Modern Leadership for Fundraising Executives
At this level, the listener genuinely believes the speaker has something valuable to say and purposely checks to make sure that the message being received is what the speaker intended to communicate by restating or clarifying the message. It’s not the goal of the listener to merely appear to be present; rather he or she is “tuning in” intently and connecting with the emotions and energy put forth by the speaker. In other words, the listener is one with the speaker, trying to understand his or her point of view by listening from the heart with respect and empathy, while attempting to keep personal judgments and biases at bay.
3. Determine your level of involvement.
Leaders are involved in the decisions their employees make, but they can’t think for them. Effective leaders empower others to be decision makers in the everyday processes that move the organization forward. Leaders do not remove themselves from the work of their staffs entirely; rather their role becomes less hands-on and more about encouragement and holding players accountable for the outcome. In essence, a leader is available for advice but is removed from the execution of the process in order to give employees an opportunity to grow and become more invested in the organization’s success.
But for many leaders, being less involved isn’t easy. There usually is discomfort and fear around not knowing every minute detail of even the most remedial tasks. These personal challenges, once met and overcome, allow a leader to more easily let go and develop confidence not only in the capabilities of staff but also in one’s own abilities. Becoming comfortable in this role is not instant; it happens through experience and ultimately in leaders learning to trust their own intuition.
4. Know where you are going.
It won’t make a difference if leaders inspire, communicate and empower employees if it doesn’t feel as though there’s a game plan in place. In order to demonstrate the direction leadership is taking, individual staff members and the staff as a whole need to see clearly defined goals so they have something to work toward. Whether you’re talking about the individual or the team, goals represent tangible concepts that can be easily identified and understood. But more importantly, when goals are specific, measurable, achievable and reasonable in nature, they provide a leader with an opportunity to use them as an additional form of employee motivation.