thoughts such as “failure, disaster, poorhouse.” Translating this into a complete sentence might look like “If my employee fails, I will be blamed for the worst possible disaster that can occur at this company; then, I will be fired and go to the poorhouse.” Now that you have translated the shorthand into a complete sentence, ask yourself if you would truly be fired over this. Often, you wouldn’t have the level of responsibility you have if your bosses were going to be so quick to fire you.

One more aspect of delegation can help limit your anxiety. You must delegate in a proper manner. Delegating tasks blindly or randomly can turn disastrous if the person you have delegated a task to is not suited to that task. Fortunately, one reward of getting to know your employees is that you can gain an idea of what each employee excels at. By tailoring the tasks you delegate to your employees’ strengths, you put them in a better position to succeed, and their success is ultimately your success, even if you will inevitably give them all the credit. By putting your aces in their places, you also foster a sense of belonging and importance to each member of your team. If an employee knows that he or she is in that role because you handpicked them for it, this will pay huge dividends in that person’s own confidence, which helps to maximize her or his performance.

In order to get the most out of your employees, it is helpful to foster a culture of mutual celebration of success, and no success is too small to escape such celebration. Take time out to recognize a job well done and you will encourage additional successes. Cultivating certain emotions in your employees such as enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, and tenacity will help them to perform better and enjoy further successes.

READ ALSO: Becoming A Personable Boss – Constructive Criticism (5)

Avoiding micromanagement, delegating tasks properly, and celebrating successes are all ways to increase your high regard and trust for your team, but trust is a two-way street. An effective leader is one whom the followers will trust implicitly. Trust, like respect, does not come automatically. Some people may be naturally inclined to trust people, but the degree of trust you need to lead effectively must be earned.

The most important way to earn trust is to consistently be honest. This can even be helpful when admitting you are wrong or that you don’t know the answer. Employees will respect someone who can admit vulnerability more than someone who tries to hide behind a veneer of perfection. Lying to your employees, buttering them up with fake sentiment, or taking credit for their successes are quick ways to make them distrust you. Once employees distrust you, your ability to lead them effectively becomes nearly impossible. However, honesty should never be used as a weapon. You may occasionally have to tell an employee “how it is,” but this is exactly where considerations of tone and intent become vitally important.

In addition to being honest, an effective leader will earn trust by being reliable in everything she or he does. Conversely, if you prove unreliable, employees will not trust you. This makes it vital to follow through on everything you say. If you indicate that there is a boundary that employees should not cross, you must address it when that boundary is crossed, even if it is with a mild response such as “don’t do that again.” If you say you will give an employee certain requested time off, then you must accomplish this. If you tell an employee you will follow up, then it is vital to follow up. Being reliable also means being consistent. Ignoring one employee’s misdeeds or successes is as bad as ignoring every employee’s successes or misdeeds; in some ways, it is even worse because it can communicate a sense of favoritism. The level of pressure and the amount of work you have before you may make it impossible to meet every one of your commitments. However, you can lessen this reality through adopting the following suggestions:

Keep a well-organized planner, either a calendar or some sort of organizing system where you can write down your commitments. Make a point to acknowledge your receipt of employees’ requests in writing, but also remind employees that you must have requests in writing as well.

Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. If you aren’t sure if you can award time off, don’t tell the employee that you can. One of the most important things you can tell an employee, and yet one of the most difficult, is that you don’t know or you are not sure. While you may fear that this will undermine your employee’s confidence in you, you can counter this with a statement that you will find out. Make sure that you follow-up, however if you do make that promise.

If you find that you are unable to meet a previous obligation you made, make sure that you inform the other person as soon as possible. Sometimes an emergency can come up, or the situation can change. You don’t need to offer a full explanation most of the time (although in some cases it may be necessary and appreciated), but you do need to let the other person know as soon as you know. If you have a meeting with an employee scheduled, try at that point to reschedule it.

READ ALSO: Becoming A Personable Boss: Understanding Motivation (4)

Making yourself available to your employees is another vital aspect of building trust. This can be tricky, however, and you have to use good judgment in determining how available you need to make yourself in order to avoid micromanaging. Nevertheless, you should always allow some time where employees can approach you. If an employee feels you are unapproachable or feels intimidated by you, it can create a situation where you are the last to know about something important going on. While you want to encourage employees to not over-rely upon you, you also want employees to feel they can come to you when they need to. Striking the correct balance can take time and can vary from employee to employee. Some employees may develop better confidence in themselves by being left to their own devices. Others, particularly new employees, might need your presence a bit more, but it’s best to think of yourself in this situation as being like training wheels on a bicycle. At some point the training wheels need to come off. Even then, however, your employees will trust you more knowing that you will figuratively catch them if they fall by being supportive and constructive.

It may seem as if openness is the same thing as honesty, but there is a bit more to it. Being open is a two-fold characteristic. On the one hand, you want to be up front about your vision for your team, your plan for their success, and even, when appropriate, what changes may be in store. Sometimes you may be in a position of knowing something that’s going to happen, and the circumstances won’t allow you to inform your employees. However, if employees sense that something is about to happen, this can produce anxiety. Since changes in work can affect a person’s livelihood, this anxiety cannot be overlooked or dismissed. Try to engage in empathy about the effect of keeping information from your employees. This can get tricky when trying to strike a balance between the needs of your employees and your bosses, but if you are operating from your own personal mission statement and using your own core values, then making tough decisions can actually be emotionally rewarding in that you get an opportunity to make a decision that you can be proud of.

READ ALSO: Becoming  A Personable Boss – Leadership By Design (3)

The other aspect of openness is being open to employees’ feedback and criticism. They may not always be correct in their criticism or concerns, but respecting your employees means giving them a fair hearing. When someone comes to you with a problem with what you are doing or how you are doing things, listen carefully. If you feel yourself getting angry or defensive, it’s possible that the employee has struck a nerve. You may not be in a place where you can immediately acknowledge the employee’s criticism. If that’s the case, schedule a follow-up that will allow you time to assess your employee’s concern and what you can do about it. Recent studies have found that people appreciate vulnerability in others far more than an appearance of perfection or invincibility, so don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong or mistaken. This can actually make you a more respected and effective leader than if you demand respect by never apologizing or acknowledging your mistakes.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof.  Akindotun Merino

info@akinmerino.com

YouTube.com/akinmerino

Instagram: @drakinmerino:    Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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