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El siguiente es un artículo de Sunny Giles, publicado en el Harvard Business Review, en el que se listan las características más importantes que debe tener un líder, según 195 grandes líderes encuestados en todo el mundo. 

“What makes an effective leader? This question is a focus of my research as an organizational scientist, executive coach, and leadership development consultant. Looking for answers, I recently completed the first round of a study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global organizations. Participants were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership competencies from a list of 74. I’ve grouped the top ones into five major themes that suggest a set of priorities for leaders and leadership development programs. While some may not surprise you, they’re all difficult to master, in part because improving them requires acting against our nature.


Demonstrates strong ethics and provides a sense of safety.

This theme combines two of the three most highly rated attributes: “high ethical and moral standards” (67% selected it as one of the most important) and “communicating clear expectations” (56%).

Taken together, these attributes are all about creating a safe and trusting environment. A leader with high ethical standards conveys a commitment to fairness, instilling confidence that both they and their employees will honor the rules of the game. Similarly, when leaders clearly communicate their expectations, they avoid blindsiding people and ensure that everyone is on the same page. In a safe environment employees can relax, invoking the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.

Neuroscience corroborates this point. When the amygdala registers a threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken to handle an increased blood flow to our limbs in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. In this state, we lose access to the social engagement system of the limbic brain and the executive function of the prefrontal cortex, inhibiting creativity and the drive for excellence. From a neuroscience perspective, making sure that people feel safe on a deep level should be job #1 for leaders.

But how? This competency is all about behaving in a way that is consistent with your values. If you find yourself making decisions that feel at odds with your principles or justifying actions in spite of a nagging sense of discomfort, you probably need to reconnect with your core values. I facilitate a simple exercise with my clients called “Deep Fast Forwarding” to help with this. Envision your funeral and what people say about you in a eulogy. Is it what you want to hear? This exercise will give you a clearer sense of what’s important to you, which will then help guide daily decision making.

To increase feelings of safety, work on communicating with the specific intent of making people feel safe. One way to accomplish this is to acknowledge and neutralize feared results or consequences from the outset. I call this “clearing the air.” For example, you might approach a conversation about a project gone wrong by saying, “I’m not trying to blame you. I just want to understand what happened.”

Empowers others to self-organize.

Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organize their own time and work was identified as the next most important leadership competency.

No leader can do everything themselves. Therefore, it’s critical to distribute power throughout the organization and to rely on decision making from those who are closest to the action.

Research has repeatedly shown that empowered teams are more productive and proactive, provide better customer service, and show higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to their team and organization. And yet many leaders struggle to let people self-organize. They resist because they believe that power is a zero-sum game, they are reluctant to allow others to make mistakes, and they fear facing negative consequences from subordinates’ decisions.

To overcome the fear of relinquishing power, start by increasing awareness of physical tension that arises when you feel your position is being challenged. As discussed above, perceived threats activate a fight, flight, or freeze response in the amygdala. The good news is that we can train our bodies to experience relaxation instead of defensiveness when stress runs high. Try to separate the current situation from the past, share the outcome you fear most with others instead of trying to hold on to control, and remember that giving power up is a great way to increase influence — which builds power over time.

Fosters a sense of connection and belonging.

Leaders who “communicate often and openly” (competency #6) and “create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack” (#8) build a strong foundation for connection.

We are a social species — we want to connect and feel a sense of belonging. From an evolutionary perspective, attachment is important because it improves our chances of survival in a world full of predators. Research suggests that a sense of connection could also impact productivity and emotional well-being. For example, scientists have found that emotions are contagious in the workplace: Employees feel emotionally depleted just by watching unpleasant interactions between coworkers.

From a neuroscience perspective, creating connection is a leader’s second most important job. Once we feel safe (a sensation that is registered in the reptilian brain), we also have to feel cared for (which activates the limbic brain) in order to unleash the full potential of our higher functioning prefrontal cortex.

There are some simple ways to promote belonging among employees: Smile at people, call them by name, and remember their interests and family members’ names. Pay focused attention when speaking to them, and clearly set the tone of the members of your team having each other’s backs. Using a song, motto, symbol, chant, or ritual that uniquely identifies your team can also strengthen this sense of connection.

Shows openness to new ideas and fosters organizational learning.

What do “flexibility to change opinions” (competency #4), “being open to new ideas and approaches” (#7), and “provides safety for trial and error” (#10) have in common? If a leader has these strengths, they encourage learning; if they don’t, they risk stifling it.

Admitting we’re wrong isn’t easy. Once again, the negative effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame — in this case they impede learning. Researchers have found that reduced blood flow to our brains under threat reduces peripheral vision, ostensibly so we can deal with the immediate danger. For instance, they have observed a significant reduction in athletes’ peripheral vision before competition. While tunnel vision helps athletes focus, it closes the rest of us off to new ideas and approaches. Our opinions are more inflexible even when we’re presented with contradicting evidence, which makes learning almost impossible.

To encourage learning among employees, leaders must first ensure that they are open to learning (and changing course) themselves. Try to approach problem-solving discussions without a specific agenda or outcome. Withhold judgment until everyone has spoken, and let people know that all ideas will be considered. A greater diversity of ideas will emerge.

Failure is required for learning, but our relentless pursuit of results can also discourage employees from taking chances. To resolve this conflict, leaders must create a culture that supports risk-taking. One way of doing this is to use controlled experiments — think A/B testing — that allow for small failures and require rapid feedback and correction. This provides a platform for building collective intelligence so that employees learn from each other’s mistakes, too.

Nurtures growth.

“Being committed to my ongoing training” (competency #5) and “helping me grow into a next-generation leader” (#9) make up the final category.

All living organisms have an innate need to leave copies of their genes. They maximize their offspring’s chances of success by nurturing and teaching them. In turn, those on the receiving end feel a sense of gratitude and loyalty. Think of the people to whom you’re most grateful — parents, teachers, friends, mentors. Chances are, they’ve cared for you or taught you something important.

When leaders show a commitment to our growth, the same primal emotions are tapped. Employees are motivated to reciprocate, expressing their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. While managing through fear generates stress, which impairs higher brain function, the quality of work is vastly different when we are compelled by appreciation. If you want to inspire the best from your team, advocate for them, support their training and promotion, and go to bat to sponsor their important projects.

These five areas present significant challenges to leaders due to the natural responses that are hardwired into us. But with deep self-reflection and a shift in perspective (perhaps aided by a coach), there are also enormous opportunities for improving everyone’s performance by focusing on our own.”

Cómo los líderes conectan

slider4En el siguiente artículo original del Dr. Srini Pillay, publicado en Harvard Business Review, el especialista aborda tres elementos fundamentales para que un líder conecte con su equipo o audiencia: presencia, integridad y resonancia.

“Research shows that in leaderless groups, leaders emerge by quickly synchronizing their brain waves with followers through high quality conversations. Simply put, synchrony is a neural process where the frequency and scale of brain waves of people become in sync. Verbal communication plays a large role in synchronization, especially between leaders and followers. Synchrony between leaders and followers leads to mutual understanding, cooperation, coordinated execution of tasks, and collective creativity.

On the surface, brain synchrony seems easy to understand. It simply implies that people are literally on the same wavelength. Yet, at a deeper level, interpersonal synchrony involves much more. Dr. Daniel Siegel explains that “presence”, “wholeness”, and “resonance” are at the core of the ability to develop synchrony. Recent advances in brain science can help leaders learn to synchronize with followers on these deeper levels:

Motivation to synchronize matters (Presence): Communicators who synchronize easily are motivated to do so. When they do, people who benefit from this motivation recognize the synchrony and feel more connected. Multiple brain regions are activated in them. Regions involved in social understanding activate, helping them feel understood. And regions involved in the expansion of one’s sense of self to include the other are also activated, thereby enhancing the connection.

Being “present” starts with consciously deciding to synchronize. You then take the time to understand what other people are feeling, and you walk in their shoes to understand their points of view. You do this mindfully, simply observing the feelings in yourself and the other without being judgmental. When you do this, your brain is more likely to synchronize with theirs.

Deep self-connection enhances synchrony (“Wholeness”): Warren Bennis wrote, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It’s precisely that simple, and it’s also that difficult.” On the surface, this definition seems to ignore the “other”. Some may even think of it as selfish. Yet, we can activate the best in others when we activate the best in ourselves.

One way to increase interpersonal synchrony is through a technique called “reverie”. With this technique, leaders set aside time for rambling self-reflection in the presence of followers—not well sculpted thoughts, ideas and strategies, but more sincere, emergent ideas. Counter-intuitively, this increases the interpersonal connection. Called intersubjectivity, leaders and followers become more connected and synchronous. This happens because a brain region called the mirror neuron system (MNS) activates—indicating automatic resonance with the other person. Also, the default mode network (DMN) activates, causing the mental state of the other to be represented in the leader. Think of these as the “feeling for” and “feeling like” networks of empathy. Intersubjectivity integrates both.

Leaders can also achieve this sense of “wholeness” in a subtly different state called mind wandering. In contrast to mindfulness, when leaders set aside time to engage in relaxing tasks not central to the main mission of the organization, their brain’s DMN is also activated. Group walks, card games or knitting are examples of such activities. When the DMN is activated, memories from the past integrate with the present to construct a vision of the future. This makes leaders feel more “whole”. In addition, leaders will be better able to walk in the follower’s shoes.

The body-mind connection (“Resonance”): Actual physical synchrony to music makes people like each other more, remember each other better, and also trust each other more. In fact, even as early as 14 months of age, children who are bounced in synchrony with an adult are more altruistic-they pick up objects that adults have dropped and give them back. One way that organizations can take advantage of this principle is to organize workshops with musical experiences where people move to the music together.

Thus the motivation to synchronize mindfully, coupled with feeling what followers feel, walking in their shoes, conversing in reverie states, mind-wandering, and actual physical synchronization, all enhance the synchrony between leaders and followers. When designing an offsite meeting, these activities can be creatively included and practiced with a view to finding a context for them in day-to-day work.”

Artículo del Dr. Srini Pillay publicado en Harvard Business Review 31 marzo 2016

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Generar confianza es la clave. Es la única forma de superar barrera de desconocimiento sobre ti para conseguir tus metas o de apelar a la fe para que te crean.

Para generar confianza, tanto en la búsqueda de empleo, como en la promoción profesional o en el crecimiento personal, la mejor estrategia conocida se integra irremediablemente en el proceso de creación y desarrollo de una marca personal.

Y para buscar el apoyo de los demás en nosotros, nuestras ideas o nuestros proyectos (¡atentos emprendedores!) podemos establecer tres niveles de confianza para comprender el efecto que podemos producir en los demás:

 1. LO QUE SOY: Mis valores, mis puntos fuertes.

Ya te has hecho un proceso de auto conocimiento, tienes que haber reconstruido tu perfil personal y profesional. Lo que soy y lo que pienso o creo está bien, pero tardaré en convencer a alguien si no dispongo de más argumentos.

No siempre el efecto causado en los demás será positivo porque depende de la buena fe de las personas, y sobre todo estos aspectos configuran un perfil muy común y repetitivo: cuando intentamos convencer todos parecemos iguales incluso queriendo ser diferentes.

2. LO QUE PUEDO JUSTIFICAR con mi CV o por referencias. El prestigio y la reputación.

Lo que puedo justificar ya es otro nivel. No recurre a la necesidad de creer de mi interlocutor, sino que tiene certificación. No sólo deben ser argumentos como la experiencia o la formación, sino el cumplimiento de objetivos, metas alcanzadas, el prestigio entendido como logros conseguidos por uno mismo.

También por referencias sobre mi de terceros que certifiquen mis afirmaciones y generen de mi opinión positiva, o sea la reputación. Siempre valdrá más diez segundos del respaldo de un tercero que diez minutos tuyos en argumentación.

3.  LO QUE PUEDO DEMOSTRAR durante mi conversación.

Lo que puedo demostrar es lo que verdaderamente será un generador de confianza. Si mientras cuento algo es percibido como cierto y real el impacto es grande e imbatible.

Cualidades como saber escuchar, tu capacidad de comunicación, el conocimiento adquirido en determinada temática, la previsión de tendencia o la compresión del presente, las ideas claras o tus objetivos personales pueden quedar patentes en un proceso de comunicación.


Pero ¿cómo lo dosifico?

Piensa en lo importante, lo relevante para cada situación. Todo lo es realmente, debes darte a conocer y comunicar buscando un equilibrio entre los tres niveles, pero desde luego, y por ese orden, de menos a más sería lo más convincente.

Si así lo haces la conclusión de tu mensaje se llama coherencia y su resultado es la confianza.

Tomado de: pabloadan.es