Leadership is never as easy as bread and butter. So, how do you become a good leader? If you are an entrepreneur, you will agree with me that leadership is not as easy as eating cake.
The fact is that leadership is a position of responsibility that comes with taking risks and requires more than just directing others to take actions.
Throughout history, successful leaders do more than just delegating responsibility to their subordinates or team members and wait to see results.
In reality, successful leaders have to inspire, respect and admire their employees in order to encourage them to perform their best. Read on to find out about ten skills that every leader needs to master to accomplish this goal.
#1]. Communicating Expectations
Team leaders want their employees to meet their expectations, but their employees can’t do that if they don’t understand what those expectations are. Effective leaders know how to come up with reasonable expectations and communicate them clearly to team members.
Check out jmreidgroup.com for help developing communication skills. Keep in mind that good communication is a two-way street. Employees who feel valued at their jobs will be more likely to communicate openly and collaborate with other team members and leaders.
When team leaders communicate expectations effectively, their employees are better able to work together since they’ll all be on the same page.
#2]. Finding and Conveying Purpose
A strong, meaningful purpose can bring team members together to complete projects on time and produce stellar results. It’s a leader’s job to help team members develop a sense of purpose and value.
This is easier in some industries than it is in others. A team of firefighters has an obvious shared purpose, as they’re all committed to protecting lives and property.
A good leader can inspire any team to feel that the work they’re performing is of value to the company and society as a whole.
#3]. Delivering Feedback
Effective, inspirational leaders provide plenty of constructive feedback and focus on reinforcing desired behaviors. No employee will respond well to criticism if he or she feels attacked, but the flip side of the coin is that no employee will be able to improve if he or she doesn’t know what’s going wrong. Good leaders can find productive ways of providing adequate feedback, both positive and negative.
#4]. Asking Questions
Skillfully asked questions can improve a team’s creativity and problem-solving. Many managers place more emphasis on the team’s answers than their own questions. This is a mistake. Instead, focus on how to come up with questions to direct the team’s productivity.
Try to leave questions open-ended and leave plenty of room for debate. Some of the most insightful and inspired answers might come from surprising places.
#5]. Speaking Up
If something is going wrong, it’s important for team leaders to speak up. Don’t just assume someone else will step in and solve the problem. It’s always best to speak directly with the people involved in a workplace conflict or performance failure.
As long as the employees involved respect their team leaders, they should be willing to listen and make appropriate changes. Just make sure the employees don’t feel attacked.
#6]. Dealing with Trouble-Makers
Every team meeting has a few trouble makers. Whether there’s one person dominating the conversation or a few people distracting everyone with personal phone use, team leaders need to find healthy, productive ways to keep these potential problem employees on their best behavior so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
It’s never a good idea to put off talking to employees about problem behaviors. This will just escalate the conflict. Instead, choose a good time to speak directly to the employee about his or her behavioral issues in a respectful manner and set clear expectations for how he or she should change them.
#7]. Getting Consent from the Team
Some problems have many solutions, while others have only one. Gaining consensus from stubborn team members can pose a challenge to those in leadership roles, especially if they don’t have formal authority over the person refusing to consent to the solution that will produce results.
Even if a leader has direct authority over his or her employees, it’s better to convince them to offer consent voluntarily than it is to force their decisions. Team leaders need to learn how to talk to hold-outs so they can get everyone on board with implementing effective solutions.
It won’t just ensure that everything can move forward as planned. It will also help to foster a healthy workplace in which everyone feels that his or her opinions and input are valued.
#8]. Communicating Change
Organizational changes can lead to all kinds of problems. Many of them stem from ineffective communication by team leaders. They should explain the changes as clearly as possible and answer employees' questions in advance to prepare all team members to accept organizational changes.
This goes for hiring on new management, moving to a new facility, restructuring the company, upcoming layoffs, and more. Some of these issues are more difficult to face for employees than others.
All of them are easier to deal with if team leaders effectively communicate how things will change around the office and how employees are expected to respond.
#9]. Fostering Resilience
Every employee will face difficulties in his or her job. This goes for managers and employees alike. Team leaders should find ways to learn from mistakes and learn to move on from personal failures in a way that doesn’t create permanent damage, then inspire team members to do the same.
Fostering resilience among employees is also a good way to encourage direct and open communication. It’s difficult for team leaders to help their employees change problem behaviors if their employees are unwilling to confront their own failures.
One of the best things about leading by example is that it gives team leaders the opportunity to learn strategies for fostering resilience that they can then pass on to their employees.
The Bottom Line
Leadership isn’t a personal quality that some people are born with and others lack. It’s an attribute that must be nurtured and developed, which takes time, patience, and outside help. Before working with their team members to improve their productivity and attitudes, all leaders should first work on developing the qualities discussed above so they can lead by example and gain the respect of their employees.