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Monday, June 19, 2023

Personal Habits All Leaders Should Nurture

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Only 21% of respondents in a recent Gallup survey strongly agreed with the statement that they trusted the leadership in their organization. And 34% strongly agreed their manager creates a trusting and open environment.

These numbers are incredibly low considering the ultimate goal is for every employee to trust leaders, be inspired by them, and feel they can trust and communicate openly with supervisors. Great leadership can produce high-performing employees who are engaged and energized in their roles.

Becoming an outstanding leader requires you to intentionally develop your skills in the workplace while also prioritizing personal habits that support your growth. If leaders adopt these habits, their abilities in the workplace and impact on employees will improve drastically.

Learn to Communicate Effectively

You must communicate effectively with people if you want to have a lasting positive impact on them.

Communication helps you discover pertinent things about your employees, like the accommodations they need to work effectively, how their personal life impacts them, and how they feel about their role. Effective communication is also critical for ensuring team and individual tasks and projects are completed and workplace productivity persists.

You can practice effective communication in your relationships and bring what you learn to work with you. For example, let’s say you and your spouse disagree. You’re able to work it out after actively listening to their concerns, validating them, and coming up with a solution that works for both of you.

You can use the same framework in any disagreements you have with your employees or in the ones they have with each other. Actively listen, validate concerns, and present personalized solutions that fit you and your employees.

It’s also a good idea to make notes about each employee’s preferred communication method and style to ensure you’re communicating with each person in ways they can resonate with.

Reflect Often

Leaders are busy. For starters, leaders are responsible for meetings with stakeholders and other company leaders, managing an entire team, and ensuring individual leadership projects are completed.

Being always on the go like this hardly leaves time to reflect on what’s happened in and out of the workplace. But you must make time for self-reflection. You can analyze what’s worked and what hasn’t. You can become much more self-aware and understand how you’re affecting yourself and others.

Carve out time each night to reflect on the day you’ve had. You can make it a part of your bedtime routine and journal about what happened. You can use your nighttime walks with your dog to reflect. You could even do some reflecting in the shower.

Wherever you can find space and time for honest reflection, take advantage of it.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can do wonders for your leadership abilities. The Mayo Clinic says that physical activity offers the following benefits:


       Deeper sleep

       Improve muscle strength and better endurance

       Helps control your weight and maintain weight loss

       Prevent chronic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure

When you’re able to socialize and interact with your employees, you can build real relationships with them. Deeper sleep allows you to rest and reset for each day. When you’re at a healthy weight, strong, and able to do things longer, you can put more into your work. 

In addition to the above benefits, exercise can be a solid stress reliever. If being a leader comes with anything, it’s stress. You’re responsible for a lot of people, projects, and company goals. That pressure can be overwhelmingly stressful at times. A healthy coping mechanism for stress helps you navigate turbulent times better. It also helps you bounce back quicker.

When and how often you exercise is up to you. Fitting short routines into your morning, lunch period, or evening will be most beneficial and easier to remain consistent with.

Prioritize Sleep

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion said that getting enough sleep can reduce stress, improve your mood, help you think more clearly, have better interactions with people, improve decision-making, and help you perform better at work. 

You need all of these things as a leader. So, prioritizing sleep is a must. Establishing a bedtime routine can help you get the 7 or more hours of quality sleep each night you need. A bedtime routine can help tip your body off that it’s time for bed, easing a natural transition to sleep.

Start small with your routine. Don’t make it a chore by adding a bunch of activities to it. Stick to a couple and add more as you see fit. Choose calming activities that are tailored to who you are and your specific needs. Keep your routine under 30 minutes and stay consistent to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.

Nurture Personal Passions

As important as you are in the workplace, your leadership role can’t be everything. In other words, you need a life outside of work to maintain balance in your life. Without a healthy work-life balance, you risk burning out and becoming a less effective leader.

Give your personal passions the same attention you give your work responsibilities. Not only do personal passions provide a way to reduce stress and relax, but they can also help improve your confidence and self-esteem because you’re doing something that allows you to nurture your authentic self.

Spend time on your passions weekly if not daily to keep you grounded.

Shape Your Company’s Workplace Culture

Working on yourself personally through the above habits will translate well into your leadership role in the workplace, particularly when it comes to shaping your company’s culture.

Effective communication, reflection, health and wellness, work-life balance — all of it can and should be incorporated into the workplace culture you build for your team. A positive workplace culture such as this can increase employee engagement, lower your turnover rate, and draw top talent to your company.

Take the feedback your employees give you about the company culture they need and the core values in your personal and professional life, fuse them, and come up with a vision for your company culture.

It’ll take time to see it come to fruition. So, be patient, continue to learn, and incorporate policies, procedures, resources, support, and values little by little.

All leaders must take the time to nurture specific personal habits to be the best they can be, starting with the ones above.  

About the Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and business topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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