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Star Trek

When I was younger, one of my favourite shows was Star Trek. I do love sci-fi and this show had such a positive effect on me as a child. It demonstrates some of the greatest ways to be a good leader.

Often leadership is hard to quantify, but we usually know what it isn't. We have all seen a bad leader in our workplace. Someone who has a lack of transparency, poor communication skills or ends up belittling staff rather than building them up.

The show has been on our screens for over 50 years and each captain has demonstrated some of what it means to be a good leader and how we can inspire others and help them see their value.

My favourite Captain of all, Picard, was able to really empathise with others and took the time to educate himself in the ways of their culture.

In one episode, Picard finds himself being held captive by the Tamarians, a group who speak entirely in metaphors. He watches how people communicate and interact with each other and learns to engage with them in a way that they understand.

It's usually true that subtle differences are harder to spot than bigger ones. However, observing how your colleagues communicate and interact with each other will help you engage with them and will improve your relationships and work environment. Sometimes this can be as simple as using e-mail for some and phones for others, or picking analogies that everyone can understand. It's also important to understand how we best communicate so we can help others connect efficiently and effectively with us.

Many episodes focused on sending an “away team” into the field to identify and investigate situations. Each captain was great at delegating but they often joined the away team on their missions. It is important to know how to delegate and manage a team but there is also value in raising your own hand to offer assistance.

Even if you are not a fan of Star Trek, I think everyone can agree that we all are more fulfilled when we are trusted to work by a leader that carefully looks to speak our language and isn't afraid to get involved. We should be on the lookout for our chances to be a good leader, as well as working well under the leadership of others.


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