As human beings we are all creatures of habits and daily routines. Yes, even you and even me. Have a think about a usual day for you. Do you get up in the morning and go to the gym before work, do you grab that much-needed morning coffee from the café just down the road from your work before you clock in for the day, do you stretch and say positive-self affirmations out loud when you first get up or do you go to your favourite pizza place every Friday night and order your usual?
Habits form a part of our daily lives and are an important part of who we are as people, who we will become and as leaders. We all have different ways of looking at things and going about our day. Just like leadership is a skilled that can be learned and honed, you can also learn how to build good habits and how to break old habits. Learning new habits doesn’t just come easy and happen overnight, believe me I wish that was the case. You just have to be willing to put in the hard yards and really work at building those new habits every day, incorporating it into your daily routine and make those new habits actually stick.
Building Good Habits and Breaking Old Habits
It’s important that as leaders we have good habits in place so that we can run our business smoothly and lead by example when it comes to our team members. But in the process of building those new habits in order to take our leadership skills to the next level, we need to be kind and understanding to ourselves. Sometimes bad habits are hard to break, even if we break our good habits the first time, we need to keep trying to keep that new habit up. It just takes a little bit of work, so don’t be hard on yourself. It can take a couple of months for a new habit to fall into place sometimes.
There is a great book called Atomic Habits (https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits) by James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, that offers a proven framework for improving every day. It’s a great read for people who are wanting to change their habits but are struggling. It will get you started on the right direction to forming good habits and breaking the old habits. In the meantime, I have also added some tips of my own below on how you can build good habits.
How You Can Build Good Habits
Practice what you preach
Your team learns how to act and carry themselves in the office by watching you, their leader, and how you conduct yourself. If you leave early or play on your phone too much, they will start doing the same thing and productivity within the workplace will drop. By getting to work on-time, respecting all members of your team, communicating, and getting on and doing your own work – your team members will follow suit.
I know it’s hard to be optimistic at times, especially when we are all bouncing back in a post COVID-19 pandemic world. But try and stay positive in your mindset as you go about your day, this will help your team members to be more positive. When you talk about your business, try and be optimistic about what the future holds and encourage your team members to see it from your perspective. It also helps to be optimistic when it comes to trying to form new habits, if you fall off the horse. Go and get back on.
Be confident in your abilities
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Be confident in your abilities and who you are as a person. If you are confident, you will create a ripple effect around you which will help members of your team to be confident in the workplace and in the work, they are doing. Be the kind of leader people look up to, encourage confidence in the workplace and you will see productivity soar. I know you can do it.
Create a good working environment
No one wants to work in an environment that is rife with toxic people, bad leaders and bosses, they want to work in a place where their work, skills, talent and experience are appreciated. That’s why it’s important to create an environment where employees feel safe, respected, appreciated and positive. We have reached the point where people won’t stand for working for a toxic boss or even setting foot in a workplace environment that is negative. They will leave in droves.
Praise where it’s due
Give praise where it’s due. Did you tell your employee when he or she turned in excellent work “thank you” or “great job, keep it up.” If you didn’t, you need to get started. You don’t have to rain down the praise every 5 minutes. But maybe if you make it a mission to once or twice a week, to give your employees a compliment or even holding a group meeting with a few kind words from yourself. Your team members will respect and appreciate you more for it.
Listen and communicate
Kindness and empathy are vital in today’s workplaces. You get more out of your team when you communicate clearly and listen to what they have to say. My book ‘First Comes Courage’ is a great way to sit down and explore the power of leading with courage. Not only that, but it will also give you some tips on how to form good habits when it comes to kindness and empathy. You can read more here: https://soniamcdonald.com.au/books/first-comes-courage/.
What habits are you finding it hard to break as a leader? What kind of habits would you like to build into the future?
By Sonia McDonald – CEO Of LeadershipHQ And McDonald Inc. Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO And Award Winning Author.
Sonia McDonald is changing the face of leadership across the globe. She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, and is known for her mantra ‘Just Lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organisations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is a founder and CEO of McDonald Inc., LeadershipHQ and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and 2022 Courage Conference. For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of leadership and she is beyond committed to her mission around building a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader. She has been recognised by Richtopia as One of the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is a leading coach, an award-winning published author of newly released First Comes Courage, Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and has become an in-demand keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, kindness, empathy and courage as well as building outstanding leadership across the Globe.