The uncomfortable reality of leadership.

According to a Gallup study  one in two US adults said they had left their job, to get away from their manager, at some point in their career.  That’s an incredible statistic.

When researching engagement at work, Gallup have found that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. Managers and leaders have a huge impact on those who work for them, and are often not fully aware of this.
 When researching engagement at work, Gallup have found that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. Managers and leaders have a huge impact on those who work for them, and are often not fully aware of this.                                                      

Man with big shadow shutterstock_213235843 (2)Are you aware of the impact you have on others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you manage a team of one, or are the Chief Exec. of a major multinational, your title gives you status.  However democratic or non-hierarchical you are as a human being; when you are in a position of leadership people will see you differently.  Your impact on those who work for you will be greater than you think.

You can practise an open door policy, hang out round the coffee machine and eat in the canteen but you will still be seen as more than just you. 
As a leader it is important to have presence, people want to be inspired and motivated by the people above them in the business. 
However, many leaders are unaware of the negative impact that they have through their role.   
Anything that you say or do as a leader is amplified through the megaphone of leadership.
You give what you consider to be constructive feedback, the recipients see it as negative criticism. You make a gentle suggestion, it is perceived as a command.  You ask a curious question, it is seen as a major inquisition.  Our research shows that the majority of human beings doubt themselves at some level.  As a leader you have significant impact on that internal self-doubt, what we term Leadership Amplification.
Feedback from the boss is seen to be more significant than feedback from a colleague. A question may well imply criticism which would be absent from a team mate.  You ask someone to do something and it is immediately given top priority.
You cannot change others or your role.  So as a leader what can you do to mitigate this impact?

  1. Be conscious of leadership amplification.   Remind yourself that this is not about you but about your role.
  2. Become more self-aware. Notice what happens when you arrive in a room, observe people’s body language and energy around you.
  3. ‘Turn down the volume’; Anything you say will be naturally amplified so keep your tone calm and your message clear and succinct.
  4. Practise emotional consistency. The amplification effect will be even greater if you are seen as inconsistent.
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