I am someone who loves to laugh and make others laugh with me. I love the casual and friendly chats I can have without weighing people down with hierarchy. Ithelps me understand personalities and get the best out of people. The validation from another person’s response (read laughter/applause/smile) goes a long way in making me feel admired and liked as a leader. Typically my energy is such that when I am ‘up’ so too are those around me.
As you become more senior though, your style starts trickling down to your teams and before you know it, casual interactions become the norm! And here arises a dilemma. You see the flip side to that norm as deadlines start getting missed, meetings drag too long, efficiency dips ☹.
So how do you resolve this without morphing into a “SO NOT” you character, especially if a change might impact relationships, make people not like you? How do you usher in the seriousness around efficiency without becoming authoritative?
You could either:
1) ‘Switch on’ the CEO mode — go formal and top down
2) Stay all nice and pray it’ll get the job done from the team, someday
3) A little bit of this and a little bit of that
I attempt option 3.
It is a journey in itself of ups and downs. Sometimes people are not sure if I am joking or dead serious (the oft British dryness or sarcasm takes a while to get!).
But I am finding that in an environment where discussions and negotiations happen daily and crucial decisions are made, communicating well and using the right, varied, tone is critical. All this while not compromising on who you are and the relationships you have built. It is imperative that teams understand the working dynamics from the get-go. I am a relatively easy-going soul, but the organization’s growth and success is always top of my mind and is my sole purpose for being here. Having everyone join me on that purpose, give their all and enjoy it, is my mission.
SUMMARY: Bring in a dash of sweetness, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper.