Our Assessment for Development and 360 degree survey analysis shows that a core strength of successful leaders is their ability to communicate in an engaging and clear manner. They have not only the technical expertise but also a genuine ability to relate to people, their teams and stakeholders.

At a recent LDC clinic, provider panel member Paul Pringle gave members a taste of the subjects to be covered in the upcoming LDC Action Learning Group 'Stepping up - from good technical competence to great leadership', starting Thursday 4 June.

"If you are doing competence and connection well, people will want to follow you," Paul explained.

"When we decide how we feel about someone, the two qualities that count are strength (competency) and warmth (connection). We want to know if this person can shape the world. Do we respect them? Does this person have a skill or ability and do they have the will to carry through on things?

"We unconsciously ask ourselves, Does this person care about people like me and share my outlook on the world?" he said.

At a senior leadership level:

connection involves:

  • projecting warmth (through body language, appearance, tone of voice, language, humour, empathy, vulnerability)
  • developing your own self-awareness.

competence/strength involves:

  • projecting strength - having both the ability and the will to use your strengths
  • having knowledge or expertise and demonstrating that knowledge, as well as demonstrating skills in the six leadership competencies of:
  1. strategic perspective
  2. decision-making
  3. staff engagement
  4. customer focus
  5. financial management
  6. risk assessment/taking.

To avoid being derailed and enhance leadership effectiveness in more complex, senior roles, managers need to work on both their technical competencies and their connection. How might you do this? We think you can develop these skills by taking the time to reflect on how you are leading yourself, your team and your organisation, and beyond (often in that order).

To find out more and gain insight on how to connect, our upcoming Action Learning Group will provide public sector managers with a safe and engaging environment for discussing, debating and reflecting on both the theoretical and practical aspects of leading beyond technical competency.

Members' feedback about Paul's clinic

"thought provoking in relation to my professional leadership style."

" thinking about issues that we face from a different perspective."

"I gained a great deal in a short time span."