This is something I’ve talked about in several previous articles in my blog (you will find a list at the end of this post). This is the framework that is going to move you forward into the 21st century as a leader, through this global pandemic and beyond. Because, when our world stabilizes again (and, it will), nothing will be the same. Life for humans has changed forever because of what this invisible little pathogen has made visible. But, you don’t have to be afraid or uncertain of the future. By becoming a conscientious, people-centered leader, you can guide our collective future. Towards real inclusion and belongingness, where everyone can thrive BECAUSE of who we are, not in spite of it.
1.) To practice people-centered leadership, you must focus on creating spaces of belongingness and mental wellbeing.
The first step to this starts with looking inward and figuring out how you are and where you have positioned yourself. Where are you including yourself and where are you excluding? It is only then that you can consider what it means and takes to include anyone else.
2.) Develop a sustainable growth mindset and outlook to embody people-centered leadership.
Your mindset determines the outlook you have on life. Whether you think you can do something, or whether you think you can’t, you are right. Building thought and action practices that allow you to spend most of your time in a forward-thinking, growth mindset is the only way you are going to learn and develop yourself. It is the only way to transform into a people-centered leader.
3.) Unlearn the things that aren’t serving you well.
Every single of us have an untold number of biases that affect our thoughts and actions, toward ourselves and others. This social isolation is bringing many of these filters to surface. You have to unlearn these conditioned responses so that you can make space to learn the things that do serve you well to be a people-centered leader.
4.) People-centered leadership embraces intersectional realities.
All of us have intersectional lives that dictate the reality of our lived experiences. No two of us can have identical experiences and feelings about everything all the time, not even identical twins. These intersectionalities are what make us completely unique. Yet, 61% of us hide these essential parts of us from our coworkers, teams and leaders in our workspaces because of safety and stigma issues. If you are hiding, how do you even begin to form authentic connections? People-centered leadership understands the reality of this. By embracing intersectionalities, and by understanding that your visibility and others’ visibilities are complex and nuanced, you can create that safe space as a leader. You can form authentic connections and establish trust.
5.) Align and converge your values as a leader.
Don’t conform to follow the script. Write your own script and encourage those around you to write their own. Every script is based on personal core values. How many people think about what values they want to embody as people-centered leaders? Now is the perfect time to take some time to explore this aspect so that you can start embodying these values, instead of blindly following what someone else says you should or ought to be doing.
6.) Help your leaders and decision-makers understand that ROI has to include employee wellness.
The bigger picture has to account for an organizational culture that is formed with convergence and not conformity. Empowering each individual employee to thrive has to come first. The benefits of this go far beyond but also include profit margin bottom lines. And, this would be less expensive to put in place than sporadic system-wide trainings that don’t sustain, and that most employees only attend begrudgingly.