Leadership is not defined by your position but rather by the example you set. At Product League, we believe that leadership is not just about our individual positions, but about setting an example and empowering our team members to grow.
Recently, we had the opportunity to enhance our leadership skills through a six-month program from Lepaya. This program has empowered us to better support our team's professional development, and we would like to share some valuable lessons we've learned along the way.
"I now know what kind of leader I want to be and I have the right toolbox to bring my team to the next level"
Lead Business Analyst
Lesson 1 - Self-Awareness
To effectively help others grow, we must first understand our own core principles, what makes us tick? We've realized that honesty with ourselves and acknowledging our shortcomings is crucial for personal growth and leadership. By being truthful with ourselves, we can create a path for improvement and inspire our team members to do the same.
Lesson 2 - The Power of Open-Ended Questions
As experts in our respective fields, we can teach others how to grow and how to excel. However, we've learned that allowing room for failure and encouraging reflection are equally important in fostering a healthy growth environment. Asking open-ended questions that start with words like how, why, what, or when, instead of yes-or-no questions, can help stimulate reflection and lead to excellent results.
Lesson 3 - Tough Conversations
Delivering tough messages in a safe and effective manner is not easy, especially when there are apparent cultural differences. We've learned that allowing time for reflection and understanding is crucial when delivering difficult messages. While people may not always like the message, they will appreciate our effort to communicate it clearly and with empathy.
Lesson 4 - Context is Key
Understanding the individual, their role, and the team are critical in helping others grow. As coaches, we provide guidance and support, but we avoid filling in the blanks. We encourage team members to discover their own paths by asking open-ended questions with the right context, empowering them to find their own solutions.
Lesson 5 - Focus and Clarity
Knowing the context, communicating the message clearly, and coaching team members in the right direction are essential. However, without a main goal, it can all be unfocused and undirected. We've learned that having a main growth goal and breaking it down into smaller actionable steps helps create clarity in what needs to be done. We assist our team in identifying smaller achievable actions that will move them closer to their larger goal.
"I found Lepaya’s Leadership course and its supporting app rich with useful theory solidified by practical interactions. As a growing people leader, it taught me how to turn scientific insights into happy employees"
Expertise Lead QA
Lesson 6 - Stress and Safety
Stress is a natural part of the growth process, and it can be challenging to deal with, especially when time is limited and pressure is high. As coaches, we create a safe and non-judgmental environment where team members can share their stressors. Regular check-ins and providing a supportive space can greatly reduce stress levels and foster a culture of honesty and growth. As leaders in our company, we strive to be honest with ourselves and others. The leadership training we've received has provided us with the tools to create a safe and supportive environment that fosters growth and excellence. As a bonus, our clients also benefit from this approach, as our team members become better equipped to deliver improved quality and results.
In conclusion, Product League is committed to nurturing leadership skills that empower our team members to grow and excel. We believe that by fostering a culture of self-awareness, open-ended questioning, effective communication, context awareness, focus and clarity, and stress management, we can create a high-performance team that consistently delivers excellence in everything we do.