Developing yourself as a PEOPLE LEADER by Rachel Russell

Let’s do a reality check. You are typically not as good as you were on your BEST day. 

There are days where you nail it; hit that sweet spot, build and solidify that relationship, find the essential missing link to fulfill the expectations of your people in a really, really good way. Right?  

On the flipside, there are days where you feel like you can’t get through to your people, like you cannot really get where they are coming from, and they have really unrealistic demands…and it drives you insane. 

What’s the ratio between the two? What’s the reality? 

The reality is this: you are typically not as bad as you were on your WORST day, either.

We all have opportunities to develop further in our roles as people leaders. People are complicated, YOU are complicated. Working relationships are high maintenance, juggling projects is no easy feat and expecting yourself to be a Master of It all is just setting yourself up to fail.

How do you determine what your areas of focus are? How do you effectively lead whilst prioritising your development? 

Here are the three main areas you may wish to focus on if you want to see a measured difference in your leadership capabilities:


What is your self-awareness level? How are you perceived by others? 

Knowing yourself and your behavioural tendencies is key to ensuring you become the most effective version of yourself. Carl Jung once said, ‘Until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” 

Our core behaviour is mostly unconscious. There are behavioural patterns within us which we have developed over time, ever since we were young children. Tendencies and mechanisms which we are not necessarily aware of have a way of affecting us. Understanding your weaknesses should not in any way limit your opportunities. On the contrary, it should empower you to welcome and embody change, along with utilising your strengths as a measure to compensate for your shortcomings. Understanding your weaknesses will enable you to take specific actions which will result in the necessary changes you need to make within your professional development. 


This is key to optimising your empathy levels, your relationship management, as well as the effectiveness of your communication to others. The higher your abilIty in putting yourself in another person’s shoes is, the better you will be at empowering and motivating them. 

The thing is this: you can’t make deep connections with others if you’re distracted. We all have other obligations, a crazy to-do list, children, the list goes on and on. However, building and maintaining a productive relationship with the people you are leading is essential to your ability to gain a higher EIQ. As a leader, you have a lot on your plate, BUT this should be high on your list.

So consider this: how regularly do you have one-to-ones with your people? What is spoken about during these meetings? How well do you really know your people? If there is a performance slump, what is the angle you are taking when you talk to them about it? What is the best way to really interact with your people?

The sooner you start making all of the above a habit, the sooner you will be able to identify your emotional make-up, and become more relatable and credible to others. 

As Daniel Goleman once said: “If you are tuned out of your emotions you will be poor at reading them in other people.


Viktor Frankl, a man imprisoned by the Germans during the Second World War, once said, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.

Your attitude is how you mentally see the world around you. Your attitude encourages others to view the world in the same way, whether that perception is akin to the glass being half full or empty. What is your mental view? Life sucks and then you die? Or is it a meaningful journey filled with hope? Is it somewhere in between?

How you choose to set your mental view of the world is up to you. The good news is it is totally a choice. 

One way of looking at it is that you are in a position to influence others. However, you are influenced by your surroundings. In order to maintain a positive attitude you need to be constantly aware of your surroundings. When you are down and out and your mental view is bleak, are you really conscious of your triggers and what it is that is influencing that view? Are you focusing on the problem or your capacity to change it? How do you change the narrative to ensure that you are INSPIRING your people, rather than simply influencing them?

If you want to access an easy way to find out about all of this within yourself and more, contact us to find out more about PRISM- A brain-mapping tool. 


For more information about our services or if would like us to help you develop your company managers into leaders, please contact us on:

Rachel joined Mdina International in 2017 and specialises in Enhancing Team Experience, Sales and Customer Care. She has been highly involved in the development and delivery of Assessment and Evaluation Centres which have enhanced the recruitment process and identification of training needs and potential growth opportunities of existing staff for a range of clients. 

Rachel is a certified PRISM Practitioner and has also facilitated ‘Training meets Team-Building’ events of large groups of up to 40 people.

Mdina International