Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


4 Tips for Leading with Self-Awareness and Compassion

By Dr. Karyn Anjali

In September, my father died quite suddenly. Being away from our extended family and with my sister and me as the only ones to plan his funeral during these trying times, we were both quite busy not to mention distraught. I struggled personally with what to tell my team, how long I should take off and how much I should or should not share. Instead of taking the approach of keeping personal things away from work, I decided to be completely transparent about what I was going through and from that, wanted to share what I learned.

A leader of a team is someone who sets an example, who works well with others, and who directs the team in the best possible way. As a leader, it's important to have self-awareness and compassion towards yourself and your team. Here are four tips you can use to transform your leadership habits:

No. 1: Remain open-minded

Having an open mind as a leader is a fantastic quality that can open the door to many opportunities for you and your team. You'll be able to see fresh perspectives, grow as a team, limit stress, and encourage your team's passion.

Don't just shut down an idea because it's not something you wouldn’t do initially. Take time to think the idea through, and determine if it would be in your team's best interest to implement this idea.

Having an open mind allows your team the opportunity to speak up and be heard. This can lead to powerful engagement and effort from your team.

No. 2: Remain positive, supportive, and nonjudgmental

As a leader, your team must know they can come to you for support without fear of judgment. Remain a positive figure and it is okay to share your own experiences with them – might help them better related. This will nourish a more trusting and positive work atmosphere.

Practice mindfulness or paying attention to the present moment without judgment of what is being shared. However, as Deepak Chopra shares, “Don’t try to steer the river.”

No. 3: Ask for feedback

You see the world from one single perspective — your own. It's vital to ask your team members for feedback on your leadership qualities. Ask questions such as:

Listening to your team and considering what they have to say will allow for a stable and balanced foundation of cooperation and trust.

No. 4: Practice self-reflection

It's important to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and make changes where there is room for growth.

Maybe you could take some time at the end of the day to write down all the things that went well and all the things that might not have gone according to plan. This is a helpful practice in observing your actions for the day and making a plan for a better tomorrow.

You’re always learning, growing, and changing. To be the best leader possible for your team, it's essential to reflect on these areas in your life.

Lastly, thank you to all the people who reached out and helped during these past two months – I am grateful for you and blessed to have this platform to continue to share with you my thoughts on leadership and innovation.

Dr. Karyn Mathura-Arthur is an agile implementation leader with experience in Operational Excellence, Continuous Process Improvement, Business Transformation, Process Engineering and Organizational Change Management across multiple industries (banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, government, retail, etc.). For comments and suggestions, email [email protected]

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