Part 4 of a 5-part leadership series.
At Integrated Success, our primary focus is helping leaders create thriving workplaces. This series shows how you can incorporate leadership elements that inspire commitment and excellence among your employees.
Imagine you’re flying cross-country, and the captain announces that it’s about to get bumpy. Seatbelt securely fastened, you’re soon uncomfortable in the turbulence, but not in fear for your life. Why not? Because of the captain’s calming voice on the intercom telling you what to expect and what to do in this situation.
Like an airline captain, a good leader must also be a reassuring and secure presence for employees—particularly when the ride gets rough.
Stability is crucial to employee performance.
With all the demands and rapid changes employees face today, a leader’s stable presence may be one of the few things people can rely on at work.
And stability is something that people need to thrive in the workplace. Your employees need to see you holding fast to your values, which guide your actions. They need some predictability about how things will operate each day.
In times of great stress, a person’s natural response is “fight, flight or freeze.” When people see their leader dig deep and show how challenges can be overcome, it inspires them to access their own well of grit and determination.
Your stable leadership can become a source of strength and an example of resiliency for the people on your team. Rather than panicking, you show employees that a difficult circumstance is a storm we can weather—if we all pull together.
How stability benefits your organization.
Stability helps you hold on to your best people. Regularly freaking out or being reactionary about issues, large or small, does not inspire confidence in your followers. Eventually, they will get exhausted and seek a new job. Higher turnover adds to the chaos the rest of the team must manage (not to mention the additional recruitment and training costs you will incur).
Stable employees are more creative and engaged. Since they don’t have to deal with excess stress and crisis management, employees with stable leaders don’t get stuck in “fight, flight or freeze” mode. In a secure environment, they can focus on diligent, creative and innovative work. Your business will benefit from higher-quality outcomes and more efficiency.
Stable leaders are more effective. People want to follow leaders they see as solid, supportive and secure. Your confidence becomes contagious. People are inspired to do their best work to advance your organization’s goals. Demonstrating calm, focused stability within your team reduces stress and inspires confidence up the leadership chain, as well.
Top three ways to demonstrate stability in your workplace.
1. Practice Transparency. Rumors can be corrosive. Instead, foster trust by sharing information widely. Let people know what’s coming. Consider actions like distributing your company’s financial reports, or candidly explaining the challenges you’re working to overcome, without burdening them.
2. Act Consistently. Build trust and a sense of security by letting people know what to expect from you. Show up for your team the same way, day after day. Consistency encourages confidence and peace of mind.
3. Be Safe and Supportive. Create a safe space for people to be their authentic selves. Be trustworthy and grounded. Support people’s decisions and have their backs—don’t let them think, for example, that they will get punished for making a mistake.
A client I work with leads an organization undergoing significant change. By leaning into his leadership strength of Stability and practicing these three steps, he has kept his team cohesive, high-performing and focused on what they can control – the quality of their work and interpersonal relationships. They stay in solution-mode and are building life-long resiliency skills. Because of his stable leadership, his team is thriving in a challenging situation.
Always stabilize yourself.
Leading others through turbulent times can take a toll on you, too. Take time for yourself: Practice good self-care, like eating healthfully and getting adequate sleep. Do some things that fill you up or let you unwind– maybe being in nature, spending time with loved-ones, or a few minutes of quiet meditation. If it’s feasible, don’t be afraid to outsource household tasks that keep you from enjoying your down time.
Don’t Go It Alone. Like an airline captain, you need a capable navigator to help you keep your bearings. A leadership coach can act as your “guide on the side,” a sounding board and thought partner to help you decide the best approaches to your thorniest workplace challenges.
Whether your organization is flying in turbulent skies or calmly cruising along, projecting stability is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Your employees look to you to be the confident, experienced captain, offering guidance and acting as a buffer. If you want to discuss more ways you can build upon your strengths as an authentic, strong and stable leader, give me a call. You don’t have to go it alone.
Yours in success,
Linda is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Success HR Consulting & Coaching, She is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach and a leader in strengths-focused development. Integrated Success works with organizations in developing effective teams and human resources practices to bring out the best of individuals for their own success and that of the organization. That’s why we say “Integrated Success is the engine behind individuals and organizations thriving!”