To build a culture where people seek to understand each other, build trust and collaboration and commit to producing strategic objectives, leaders need to develop a high degree of emotional intelligence and be aware of their own role in creating the current work culture.
They need to know themselves, understand how they are being perceived and realistically assess their impact. They need to inspire others to gain self-awareness, listening skills, and compassion and learn how to navigate through challenging times with integrity.
They also need to let go of what they think they already know and be open to new possibilities. Often leaders arrive at conclusions via unexamined thinking habits and don’t realize that they have a choice to generate more innovative perspectives. They hold deep-seated assumption about themselves and others that can get in the way of staying open to other options.
If leaders are not already self-aware, they must undergo a process of personal transformation in order to create organizations where people:
- Listen to each other with curiosity, openness and non-judgment
- Take responsibility for their thoughts, emotions, actions and results and don’t act like victims
- Honor common human values and adhere to operational standards
- Share their thoughts authentically and respectfully
- Have difficult conversations with the “right” people in a timely manner
- Manage commitments and act in integrity
- Are skillful in identifying underlying issues, declaring breakdowns and managing emotions