In our experience, outstanding managers demonstrate an innate ability to influence and inspire their teams through strong, high trust relationships and a shared commitment to the company’s vision and purpose. At the heart of truly inspirational leadership is a powerful inner belief and strength to be optimistic and solution-focused, supported by a deep understanding of the importance of truly listening to and valuing every person within the team. Building strong relationships that lead to effective collaboration and co-creativity are critical components of being a great manager.
When you lift the lid on your organisation and observe how your people manage their teams, what do you see? Are they demonstrating a high level of self-awareness and a clear ability to self-manage, are they consistent in their leadership and are they continually inspiring and nurturing their teams? Can they give and accept feedback in a positive spirit of growth and development, and can they assess others effectively to adapt and flex their style accordingly? Are their teams growing and thriving in a positive culture of collaboration and mutual respect?
The impact of exceptional managers on the success and productivity of the people they lead can be transformative, increasing staff retention and satisfaction, boosting the bottom line and improving the company’s reputation. Understanding your managers’ effectiveness and investing in a robust management development programme to propel their performance levels from OK or good to off-the-scale fantastic will reap rich rewards for everyone.
Exceptional charisma and vitality
We know from working with organisations all over the world that two things are required to develop truly effective, energised leaders who can exude that exceptional charisma and vitality that draws people to them and brings out the best in others. The first is an optimal leadership mindset, and the second is the ability to demonstrate that mindset to others through everything we say and do in our language and actions, and in particular the leadership skills to tailor and flex these communication styles to suit our audience.
An optimal leadership mindset establishes a strong foundation of self-awareness and self-management, ensuring powerful self-belief in everything we think and feel. It enables leaders to shoulder responsibility themselves where appropriate while encouraging and empowering others to take responsibility and ownership in order to grow and develop in their roles.
Intelligent evaluation and discernment
Being optimistic as a leader in the face of complex or challenging situations is a balance of solution-focus and intelligent evaluation and discernment; ensuring that the options and solutions presented are the best that they can be, and achievable. An exceptional leader encourages their people to use their judgement and develop their own ability to evaluate with an optimistic outlook for a realistic pathway forward.
Confident and self-assured leaders understand that all feedback is valuable and that they can strengthen this belief by developing exceptional listening and questioning skills to maximise upon the right response for greatest improvement and growth. They strive to create an inclusive environment in which people can feel confident and certain that their point of view is respected and listened to. The foundation for influence is being fully present and listening carefully to what others are saying, then using this valuable information where relevant to boost the team’s resourcefulness for the most successful outcomes.
Leaders who truly make a difference
An optimal leadership mindset ensures your managers can truly make a difference as leaders who instil confidence and capability in their teams by nurturing high self-esteem for healthy wellbeing, excellent resources and high trust relationships so that they, too, are empowered to make the difference.
Demonstrating the Optimal Leadership Mindset to others around you
The second element in exceptional management skills is the ability to communicate this confident mindset to others and use it to inspire and influence through powerful, positive and consistent communication. At leadership level, this includes the ability to tailor and adapt all aspects of our communication to elicit the best responses from others, and we do this by being highly proficient listeners and questioners, appreciative of the different communication styles and preferences of individuals within our teams.
Exceptional language skills to elicit the best response from others
Great managers demonstrate effective listening skills with open and engaging body language, appreciating the need for subtlety in their use of language so that they can maximise upon opportunities to influence. They are confident in their abilities to use sophisticated language appropriately to elicit the best response – for example, to be able to say ‘no’ to people or give disappointing news and still maintain positive, high trust relationships.
They also know when to pause, step back and take time to analyse and process when necessary to ensure the best solutions and ways forward, drawing on the right resources within the team for the most effective collaboration and co-creation.
Valuing diversity and unique talent
Great managers continually assess and nurture their people’s strengths and capabilities while also demonstrating a genuine appreciation for diversity, valuing different personalities and the unique talents each person brings to their teams. They are empowered to lead by example because they are confident in their capabilities and motivated by a desire to be the difference and instil that exceptional ethos in everyone on their team.