Have you ever experienced the rollercoaster ride of an inconsistent leader? One day, they’re all rainbows and sunshine, and the next, they’re a grumpy tyrant. If you’ve ever found yourself peeking around corners to avoid your manager or checking their mood before daring to ask a question, then you know what I’m talking about.
Leaders-I get it, being a leader has its challenges. And just because you’re in a leadership position doesn’t mean your impervious to moments of heightened emotion and mood changes.
Here’s the thing though-the unpredictability of inconsistent leadership can leave your team feeling disoriented and wary. Operating this way is a massive distraction and it diminishes the team’s confidence.
Inconsistency creates an environment of uncertainty and unease. Instead of focusing on their tasks, your team may find themselves strategizing ways to navigate around your shifting moods. This guessing game hinders productivity and prevents individuals from giving their best.
Trust and communication take a nosedive when your leadership style is all over the place. Team members hesitate to share important information, fearing they might trigger unpredictable reactions.
Psychological safety, the belief that one can speak up, take risks, and express their authentic selves without fear of negative consequences or judgment, cannot exist in an environment of unpredictability. In those environments team members are afraid to voice their concerns or ask questions. They resort to avoiding face-to-face interactions and rely on indirect communication methods, like email, to minimize the risk of encountering their unpredictable leader.
So, how do you get more consistent in how you lead?
- Self-awareness: pay attention to how you’re showing up. Reflect at the end of the day on the meetings and exchanges you’ve had. What went well and why? What didn’t go well and why? Be honest about how your behavior and reactions.
- How do people respond to you? During meetings. are team members leaning in, nodding their heads, and actively participating? Or do they seem uncomfortable, shifting in their seats, and avoiding eye contact? When they visit your office (or virtual meeting room)—do they seem relaxed or like they’re walking on eggshells?
- Are you a problem solver? Do your team members feel comfortable coming to you with questions or problems? Or does the team feel the need to reassure you that everything is just peachy? Consistency: The Secret Sauce:
- Consistency is the key. It’s about being the same person, day in and day out. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all have our bad days—we’re only human, after all. But your team needs to know what to expect from you. They need to feel that you’re reliable, steady, and consistent in your behavior and decisions. And most importantly, be someone your team can trust—a leader who won’t flip-flop or lose their cool at the drop of a hat.
Consistency in leadership is a game-changer. By being a dependable and consistent leader, you create an environment where your team feels safe to speak up, take risks, and bring their authentic selves to the table. When people feel valued and supported, they’re more likely to give their best, collaborate openly, and drive innovation. Remember, as a leader, your actions have a profound impact on the overall productivity and well-being of your team. Embrace consistency and watch your team’s confidence and performance flourish.