Self-awareness a key attribute of a modern leader

In many articles describing a modern leader the traits that spring to mind amongst others could include; confidence, dedication, influence, discipline, strength and decisiveness. But surely to become a successful leader, all these traits must be underpinned with a large dose of self-awareness.

The definition of self-awareness is “the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” It is an attribute that allows you to recognise how your presence affects others around you.

Are you aware of what the body language and behaviour of others could be saying? Do you sense when friction is arising during a conversation? Can you recognise the underlying messages given by certain facial expressions or gestures? Do you know what the atmosphere is like in the office?

Self-awareness is an important attribute that will help move a good leader to an exceptional leader. Use the checklist below to help determine the strength of your leadership brand.

  • Do you show empathy toward your team? People need to know you care before they care what you know.
  • Does your presence display leadership without having to pull rank? A leader is an influencer, who is willing to work with people and help them achieve their goals.
  • Do you take time to reflect on how you can develop? What areas can you improve? Leaders are learners.
  • Do you ask for feedback? It is important to value other perspectives.
  • Are you an authentic leader? It helps to show your team that you are human and let them know the real you.

If you need support developing your leadership team, please get in touch or browse some of the example leadership workshops available on our website.

Leadership & Motivation Skills

Inclusive Leadership

The art of giving feedback

To be an effective people manager / leader you need to be skilled at giving both praise and constructive criticism. Although praise is probably the easier of the two to give in many cases a simple thank you or well done can be forgotten during a busy working week.

However, when looking at negative feedback, studies show that employees will react at least 5 times stronger than when receiving praise. Therefore, knowing the potential impact that giving feedback can have on motivation and performance should drive us to become more skilled and prepared in the way in which we manage others.

The key steps below provide an excellent approach that ensures feedback remains objective, constructive and meaningful.

  • Don’t stockpile feedback – it is best given in a timely fashion. Not always immediate but whilst the details are fresh and clear.
  • Ensure comments and statements are linked to observable behaviour.
  • Make listening a priority
  • Keep feedback objective and not personal – focus on productivity not personality
  • Be clear & precise about the feedback offered
  • Allocate enough time – allowing time for employees to have their say
  • Be prepared to offer solutions and supportive action
  • Set clear expectations & timescales improvement objectives

Done correctly constructive feedback can be motivational and help improve employee performance without knocking their confidence. Our Teams & Team Performance  programme explores how managers can get the best of others by offering constructive communication on day to day, individual and team performance.

What is Mental Toughness and why does it matter?

What is Mental Toughness and why does it matter?

Mental Toughness means many things to many different people. A simple description is that it is the mind-set that a person adopts in everything that they do – from our performance in work to our lives at home.

Those who have higher levels of mental resilience are able to perform consistently at or near the top of their capabilities, regardless of the challenges, pressure and stress they face.

Research carried out has identified the four key components of Mental Toughness. These are called the 4 Cs.

Challenge / Confidence / Control / Commitment

The importance of mental toughness at work The current working environment is more challenging than at any time in recent memory. Almost a decade of austerity, coupled with a looming Brexit has meant that budgets and resources across the board have been slashed. Everyone is being asked to do more with less and against a backdrop of rapidly changing technology, markets, customer expectations and dwindling job security.

Stress has overtaken muscular skeletal injuries as the number one reason for workplace absence and cost UK companies over £6.5bn a year in lost productivity from 10.4million days lost. Part of the answer lies in developing mental toughness – a measure of a person’s mindset.

By developing our mental toughness, we can improve ourselves in many ways including:

✓ Improved productivity

✓ Improved attitudes and behaviours

✓ Increased well-being and ability to manage stress

✓ Improved ability to handle change

✓ Greater engagement and job satisfaction

✓ Higher retention rates and reduced absenteeism

✓ Better customer service

✓ Enhanced assessment of candidates

✓ World-class performance under pressure

Futureproof offer support in a number of mental wellbeing topics, get in touch for more information or 01623 409 824.

Mental Health at Work

Developing Resilience

The Art of Sales

The results from a couple of recent sales development projects have been remarkable. Both companies had previously productised their sales approach, offering a package of services / products to new and existing customers. Introducing them to the concept of solution selling required a significant change in mindset for the whole business and was the main foundation of the programme before we continued to look at the skills and behaviours required to research and fully explore the wants, needs and expectations of their customers. The support and sales coaching provided by the management team was pivotal and focusied on ‘catching people doing it right’ and therefore embedding a repeatable set of skills. The ability of our training team to engage and inspire others to make a positive shift in attitude was fantastic to see in action. Get in touch if you want to transform your commercial sales and business development team and we can make a difference together!! | 01623 409 824.

Making meetings work!

Try six thinking hats to help keep your meetings on track

Managing business meetings effectively can be a real challenge especially when you have a mix of different personalities, experience and opinions in the same room. Six Thinking Hats provides a strong structure for your discussion and allows the chair to channel the energy of the group to maximise productivity during the allocated meeting time.

Give it go next time you hold your next meeting.

  • The White Hat calls for information known or needed. “The facts, just the facts.”
  • The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  • The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
  • The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  • The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
  • The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process. It’s the control mechanism that ensures the Six Thinking Hats® guidelines are observed

At Futureproof we are serious about making every meeting you attend as productive as possible. Project planning, quality assessment, sales reviews, problem solving and innovation meetings are typical discussions that take place in most businesses every week and if not manage correctly can waste time and develop rifts between those attending. If you need support get in touch and we can design and development a workshop that will help your meetings go smoothly and result in productive outcomes and actions.

01623 409 824 or

Making Meetings Work!