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Five ways to become a business leader

Alexandros Psychogios, Professor in International Human Resource Management at Birmingham City University, offers five scientifically proven ways to improve your leadership skills.
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Five ways to become a business leader

Alexandros Psychogios, Professor in International Human Resource Management at Birmingham City University, offers five scientifically proven ways to improve your leadership skills.
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Photo of Alexandros Psychogios, Professor in International Human Resource Management at Birmingham City University

Alexandros imparts some vital words of wisdom, taken from his latest book, Neuroscience for Leaders: Practical Insights to Successfully Lead People and Organizations, co-written with Nikolaos Dimitriadis.

1). Understand that emotions matter

We cannot understand the nature of a human being if we ignore their emotional self. If you want to improve your management skills, you need to understand that emotions drive our behaviour, our decisions and our actions.

If someone in your team is reacting to a situation with doubts and stress, understanding and reacting to these emotions allow leaders to get the most out of their teams.

The more business leaders understand this and spend time building on people’s emotions, the better the result and the better the leadership process.

2). Embrace uncertainty

Our brains do not like uncertainty and resistance is the most common response to such emotions. In our book, we suggest that leaders need to embrace these emotions.

Change isn’t always a bad thing, so try to remain positive in the face of uncertainty. By now, you have probably heard of the term mindfulness – bringing a friendly curiosity to our experiences.

Mindfulness teaches us to live in the moment, to be free of distractions and to not be overwhelmed.

3). Face value

One of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication is our facial expressions. This has enormous implications for business leaders, as there are studies suggesting leadership capability is measured by and associated with that person’s face.

Facial expressions are crucial for engaging empathetically with others, since our eyes are naturally directed in specific regions of someone’s face, in order to identify their emotional state.

This is very important as empathy is widely accepted as a necessary leadership trait, especially during these challenging times.

Leaders should understand that their facial expressions are transmitters of emotions and have an impact on employees’ perceptions of them.

4). Cultivate relationships with your staff

In a previous blog for BCU Advantage, I discussed the importance of building trust within your workforce and with your clients.

In our latest book, we also discuss the importance of cultivating a strong rapport with your team.

Good relationships with your staff dramatically increase the effectiveness of your leadership. No business leader can inspire actions in others if they do not connect with their staff in deep and meaningful ways.

It’s important to adopt a ‘collaborate first, then reciprocate’ attitude to business interactions. As we suggest in our book, strong leader-follower relations are built and nurtured though communication.

Improve your management skills by demonstrating presence, warmth and strength with your staff. Speak to all three brain functions – think, feel and do – to help induce meaningful behavioural change.

5). The future of leadership is ‘relational’

The main message of our book is that the future of leadership is relational.

in simple words, relational leadership means that we work together, we decide together, we perform together. Leadership is fulfilled through both leaders and followers.

It shows a better understanding of the inner workings and, especially, the purpose of key brain functions.

Furthermore, it’s a style of leadership that will bring about trust and collaboration within organisations. Alexandros and Nikolaos’ book is out now


Are you looking to develop your leadership skills? Our Business Analysis service and diagnostic tool could help. Please click the button below to discover more.

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