By Robin Kolvek
The demands of operating a credit union successfully can at times be overwhelming, even for the best among us. Running a business is not an easy job, and comes with a number of challenges to which most of the workforce is never exposed. The good news is there are widely adopted psychological tricks you can use to increase your performance and maintain confident leadership.
Here are five easy ways you can enhance your performance as a leader:
1. Write it down. With so many tasks and responsibilities, it can be hard to remember everything you might think of throughout the day. Sometimes a great idea will strike when you least expect it. Good leaders are constantly thinking of ways to improve their business and drive positive change for their organizations — if you have a new idea, writing it down will help you think through it. Research shows that you’re also more likely to be able to communicate an idea clearly if you’ve taken the time to write it. Consider taking notes on your smart phone or keeping a pen and paper on your nightstand.
2. Be decisive. Taking too long to make a decision can stymie your personal or business goals. Employees won’t follow a leader who is confused about the direction he or she wants to go. According to the Harvard Business Review, although people are inherently decisive or indecisive, they can also make a choice to be more decisive. Considering all aspects of an issue is important, but a great leader will make decisions without vacillating for an extended period of time.
3. Stay present. One of the easiest ways to stay present is to breathe — taking a deep breath increases blood flow to the brain and calms nerves. The next time you’re feeling stressed, remember to breathe and focus on the task at hand. Concentrate on accomplishing current items on your to-do list without getting wrapped up worrying about what might happen next week. Goals and priorities should always be a consideration, but you will be more likely to achieve them if you focus on the required steps to get there.
4. Watch your body language. You might have seen this TED talk on power posing – this isn’t new or groundbreaking science. Research shows that simply “standing tall” and assuming a confident posture makes you feel more confident. Consider how you’re standing and focus on maintaining eye contact when communicating with others.
5. Use positive self-talk. This trick is used by Olympic athletes to increase performance, and it can help yours as well. Build yourself up by speaking positively to yourself — daily affirmations can decrease stress and increase optimism. Should a challenge arise, remind yourself that you can and will find a solution.
Even powerful CEOs have doubts and may feel vulnerable sometimes. Although there will always be new challenges and you will still make mistakes, adopting these simple tricks can help you feel more confident and lead more effectively at your credit union.
Robin Kolvek is CEO of EPL, Birmingham, Ala. For info: www.eplinc.com.