Quiet Leadership

When we think of leadership, we often think of the commanding visionary who takes charge in a time of crisis, leading his/her team to victory when all hope seems lost.

However, there’s another form of leadership that may ultimately achieve higher, more long-lasting performance. We call this style “Quiet Leadership.”

Quiet leaders lead by example, and bring out the behavior they want in others by modeling it themselves, rather than telling others what to do.

Quiet leaders also tend to take the coaching role, asking guiding questions that elicit each person’s unique genius, as opposed to offering advice. This is a wonderful way to empower your team, by teasing out their inner brilliance and helping them see how capable they are.

This style of leadership creates a culture of contribution and collaboration. Rather than giving everyone a figurehead to appease, quiet leaders empower their teams to make decisions, share ideas, and show initiative, while providing ongoing support and mentorship.

The best part of quiet leadership is that it doesn’t require a dire crisis to avert. You do not have to wait until everything hits the fan and the whole enterprise is on fire. Rather, you can start supporting and uplifting your team today.

You do not have to be a CEO, or member of upper management to be an influential quiet leader. You can apply this style as a parent, neighbor, or even as a caring friend.

Quiet leaders might not ever be the epic hero at the center of a harrowing tale, and they are often the most respected & adored, and their endeavors tend to stand the tests of time.

It’s Time to Drop the Perfectionism

Do you hold yourself to high standards for everything? If so, you’re not alone. Most gifted people strive for perfection.

What if inflexible standards are slowing you down and holding you back?

There’s evidence that constant perfectionism can get in the way of a happy and productive life. It’s connected to procrastination, low productivity, and depression.

More often than not, continual high standards aren’t needed for us to succeed in life. Think about people like Einstein, Oprah, Walt Disney and Bill Gates. These famously accomplished people have reported that they owe their achievements to their unstoppable nature and willingness to make mistakes.

The trick is to recognize when high standards are necessary and when they actually get in the way of innovation, efficiency and fulfillment. Getting to the place of good enough on most tasks and projects allows us to get more done without compromising quality. This open minded approach allows for creativity, innovation and fun.

Freedom from perfection starts with flexibility, compassion and faith in self. Remember that you are good enough as you are. You are intrinsically valuable.

The next time you notice that you’re driving yourself hard, procrastinating on projects or tasks, or feeling self critical about your accomplishments, ask yourself:

“Am I holding myself to standards that aren’t needed in these circumstances?”

“What would good enough look and feel like?”

Breathe. Open up your heart and mind. Think flexibly about your project or task and let your standards relax.  Work the “good enough approach” for your day to day tasks and reserve your high standards for rare and special circumstances.

You’ll not only get more done, you’ll also feel motivated to do more!

To your success and happiness
Corinne McElroy CPCC, ORSC


Tips That Can Help You Tune In

Emotional intelligence is like rapport. With emotional intelligence you are able to tune in to the behavior and emotions of others and make adjustments so the relationship flows.

You see it when teams work well together.  They move in sync, in rhythm.

For some, this comes naturally, and for others it requires a conscious effort.   However, the payoff is worth the effort.
People who have good rapport with others:

  • experience increased happiness,
  • solve problems more creatively,
  • perform at a higher level, and
  • are more fulfilled.

In a world filled with techno-communication at unprecedented speeds, it is easy to understand why some psychologists predict we are losing our ability to develop rapport–even with the people we care most about.  Do not let that happen to you or the people you are leading. Here are some tips that can help you tune in to those around you to build rapport and create meaningful relationships:

  • Look people in the eye. Rapport is strengthened when eyes lock.
  • Show real interest in others. Stop what you’re doing and be an enthusiastic listener.
  • Ask questions to help others open up.
  • Enjoy comfortable silence. You do not always need to talk to connect.
  • Show appreciation for small, routine things as well as big accomplishments.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings.

As you practice building rapport today, be on the lookout for others doing the same.  Notice the flow.

Continually grow your emotional intelligence by paying attention to the physical and emotional rhythms of those around you and be prepared to make smooth adjustments as needed to honor others and yourself.

When that happens, life flows like a well-rehearsed melody.

How can you tune in today for better connections with others?