This week we continue our journey to peak performance as a leader with step 4 (and chapter 4 of my book) – how to get the very best from the people who work with you.

Working with people can be both one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your role as a leader. The science of management is more focused on setting tasks and managing them to see that they are done. The art of leadership is another matter entirely. 

So in this week’s blog I’d like to share a few thoughts and ideas from the book on how you can develop peak performing teams.

As a leader you will need to serve your people, as well as direct them. This may feel a little strange, but when you see that your role is fundamentally to get the best out of your people, then doing all you can to make them as productive as possible is a key part of your focus.

Servant leadership is about moving from an authoritarian approach to a participative leadership style. This will involve employees in decision-making, increased delegation and increasing the influence and responsibility of your people. So how well do you serve your people and what can you do to empower them more?

As a leader you will also need to develop your emotional intelligence in the areas of relationships. So how well do you empathise with and understand the views of others? This is the foundation to relationship management and the stronger you are at empathising with your people, the better the working relationship will be. Building on your emotional intelligence will also allow you to flex your leadership style to suit the person and the situation.

One style does not fit all with great leadership and you will need to adapt your style and know when it is right to direct, coach, be more democratic and use other approaches to get the best results.

Leading people is also about how well you reinforce the right behaviour. There was a piece of fascinating research carried out by psychologist Marcial Losada, where he examined the performance of teams in 60 businesses. One factor was a strong predictor of the performance of these teams. The amount of positive feedback as opposed to negative feedback. The tipping point was found to be 2.9013, well let’s say 3:1 as we are friends! So teams needed to hit this ratio to see improvements in performance. In fact peak performing teams thrived in an environment with a ratio of 6:1.  Feedback is so important, but when did you last give your people positive feedback and do you make this a consistent part of your leadership behaviour? Not only will this build a positive culture but it will drive results.

This is the tip of the iceberg of what I cover in the book on this subject, as this is an area I feel passionately about.

The more you trust, engage and encourage your people the more enjoyable your working environment will be. It will also improve individual and team results.

If I can support you in improving the performance of your teams, please drop me a line.

“PI Leadership – The 7 Steps to peak performance as a business leader” is to be launched on June 10th. Please make a note in your diaries for the morning of that date, when you can join us at an action packed launch event. More details to come soon.