So, after three weeks of puppy madness I am finally getting back into the swing of things and able to post again (visit my Instagram for puppy pics of unbearable cuteness!).
Not long ago I attended a Balanced Leadership workshop with Michele Mees, author of The Balanced Leader and Key Note speaker, as part of International Women’s Day 2016 and my first Pledge For Parity action.
Here Michelle’s introduced the group to the idea that everyone has feminine and masculine energies that mould our traits and characteristics.
So, whilst some people enjoy taking take risks (a masculine energy) others prefer to act more cautiously (feminine energy).
Just to clarify – Michele stressed that everyone, be them man or woman, has a mixture of both masculine and feminine energies that make up the diversity of their characteristics and in no way is one or the other right or wrong.
Apparently, to be a balanced leader you must first identify which traits and qualities you have and then develop the ability to adjust according to the situation and environment.
If I am honest, talking about masculine and feminine ‘energies’, to me, seems to be the opposite of maintaining gender neutrality however the session did throw up some interesting points and as a result I wanted to share my top tips on how to become a more balanced leader:
- Don’t fear change – Empower your staff to take calculated risks. Caution, whilst prudent in some situations is not always the best way. Sometimes it is good to challenge the status quo slightly, remember, great things never came from comfort zones.
- Trust your gut– Always making a decision based on facts and figures can often create a false sense of security. Make sure you don’t always ignore and exclude the perspective of people who bring ‘gut feeling’ to the table, their input is just as valuable.
- Long-term planning – A long-term vision often mobilizes and inspires people. Whilst the quick-wins might deliver today, you need to always try to consider the log-term effects as well.
- Focus on everyone – Don’t always just focus on yourself or on your own department. To be a balanced leader you need to promote a collaborative, connected environment for your team as well as the colleagues in your wider circle.
- Don’t always avoid confrontation –This can be a contentious topic, however constructive confrontation is healthy. Empower your team to think for themselves and don’t just promote a ‘yes’ culture which seems to be fine on the surface but hides unresolved conflicts as a result.
Have I left anything out? Let me know what you think makes a balanced leader!
If you want to learn more about Michele and her research please visit The Centre for Balanced Leadership.