Assessing and Developing Safety Leadership
Bill George said, “successful leaders lead with the heart, not just the head. They possess qualities like empathy, compassion and courage. They also have the ability to establish deep, long-term and genuine relationships where others trust them.” While individuals often become leaders based on their exceptional technical expertise, what makes them successful in fostering a healthy safety culture depends on their ability to influence and motivate their team. In fact, one of the key predictors of organisational safety success turns on the behaviour of those in management positions.
Our Leader Care Profile (LCP) assesses the qualities associated with building trust and establishing genuine interpersonal relationships. Working closely with one of our coaches, managers create a soft-skills development plan based on the assessment results. The goal is to cultivate the behaviours correlated with authentic leadership and ultimately to enhance the organisation’s overall safety culture.
Individualised leadership assessment
The Leader Care Profile (LCP) starts with a self-assessment of leadership skills. It focuses on humanity, integrity and competence:
- Humanity – shows empathy, treats everyone fairly, helps others grow and readily interacts with others.
- Integrity – is self-aware, shows personal values, manages emotions and is open to change.
- Competence – communicates vision, owns role, influences others, and follows through.
After the initial assessment, you meet with a coach to create a customised plan and timeline to develop targeted skills. Coaching support continues as you begin to implement the agreed upon steps. A second assessment is then made to gauge improvements, and the process can proceed in a cyclical manner for as long as desired. At the end of this process you possess a core set of leadership skills which you have practiced embedding into your daily behaviours thus supporting sustainability within the organisation.
As safety leaders ourselves, we understand the importance of pairing technical know-how and a scientific approach with strong relationships and the ability to influence behaviour. This, as well as our experience working with organisations around the globe has given us valuable insight that informs our work in developing strong leaders.
DEKRA Organisational Reliability developed the Leader Care Profile tool on the basis of many years of research into the skills that make authentic, effective leaders. We have since used it to successfully shape leaders’ behaviours at all organisational levels, embedding the skills required for a robust, sustainable safety culture. We have seen that when leaders learn to inspire by demonstrating authenticity and building trust, they have a decisive impact not only on safety performance outcomes, but on the health and success of the organisation as a whole.