As the year draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the lessons I have learned this year.

When it comes to leadership, I keep coming back to seven foundational principles. Whether it’s through my coaching practice, in researching in the subject or in my own bumbling experiences in being a manager, the same tenets continue to stand out.

I’ve blogged about these topics before. And it bears repeating.

Here are my 7 top tips for igniting better leadership:

1. Book time in your diary for reflection. Ideally daily – just 10 minutes alone with your coffee is enough. This is the space in the diary that can feel squeamish, particularly for those of us who link action with productivity. See here for more on reflection, mindfulness and meditation.

2. Listen more. Talk less.

3. Ask more questions. See here for some good ones for starters. Tell less – especially if you want to win hearts and minds rather than use force.

4. Shine a light on what you want to grow. We don’t value each other and what each person brings nearly enough. You may be managing non-performance, but are you highlighting strengths and possibilities?

5. Get comfortable (and skilled) with giving and receiving feedback. Have courageous conversations in a compassionate way.

6. Value divergent thinking.

7. Lighten up. Change is hard. It takes time. We are all doing our best.

What tips do you have to add to the list above? As always, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave your comments below.