To be, or not to be a socially aware leader - Part 2
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Cristina Rosario DiPietropolo
Advancing Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness
During my professional career, I have encountered leaders who were unaware of their organization's employee dynamics. I have always been intrigued by these types of leaders who cannot identify the non-verbal cues so evident within their team that are clear indicators that something is wrong within their organization. The question often pondered is whether these individuals choose to ignore the glaring cues from employees, putting their heads in the ground like an ostrich and hoping the problems will just go away, or whether they are blissfully oblivious to the fact that there is a problem. In the final installment of this two-part series, we focus on how this type of leader can lack organizational awareness?
Organizational awareness is the ability to identify a group's emotional reactions and power relationships and identify influencers, networks, and dynamics within an organization. Organizational awareness has many facets, but the "Triple Focus" is what Daniel Goleman indicates to be essential for leaders to understand.
Here is a brief description of the "Triple Focus":
Inner focus: Leaders need self-awareness to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and build a team that complements their core abilities. If you are unaware of the deficiencies within yourself and your employees, you will not successfully navigate the tumultuous waters of organizational effectiveness.
Other focus: Leaders need to understand the motivating drivers of their employees and mentor, provide insight to help employees be successful, and foster an atmosphere of collaboration. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you have all the answers.
Outer focus: Leaders should have a pulse on market trends and innovation in their respective industries. They need to manage professional relationships to be more agile in adapting to change, particularly in rapidly evolving industries. It is essential to avoid "deer in headlights" leadership, recognize and appreciate new threats into your market, and plan a course of action.
If you're thinking "So What!", here's why organizational awareness ("triple focus") is essential for your organization.
A leader can:
Make more informed decisions due to understanding who needs to be influenced, why, and how to accomplish that task.
Develop a clear strategy and quickly identify the right individual (or team) to get things done.
Foster a collaborative atmosphere that motivates employees to work towards a shared goal.
"Directing attention toward where it needs to go is a primal task of leadership."
Do you have practical tips for becoming a leader who has a heightened sense of organizational awareness? Have you interacted with a leader who demonstrated strong organizational awareness?
Dr. Cristina Rosario DiPietropolo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Leader Essentials Group, with extensive experience across multiple industries and highly skilled in the areas of strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, change management, and leadership. Over ten years of teaching experience as a university professor of management, with a special focus on leadership in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and international management.