As a leader, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got all the answers but a wise leader will always look for ways to improve. Leaders are always asking people to improve and strive for better, which is why they must do the same. To help you be the best leader you can be, we’ve found the top eleven tips.
Be a good role model
Your actions and behaviours shape the workplace, so act how you would like your employees to act. They will take your behaviour as the marker of what is appropriate in the workplace, so beware of the impression you’re giving others. According to the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, leadership is about showing others what is required instead of telling them.
If you make a mistake, admit it and apologise when needed. This will foster a more cooperative environment where others feel safe admitting their mistakes and asking for help. It is much more productive and efficient to have mistakes identified and fixed immediately and people will learn quickly what not to do so mistakes aren’t repeated.
Communication is key to being a good leader. Let your team know that they can discuss any issues with you and give them your attention when they do. Listen carefully and talk to their concerns. From the outset, you should be clear about your expectations and address any misunderstandings. This will build trust and respect.
Ask for feedback
As a leader, you can always improve. Staff and peers are essential to evaluating your effectiveness as a leader and are the best people to tell you what is and isn’t working.
Have a mentor
Seeking advice or opinions from others more experienced than you is essential to becoming a better leader. Trusted friends or colleagues can provide insight or a different perspective that can be invaluable. If you can’t find a suitable mentor, you may want to mentor yourself by studying past leaders in your position or in more powerful positions. Examining the strengths and weaknesses of a past leader can help you develop your own style and avoid their pitfalls.
Be emotionally aware
People drive your business, so keeping your team happy and being sensitive to their needs will only get you respect. People will work hard for a leader who respects and listens to them. You catch more flies with honey (not that you should ever refer to your team as flies).
The opportunity to present ideas of their own can lead employees to be more committed to their work, as well as more productive. It can also be very beneficial to your business if the ideas work. Rewarding creativity will allow your team to realise their full potential.
Leaders must show their dedication to the company and the work it does. Show your team how much you value their contribution to the company and its goals. Your dedication will inspire dedication in your employees.
Know your team
Knowing who is working for you and understanding their skill sets will ensure that you know who is right for which role, thereby maximising productivity. You will also know how much you can challenge people without pushing them too far.
Focus on positives
The way a leader deals with negative situations or outcomes speaks volumes about their leadership skills. Looking at the positives allows people to think more clearly about situation and it encourages people to do better without upsetting them.
Challenges drive people to achieve more and feel more accomplished. Staff can learn and master new skills to utilise in your business. Feeling challenged prevents your team from getting bored or complacent and allows your business to grow as their skills and knowledge grow.