In business people fall into two roles, leading and following. Each is necessary for a business to thrive. There are certain times when roles might need to be reversed to accomplish something, or someone may advance within the company, but for the most part, people’s roles stay the same.
As a leader it is your job to not only make sure that your ‘team’ is getting their work done but also to motive, inspire and encourage. There are many skills and methods you can use to enhance your leadership ability.
To know where you are as a leader you have a few options, you could have your team fill out anonymous questionnaires about you. Another option is to think about one of your favorite leaders, write down all of the qualities that they have and then make a list of all your qualities and see where you are compared to them.
Evaluating yourself is necessary for you to be in a position to evaluate others. Find out your strengths and weaknesses. Decide what kind of leader you want to be and set a goal to work towards it.
Implementing the following leadership methods will help you not only become a better leader, but also help your teams’ productivity and morale increase.
- One on One Coaching: While meetings are a good way to address everyone as a whole on general problems, concerns or changes, it is not the right place to single out employees and discuss their personal struggles. That can be embarrassing and demoralizing.
Make time each month or each quarter to see each employee one on one. Take this time to go over their work, their progression, their attendance, etc. Always make an effort to point out things that they are doing well in; you want to encourage that behavior. You should also discuss things they need to work on.
Set goals with them to achieve by your next meeting. This will give them something specific to work on and they know not only where their focus should be, but where they stand with you and the company.
- Daily Interaction: Take time every day to walk through your employees stations and talk with them. Not only is this a good way to show you are there if they need to talk to you, but it also keeps your employees in line because they know you could show up at any minute.
Know each of your employees’ names and something about them. Ask about family, school, kids, hobbies, etc. Making an effort to better know and understand your employees with show to them that they aren’t just a number to you. Employees who enjoy going to work will work harder than those who don’t.
- Open Door Policy: Let your employees know that they come to you with any concern they have. Some leaders say they have an open door policy and yet if someone comes to them with a problem, they either brush it off like it’s nothing and don’t do much to help the situation or they say they’ll take care of it and they never do.
- Follow Through: As a leader, anytime you say you will do something, do it. One of the most frustrating things for an employee is to have their boss be flakey. You should be someone they can rely on and trust.
- Be Fair: Don’t pick favorites. People can always tell when someone is being put ahead of everyone else. You can award people for doing a good job but don’t just give someone more privileges than the others because you like them. Give everyone the chance to be recognized.
It’s unavoidable that you will have to work with someone you might not like very much. Some people’s personalities just clash. It is your responsibility to keep personal feelings out of it. As long as they are doing their work and fulfilling all their responsibilities, you need to treat them the same way you treat your other employees.
These are only a few ways you can improve your leadership skills. As a leader, your employees are your responsibility. If something doesn’t get done, the majority of the blame falls on your shoulders. Work hard to be there for your employees, to set an example for them and to encourage them to work their hardest.