How to be a more effective leader
Being a great leader means being someone who people feel comfortable to go to for guidance as well as being someone who provides promising and effective results.
Not only does a leader serve a company, but most importantly they are there for the people within that organisation who keep the business alive and thriving.
Here are our top tips for being an effective leader.
Communicate openly, honestly, and clearly
Communication is arguably the most important aspect of being a leader. You want to communicate authentically and clearly. There are so many items to communicate well including business/team updates, directions for tasks, project information, change, feedback, and so much more.
Communication is not just about being the one to express clearly, it is also about listening to the needs of your team and understanding what can help them be successful in their roles.
Be personable, connect with your team, check in regularly
Don’t be a stranger, or too distant from the people you work with. You want your peers to feel comfortable approaching you. On that note, it is important to check in with your team on a somewhat regular basis to gauge their workload, how they are coping, what they may need, and what you might need from them.
Support professional and personal growth
A good leader wants their people to grow and evolve. It’s important to support career or personal growth so that your team feels inspired and motivated. It can help to build your teams goals together and use regular check ins to track progress.
Be accessible and responsive
There is nothing worse than waiting on answers or clarity that you never get! It’s important that you are available to your people when you say you will be. Of course, with the flexible working circumstances occurring now, you won’t always be accessible 9-6 from Mon to Fri, but you can ensure that your team knows when you will be available and, in those times, make an effort to respond within a 24-hour period.
Be open to new ideas
Avoid the attitude of ‘my way or the highway’. Be open to innovation, new ideas and allowing people to take calculated risks. It’s important that not every winning idea comes from you and that collaboration is always involved.
Keep a positive attitude
This is a big key in ‘leading by example’. If you keep a positive attitude, mixed with some realism, your team will follow and will also bring positive energy. A bad attitude can be contagious and there is no effective leadership with a cynical team.
Give and receive feedback
Every leader should learn a helpful and constructive way of giving feedback, as well as being open and creating a forum where they can receive honest feedback. It’s important to not just give feedback, but also suggest steps to help them overcome or work towards improving their performance. And it’s important not to just hear feedback but to follow up with actions and behaviours that show you have listened.
Recognise and reward
In addition to constructive feedback, you MUST recognise and reward great work, whether that is a huge stand out achievement or simply consistent hard work. This shows appreciation and can help keep the team motivated to keep achieving!
Become emotionally intelligent
Emotional intelligence is hugely important when managing people and understanding individual personalities, how they work, and what they respond well to. It’s important to gain a deeper understanding of each of your team members, as well as other people in your organisation. Take mental notes and interact accordingly. It can also help to be emotionally intelligent within yourself, understand your triggers, what you can improve and what you are good at. By having this awareness, you are less likely to encounter reactive situations and personality clashes.
Empathy at work is useful for everybody, especially leaders as it can help build strong, more meaningful, and genuine relationships with colleagues as well as allowing for more patience and less miscommunication. You can learn more about being empathetic at work in this blog.