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5 Common Leadership Traps and How to Avoid Them

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1 5 Common Leadership Traps & How to Avoid Them | v2 By Nancy Q. Smith 5 Common Leadership Traps & How to Avoid Them Everyone is fallible, and leaders are no exception. Even the best leaders are sometimes unaware of how they show up and can be susceptible to patterns of behavior that have a negative impact on their employees' ability to contribute to results. Whether you are heading up a large team or are looking to be seen as an emerging leader among your peers, here are five common leadership behavior traps to avoid: 1 FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE Let's get one thing straight: not communicating IS communicating. Everything leaders do speaks volumes; their actions and words are scrutinized and interpreted constantly. In times of uncertainty, or even when trying to communicate a shift, it's best to over communicate. Don't wait for the dust to settle; be the dust settler. This effort includes acknowledging risk, uncertainty, and turbulence, something leaders are not always comfortable with. People will always create their own stories. The key is to let them complement your narrative rather than create the primary narrative. 2 CONFORMING INFORMATION TO YOUR POINT OF VIEW The isolationist tendency of leaders to reject differing perspectives, or alternatively, to seek information and data that conforms to their point of view, is a huge risk. A "no bad news" position can leave you and your organization vulnerable. We all have a perception bias, but it is your job as a leader to countermeasure by constantly challenging your own thinking and encouraging your people to do the same. One of the quickest ways to do that comes from bestselling author and performance expert, Alan Fine. He suggests asking yourself and others to, "Describe fantasyland. If anything were possible, what could you do?" Simply asking this question allows you and your team to find new solutions and confront the status quo. 3 ASSUMING PERFORMANCE IS ONLY ABOUT INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY Yes, it's important to get the right people on the bus, but you are also responsible for ensuring it's well built and functional. Performance is a combination of both individual accountability, the work environment, and the success of your leadership. Of course, you wouldn't send someone We all have a perception bias, but it is your job as a leader to countermeasure by constantly challenging your own thinking and encouraging your people to do the same.

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