Management is as much about relationships as it is about results. As a business owner or manager, your leadership skills will have a direct impact on the productivity and motivation of your team members.
Get it right, and you will have a highly motivated and enthusiastic team ready to do their best to achieve your company goals. Leadership skills require constant honing, and if you hope to do it well, here are keys to keep in mind.
Self-awareness is key to good leadership and to improve your leadership skills. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Look inward and identify what it is that you bring to the table. You must first understand what you have to work with before you can think of improving it.
Acknowledging your shortcomings and being purposeful about growing in and being aware of your weaknesses is the only sure way to grow as a leader. You will also achieve significant growth once you identify your strengths and build on them. Use coaching, mentoring, and courses to improve your leadership and to work on improving your strengths.
Model to your team the kind of attitude and behavior you would like to see in them. As a leader, be ready to walk the talk in earnest.
Are you following the rules you expect your team to follow? Are you late to work on most days, and yet, are too quick to scold that employee who clocks in five minutes late? Your team will always be paying attention to what you do over what you say.
Instead of hiding away in your office and delegating everything over the phone, or email, step out onto the floor, and let your team see you. Make an effort to support your team in doing whatever tasks are at hand. Be available and interact with your team. People trust people that they know and like, so you need to let them get to know you!
Let those around you know that you are a part of the team. It’s not about how much you can take on, but that you are willing to do it, however, small the job may be. You may not even need to do anything, and just being out there will communicate to the rest of the team that you are all in it together, inspiring them to do more and to do better.
Effectively communicate your expectations. Ensure that each team member is aware of what their role entails and what is expected of them as they take on the role. Be open and do not be one to shy away from having the most difficult of conversations.
As a leader, you must also be sure to listen. Encourage your team to share their ideas and be accepting of the feedback that you receive. Be inclusive and give room for your team to share their viewpoints, who knows what great ideas they will come up with.
Work-related stress can take a toll on anyone. It can be easy to just fly off the handle and vent out your frustrations in a vicious rant directed at your subordinates. Don’t do it. Ever.
As a leader, learn to practice the pause. Exercise restraint and be patient. If a member of your team mismanages a task, patiently explain to them the right way. It will minimize the chances of the same mistake happening again in the future. Doing it any other way will only lead to employee demoralization and instill fear.
Be the leader your team and business needs with these tips to improve your leadership skills. Whether innate or developed over time, you can develop your leadership skills with practice. What is most important to remember is that you need to keep learning and changing your approach accordingly.
Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?
Let’s talk about life, leadership, and business coaching. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!