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How does agile thinking make leaders more self aware?

by | Mar 13, 2019

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Are you comfortable with ambiguity? Do you know when to stop and look at an issue more strategically? What about being able to roll up your sleeves and start executing?

In today’s business environment, you need to master that balance, whether you are in the C-suite or middle management. You must become an agile leader in order to fully pivot between the various modes required of you.

Most leaders today struggle to keep up with this kind of agility but when we tap into this more effective way of thinking – and move between preferences – we become more versatile, holistic and successful professionals.

Agile thinking and modern leadership

To be successful in today’s world, leaders at all levels have to be able to anticipate and act on situations that don’t always have clear-cut answers. They need to quickly deduce who and what it will take to get the results they need. Embracing ambiguity requires being able to take control of your mental processes in order to shift your thinking to look at problems, tasks and people in a new way.

In other words, being an agile leader today means being able to consciously engage all of one’s mental resources. It means being results-oriented and performance driven and engagement focused and strategically agile. And that’s why leadership effectiveness relies so heavily on thinking agility.

While behaviours can be affected by external events, thinking is what’s constant. When leaders become skilled at consciously shifting their thinking to meet the needs of the situation, they’re better able to adapt to rapid change, lead through complexities and maintain the strategic mindset necessary for long-term organisational health.

What does this have to do with self-awareness?

When we are using agile thinking, we are automatically more self-aware. Agile thinking forces us to address each moment. We are more mindful of what we are doing as we are doing it because we are asking our brains to focus on how best to approach a given situation.

This is a really important skill in the modern workplace. Research shows that people who see themselves clearly are better:

  • Performers
  • Communicators
  • Influencers
  • Candidates for promotion.

These same professionals tend to have stronger relationships, are ranked amongst the best leaders and even help lead their companies to higher profits.

However, it’s not easy to achieve true self-awareness. According to research by Tasha Eurich, an organisational psychologist and executive coach, 95 per cent of people believe that they’re self-aware, but only about 10 to 15 per cent really are.

Agile thinking makes it easier for us to achieve this. When we focus our mental energy on the present, remain mindful of the different thinking styles that apply to a given moment and consider the thinking preferences of those around us we become more self-aware and are better leaders as a result.

With that being said, how can leaders practice more agile thinking? We have a few quick tips to get you started.

1. Start to consciously think about your thinking

Where does your brain go when you’re problem solving? What areas does your brain automatically avoid? Some people begin with big picture things, others like to dissect facts – whatever your preferences, by acknowledging them and becoming aware of them you can better understand where you thrive and where you’re lacking.

2. Practice flexing your thinking

Herrmann has decades of research that proves you really can shift your thinking patterns. It all starts with being willing to experiment with other thinking styles – even if doing so is uncomfortable. More often than not, when something makes you uncomfortable it’s a pretty clear sign that it’s teaching you something new.

3. Take the time to stop and think

Once you understand how to flex, you can make it a regular practice to stop and think before you move into action.

More specifically, take a pause to think about your thinking. When you’re proactively aware of what thinking style is most appropriate for a specific situation you can begin to use it.

How Whole Brain® Thinking develops leadership agility

The Whole Brain® Model and HBDI® assessment were developed specifically for solving problems in a business environment. Because of this they equip leaders with a tangible, proven and quickly actionable process for becoming more agile thinkers and more self-aware as a result.

Backed by more than three decades of continual, pioneering research and real-world application at many of the world’s most successful companies, our thinking-based approach to developing leadership thinking agility is designed for all current and emerging leaders. From high-potential employees and new managers to senior leaders and executives, regardless of your background or previous training, our models are designed to build off of and integrate with an organisation’s existing processes and practices.

With Whole Brain® Thinking, you’ll have a system in place that makes it easier and faster for leaders at any level to act on the shadowy challenge of “being more agile.” Let us show you how to incorporate a foundation of thinking into your leadership programs and competencies to:

  • Develop the essential thinking skills for leading in a complex, volatile environment
  • Accelerate the development of new, emerging and experienced managers and leaders so they’re prepared to deal with today’s realities.
  • Align leadership competencies with your business objectives.
  • Build a strong foundation for the organisation’s future success.
  • Become a more self-aware and inspiring leader.

To learn more about how we can help, reach out to our team today!

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