WHAT IS SERVANT LEADERSHIP?
The phrase “servant leadership” was first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his 1970 essay.
According to him, as a servant leader, you are a servant first. You have to focus on your team members' needs before your own. A servant leader should focus on the growth and well-being of the communities in which they belong. They should appreciate other people’s perspectives and help them to meet their professional and personal goals. The servant leader shares power and helps people to develop and perform as highly as possible.
This act leads to more engagement, make you trustworthy, and build stronger relationships with team members and other stakeholders. It will increase innovation. A servant leader serves instead of commanding, shows humility to others instead of brandishing authority, and always looks forward to developing their staff members and helping them to unlock their potential and creativity.
Servant leadership is not a leadership style but it complements democratic leadership styles and is also similar to transformational leadership. These are the most effective styles for using in business situations.
HOW CAN SOMEONE BECOME A SERVANT LEADER?
The former president of the Robert K. Greenleaf, Larry C. Spears, said that anyone can become a servant leader if he has these 10 important characteristics:
To serve people better, one must have a good ability to listen to people's perspectives and understanding them. If someone wants to improve their listening skills pay complete attention to what the other person is saying, avoid interrupting them in between, notice their body language and also give feedback after they’ve finished. Try to make a habit of automatically responding to any problem you listen to. It helps the other person to clarify his doubts. It is a simple way to make your team members feel valued.
The servant leader must have the ability to understand the emotions and feelings which are expressed by their team members. You can put aside your viewpoint temporarily and become more understanding. Such type of servant leaders will care for other people and understand others so deeply. In this way, a servant leader can let their team workers shine and help them to turn their weaknesses into strengths.
Being a servant leader, you must have the ability to relate to the emotional health of other people. People always desire a leader who supports them both emotionally and
physically. Some employees come to you from a previous job where they had a really bad experience. You can help them to give a better work environment under your guidance. If you are promoting the mental and emotional strength of your employees, you can gain trust and faith from others faster.
If you are in a position of a servant leader, you should be completely aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and emotional feelings. This awareness is necessary because it will help you to understand how people around you get affected by your behavior. Try to figure out how you can use yourself to fit in the team that benefits the organization.
As a servant leader, you can influence others' opinions and actions through your persuasive skills. There are many tools you can use for persuasion without taking advantage of others or ruining any relationships. You can use this power to influence others positively.
It is defined as when you can predict what will be happening in the future by learning from past experiences, witnessing the present reality, and understanding the effect. This prediction helps the servant leader to plan ahead.
It should be an important quality of a servant leader to conceptualize the possibilities of the future and create a mission and vision for the team to achieve that dream. This quality will help to develop a long-term focus to stay motivated and visualize a bright future.
A servant leader acts as a steward for the organization and takes responsibility for the performance of the team. They always serve the needs of others and focus on the betterment of the employees, organization, and stakeholders.
Devotion for other people’s growth
Servant leaders are devoted to nurturing the personal and professional growth of each individual on their team. They help employees to learn skills to do their jobs effectively.
A servant leader can build a sense of community in the organization. He can give opportunities to people so that they can easily interact with each other. He can organize social events or gatherings in the organization. It will help people to chat with others informally away from their desks.
So these are some common characteristics every servant leader should have. These characteristics will be beneficial for them so that they can encourage others and grow their team members and their organization. Servant leaders always have more to learn because they are an essential part of the company.