How to Show up as a Leader – 3 Actions That Build Relationships

At Energize Leadership we are all about supporting you on your journey to success!  Last week, we discussed the first element of connection, where we covered topics such as your strengths, purpose, values, and style to build a strong foundation of clarity and focus.

But then what? 

After spending a bit of time quietly synching up with the core of who you are – what drives you, and what you need to thrive – it is time to be intentional about how you are showing up with others (i.e. your clients, your team, your family, and others) to build solid, long-standing relationships and create the network that will catapult your success and ultimately, your impact!

Below are three ways to show up as your best self on a constant basis. 

#1: Be emotionally intelligent

It’s a no-brainer that our brain controls everything. Did you know that we can blame our brain for many of the things we do that block us from success?  The great news is that we also control our brain…with our own brain! Crazy, we know. Those smarty pants scientists have been off learning so much about the brain and how it works that cutting-edge science has even proven that things like meditation not only transform your brain but also have an impact on the brains of your offspring.

But why does that matter?  Well, there are things like stress, workload, frustrating people, exciting opportunities, and the list goes on, that have an impact on our brain in ways that take us out of the driver seat and give our brain the control.  When our emotional brain has control it likes to make decisions that are more appropriate when fighting a big giant black bear than working well with others to get things done in a cube farm.  So, we want to make sure we stay in touch with our emotions – the triggers that cause our brain to light up with alarm – so we can use our logical brain to calm ourselves down and deal rationally with the situation.  The most important tips are easy to use without spending a dime!

#2: Seek continuous feedback

Did you know that feedback is a gift?  Yes, we realize that probably sounds like a bill of goods. Feedback is one of the hardest things.  It is so complex and emotionally charged.  We have good intentions, we work our hardest, we have positive attitudes and then BAM, someone comes along and tells us all about how we could be so much better. But receiving feedback actually allows us to reflect on the way others perceive our actions and provides us with a golden opportunity to connect with them!! When people offer feedback, they are giving you some key messages about who they are, what they need, and HOW you can meet them where they are.  When you listen and seek understanding, you immediately connect with them.  When you honor that they are having an experience that is important to them, they automatically feel appreciated and supported.  From there, you can have a genuinely constructive conversation to gain a common understanding of BOTH their experience as well as your intention.  It is only when your mind frame is in this space of curiosity and openness that you can move effectively toward connection, positive relationships, and effectively achieving goals.   

A few ways to receive constructive (emphasis on constructive) feedback, are to ask the following questions:

#3: Trust and be trustworthy

Be you. Be real. Be honest.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brene Brown

People have a difficult time connecting to people when they don’t feel they know them.  It instills a level of distrust that is hard to overcome.  Leaders can only inspire greatness and make a positive impact if they show up as their true self.  When you share your true self with others they can more easily identify with and be inspired by you and trust that your relationship with them has meaning.  Sharing yourself openly can feel very vulnerable.  We often wear a “work layer” of who we are – all suited up, wearing make-up and fancy shoes, looking like the person we want to be or driving to the results we are supposed to have.  People don’t know how to connect with those things – they can only connect with the person inside.

It is also critical to always look for the best in others.  Trust that they have the best intentions or are doing the best they can.  Seek to understand where they are coming from, what is going on in their life, or what is getting in their way, rather than assuming they are struggling, or slacking, or out to get you! We all have a lot on our plate and need to feel appreciated for the load we carry. When we are appreciated, we are open to connecting and supporting others, and that, good friend is where the magic lies!