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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

UNPACKING THE SERVANT LEADERSHIP STYLE

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The term servant leadership is attributed to an essay written by Robert Greenleaf (1904-1990) in 1970. The essay was entitled “The Servant as Leader” and stemmed from concerns over the merits of a centralized organizational structure as a management style to successfully run organizations. This belief was undoubtedly formed in part while working at AT&T and evolved when he founded the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership in 1964. This article focuses on this type of leadership and as you read through the article, identify areas in the way you lead where you may need to embrace this way of leadership. I will unpack the servant leadership style by discussing the pillars that make up this leadership style.
Listening – Traditionally, leaders have been valued for their communication and decision-making skills. However, a Servant-leader must reinforce these important skills by making a deep commitment to listening intently to others. A Servant-leader should seek to identify and clarify the will of a group. They seek to listen receptively to what is being said (and not said). Listening also encompasses getting in touch with one’s inner voice and seeking to understand what one’s body, spirit, and mind are communicating.
Empathize – Servant-leadership is also about striving to understand and empathize with others. Subordinates need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirit. One must assume the good intentions of co-workers and not reject them as people, even when forced to reject their behavior or performance.
Healing – Learning to heal is a powerful force for transformation and integration. One of the great strengths of servant-leadership is the potential for healing one’s self and others. In “The Servant as Leader”, Greenleaf writes, “There is something subtle communicated to one who is being served and led if, implicit in the compact between the servant-leader and the one being led is the understanding that the search for wholeness is something that they have.”
Awareness – General awareness, and especially self-awareness, strengthens the servant-leader. Committing to foster awareness can be scary. As Greenleaf observed, “Awareness is not a giver of solace – it’s just the opposite.  Servant leaders are not seekers of solace. They have their inner security.”
Persuasion – A Servant-leader relies on persuasion, rather than positional authority in making decisions. S/he seeks to convince others, rather than coerce compliance. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model and that of servant-leadership. The servant-leader is effective at building consensus within groups. How do you fair as a leader in this area?
Conceptualization – A Servant-leader seeks to nurture their abilities to “dream great dreams of to think the unthinkable.” The ability to look at a problem (or an organization) from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond day-to-day realities or one must think beyond that which is obvious. S/he must seek a delicate balance between conceptualization and day-to-day focus.
Foresight – Foresight is a characteristic that enables servant-leaders to understand lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision in the future. It is deeply rooted in the intuitive mind.
Stewardship – Robert Greenleaf’s view of all institutions was one in which CEOs, staff, directors, and trustees all play significant roles in holding their institutions in trust for the great good of society.
Commitment to the Growth of People – A Servant-leader believes that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. As such, servant-leaders are deeply committed to the personal, professional, and spiritual growth of every individual within the organization. This entails putting in place a robust human resource development program that ensures that your organization fulfills its human capital responsibility to the organization and the country.
Building Community – A Servant-leader must be aware that the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives has changed our perceptions and has caused a feeling of loss. Thus, a Servant-leader seeks to identify a means for building a community among those who work within a given institution. Are you building a community as a leader?

Compiled by

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Paul Nyausaru
Additional Info.
Paul Nyausaru is an HR Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your HR interventions and leadership development training, you can get in touch with him on WhatsApp/call 0774062756 or Email pnyausaru@gmail.com

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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Take Control Of Your Stress

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lilliosa chaurawa

By: Lilliosa Chiurawa

Stress is not uncommon. It’s how we react to stress that can harm our lives. Stress is defined as any change to which we have to conform to. This entails difficult events in life (bereavement, disease) and optimistic ones. It is viewed that finding a new job or going on holiday are joyful things, but they, too, are transitions that involve some adapting.

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Learning to deal with stress efficiently will relax our bodies and our minds. Meditation and other methods of calming, exercise, visualization are all effective techniques to minimize stress’s harmful effects. To all my fellow Africans who still classify certain things as being for whites only……..it’s high time you reconsider and practice these things.

In moderation, stress may be helpful. This is so because brief stress episodes trigger chemicals that improve memory, raise energy levels, and maximize alertness and productivity. Yet there are adverse impacts on our physical wellbeing from chronic stress. Physically, migraines, ulcers, pain in the muscles, and weakness can result from persistent stress. Canadian researchers found that chronic stress more than doubled the risk of heart attacks.

Persistent stress also affects us emotionally and intellectually and can cause; decreased concentration and memory, confusion, loss of sense of humor, anxiety, anger, irritability, and fear among others. The link between stress and mental illness has yet to be fully explored, although it is recognized that an episode of mental illness can be adversely affected by stress.

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With all this being said, it is good to note that stress can be managed. First, knowing the source(s) of your stress is crucial. It is stressful to have incidents such as the loss of a loved one, beginning a new career, or moving home. Most of our stress comes, though, from inside us. How we interpret things when anything becomes a stressor: a discussion, a performance evaluation, even a glance. Negative self-talk, where we rely on self-criticism and over-analysis of pessimism, may turn an innocent statement into a significant source of stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Knowing where the stress comes from will help you focus on a plan of action. External stressors should be handled over time and through the help of family and friends, such as bereavement or job shifts. Internal stressors, induced by our pessimistic perception, require changes in behavior and attitude.

The purpose of stress control is to cue the “relaxation reaction.” When we feel that the risk, or traumatic occurrence, has passed, this is the physiological and psychological relaxation phase our body goes through.

Here are some tips for triggering the relaxation response:

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LEARN RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

It will alleviate constant stress and realign the attitude in a more optimistic direction by practicing meditation or breathing awareness every day. Healthy breathing techniques alone will promote both your mental and physical well-being. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the fight or flight or mobilization stress response. As you learn and practice these techniques, your stress levels will decrease and your mind and body will become calm and centered.

EXERCISE

You don’t necessarily have to train for a marathon, but routine, mild exercise helps relieve anxiety, boosts sleep and self-esteem. It’s important to make fitness a routine. Even very small activities can add up over a day. These can include putting on some music and dancing around, taking your dog for a walk, Walking or cycling to the grocery store, pairing up with an exercise partner, and encouraging each other as you work out, the list is endless. For one, concentrate on matching your breathing with your movements or feeling how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Including this aspect of mindfulness can help you break out of the destructive thinking loop that sometimes follows overwhelming stress.

ENJOY YOURSELF

A perfect way of connecting with and cultivating your artistic selves is to take the time for a favorite hobby. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors.

Set aside leisure time. Include an everyday routine of rest and relaxing. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. Now is the chance to take a breath and refresh your battery from all commitments. Every day, do something you love. If it’s stargazing, playing the violin, or riding on your bike, find time for recreational activities that please you. Maintain your sense of humor. It requires the potential to laugh at yourself. In a variety of ways, the act of laughter helps the body fight tension.

VISUALIZATION

By picturing themselves crossing the finish line first, athletes produce results. Using the same approach to practice “seeing” yourself excel in your head in whatever situation is uppermost. You can even have pictures on your phone to help with this process. Have positive thoughts about everything.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

When we feel depressed, a healthy diet is always the first thing that comes first. It might sound like a hassle to cook a meal instead of buying a ready-made one, but it would be easier and undoubtedly safer for you. The mere gesture of doing something good for yourself will relieve stressed feelings. It is not only about preparing your meals only but also what you eat. Reduce sugar and caffeine – the temporary “highs” of caffeine and sugar frequently end with a mood and energy crash. You can feel more comfortable and sleep healthier by dropping the amount of caffeine, soft drinks, cookies, and sugar snacks in your diet.

Stop drugs, nicotine, and alcohol. A simple release from depression may be offered by self-medication with alcohol or medications, but the relaxation is only immediate. Don’t ignore the topic at hand or disguise it; deal with concerns head-on and with a clear mind. Your mind, as well as your body, is fueled by adequate sleep. Feeling drained can raise the stress and it will irrationally lead you to worry.

CONNECT TO OTHERS

Nothing is more relaxing than sharing meaningful time with another human being who makes you feel comfortable and understood. Face-to-face interaction simply induces a cascade of hormones that counteracts the defensive “fight-or-flight” reflex of the body. It’s the perfect stress reliever in nature (as a bonus, it also helps stave off depression and anxiety). So, make it a point to communicate with family and friends daily and in person.

Bear in mind that you don’t need to be able to overcome the stress with the people you talk to. Simply, they have to be good listeners. And remember not to let fears deter you from speaking up about looking vulnerable or being a burden. Your trust would flatter the individuals who care for you. It will just strengthen the relationship. Of course, when you feel exhausted by tension, it is not always realistic to have a pal close by to rely on, but you can strengthen your resistance to life’s stressors by creating and sustaining a network of close friends.

MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER

Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. It’s hard to keep relaxed and concentrated when you’re stretched too thin and running behind them. Plus, to keep tension in place, including socializing and having enough sleep, you’ll be tempted to stop or cut back on all the healthy activities you can do. The good news: to create a better work-life balance, there are things you can do:

  • Don’t over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take.
  • Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant or stressful to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
  • Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
  • Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself, whether at home, school or on the job. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.

By Miss Liliosa Tatenda Chiurawa

Mental health peer educator and advocate

Contact: +263719037352, liliosatatenda@gmail.com

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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

5 Books to Read During This Covid-19 Lockdown

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motivational books

Reading helps to exercise the mind just like real exercise is to the body. Books help to strengthen your intellect, decision-making and to make you grow. Books also help you and me to understand the world around us, our past, today, and the possibility of a future. Daniel the great prophet during the time they were in exile in Babylon, understood what would befall them while they were in exile by reading the books, the book of Jeremiah in particular.

Although Daniel was highly spiritual still he had to read.  All this shows why reading books is very important.  One Wiseman once said that if you are growing you are dying. It is such a time like this lockdown that we should be growing and not dying. Below are some of the books that I might recommend you to read during these lockdown times.

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How to Prosper in Hard Times

The book was written by a group of powerful motivational speakers and writers of all that is James Allen, napoleon hill, Gorge S Clarson, Joseph Murphy, and Christian Mason. The books have powerful stories of how people survived the difficult moments of the great depression. it gives tips on how to stay positive in your subconscious mind. It also guides you on how to pray and get the results you desire, something that is possible by avoiding greed, thinking purely, and not condemning things that you want to have in your life such as money.

There is a powerful saying by joseph murphy which is, “What you openly or silently condemn will grow wings and fly away from you’’.  This means simply means if you want to be rich do not condemn openly or silently those that are famous, same with if you want to be rich or academically brilliant, do not condemn those that have made it already. Rather embrace and appreciate the effort that they have made.

Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do

This one is a masterpiece written by Robert H. Schuller, it teaches what to do in tough times and how to be tough in situations so that you may survive. We all agree that Covid 19 and these lockdowns are tough times and we need to be tough for us to survive. Imagine some have lost their jobs, their business has collapsed while others are losing their loved ones every day.  After reading this book you will learn how to solve problems, how to pray, taking charge and control of situations, manage and solve problems, and stay positive during difficult moments.  You need to grab your copy and start reading this book. It’s something you need in these trying times because difficult times never last and all you need to survive.

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Think and Grow Rich

It’s an inspirational classic written by napoleon hill, a man who worked with powerful an entrepreneur of 21st century such as Andrew Carnegie. He shares stories of people who came from nothing to become rich and famous for a lifetime. The book covers important aspects of life such as education, love, and sex, searching for a job, capital, and positive thinking. Another important part of the book is the story of henry ford, a man who was labeled uneducated, only to prove those that had labeled him such wrong in the court of law after henry ford had filed a lawsuit against them. If you are someone who is considering thinking, growing, and becoming rich, this book is the right one for you.

Confronting Mediocrity

The book was written by a young man, Kudzi Webster Mucheuki. Confronting Mediocrity is a must not miss book, if you are someone with a hunger to do greater exploits in this world. It defines mediocrity as the state of being average, not being the best or the worst. The book addresses a diverse audience of the society. It intends to transform the lives of young people who are trying to discover who they are, what they want to do, and the possible path they may want to intake to make it in life. It then gives them a hands-on approach that one can take to reach his or her destiny. It also speaks to all those that are finding it difficult in trying to stand out from the rest. After learning how to prosper in hard times, surviving tough times all you need is to learn how to stand out from the rest and this is done by confronting mediocrity.

Life Will Humble You

 The book was written by Audrey Chirenje, it’s a mixture of fiction and inspiration. This is the story of young a woman, Ronda who got kicked out of her matrimonial home for infertility. One day, at work, vomits finds her in the hospital only to discover that she was pregnant. While she was in the hospital, a client of the company she worked for, Riko, fell in love with her during the hospital. The relationship grew till they decided to marry. a lot of difficulties became the order of the day during the time they were dating including the resurfacing of the ex-husband. The matter is then resolved. Ronda and Riko are finally wedded and live happily ever after. The story shows that even at the end of hope there is another hope. You need to find this book; it will change your life by inspiring and entertain you at the same time.

Compiled by

Rodreck Matsveru (Sir Rody)

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Writer/ Private Tutor /Exam Coach

Contact details: +263775 701 788

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RELATIONSHIPS & MARRIAGES

Love And Relationships Q & A With Coach Rolland

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Is there any specific age difference for relationships?

There is no specific age difference when it comes to relationships. People differ and so are the circumstances that influence them. It is therefore quite misleading to say that there is a specific age gap that couples should have for a relationship to be successful. However, recent studies have shown that there is an ideal age gap.

A study in the Journal of Population Economics pointed out that,  partners who had a zero to three-year age gap revealed that they were happy and more satisfied with their relationship than those with a four- to six-year gap. Likewise, couples with a four- to six-year age difference showed greater satisfaction than those with a seven-plus year gap. This means, that marital satisfaction decreases as the age difference increase… Nonetheless, it should be noted that what really makes a relationship a success is the effort and work that both parties involved put.

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What’s your take on long and short-distance relationships?

Short distance relationships are ideal. These are the kind of relationships everybody should strive for, the reason being that, long distance relationships require one to go an extra mile in putting that effort and work to make the relationship a success. At the end of the day, the success of a relationship is heavily depended on a couple’s maturity, communication skills, loyalty, honesty, spirituality, authenticity and commitment. However, I feel that with long distance relationships require more effort, energy and work.

One needs to have top-notch communication skills, very secure and very mature, faithful, and committed to managing that kind of relationship. It is that “extra effort” that makes them a bit strenuous compared to short-distance relationships. And also with a long-distance relationship, it becomes a bit difficult or rather it might take a long time to know a person especially those small or seemingly harmless behaviours or habits. I am for short-distance relationships any day!

How long should be in a relationship start considering marriage?

People should be in a relationship long enough to see each other in almost all states of being, emotional as well mental states to start considering marriage. Marriage is a big step and people shouldn’t rush to go on marrying if they don’t know how the other person behaves or how they relate to others when they are stressed, sick, broke, tired, hungry, feeling hopeless, angry etc. It is important to know these things first so you can be able to know if you can put up with whatever behaviours they exhibit.

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How are issues solved in relationships?

Conflict resolution is an important characteristic of any relationship and good communication skills are at the centre of any successful conflict resolution/problem solving in a relationship. If the parties involved do not have good communication skills, addressing issues in a relationship becomes difficult. It is easier for a couple to solve relationship issues on their own if their communication skills are good. However, if their communication skills are not good, it is good for the couple to involve third parties and this range from family members, friends, and spiritual leaders to professional (trained) therapists or relationship coaches.

Relationship issues are addressed by having those honest, uncomfortable conversations. And parties involved should validate each other’s feelings; listen to each other’s concerns and then work together to resolve the issues. Working together or pulling in the same direction to address issues is the key. But that consensus is reached when there are  good communication skills.

What’s his take on sex before marriage what are the most important skills for a happy relationship?

I do not encourage sex before marriage. I am a firm believer that sex should happen in marriage. There are so many ways couples who are not married can bond and enjoy their relationship without sex, talk about, learning new life skills together, nurturing their talents together, helping each other to grow spiritually or financially or achieving goals or meeting deadlines be it at school or work, there are so many games in this world to learn and play… As for most important skills that couples need to learn to create or enhance their relationship I would say, communication skills.

The success of a relationship is determined by how well couples communicate to each other. The learning and success of all other skills is evident or can be appreciated if the communication between partners is on point.

What’s your take on Valentine’s Day?

I believe that it is a special day for couples to appreciate each other in a special way and show their gratitude to each other. Haha, a Christmas day for couples.

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What is a man’s and woman’s position on valentine’s day?

It’s a day for both of them to appreciate each other and the best way to do this is by giving each other gifts or a gift and spending quality time together. Both of them should make it a mission to please the other.

What are some of the ways of showing and appreciating your partner?

Speaking their love language is the best way to start. Once you know your partner’s love language then it becomes very easy to figure out what else you can do more to show them that you appreciate them. People are different and they value things differently, therefore one should make an effort to learn and know what makes their partner tick and do those things.

To give pointers, tell them that you appreciate them. Yes it is said that actions speak louder than words, but actions only will not do the magic, there is a need to constantly tell your person that you love, care, and appreciate them. Cook their favourite meal, help them to meet a deadline either at work or at school, write them a note, buy them their favorite drink, chocolate or perfume, in short, buy them a gift, spend time with them and always compliment them…

Is it a must to get your love a gift on Valentine’s?

The best answer to that is, know your person and their love language… Yes it is a nice thing to receive or get a gift from your partner on Valentine’s day but other people value spending time with their person more or having their person tell them how much they are grateful to have them in their lives. So in as much as it is a good gesture to get your person a gift on Valentine’s Day, the best is to get to know what exactly do they really want you to do on that day and do it. Learn to read the room. What is your partner hinting at… Do that.

Should couples celebrate love on Valentine’s Day only?

Definitely no! Every day is an opportunity for couples to celebrate their love for each other. However, Valentine’s day is that one day on the calendar that is specifically attributed to couples to appreciate each other and I believe it’s a good thing for couples to make it a special day for each other.

What are the things couples should do to make their valentines memorable and romantic?

It’s the best day to make that effort to speak each other’s love language, have that candlelight dinner, revisit your vows, goals, and vision as a couple. The whole idea is to find what the other person would love you to do for them and do it. It’s that effort that makes the whole experience memorable and romantic.

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