..We talk a lot about leadership and we have created many different names or styles of leadership: servant leadership, spiritual leadership, transformational leadership, kinetic leadership, situational leadership, and transactional leadership it name just a few. Then we get into styles: charismatic, authoritarian, democratic, coercive, coaching to name just a few. Confused?
As a leader you are someone who has people reporting to you or you are leading or creating a company or you are creating a change through an organization or group. You have a vision and are working with others to make something happen. Even as a CEO with a stable paying position where you might feel you have the time and resources to delve into finding out what kind of leader you are and what kind of leader might work better in your situation, it can feel a bit like extra work and a deviation from your 'real' tasks - figuring out all this leadership stuff.
I've worked to make it simple for the folks I work with. What is the impact you want to have and then how do yo get there? It doesn't really matter what the form or style is called, what really matters is are yo getting the results, the actions from others, that you need to see? If not then maybe it's as simple as reflecting on the language you use.
We communicate in words, with the assumption that the words we use are understood in the same way by everyone. We know that's really not true. Add in tone of voice and everyone's history and family baggage brings in additional meanings that you have not even considered. The words we use make a huge difference! Fortunately, what we are learning about how our brains work through chemistry and neural networks, is easily translated into a more precise understanding of how people are impacted by words.
Our brains are hardwired in certain ways. When we feel the need to protect our selves, or when we feel distrust, our Amygdala is activated by the chemical cortisol. In this state we are only paying attention to the words that help us deal with the fight or flight responses we feel we need to use to be safe. Visioning doesn't cut it, but rewards or penalty's are relevant.
On the other hand, if we trust the situation and those around us then our Prefrontal Cortex is activated by the chemical oxytocin and suddenly information that was hidden or seen as irrelevant in the protection mode becomes available and we become innovative and willing to co-create. It is the words that we choose to use that enables us to 'up regulate' or 'down regulate' our brain chemistry.
So, think about the words and tone of voice you use. Are you stimulating a felt need for self protection or generating trust and innovation? The choice is yours...
Kathryn Alexander, MA: futurist, speaker, author CIQ coach, her systems thinking approach to values and ethics enables deep change by impactful leaders.