Host Leader: The Space Creator Role

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Part of being a great host leader is being a great space creator. This means planning for the space and tweaking the space as applicable.

In my training to become a Certified Brain Health Coach with Amen University, Dr. Amen always taught us the 4 circles approach:

  • Biological Circle: How your physical body and brain function (body)
  • Psychological Circle: Developmental issues and how you think (mind)
  • Social Circle: Social support and your current life situation (connections)
  • Spiritual Circle: Your connection to something bigger (the Universe, etc), the planet, past and future generations, and your deepest sense of meaning and purpose (spirit)

In being a Host Leader who is guided to be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward, what does that means when I step into my role as a Space Creator. What does it mean, when I head to the kitchen to plan and re-plan for a safe and productive space for my team? We want to lead a high-performing, safe, healthy, and resilient team.

What are the spaces we steward? Inspired by the 4 Circles, the spaces to consider could be…

Biological / Physical Space:

As a steward of the physical space, the host leader should ensure that their team works in a safe, healthy environment, and productive environment. This goes beyond providing the necessary equipment, tools, and resources to perform their tasks effectively in that time is taken to design a physical workspace that promotes safety, collaboration, creativity, productivity, and resilience.

Social Space:

As a steward of the social space, while in the kitchen the host leader would plan (and then later come back to the kitchen to reflect on the reality of the situation and/or meet a trusted advisor in the kitchen to further step forward). Items to plan for and reflect on these questions:

How will I be helping to encourage open communication? How will I help create an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas?

How will I encourage dialogue, active listening, and honest feedback? How will I make sure to be inclusive and to draw out ideas from people who are more reserved about sharing their perspectives?

How will I help to foster collaboration? …build opportunities for team members to work together on projects, share knowledge and skills, and collaborate in problem-solving?

How will I help the team to build team relationships? …organize team-building activities that encourage relationship building and socialization?

How will I ensure that we establish shared values? … to identify and communicate shared values that guide the team’s behavior and decision-making? Then, how will I encourage team members to live up to these values in their daily work?

How will I help to recognize and celebrate success? Celebrate team members’ successes and recognize their contributions? This could include recognizing individual achievements or team accomplishments.

How will I encourage work-life balance? Respect time zones? How will I ensure that team members have the opportunity to balance work and personal life by offering flexible working arrangements or time off when needed?

How will I lead by example? Plan to model the behavior you want to see in your team by being respectful, compassionate, and supportive. Show genuine interest in team members’ work and well-being.

Psychological Space:

A project manager can be a steward of the psychological space by considering the emotional aspect of this space as well as the cognitive (mental) one. You can act as a steward of the emotional space by fostering a supportive and empathetic work culture. This includes creating a safe space for team members to express their feelings and concerns. The host leader can integrate the role of “healer” to provide emotional support and help team members manage stress and anxiety. Trauma-informed Resilience-oriented (TIRO) organizations, teams, and people help to create and maintain a safe and productive emotional space. Polyvagal-informed approaches are also very important.

A host leader can act as a steward of the mental space by encouraging their team to continuously learn and develop their skills. This involves providing training, mentorship, and coaching opportunities to help team members improve their performance. As a host leader, a project manager can take on the role of coach, mentor, or trainer to facilitate knowledge-sharing and create a culture of learning.

Spiritual Space:

A project manager can act as a steward of the spiritual room by aligning their team’s values with the organization’s mission and purpose. This involves creating a sense of shared purpose and meaning among team members. Additionally, a manager can integrate the role of visionary to inspire their team to work towards a shared vision and create a positive impact on society.