Everyone who works in Saeed’s team knows that he is there to help them. He always monitors the situation of the team and asks people how they are and helps them to develop the skills needed to progress in their work.
Servant Leadership; 10 Important Traits in Servant Leaders.
Saeed also tries to look at situations from the perspective of others. He/she considers the interests of the team when making decisions and ensures that everyone has the resources and knowledge needed to achieve the goals.
As a result, his team is one of the most successful teams in the organization, which has the least staff turnover and its members have the most effort and job conflict.
Saeed is an example of a servant leader. In this article, we will look at what servant leadership is and what benefits it will bring to you as a leader. We will also look at when this type of leadership will not be effective and appropriate.
What is servant leadership?
Robert K. Greenleaf first used the term “servant leadership” in his article “Servant as a Leader” in 1970, but servant leadership is an approach that people have used for centuries.
As a service leader, you are a servant in the first place, and you need to think about the needs of others, especially your team members before you consider yourself. Consider the views of others and acknowledge them and support them to do their job well and achieve their personal goals.
Involve them in your decisions at the right time and create a sense of responsibility and belonging within your team. This leads to more people being involved in their work and putting in more effort.
Build more trust between you and them and have a stronger relationship with your stakeholders and team members. It also leads to increased innovation in your collection.
Servant leadership can not be considered exactly a technique or a style of leadership, but rather a long-term behavior. It complements the participatory (democratic) leadership style and bears similarities to transformational leadership
– one of the most effective leadership practices in business – as well as Level 5 leadership – is in which leaders show humility in their work style.
However, servant leadership will have problems in hierarchical cultures where the distance between power (power-seeking and authoritarianism) is large.
In these cultures, managers and leaders expect to make all decisions on their own. In such a situation, servant leadership will find it difficult to maintain respect and establish its position as a leader.
How to be a servant leader?
According to Larry C. Spears, former director of the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Research, servant leaders have 10 important characteristics:
- Pay attention to people’s health
- Strong perception and perception
- Supervision and responsibility
- Commitment to the growth and development of individuals
- Creating an empathetic and purposeful community
- Once you have decided to put the needs of others ahead of your own in the long run, you should try to improve your skills in these ten.
You can better serve others if you are committed to listening carefully and understanding what they say. To improve your listening skills, pay close attention to people, pay attention to their body language, do not jump in the middle of what they are saying, and give feedback on what they are saying.
In servant leadership, you must strive to understand the intent as well as the perspective of the people. If you temporarily set aside your point of view and value the point of view of others, you can face different issues and situations with more empathy and an open mind.
This feature is related to people’s health and includes activities that support people in both their mental and physical health.
First and foremost, make sure your people have the knowledge, support, and resources to perform their tasks efficiently and in a healthy environment. Then take the necessary steps for them to play their role happily and actively. You can use tools such as triple boundaries to think about how your organization can positively impact the people you lead and the customers you serve.
Self-awareness is the ability to look at oneself, to think deeply about one’s feelings and behavior, and to consider how they affect others and how they conform to one’s values.
You can increase your self-awareness by knowing your strengths and weaknesses and getting feedback from others. In addition, try to learn how to manage your emotions so that you can recognize how much your behavior and actions can affect others.
In servant leadership, persuasion methods are used to encourage people to do what they want, instead of using force and force. It is also an attempt to reach a collective agreement because, in this way, everyone will support the decisions that are made.
There are many tools and models to strengthen this ability to persuade others without hurting relationships and taking advantage of them.
You can also use the power of your expertise. When people look at you as an expert in their work, they will be more interested in acting on what you say when you want to convince them of something.
6. Strong perception and perception.
This feature is related to dreaming and having big dreams so that you can look at a bigger picture from the daily realities and make your dreams come true.
If you are a senior manager in your company, try to create a strong organizational strategy. Then, at whatever level you are, set mission and vision statements for your team and clearly outline the role of individuals in the long-term goals of your team and organization. Also, develop a long-term focus to stay motivated to reach out-of-reach goals.
Foresight is the ability to predict what may happen in the future based on past experiences. As well as identifying what is happening and understanding the consequences of the decisions that are being made.
You can use tools such as the SWOT matrix and PEST analysis to think about the current environment and situation. You can also use different scenarios to understand what might happen in the future.
When making a decision, use a checklist to learn from past experiences and make sure you look at the issue from all angles. Also, pay attention to your sixth sense and inner inspiration. If something inside you says something is wrong, listen to it.
8. Supervision and responsibility.
This feature indicates that as a service leader, you must take responsibility for the actions and performance of your team and be accountable for the results of the role they play in the organization.
Whether you are a formal or informal leader, you are responsible for what happens in your company. Take the time to think about your values and those of your organization to know what you are in this position to do or prevent.
Lead them by demonstrating the behaviors and values you expect of others, and setting an example, and standing confidently against people who behave contrary to what is expected of them.
9. Commitment to the growth of individuals.
Service leaders are committed to the personal and professional development of all members of their team. To help your people progress, use training needs assessments to understand their needs for progress and help them acquire the skills they need to do their jobs effectively. Also, find out what their personal goals are and, if possible, give them projects and side responsibilities to help them achieve their goals.
10. Creating an empathetic and purposeful community.
The last attribute to becoming a serving leader is to create an empathetic and purposeful community within your organization.
You can do this by creating opportunities for people to interact with each other within the company. For example, you can put a variety of social events on your agenda.
Such as having lunch or breakfast as a group, creating a workplace environment where people can talk informally away from their desks, or dedicating the first minutes of business meetings to greetings and non-work conversations.
Encourage people to take responsibility for their actions and remind them how to contribute to the overall goals and successes of the organization.