By Steve Taplin
At first, it won’t be easy. It is always easier to bury your head in the sand rather than confront these sentiments head-on. But refusing to acknowledge your emotions and the emotions of others can lead to more significant problems down the road.
Commitment to leading with emotional courage is just the first step in a more extensive process. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A great part of courage is having done the thing before.” There is no set routine for it, but there are steps you can take to improve. Remember that this is a journey, not a destination.
Embrace Vulnerability and Transparency and Be Compassionate
Leaders may get tempted to hide their emotions from members of the team or those working on their business. Authentic leadership requires openness and accessibility by sharing your problems with others and asking for help when you need it. Employees and team members will see you as a human being, not an authority figure above questioning.
Seek to influence, never to impose your authority on others. Stop focusing on your ego. Instead, try to be a positive and supportive leader. When you are the bridge that links your employees together, you will have a more effective team. When you are compassionate, collaboration and morale improve.
Be Receptive to Feedback, Both Positive and Negative
Accepting criticism is essential to any career field, but it is most useful for software development. Writing code is a lot like writing a book. Nobody wants to have their work or style criticized. However, without criticism, you won’t produce a quality product. Without complaint, you won’t know where to improve or what to work on. What to keep and what to dispose of.
When you are a leader, you must be willing to accept criticism from employees and teammates. It is a regular part of the job, and you should not make others feel like you are above it. It is the only way to identify flaws and come together to address them.
Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder
Working in the technology industry is essentially about gazing into the future. From Steve Jobs to Bill Gates, all the great pioneers have always maintained a sense of wonder and curiosity. They soldiered on when others would have given up. This contributed to their success as software and tech developers.
It would be best if you had a tireless thirst for knowledge and innovation. Approaching new challenging ideas head-on can be scary. Novel ideas often are. But that is what it means to lead with emotional courage. It’s about taking leaps of faith. Research suggests that curious people tend to have better, stronger relationships.
Humility is often overlooked, but it may be the most critical aspect of emotional courage and leadership. Accept that you are human and flawed. You have limits. You will not always get things right or always have the answer to present problems. Humility is not about having a low opinion of yourself or your abilities. Instead, it is about accepting your imperfections, and in so doing, working on making them better.
When you are humble, you listen to understand. You are willing to accept different opinions and criticism. You give credit where it is due. As a leader, you will inspire confidence and admiration in your employees. Instead of looking inwards and massaging your ego, be humble and redirect those energies towards the growth of your business.
Working With Nearshore Software Development With Emotional Courage
U.S. businesses stand to gain from working with nearshore software development companies. This business model helps save on labor overhead and other expenses while making your company more efficient. Nearshore software development allows you to control the allocation of resources as required. Some other benefits include reduction of operating cost, placing you geographically closer to your team, expanding into new markets, better returns on investment for your business, and better communication. Common issues with offshore software development are cultural and time differences that make real-time communication complex. They can also lead to legal matters or work delays. Nearshoring has none of these problems.
Get the Best out of People
When you react impulsively to your emotions, you do not respond appropriately to criticism or dissenting opinions. A career in software development requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills. It does not apply to the work alone but also in relating to others. Interpersonal skills and good communication are the cornerstones of a healthy working relationship.
As a leader, you must work on this aspect of yourself at all times. When you are compassionate, accessible, humble, and open to new ideas, your employees won’t feel like you are a lifeless robot or uncaring authority figure who demands obedience. It sets the tone for your business.
Employees know they can approach you with questions, concerns, or even personal issues.
Related: Common Misconceptions of Nearshoring