Leading with F.A.C.E

For me, the main role of a leader is to get the most of their team. Everything else within the term leadership is about how we go about achieving this. It’s about creating an environment that is inclusive for everyone, that fits everyone’s individual needs and where everyone can thrive. At PeopleUnboxed, this is when we talk about ‘leading with FACE’.


When employees are given some flexibility over personalising their work environment, they’re happier and up to 32% more productive too. It’s about understanding the different needs of individuals.

  • Consider shift patterns and working time arrangements, factoring in downtime and recovery time.
  • Support collaboration with deadlines and duties, stepping in to help if someone is struggling.
  • Recognise different personalities and cultures and how to flex accordingly, as well as recognising the level of support and direction individuals need.
  • Be open-minded and adaptable to what your people need in the moment – whether that’s their work location or specifics about the work environment or preferred ways of working.



If you want people to buy into you and what you’re trying to achieve, you need to be authentic. This is all about being true to yourself and also not hiding it from others.

  • Be human, let them get to know the real you.
  • Set the example when it comes to work-life balance, or juggling work and kids. If you are struggling or have kids in the background on calls then be honest about it.
  • Lead with integrity and honesty – this builds trust and people know where they stand, it will make people feel at ease.
  • Be aware of yourself – like the oxygen mask on the plane, you must put your own on before anyone else’s – you can’t support others wellbeing if you’re not looking after your own, so ask for support if you need it.



Building a sense of connection across your team is essential. This is more than you building personal rapport with each member, it’s about creating a team culture.

  • Know your people – recognise when they might be at that tipping point, know them as individuals, know what their emotional triggers are and how they respond to pressure, recognise if they are behaving differently and could be anxious or not coping so well.
  • Encourage open and regular communication and idea-sharing. Also, recognise that some people will open up better 1-1.
  • Help them to build support networks with peers, or outside of work, which will help with their ability to be resilient.
  • Genuinely care about your people. When we ask “How are you?”, we expect and usually receive the answer “Fine, OK, good”. This exchange has lost its true meaning and instead is synonymous with a simple hello. If you genuinely want to ask about someone’s wellbeing, consider your second or follow-up question? “How are you feeling right now?”, “How’s your workload?”, “Did you make time for yourself last night?”, “Did you manage to go for your lunchtime walk today?”. Without asking a follow-up question, it’s unlikely you’ll learn anything about their true mental state. Next time you ask “How are you?”, just take a second to think if you really want to know how they are or if you’re simply saying hello.



Our people want to know that we want them to succeed and that we will be supportive when they need us.

  • Have coaching and mentoring conversations where needed, allowing the team to feel that you have their back and you are there to help.
  • Ensure they have a sense of purpose, clear goals and understand how they are contributing as a valued member of the team.
  • Be proactive about celebrating both individual and team successes.
  • Nurture confidence with career growth discussions and personal development plans, focussing not only on improving areas of weakness, but also on recognising and building on strengths.


If we can deliver on all elements of FACE, we are likely to achieve a culture of psychological safety – a culture where people feel confident to be themselves and don’t fear they will be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. This is where employees perform at their best, and where leaders can say that they’ve earned their salary!




The 4Ps of Candid Conversations


The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement


When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument


Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model


Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership


Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types


Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model


We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership


Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation