Being vulnerable is hard.
Letting your guard down and allowing others to see how you don’t have it all together.
Showing your flaws.
Admitting your mistakes.
In recent weeks there’s been a number of occasions when I’ve needed to be vulnerable. Two that come to mind are when I was in a three day coach training mastermind and when I was at my singing lesson.
Yep, I’m taking singing lessons. La la la!
Singing has always been something I love to do - in the privacy of my own home or in my car.
And then a beautiful friend gifted me a couple of lessons. It was in the second lesson last Friday that I decided to continue with regular lessons and see where it takes me.
You should know that taking singing lessons and singing in front of a professional singer is super uncomfortable for me.
It’s trying something new and admitting I’m not an expert. It’s me asking for help to improve.
Asking for help is hard for so many people. We battle along in life pretending we can do it all ourselves, saying, “I’ll figure it out” or telling ourselves, “I should know this”.
Asking for help is being courageous.
Seeking out ways to be better is being curious.
And not beating yourself up when you mess up is being kind to yourself.
Kindness, courage and curiosity are also 3 key behaviours of a great leader.
In fact, these are 3 behaviours all humans should strive to embrace every day in everything we do.
In my 50 years on this planet, I’ve had the privilege of working for and with some great leaders.
And although I may not have recognised it at the time, when I reflect back to how they behaved in the tough times I have come to see how kindness, courage and curiosity are essential to high performance.
Anyone can be a good leader when everything is humming along. It’s when the sh1t hits the fan that good leaders can crumble under the pressure.
And their behaviour changes.
You’ve probably seen it in your workplace, a crisis hits and the person you knew as someone who was organised, had time for a laugh, time to support or guide you suddenly puts up walls, starts the blame game and becomes this directive, micromanaging monster.
It becomes about tasks and getting stuff done. And quite often good leaders slip into behaviours that say more about what they’re afraid of than behaviours that help the team to overcome the issue.
Great leaders, even what sh1it gets real, stay kind, to themselves and others. They ask the hard questions. They support, protect and importantly back their team.
And they consistently ask how can we improve, how can we make this safer, more efficient, flow more smoothly and what can we do to stop this from happening again.
They admit they don’t know it all and can’t do it all by themselves.
Your behaviour style will determine how easy it is for you to behave with kindness, courage and curiosity.
Dominance style can be super courageous but may lack kindness and stand on others to achieve a result. They may find it difficult to ask for help or seek advice from others.
Influencer style will find it easy to ask for help and bring others along but lack the courage to be innovative if it risks others not agreeing with them.
Stability Style may struggle to be kind to themselves if it means putting others second. They are excellent listeners but often lack the courage to speak up, even if they can see a better way.
Compliance style people are curious about everything and this may send them down all sorts of unrelated rabbit holes. Often they lack the courage to ask for help as they feel they should know the answer.
I know you will have seen yourself reflected in one or two of the behaviour styles above. And even though you might lean more to one style all is not lost!
You can learn to adapt.
Although we have a natural preference for a behaviour style, no one is fixed to a behaviour style. We can choose to access other, more helpful behaviours, in order to achieve better outcomes in any area of our life.
The solution is to develop behavioural flexibility. This means you are able to access the behaviours that will serve you best in any interaction.
When you are kind, courageous and curious in times of stress, you will be able to keep others calm and thinking effectively about the solution or the actions needed to overcome the challenge.
You will communicate clearly and ensure you are understood. You will be able to provide quality support and your team will respond because they know you are on their side and backing them up.
Setting about becoming behavioural flexible is like becoming great at singing.
First, you need to find a teacher who understands what you want to achieve. Who will support and focus on who you want to become.
Second, with your teacher identify your gaps and your strengths. Take on board the feedback from experts. Observe experts and model their behaviours. Create a roadmap for yourself that will bridge your gaps using your strengths and natural style.
Then it’s about consistent practice.
Just like singing, becoming behaviourally flexible is about understanding and practising new ways of communicating, new words and language. It’s practising different styles of pitch, speed and tone of your voice. It’s practising new physical stance and movements.
And it’s becoming aware of your environment, who’s with you, what is to be communicated and what behaviour style to draw on to get the best outcome from the interaction.
It’s important to know when it is and when it's not appropriate to burst into song…
Has this got you wondering about how you can be kinder, more curious or more courageous? Maybe you're now curious about what your behaviour style is?
Why don't you Click here now for instant access to the Behaviour Style Mini Tool? Go even deeper with me in the bonus Unpack Session valued at $297.
In just 30 minutes you will understand more about yourself than ever before and be on your journey to becoming a kinder, more courageous human.