Before you can learn How to Build Courage in Teams, you need to understand Leadership is not a place for the timid.
Leaders must summon their will to deal with a whole range of complexity and unknowns, and create workplaces that are motivating and safe for others, even in changing and turbulent times.
They must summon their will to take risks, and face things the average person shies away from.
Leadership requires Courage, in fact, it could even be described as Courage in Action.
We know that a lack of Courage can derail a leader’s success.
Courage is one of those big, bold words that gives rise to images of daring acts of bravery and nerves of steel, and of overcoming impossible odds.
But what about Courage in Teams?
When you Build Courage in your Team, you will see:
Watch the MasterClass above on How to Build Courage in Teams, to explore the role Courage plays in your team’s success and importantly, how you can get more of it!
[Don’t like videos? Video Transcription Below!]
How to Build Courage in Teams – Eliminate Fear-based Motivation
Managers who fill people with fear in order to motivate them often do so for reasons of efficiency and… immaturity.
It simply takes less time, thought and technique to bark an order than it does to motivate people according to their interest, passion and capabilities.
Some managers justify their behaviour with excuses like, “I’m too busy to mollycoddle people and I’m paid to get results not to be nice to people.”
They see authentic conversations and encouragement as a waste of time. Sometimes this supposedly efficient leadership style is all they know, all they’ve experienced themselves.
It’s an old-school approach and certainly does not work in our 21st-century workplaces. It gets short-term results at best and usually comes at a huge cost to culture and engagement.
Now in my many years as a leadership consultant, I have seen the wreckage caused by fear-based managers.
I’m 100% convinced that fear is bad for business in any organisation whether you’re in the private sector, the public sector, any organisation fear is bad for business. Workers have a way of acting in their own worst interest when managers overload them with fear. They revert to primitive behaviours and spend a lot of time in self-protection mode which we describe as defensiveness or resistance (and there is certainly a lot of that in workplaces.)
Fear-based workplaces are not productive workplaces.
This is why the first of our Great Managers Mantras is:
It’s all about results and you can only get results through people.
How to Build Courage in Teams – Courage is inspiring.
The more courage you demonstrate at work, the more courage you are likely to inspire in your team.
While courage may be the premier virtue, in many workplaces it’s desperately lacking.
Workers are either too comfortable to change or too afraid to try new things or they’re both comfortable and fearful at the same time!
When worker’s actions are directed by comfort and fear, underperformance will always be the result.
As a manager, you need to be keenly aware of the dangers that comfort and fear present and equip with the strategies for mitigating them. The starting point for change is the example you set.
How can you inspire courage in your team?
You can inspire courage in others by becoming an Encourager.
Your job is to manage. But an equally important part of your job is to be an Encourager, to put courage inside people.
Encouragement comes in the form of regular feedback and open communication.
Providing encouragement to workers is an investment of time not a waste of it.
How will you know when courage is building in your team?
When courage is increasing in your team, you’ll see:
- People trusting your decisions instead of silently resisting them
- Employees raising the red flag on projects that are going south instead of hiding issues until they fester into crises
- Employees coming to you with solutions to problems they’re facing instead of complaining or dumping problems in your lap
- People are candid and engaged in meetings. They speak up and provide input instead of politely nodding their heads or tuning out
- People trying things outside their skillsets or deliberately seeking out leadership opportunities or acting like leaders, even if they’re not
- Engagement, passion, motivation, commitment and accountability
- Shaking knees and hear shaky voices. Stepping into courage for many workers is a scary and uncomfortable thing. Being courageous requires encouragement. Most importantly, from you but also from each other and even the organisation. When you fill up people’s buckets with courage, when you encourage them, they place less of a premium on comfort and begin to purposely seek out skill-stretching activities With full buckets of courage, they come to value the energy that fear provides as a necessary fuel for doing uncomfortable things
- They’re much more likely to try new things and trust you more fully and tell the truth more candidly
Now according to the literature on courage, the best ways to build courage at work are through coaching and mentoring, through feedback-based development, through experiential learning including practical examples and case studies, through team building activities and through job shadowing or job rotation.
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