Being hopeful and seeing the glass half-full has been a positive and successful approach to life for as long as writers have touted hope's value. Hope, so they say, is the last thing ever lost. Ask any leader of business when all is a struggle, and they will candidly share that it is that tiny kernel of hope that problems can be resolved that is truly the underpinning of tenacity and survival itself.
"I like to think of Hope as an 'equal opportunity feeling"
High levels of hope have been linked to numerous health benefits including reduced levels of depression and anxiety and lowered risk of death. High levels of hope lead to better social competence and lower levels of absenteeism.
Did you know that creating an organizational culture that inspires hope could improve employee wellness?
Leading with hope when the going gets rough means taking a practical pathway and instead of just exuding feelings of hope, providing a structure around the emotion to allow hope to flourish.
Here are five ways leaders can both inspire hope and lay down the stepping stones for employees to find a sure footing.
Engage with Employees in Goal setting
Take the time to ensure your workforce has a clear sense of your company’s values and goals by engaging them in a refresher course, be that small focus groups, roundtables or just hopping up on a desk and addressing them can all make the difference to creating that feeling that HOPE is present. Engaging employees empowers them with a more secure sense of control throughout their workdays.
Lead by Example
Leadership is so much more than strategy and numbers. Your outward attitude and examples of behavior can significantly affect those of your employees. Leading by example and instilling the value of positivity in the workplace will help create a sense of comfort that future outcomes will follow suit. Your attitude by virtue of consistency trickles through employees to influence their customer service, enhancing customer relationships, and their trust that; this too shall pass.
Align Employee Skills with Responsibilities
Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper. Francis Bacon. Without action, however, hope can fizzle. Helping inspire hope in your workforce, ensures that each employee’s responsibilities are deemed to be important, valued, and appreciated. However, this means taking the time to align your employees’ attributes to match their roles. By encouraging each member of the team to experience hope and confidence that they can each achieve the company goals with enthusiasm and faith. Hope is a feeling, but it is rooted in function and a sense of belonging.
Provide Regular Feedback
Good feedback is the key to improvement. Inspiring hope in your employees to help them thrive often means providing regular feedback for good effort and results. When your team has performed well, it is crucial that they hear from business leaders to sustain that hope and motivation. Balancing constructive criticism with praise is an art form, to say the least, but fostering it allows both you and your employees opportunities to grow and develop.
Communication is Key
Communication is the bridge between clarity and confusion. This is one of my favorite quotes because it is so true. Regular meetings—whether online or in-person— allow you as a leader to share vital and current information that builds an internal understanding of your business’s outlooks and objectives. The more you share, the more comfort you provide to your staff.
To be a leader today and to truly make a difference, breeding hope is the single most extraordinary way to build strength, courage, resiliency, and determination. Perhaps Napoleon Bonaparte said it best:
“Courage is like love; it must have HOPE for nourishment”.
May Hope inspire you to lead your team and yourself to success and peace!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DINA O'REILLY
Dina is 4xi's growth lead, project management office and ghostwriter in residence all in one. To learn more about 4xi, you can contact Dina directly at email@example.com or visit our website to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we inspire a brighter future, together: www.4xiconsulting.com
4xi Global Consulting & Solutions is a team of talented leaders from both the client-side and service provider side, impacting the Human Experience (HX) for people at work, in education, rest, and at leisure.
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