Be There as an “All A” Leader–Awareness, Aptitude, and Attitude, Always
Be There is one of the core pillars of the FISH! Philosophy, and also a key differentiator between being merely an authority figure vs being a true leader. To truly Be There for your team is to not just be physically present and not just act “managerial,” but to be emotionally present as well. Rather than just playing the role of “the boss,” a true leader shepherds their team through difficult times and pushes them to be the best versions of themselves by listening to their needs, honoring them as individuals, and playing to their strengths.
To Be There as a leader isn’t always easy, but sometimes it is simple: you don’t even have to look past the first letter of the alphabet! By following the three “A’s” of successful leadership as they tie into the FISH! Philosophy, you’ll be well on your way to acting as the emotionally intelligent, personally supportive, and professionally competent teammate you need to be to transcend from boss or manager to that capital-L “Leader.”
A is for Awareness
Awareness is, simply put, the act of being cognizant of your surroundings. This sounds simple, but in business and social situations it can be deeply complex. It’s not just about noticing who’s in the room with you, but it’s about asking yourself who that person is–what do you know about them? What do they respond positively to? Negatively? What’s the best way to approach this particular interaction with them?
However, awareness isn’t just about your external surroundings, but your internal surroundings as well. Self-awareness is a learned skill that involves noticing how you feel in any given moment and identifying patterns in how you act, react, and prepare for certain situations.
Imagine an employee of yours misses an important deadline. You know that this missed deadline will make work harder for you, and thinking about your past behavior in similar situations, you identify that your tendency is to react with anger. But you also know that this employee shuts down when voices are raised and responds well to clear direction. So instead of yelling at them, you calmly lay out how this will affect the team, brainstorm ideas with them for how to better meet deadlines in the future, and give them a task of instituting one idea by the end of the day.
By combining awareness of others with awareness of self in difficult situations, we can come together more collaboratively and function more effectively as a team.
A is for Aptitude
Being There isn’t just about being emotionally supportive when times are difficult, it’s also about providing the type of guidance and professional development support that helps people grow as professionals and leads them to build strong relationships with managers and coworkers they trust.
A key part of providing this type of support is helping others develop aptitude proactively, rather than just being a reactive authority figure. Take a look at the traditional performance review. It has its place for sure as a way of looking back on past performances, but is fundamentally reactive–that is, it inherently responds to past behavior rather than developing future behavior.
A more proactive, aptitude-building approach may take the form of a Performance Preview, which looks ahead and asks an employee how they want to grow and develop. It can be as easy as sitting down with an employee and asking them, “Three months from now, if we were sitting down for your review, how would you like it to read? What skills do you need to develop, what actions do you need to take, to plan for and achieve that future success? Are there obstacles? How can I help clear your path?”
While it’s important to acknowledge past mistakes (and accomplishments!) when assessing team performance, always make sure you’re leaving room to proactively assess and develop each person’s aptitudes and support them on their journey through professional growth.
A is for Attitude
To properly Be There for our team, we need to bring in another FISH! core pillar–Choose Your Attitude. To Choose Your Attitude is an extension of self-awareness; it’s taking that understanding of your internal emotions, past behavior, and reactive patterns and using it to make a conscious decision about how you want to approach upcoming situations.
Choosing your attitude is not a judgment of your emotions or your past actions. Rather, it’s an acknowledgment that these emotions exist as well as an acknowledgment that they exist as merely a part of your whole human self, and that you have a say in how much or little they impact your outward behavior.
How we choose to respond to any particular situation is based on that intimate awareness of ourselves–what attitudes do I typically bring into the workplace? How do those attitudes impact others around me? What situations trigger behaviors or attitudes that I don’t want to exhibit? How can my attitude help me achieve my goals and become the person I want to be?
By using our awareness of ourselves to choose our attitudes and using our awareness of others to help build aptitude, we can more fully embody what it means to be a genuinely effective leader and a role model for our team and our organization.
Ideas to Reflect On:
- Do you regularly practice self-reflection and awareness of others? How can you turn practicing self-awareness into a more regular habit?
- As a leader, do you only give reactive feedback? What can you do to more proactively encourage growth and develop aptitude amongst your team?
- What’s one recent situation where the attitude you brought with you led to a different outcome than expected? Did you choose that attitude, and was the outcome one that put you closer or further to reaching your goals?
Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?
Are you a leader? Do you train others? Do you want others to be leaders?
Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer this April in Minneapolis, MN.
During our time together you’ll learn how to:
- Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
- Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
- Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
- Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
- Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
- Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.
Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.
At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:
- Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
- Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
- Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
- Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
- Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.
Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information
FISH! Executive Briefing
You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.
These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.
Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.
Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information
Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!
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