How Prepared Are You to Lead through Change and Uncertainty?

by Sonya Shelton

To grow and thrive in today’s environment, organizations need to be agile. If you want to have an agile workplace, then you need to have an agile leadership team. How is your leadership?

Often, we see leaders crackdown on their team with command and control instead of responding with agility. We have found that agile leadership not only leads to better problem solving but also a more trusting environment with inclusion and belonging. Open-minded and adaptable leaders can not only change course and learn when presented with challenges, but they can help guide their team to do the same. It all starts with Interpersonal Flexibility. 

What is Interpersonal Flexibility? 

This term, coined by the researchers at the Integro Leadership Institute, is the ability to see others’ needs as at least as important as your own. It measures the degree to which an individual is approachable and easy to work with, seeks to build mutual understanding, gives encouragement, and their willingness to adapt their behavior to relate well to other people to build a healthy trust-based culture. When a team leader shows this trait, team members become engaged and focused on how to fix any problems that might arise. 

How to Develop Agile Leadership 

Flexible leaders are not only open-minded and adaptable, but they are also willing to change their minds when faced with new evidence. Flexible people are self-aware, yet their focus is not just on themselves. They focus on others to determine what their needs are and how they can adapt to ensure mutual needs satisfaction. This can be especially powerful when focused on the needs of clients or customers. Increased agility will transform your culture and significantly improve your organization’s ability to adapt to change. 

Building Interpersonal Trust

Sometimes leaders believe that consistency means trustworthiness. However, this is not the case. Consistency does allow your team to better understand you, but if you are an inflexible leader, it inevitably leads to distrust. It can make your team think you are focused on your own agenda and your own needs instead of the needs of the organization and team. 

For leaders there are 8 values that build trust: Respect, Recognition, Receptivity, Disclosure, Honesty, Straightforwardness, Seeking Excellence and Keeping Commitments.

Creating an agile workplace can only be done by agile leaders. Our Agile Leadership Assessment helps leaders discover how to increase their agility, flexibility, and trust-building capability. 

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