Have you ever had to work for a boss where you wondered what kind of mood they would be in when you came in that day? If you have, then you understand the frustration that comes with a leader who can be unpredictable and inconsistent.
I am convinced that one of the easiest ways to frustrate employees is by being inconsistent. When leaders are inconsistent, team members struggle to be successful because they cannot clearly see and understand what success looks like.
Being consistent has great benefits, not only for the leader but for the team as well. Here are some of the benefits of being a consistent leader.
Create comfort, making room for relationships.
Being great at navigating relationships is essential to leading well. Leaders who can make room for relationships to be built allow for trusting connection that fosters creativity and growth.
When a leader is consistent, followers can relax and be themselves around them. Because great relationships are built on a foundation of authenticity and transparency, it is essential that team members feel comfortable enough to be who they are without the threat of retribution or judgment. When team members can be who they are instead of who they think they should be, it allows the leader to truly see the strengths and weaknesses of the team and develop them in those.
Clarify expectations, making room for great work.
Consistent leaders have consistent expectations, and that makes it way easier for their team to win. When a leader is inconsistent, team members are easily frustrated because the target is constantly moving, meaning that if they’re successful, it will be rare and only by accident.
As leaders, it’s essential that expectations to our team are clear. This means first that we have to know what we want before we give away tasks. If we delegate without knowing first what we want, our team will be confused. If they continue without clarity, they’ll be frustrated. If they don’t receive clarity after continually trying to get it, they will become disengaged.
Here’s a challenge: when you delegate responsibility to someone, break down what you’re looking for in one sentence for them. As your team member can refer back to the sentence to know if they’re being successful.
Instill confidence, making room for bold decisions.
Consistent leaders instill confidence because team members who are led by consistent leaders are secure in their relationships, and thus can work without fear, and have great clarity, and thus can be sure of whether or not they’re being successful. This allows them to make bold decisions because they don’t live in fear of losing their job or being ripped to shreds because they made a decision that didn’t work out. Uncertain team members will never make bold decisions, but those have been filled with confidence will make bold decisions with ease.
What does it look like for you to become a more consistent leader?