Though it’s been around for a few years, I’ve recently just learned of a concept that I want to share with you – humanistic leadership.
In large part due to the amazing folks I’ve met as part of my Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator status, I’ve had the great privilege of surrounding myself with colleagues I consider much smarter than myself including Angela Lehr and Susie Vaughan. These two professionals recently completed a research study interweaving humanistic leadership with the impact of the pandemic on grief and resilience. What they found was fascinating!
Fear not – this is not one more thing to learn (or do), nor is it a passing craze of organizational leadership and management “magic”. This might be something you’ve been doing along. OR it might be something you need a refresher in. OR it might be something you want to lead your team in learning.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Ever the educator, raised by generations of educators, I can’t resist the urge to share resources and initial questions for you to consider as our 2nd year of “unprecedented times” continues. Below is a list of my initial and evolving questions about the topic.
What does humanistic leadership even mean?
Like any concept or effect, there can be multiple definitions. For my purposes here, I’ll simplify it to mean applying a philosophy of leadership and personal development that recognizes the dignity and worth of each/every human on the planet.
According to Jennifer Hancock, humanistic leadership in action means we treat people with respect & compassion while striving to be ethical, responsible, and compassionate in everything we do. It is grounding all of our actions in moral and ethical decision making, basing those decisions on knowledge NOT assumptions, and infusing our lives with meaning and purpose, giving back to society, and making the world a better place.
What examples of humanistic leadership have you seen over the last year in our society? What are ways that your leadership treats others with compassion and respect? When humanistic leadership is absent in our workplaces how does it impact the way you feel about work?
Why does this matter for me or my business?
For me, the most obvious tie-in to this concept is the intent for many organizations to enhance their inclusion, equity, and diversity focus in the wake of George Floyd’s horrific death. Connect For More can’t as a company say we care about IED without recognizing the humanity of everyone, seeking to understand beyond our biases (i.e. assumptions made consciously or unconsciously about people, things, and circumstances), and trying to put our shared team value of helping society into action in all we do.
Second, for your consideration, is the impact of how the last year plus influenced our leadership and teams. As a collective society and information-driven world, we have seen examples of humanity and vulnerability like never before. Whether it was living rooms of our favorite stars during awards season, crafting the infamous work mullet, or the inclusion of children, pets, and partners in our everyday work lives – we received glimpses into one another’s humanity in a way never before seen. I personally am hoping this becomes one of our pandemic leftovers and this collective sharing of humanity stays with us.
What were you most surprised to learn about your team’s humanity this past year? Did you learn anything about a person that changed a previously held opinion? What did you learn about yourself that surprised or validated you?
How can I use it with my team or business?
According to Dr. Craig Nathanson, humanistic leadership begins with self-awareness. To be a humanistic leader, you must recognize that your behavior impacts others and have respect for fellow humans. In fact, humanistic leaders have to be able to lead, manage AND coach their team members…. All while growing more and remaining self-aware. Sounds exhausting, right?
But what if scientific research told us that humanistic leaders are able to reduce employee turnover (and the costs associated with it), navigate crises (and create greater response time and accuracy of messaging), and create great buy-in for a common cause (generating innovation and growth)? [Hint: all of these are backed up by research]. The simple fact is that people follow leaders who understand their needs, show respect for them and make them feel part of a cause.
How can you promote self-awareness as part of your business best practices? How might your business model change if you incorporated more humanistic leadership within it? What economic impact would decreased turnover and increased satisfaction of team members have on your bottom line?
Regardless of where you are on your leadership journey, career path, or return to the physical office, I encourage you to embrace a motto that has served me well throughout my lifetime. We are all one human family. Take care of yourself and each other! Until next time…
Are you a leader seeking to understand more about how you can lead others and still remain true to yourself? Do you struggle with practicing self-care in the service of others?
Join us May 19th for a FREE Virtual Workshop on Authenticity, Alignment & Action: Living into Your Values While Practicing Self-Care. You’ll hear from Dr. Phildra Swagger of Combined Expertise who’ll share her thought leadership on balance, bandwidth and bosses.
Looking to learn more about how this type of leadership can impact your everyday work?
Check out any of the following: Humanocracy: Creating Organizations As Amazing as the People Inside Them (Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini); Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind (Alex Counts); The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever (Michael Bungay Stanier); and Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry (Marcia Reynolds).
Interested in learning more about how you or your leadership team can become more humanistic in your work? Interested in hearing more about the emerging research on humanistic leadership?
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your interest OR schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our team members to learn how we can help.
Are you looking for a dynamic and engaging speaker for your upcoming conference?
Book Liz today by contacting her amazing team member at email@example.com. Keynote topics include: Embracing Your Humanity, Courageous Leadership, Owning Your Entrepreneur, Somehow I Manage, Shame(less): Surviving Self-Judgement & Maximizing Self-Care and My Mother’s Daughter.
About the Author: Liz Wooten-Reschke is President/CEO of Connect For More. She engages leaders and empowers philanthropists by sharing resources necessary to help them accomplish their mission. Liz provides executive coaching, strategic facilitations and customized solutions for all sector leaders, philanthropists, consultants and rising stars interested in making a difference in their communities. She is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and a professional member of the National Speakers Association. Liz is also a proud member of the University of South Florida Alumni Association Board, a fourth-generation Floridian and Key West Conch. She lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, three children, two dogs, one cat and three fish. For more information about Liz or her work, please visit her company website, follow her on Twitter, or visit her Amazon author page.