5 Hallowe’en behaviours that leaders should ditch for the rest of the year

It’s that time of year again when many people enjoy dressing up in a scary costume and commemorating the dead.

All hallows eve (hallowe’en) is a festival that remembers those who have passed on and celebrates the souls of the departed.

Around about this time, lots of us delight in making ourselves look freakish.  Children roam the streets, knocking on the doors of strangers hoping to find treats and we all wonder who will be crowned the apple bobbing champion for this year.

When it comes to work, we recognise that the Hallowe’en theme is not something to aim for all year round so we thought we would share seasonal blog which sets out 5 typical hallowe’en behaviours that leaders should ditch for the rest of the year.

1)      Be a horror – do your staff think you’re a nightmare?  Maybe you change your mind all the time about what you want from them, criticise their hard work and knock their confidence.  If you are a horror all year and not just hallowe’en, they may well decide they’ve had enough of the bad dreams and move on to something better.

2)      Scare people – if you regularly make people worry by convincing them that bad things will happen rather than reassuring them about the future, it is likely that they will eventually have one scare too many and leave you to chase away the ghouls by yourself.

3)      Wear a mask – whilst one of the most fun things about hallowe’en is making yourself unrecognisable, if your team are constantly trying to figure out who you are, you will be missing out on the benefits of authentic leadership and the loyalty and warmth that can come with it.

4)      Trick people – if you like to lull people into a false sense of security and then change your mind or if you delight in catching people out, you are likely to be making people feel insecure which won’t encourage them to hang around for long.

5)      Forget the treats – on hallowe’en, it’s important to remember the treats for that inevitable knock on the door.  In the workplace, you should remember to treat people every day by offering rewards for their efforts. Just a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way towards making people feel valued.  This will ultimately keep them working hard for you and could stop them running away in fright.

Have you had any scary experiences in your office that need to be banished for good?  Tell us your experiences in the comments below.

 

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Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com

Halloween, fancy dress and the ‘Trumpkin’

As Halloween approaches, many of us will be planning for parties and wondering what costume to wear. The festival marks the religious feast of ‘all hallows’ eve’ which is more commonly known in Christian communities as ‘all souls day’. It’s a day to remember the dead which is why it is linked to ghosts, ghouls and all things spooky.

It’s not clear whether this day has arisen from harvest festivals and pagan roots or if it was Christian all along. Celtic customs and beliefs are said to have had an influence – for example, the Welsh used to hold a festival called ‘calan gaeaf’ which was held on the 31st October to celebrate the beginning of winter. However it came about, this is typically the time of year that we enjoy activities such as pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, trick or treating and costume parties.

You might wonder what Halloween has to do with leadership but there a number of things that we can learn from this celebration of the supernatural.

1. Be yourself – Halloween is about dressing up in a clever disguise. This is great for a night of fun but if you are constantly pretending to be someone else as a leader, this will be noticed by others and impact your credibility, hindering your ability to develop trust in relationships. It takes a lot of energy to pretend so the mask could slip, revealing you as a fake. The best thing you can do as a leader is be yourself – even if you are a little ghoulish! People will respect you more for letting your imperfections show.

2. Be vulnerable – Dressing up in a silly outfit and leaving the house takes confidence. Leaders should have the confidence to be vulnerable. This is the very heart of authenticity as it takes confidence to reveal a part of you that might usually prefer to keep to yourself. Your team will respond well to you as an individual if you are able to reveal a fun centre and allow yourself to dress up in a Halloween costume.

3. Be engaging – an engaged team works harder because they want to achieve and succeed. The great thing about Halloween is that many people do engage and participate. If you can bring in a little Halloween magic into the workplace, you can develop a high performing team.

4. Be fun! – I’ve written about this before and I believe in it fully. Having fun for me is a central part of leadership. I want my team to enjoy their work which means finding the fun in the job that must be done (remember Mary Poppins?). If people enjoy what they do, they will do more of it and I certainly want my team to do as much as they possibly can! Fun is a great morale booster so celebrate every festival and allow them to loosen up from time to time.

A life size ‘Trumpkin’

 

Finally, another Halloween trend taking the U.S. by storm is the creation of a ‘Trumpkin’. In the run up to the election, pumpkins everywhere are being carved in to replicas of the man himself. We also saw a few carved Clintons during our recent tour of Massachusetts. Perhaps this is a trend we can adopt here in the UK with imitations of Theresa May, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn. If you do decide to recreate your favourite leader in a pumpkin fashion, be sure to share with me on Twitter @ChristineB_OS

You may also be interested to read my post Leadership is… which considers the importance of fun in leading others.

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