By Neil Phillips.

You probably realize that you have a leadership style.  What you may not think about is how much your approach determines what and how people are going to interact with you.  Your consultants have a sixth sense about you.  They know when you are likely to kill the messenger and what they need to do to prevent it.

By consciously thinking about your style and making sincere efforts to change it, you can create different results in your organization.  It all starts with you.  Here are five important coaching questions to get you started.

1. What results do you want to achieve in the next year?

This is the set of changes you want to create in your leadership over the next year.  Creating different results through your leadership is not a simple overnight shift.  Remember those predetermined reactions your team has?  They are going to keep doing those no matter what you do.  It takes time for them to see real, believable change.  Only at that time will you start to find relief from the pressure to do what you’ve always done.

2. What do you want to be known for?

What’s the description of you that your team tells others?  What do you want it to be?  Pick the descriptors that reflect your strengths AND the demands of your position. Then narrow the list down to a maximum of five.  What’s the picture this list paints of you?

Start by focusing on the expectations of those who you are working to serve, rather than on your personal strengths. What do they think will make you a better leader?  At a minimum, consider the expectations that come from:

  • Customers
  • Downline team members
  • Peers and upline leaders

3. What does your team think of your description? 

After completing the first couple of steps, consider refining your description based on input from the big three that you’ve identified in step two.  This is your opportunity for you to double-check what you think they’ve told you.

4. What happens when you create your style statement?

In this step, you create a connection between the results you want to create and how you want to be known.  The statement:  I want to be known as ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________ because of how we deliver __________________ in the next year.  In a nutshell, you set a focus on your expected results and your personal method of making it happen.

5. What is your daily method of operating to make this happen?

You are now ready to get real.  You have to deliver on your personal change commitments.  Failure to commit creates cynicism and undermines your work environment.  After you define your style statement, share it.  Find opportunities for feedback.  Evaluate your process of evolution.  And most importantly, stick with it for a year.  You are building new habits, and those changes take a while to stick.

Bonus Question:  Who’s going to unconditionally support you in this process? You can’t go it alone.  Who’s going to help and encourage you along the way?  It’s a great role for an executive coach, a mentor, or possibly an understanding friend or spouse.

A Free EBook to Help You Plan 2018

As you work on your goals for next year, you can easily set your head spinning in circles and start to get nauseated by the thoughts of sugar plums.  And then you get to talk to your team about doing the same thing.  We’d like to help.  Rather than reading this in your email, go to Team Connections and sign up for the FREE eBOOK you see at the top of the page.  You find some great ideas for creating a plan, engaging your team, and finding some quick successes.

It’s free!  What are you waiting for?