How Do I Develop Leadership Behaviours?

Posted in : HR Updates on 1 May 2015
Paul Fieldhouse
Hyperion Growth
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Paul Fieldhouse writes:

The great news is that while our IQ – intelligence peaks in our late teens and early twenties, our Emotional Intelligence is believed to peak in our early to mid fifties!

The other good news is that leadership behaviours can be taught, learnt and developed, and so in todays article I will attempt to show you the best ways to take control of the learning process.

The process is to move from a state of unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence, the stages of learning.

So if we imagine it is much like learning to drive, at the aged of 8 or 9 we don’t know how to drive and we don’t even think about it, unconscious incompetence, by the time we are 17 and have our Provisional driving licence we have moved to a state where we are very much thinking about driving, and being in the learning process we are very much aware of our incompetence, conscious incompetence.

Having passed our test we have moved to sate of conscious competence, ie we can drive but still need to think through each of the processes, mirror, indicate, gear, handbrake etc, and then after months of driving the processes become embedded into the mind and become somewhat automatic, unconscious competence.

Now what is happening is that for each action the brain is firing a number of motor neurons, a sequence of the same motor neurons are fired for each action and over time the brain learns a short cut to the sequence of firing the group instead of having to consciously fire each individual, thus forming a habit, somewhat like the shortcut on the home screen of your computer.

So for the activities detailed for each leadership behavior, an action plan will be needed and require practice and persistence to ensure you reach the levels of unconscious competence you choose.

We cannot possibly be working on the whole list simultaneously, we must take it one step at a time and have one or perhaps two behaviours correctly practiced and embedded before we move on to the next.

It is also important to gain an understanding of who we are and what drives us to ensure we can achieve true change in our behaviours, understanding the identity iceberg and in context with your own development:

Its like the story of the Titanic, what was below the water line sunk it and so its just the same as people.

We only see about 10% of who people really are, what we see are Actions, which are based on Decisions, which translate into Results; which determine people’s Behaviors.

This is very much on the surface and so if we wanted to loose weight and started running, by just going out and running will bring about very short-term change.

Then we get below the waterline.  The biggest contributing factor to someone’s behaviors are their Skills.  We like to do things we’re good at, if I am great at cooking I will love to entertain and if I am bad a cooking I will go out to a restaurant.

The biggest contributing factor to your skills is your beliefs. A belief is something you hold to be true at the time, but not necessarily a fact.

How to change…a significant emotional event in your life can wipe out even the strongest belief, or you can choose to change a belief.  You will have to re-enforce, but the choice is extremely powerful.

The biggest contributing factor to your beliefs are your values, If your highest value in life was success you would have a whole different range of belief’s than someone who’s highest value was love. Value is something you hold to be Important.

However, the biggest factor in your long-term change is your identity.  Anything you say with the words I am creates your identity.  “I am” are the two most powerful words in the english language, only superseded by I can’t and I don’t… just imagine when you added to your identity I am a parent… what values, beliefs, skills and therefore behaviors and results changed…?

If you’re not getting the results you want, what decisions are or aren’t you taking (consciously or subconsciously) that are stopping you from taking the right actions?

And if your behavior is not congruent with your desired results, but you have the skills the problem must lie deeper. Remember the dieting example?

As we get down through beliefs and values into identity, it’s time to recognise and discard our blame/excuses/denial if we are going to commit to achieving the results we need.

This article is correct at 04/11/2015

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Paul Fieldhouse
Hyperion Growth

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