How to become a human centric leader

Nadja Chaieb shares her 6 tips for human centric leadership
‘’In times of COVID-19, leaders are no longer around their people, instead they need to be inside their homes and minds, which demands business leaders to become human centric, to be able to survive,” says HR expert turned business coach, Nadja Chaieb.

Chaieb is a career fulfilment coach for ambitious professionals, especially parents, who want it all. She also works with businesses to help them tap into the ‘human factor’ when managing teams. She started her career working in leading HR management positions with some of the biggest global brands such as IKEA, Vodafone, H&M and Salvatore Ferragamo. “But after two decades of climbing the career ladder, I realised this isn’t always the road to fulfilment,” she says. “I found myself stuck at the top doing work I didn’t love and resenting the fact I’d missed four years of my children’s childhood due to inflexible working practices.”

As a result, she decided to channel her passion towards helping others see they can have both a successful career and a family life. She credits human centric leadership. Here, she outlines the 6 methods that helped her journey.

Nadja Chaieb is the founder of Made For More HRM.
During my HR career, I had the privilege to work for value-driven companies as KappAhl, H&M, and IKEA, which were all human centric and had a strong people and development focus.

Today the world looks different, I can say that the last three years in my own work experience, the HR work has been more about numbers, re-organisations after re-organisations after re-organisations.
Companies are confused and stressed, and so people get stressed and confused too.

It is true everything is changing in the world and so companies need to change too, but I believe it is possible to do so, without dropping our human centric focus, as it becomes more important in times of change, especially if you want to get your people onboard.

In a recent survey from Gallup stated that chief human resources officers (CHROs) of 100 of the world’s largest organisations concluded that the common needs employers must provide employees with in this challenging period are trust, compassion, stability and hope.

These four factors should form the points of your leadership scope – the challenge is how to deliver them to workers when you’re physically separated from your teams. Your leadership can be truly tested if you allow remote working to evolve into your people simply feeling remote and not part of a team.

Become a human centric leader

Keeping team members as healthy, happy and productive as possible, especially in difficult times, means embracing a more human-centric leadership model that values employees more than profits.

Human centric leaders are vision-driven. They will develop a clear and rational plan that will enable team managers and employees to engage in. Key priorities are set within the organisation to focus on.

Follow these 6 ways to become a human centric leader.

  1. Self-reflection and self-respect
    A leader could start to create a human centric organisation a leader, only after reflecting well on who they really are and accepting themselves fully. Self-awareness, unconditional self-care and self-love, regardless of their fears and doubts they may have, becomes fundamental to be able to drive a human centric organisation successfully.
  2. Focus on the individual and its fully potential
    Make all processes more individual focused, evaluate well the person’s potential and try to unleash it. Ask questions about how the person see his own role and contribution in the organisation, ask about his/her purpose? What potential does the person have that is not being used fully today? Where does this person find most energy? Is his/her purpose in line with the current scope or the role? The scope is to show up as much as possible as their full selves.
  3. Build trust and get people onboard
    When the team has bought in, they will go that extra mile. Share the vision with them, get them involved, gain their buy-in and build the trust. Leadership is about having influence with others and human centric leadership is about connecting to your people. When you do, your people will exceed expectations.
  4. Communicate regularly with your teams, in a transparent and honest way
    Employee trust helps organisations to become human centric. This trust is built by transparent and honest communication and regular feedback from leaders. Working remotely the digital technology tools becomes a must to keep up the regular video meetings with your teams. People need the interaction with colleagues as well as the motivation and energy that it brings. Leaders need to focus on the different personality types and giving employees working for home structured alternatives to the coffee machine chat, social distancing does not have to mean social disconnection. By seeing and hearing all of them and by cultivating their sense of belonging, are the simplest ways to exhibit human centric leadership.
  5. Have regular 1-2-1 sessions with each team member
    Do regular check-ins with your team members. Ask what’s going on for them. Make it about them, not about you. In tough periods it is important to first check how they feel before jumping into projects. Ask them how the work is going and how you can support them? Be curious and listen and try to understand their perspectives even if they are different than yours. Diversity allows you to explore opportunities and challenges from several different perspectives and build human-centered solutions to meet different needs and expectations Meet them where they are. It is time consuming yes, but it is really worth it.
  6. Act on your co-workers’ feedback and input
    Engaging co-workers and asking for their recommendations for improvement is important. But just asking what they think could improve, without making any improvements can make leaders lose their trust easily. Therefore, start to act on the valuable input you receive, make changes out of it and build trust and a stronger organisation.

Nadja Chaieb is a certified coach and HR consultant on a mission to help and empower other people, leaders and businesses who are ‘Made for More’ reach their definition of success and fulfilment in their ambitious careers.

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