What makes a good leader? The expectations of a leader in the workplace today are very high, and require, not only the ability to multitask, but also the strong sense to lead a group of employees consistently and proactively. A company can have a very talented, well-trained employee staff, but if the supervisors and/or managers are not up to par, it will really show in daily performance and all stages of production. Managers and supervisors have a very important impact on the motivation of the employees and the general mood of the day. Leaders who are positive, supportive and inspiring prove to have higher performing teams. So what steps can you take to become a better leader? Please take a look at some of the items I have compiled, and try to find a way to utilize these pointers in your daily work environment.
1. Know Yourself: Understanding your leadership style is key in developing your skills. What are some of your strengths? What are some of your weaknesses? Let’s work to find areas where improvements can be made. Here is a short online quiz to help you determine your leadership style. Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, you should be better able to focus on certain qualities, and improve your leadership abilities.
2. Inspire Creativity: Employee staff members need to be encouraged to express their creativity. An effective leader should offer new challenges and be very supportive along the way. One way to encourage creativity is to offer challenges, making sure that the goals are set within the group’s abilities. The purpose of this is to get people to expand their limits, but not to become discouraged by barriers.
3. Walk the Walk, and Talk the Talk: Staff members admire leaders who say what they do, and do what they say. Most employees will work very hard to emulate their leaders. If you want to become a better leader, work on displaying the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.
4. Exude Passion: It’s one thing to lead a group of people to completing a task, but it is another thing to lead them while showing your enthusiasm for the hard work and creativity that goes into a job well done! Let them see you are excited to show them the ropes, and they are sure to perform with more excitement and dedication.
5. Communicate: It is important to express that communications are always open. Don’t assume your staff members know how you feel about them and their performances. Arrange for a monthly sit-down with each member individually, and discuss with them the goals you have set for your department, and let them offer any ideas they may have towards achieving the goals that are set in place.
6. Keep it Positive: Sometimes leaders get discouraged, but it’s important to maintain an upbeat attitude while in the presence of the employees. That bad mood can really rain down on the group, and produce a general feeling of bleakness. Leaders must continue to create an inspiring environment even when things have taken a temporary undesirable turn.
7. Welcome Ideas: Let the members of your staff know that you welcome their ideas. Leaders who encourage involvement are often referred to as participative leaders. While they have the final say over the decisions, they encourage staff members to take an active role in developing new ideas. Research has shown that using a participative leadership style leads to greater commitment and improved productivity.
8. Motivate: Inspiring motivation isn’t always easy, but it serves well to set an example of passion and drive for the projects at hand. Be sure to discuss goals and plans with staff members to get them excited about the steps it will take to arrive at the desired destination.
9. Recognition: A good leader knows that rewarding staff members is one of the best ways to help them feel happy and appreciated. It is well known, that happy people have a tendency to perform much better. Put your praise in writing, and make it known to the others on the team during periodical staff meetings. Recognition by peers builds confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment, all the while giving others on the staff a driving desire to better themselves and succeed.
10. Learn from Your Staff: Leadership is not a one-way relationship! As you work toward sharpening your skills, look to your staff members for their feedback and inspiration. Pay attention to the things that have worked well in the past, and always be attentive to new methods of inspiring, motivating and rewarding your team members.