Personal alignment in its essence is the alignment of what is truly important to a person that influences their behaviours and actions. In its simplest form an aligned person walks the talk; they say what they do.
It sounds simple. However, the Productivity Commission report on bullying shows that it is not. The report states Australia has a leadership crisis that impacts negatively on workplace culture and the health of people. Edgar Papke states that most often misalignment is the result of a single member or a small group with widespread influence. Most misalignments occur due to personal motivations and human interactions. The Harvard Business Review published research about what CEOs are afraid of.
The findings show that deep-seated personal fears like underachieving; appearing too vulnerable; looking ridiculous; losing reputation; or even dying influenced their confidence, competence and relationships.
Clearly, these dysfunctions make leadership alignment within the organisation impossible. The dysfunctions also make strategy alignment such as fulfilling the vision and mission impossible. Employees use self-protective behaviour making them less engaged and committed. This has a direct and detrimental impact on customer service and satisfaction. When customer expectations are not met the reputation of the brand suffers.
What leaders can do to ensure personal alignment:
- Use feedback mechanisms to increase your personal and employees consciousness and self-knowledge their behaviour. This can be achieved with anonymous 360 feedback surveys for leaders and managers, immediate feedback practices from managers and team leaders to staff.
- Leaders can set the right conditions in their business that accepts and welcomes feedback down and up the hierarchy without blame, excuses, repercussions or shame.
- Identify what is truly important in your life that influences your behaviours, fears, the way you tackle challenges and make decisions.
- Make (and help others make) the conscious decision to admit to self what is working and what is not. This includes being vulnerable and admitting that nothing in life is perfect, but one can always learn more. This is achievable through coaching, meditation, mindfulness, counselling or feeling the heat i.e. the pressure to change.
Personal alignment in leaders is the first and most important step in aligning the business. Are you aligned in personality and behaviour? Do you know what is important in your (working) life?
Contact us for more information on how to achieve personal alignment.