Blue Flower

What does this look like?

It's all very well theorising about leadership concepts, but how do these various styles play out in practice when it comes to workplace Well-being? What do we actually have to do, what does it look like; and how do we know when we're doing it right? Well obviously it can't be explained in a single blog, but we can make a start! We have a good idea of what things affect our Well-being, so we can use these to inform our leadership behaviours.

What is equally important is that these behaviours are condoned and supported by leaders at the very top, a commitment to creating the right environment for effective Well-being oriented leadership. Without this it is extremely tricky! Let us presume we are going to include concepts of power & influence, followership and management within our description. Assume we are at ease with terms such as contingency, common goal and situational! Here we intend to keep a focus on the basics of Well-being, those being meaning and purpose.

In the business of Policing we could be forgiven for believing this would be fairly straightforward, to serve and protect as they say on the other side of the pond. But is this the element that impacts on the Well-being of our officers and staff? No it is not! Being permitted to get on and do it (the job - what we joined for) seems to be the issue. Let us try to unpack that...

There is a train of thought that differentiates between leading through crisis and leading through the relatively mundane, that require different styles that are quite polar when it comes to method. Maybe this could be compared with transactional and transformational descriptors? Policing obviously requires both, but the dominant requirement, and one most closely aligned to Well-being attributes is most certainly the latter.

Knowing, understanding and caring about your workforce is the key here; and it needs to be done authentically. As with all leadership philosophy, where there is an argument, there is almost always a counter argument not far in the wake; so we do leave an opening for a 'kicking' in this respect! However, if you think of times when you have really enjoyed your work and have experienced high levels of meaning and purpose, try to recall the leadership attributes of who you worked for at the time. Can you remember if this person knew you well and had your Well-being high on their agenda? Did good performance (not reds and greens, we mean excellent service here) simply 'occur?' Did time fly by for you? Did you speak fondly of your job outside of the workplace? Did your team gel, know each other, get on well and socialise outside of the workplace? Did you feel fit and healthy, imaginative, able to innovate, given autonomy and were often told you were doing a good job? Were you supported when you erred, felt opportunities to develop came your way, had interests outside the workplace, slept well and were generally satisfied with your life?

If yes, chances are that you were led by a person who 'had it!'

This is what good leadership looks like...!

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