July 10, 2020

Empower the leader within you to face change

Build resilience, practice active listening, interact with different kinds of people

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Uncertainty has become part of the new normal, it seems. On the one hand, we know that the pandemic is easing. But on the other, we’re not certain if it’s going to pick up again and disrupt our lives once more. While we might be more prepared this time, another wave could do even more harm to us and our economy.

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We’re on the edge of our seats, waiting for what may come next. But the reality is, we cannot sit and wait around for the next big thing. Whether you’re a business leader or an individual, change will continue to affect us all.

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The question is: how do we lessen the negative impacts?

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The answer is preparation. We cannot always predict what’s going to happen but what we can do is prepare by equipping ourselves with the mindsets and skill sets that allow us to lead ourselves, our businesses or careers through a period of change.

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You don’t necessarily need a team to build or become an empowering leader. Anyone can be a great leader, whether you have a team to lead or are just an individual leading your own personal growth and career.

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There are different approaches to developing leadership skills.

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Here are some ways to start learning how to strengthen and empower your inner leader to help empower those around you.

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Build resilience

We cannot take anything for granted and must remain strong and focused through all types of adversity. Resilience is what allows us to face any situation, both positive and negative, learn from it and quickly recover to get back to business as usual. The key is recovery with speed through newfound knowledge. 

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While strength is important, acknowledging our weaknesses is just as important if you want to build resilience. As humans, we have our weaknesses and limitations. Often, we fall prey to fear and assumed constraints that make us stop in our tracks because we think we cannot move forward. Our resilience isn’t just our strength but our ability to take any situation and turn it into an opportunity and empower us despite our limitations.

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Learn to become a better listener

Active listening allows leaders to open their ears and minds to new insights that they otherwise might have overlooked. While being a great speaker and possessing exceptional communication skills are important for every leader, listening is equally important if you want to empower others through change.

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Active listening is the basis of many other important skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence. It allows us to truly hear what others are saying and process it in a way that allows us to analyse and understand their situation better.

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Active listening goes beyond simple listening. This is a learned skill that, when done effectively, can open up a new world for us.

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Interact with people who have different knowledge bases

When we open up to more people with different backgrounds, experiences, roles, and stages of life, we learn new things. This instills in us an intellectual humility that allows us to understand that there’s always something new to learn, no matter how much we know or how confident we are in our capabilities.

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This is crucial for business leaders. Success after success sometimes makes us feel that we know enough already to understand how things work. In reality, things change so fast that what we know today may no longer be useful tomorrow.

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Business leaders need to have a healthy appetite for risk-taking

If we want to survive change and thrive in the future, we must be able to take calculated risks. As a famous saying goes: the higher the risk, the bigger the reward. But, with any risk, there’s also potential loss.

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This brings us back to the first point. Loss is part of every journey, especially toward success. But with resilience, we learn from those failures and get back up stronger.

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Whether you’re an individual leading your life and career or a business leader leading your organization through these tough times, we can all benefit from developing the skills that help us become better leaders. During these uncertain times, becoming a better leader is a great way to equip yourself to face any upcoming change and disruption.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC – Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com. Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com