Leadership Skills - 10 Ways to Beef Up
10 Ways to Beef Up Your Leadership Skills
Have you ever heard someone say, "Actually, I have to admit that I think I am really bad at managing other people. My staff all hate me and I'm incapable of doing my job".
The answer is no, of course. No one says this either because they don't believe it, or because they don't want to appear incompetent. Unfortunately research tells us that from the employees' perspective, there aren't that many terrific managers out there.
What should we take out of this dichotomy? Perhaps at the least, we could all admit to ourselves that there is room for some improvement in the way we lead others. After all, it's not the sort of skill that is easy to get 100% right all of the time. It might just be that we don't specifically know what improvements to make, so here's 10 ways to start:
1. Get a reality check
Finding out what others think of our leadership style can be real eye-opener, and is often the most powerful driver for change. Using a 360 survey where you receive feedback from your staff, peers and manager, gives you some concrete information on a sometimes intangible subject. Use an existing tool (and there are some highly regarded ones out there) or else simply let your staff know that you are seeking feedback from them in order to improve your style.
A word of caution though, your staff may not feel safe in giving feedback if they believe you are going to use it against them, or become defensive about what they say. It's up to you to create a safe environment so they feel comfortable in being open and honest with you.
2. Don't use the power of your position to get things done
If people are questioning why certain things are done, or the logic of decisions, never pull rank in response. A critical component of effective leadership is getting the buy-in from your team and colleagues. You don't get buy-in by telling them that the decision is the right one because you are the boss and you made it. Your team may not always agree with what is being done, but they are more likely to respect you if you take the time to explain your rationale.
3. Don't think of employees as things that need to be controlled or managed
Instead, give them the latitude to take actions and make decisions. Trust is a vital component of leadership. If you can't trust people to do their jobs well, then you either have the wrong people in the jobs, or you have the right people but you haven't trained them sufficiently. Let them do what they are there to do, without leaning over their shoulders all the time, or demanind to know how they spend each minute of their time.
4. Listen, listen, listen
If there are unhappy or disgruntled people in your business, you can guarantee that at some stage they've tried to tell you what the problem is. It's likely you weren't listening (or didn't want to listen), or perhaps your initial reaction made the person think twice about bringing the problem to you. Truly listening is one of the greatest skills to develop, regardless of your role. Good listeners are genuinely interested, convey empathy, and want to find out what's behind the conversation. Great leaders are great listeners -without exception.
5. Stop providing solutions
Managers often achieve their positions after being technical specialists, and so will have an opinion or view on how to "fix" situations or problems. They believe that it's faster to tell someone what to do, or do it themselves, than give their employees an opportunity to figure it out. By always providing the answers, managers take away opportunity for their employees to learn and come up with alternative (and potentially better) ways of doing things.
6. Always be constructive - always
Language and communication skills set great leaders apart from mediocre ones. Don't patronise or be critical of others - take complete responsibility for how you are heard. If you catch yourself about to make negative remarks, take a breath and rephrase your words to get your message across without the emotional attachment. Great leaders always find a way to say things calmly and constructively.
7. Judge your success by the success of your team
The true success of a leader can be measured by the success of the people that work for them. As a manager of others, your prime responsibility is to ensure the success and development of your team. If they are successful, you will automatically be successful. Focus on building their skills and removing obstacles in their way. If you can achieve this, you will see the results in the productivity, motivation and satisfaction of your employees. This in turn filters through to bottom-line results.
8. Don't do things just because they will "look good".
Nothing is more transparent than managers who make decisions and behave in ways simply to look good to their superiors. If you want to improve as a leader, one of the qualities you need is integrity. The integrity to make decisions because they are right, and the integrity to stand up when you truly believe something is not in the best interests of the business. Whether or not it is in your personal best interests is much less of a consideration.
9. Include humour in your diet
Nobody likes to work in an environment that is devoid of any fun. People are more productive when they are enjoying themselves. Creating a workplace where fun is permitted and encouraged can make a significant difference, and it's even more effective when the boss participates. It increases team spirit, and encourages people to see you as a person, not simply as the boss.
10. Let people get to know the real you
Being open about yourself helps to break down the barriers that hierarchy puts in place. When your employees know the person behind the façade, that's when you start to build the foundations of good leadership - trust and respect.
Megan Tough, director of Action Plus, is passionately committed to helping people move their businesses & careers forwards. She works internationally with enterprising proefssionals to accelerate their development and create more financially & personally rewarding professional lives. Visit her on the web at http://www.megantough.com for more information.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Build competitive advantage through servant leadership & continuous improvement - Philadelphia Business Journal
The Three Essential Attributes of a Leader: (Part 2) Bringing Others to the Vision
We need to engage our listeners and transform them into excited, willing and committed supporters of the vision - for the duration of delivery!Logic, our intellect, doesn't know how to do this. It knows how to present the facts.
10 Smart Ways Leaders Can Bring Out the Best in Others
You are a leader. Everyone is a leader.
Leadership For Deep Results: Without Them Are You Wasting Your Leadership And Your Life? (Part One)
I've challenged all leaders I have worked with during the past two decades to achieve "more results faster continually."They can get on track to start achieving such results not by working harder and longer but by slowing down and using Leadership Talks on a daily basis.
A Winning Choice for Leadership!
"The only way to enjoy anything in this life, is to earn it first." -Ginger RodgersOne bad apple can spoil the bunch! As a leader, we cannot allow "bad apples" to interrupt our efforts toward achieving our goals.
None of Us Arrived with an Owners Manual: A Fresh Perspective on the Drive to Lead (part 2)
Why didn't I get an Owner's ManualAfter a little while with life happening and no sign of the Manual we began to realize we would need to make the best of it. We began to look around to see who had one and studied what they knew, surely some of it must be generic! We began to study our parents, our siblings - if they looked competent enough, and our other care givers.
Three Factors Of Leadership Motivation
Leaders do nothing more important than get results. But you can't get results by yourself.
Steps to Becoming a Good Leader
STEPS TO BECOMING A GOOD LEADER: 1. Develop a master plan.
The Leadership Strategy: An Unmined Comstock Lode of Results
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill had a framed inscription on his desk that said, "It's not enough to say we are doing our best. We must succeed in doing what is necessary.
Celebrating Successes: The Power Of Compliments
Years ago, when I was new in management circles, a veteran administrator decided to share his self-described secret of success. He said: You have to be careful, Bill.
Exceptional Leadership Inspires the Best Effort in Others
There is a steady stream being written and taught about leadership these days. There are tips about leadership, courses about leadership, books, retreats, and continuing education - all focused on leadership.
Leading In The Face Of Disaster
The date was Saturday, April 11, 1970, the time 13:13 CST. The event to take place was to be one of NASA's finest hours; the launch of Apollo 13.
Are You a Leader or a Manager?
President Ike Eisenhower once demonstrated the difference between leadership and management to his cabinet by putting a piece of string in a straight line on the conference table. He then asked one of the attendees to put his finger on one end of the string and push it.
Coaching a Leader
One of my favorite memories growing up as a child was making trips with my family to my sister's volleyball tournaments on the weekends. Those memories are filled with being a part of an exciting atmosphere, sitting in the stands and watching the action-packed games.
"What is leadership?" When this question is asked most of the people answer "leadership is the capacity or an ability of a person to lead". Earlier theories of leadership viz.
Leadership - Push vs. Pull?
At your next staff meeting consider leading your team through the following discussion.This lesson is focused on getting people to think in terms of effective leadership.
The Leadership Vacuum
In today's fast moving, ever changing, and highly competitive world there is a vacuum of leadership. More than ever our government, businesses, religious organizations, and our educational institutions need leaders.
Five Steps Towards Greater Self Confidence
We watch the star athlete calmly make the final shot, score the winning goal, or lead his team for a touchdown in the final minute of the game. We marvel at their talent and their determination, but what we value and admire most is the supreme confidence they display - they know they will succeed.
The Three Faces of Leadership
This article was published in the Nov. 2003 edition of Hamilton, Ontario's BIZ Magazine under the title "Leadership's Triple Crown" LMWhat does it take to be the head of a small business, a department manager, or even a corporate CEO? The effective director isn't one persona but three: a Visionary, a Manager, and a Mentor/Coach.
Chris Top 7 Favorite Leadership Books
1. The West Point Way of Leadership.
Helping Others Develop Their Potential
Most of us find ourselves in a position to help others achieve more of their potential than we realize. Sure, as leaders, supervisors, and parents we can see ourselves in that position; but the fact is that all of us are uniquely qualified to help at least one other person in our lives reach their potential.
|home | site map|