Leading people can be a challenge. Especially in the current situation, since Covid-19 has turned both professional and private lives upside down. All the more the demands on leadership have increased, become more complex. But never before has it been as important as today to have a well-developed people literacy and be a role model. “Those who lead people must know themselves well, because every action, every word has an effect,” says Executive Coach Thomas Gelmi, who accompanies managers in their development and offers valuable support, especially in the current times.
While some people lead in a very directive manner and like to set the tone, others empower their team members to act autonomously. Depending on their leadership style, either competition among employees is encouraged or community and cooperation. “Fortunately, there is a trend in the right direction: We are seeing more and more men and women in leadership positions who lead in a very humanistic and employee-oriented way and are therefore very effective,” Gelmi emphasizes.
A prerequisite for the conscious choice of one’s own leadership style is that one knows oneself well. Self-awareness is the term executive coaches like Thomas Gelmi use in this context. “It is crucial for an effective executive, to not only tolerate differences between people, but to integrate them. To do this, they must first understand and accept themselves in their own uniqueness. The better they succeed in doing this, the better they can do it with others.
Integration instead of competition enables powerful teamwork, oriented towards a common goal. In his many years as an executive coach, Gelmi has experienced how community and cooperation create a climate of safety in which everyone can communicate openly without fear of making a mistake. How everyone is happy to make a contribution to the company through appreciation, and how everyone voluntarily goes the extra mile when the situation requires it. Every manager can create such a trusting climate and thus actively influence the behavior of each individual in the team in a positive way.
“Today’s executives must be able to recognize when they should lead directively because the circumstances require it, and when, for example, an agile approach in leadership is more effective.” Gelmi continues. “As with many other things, awareness is the key: Only what we are aware of, we control and influence. What we are not aware of controls us.”
As a manager, you naturally want to act to initiate or change things. Every word and every action has an impact – whether consciously or unconsciously. “It is best to make small changes first and then see what happens. The whole thing behaves like an experiment whose effects first have to be observed. Small steps can lead to first successes, which motivate to become more courageous and try new things. This may feel a little uncomfortable and new, because outside the comfort zone is the place where development and growth take place – also for managers.”
More information about Thomas Gelmi: Website
Based in Switzerland, Thomas Gelmi supports managers and their teams in companies of all sizes, worldwide and across cultures and industries. These include globally active organizations such as the World Trade Organization, Siemens, Roche and Credit Suisse, as well as SMEs and private clients. The focus of his work is on personal and interpersonal development in leadership, teamwork and customer relations.
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