- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Do your employees refer to you as their “leader” or “boss”? Nine times out of ten if will be the latter. If you want to be seen as a great leader, you need to strive to be more than just ‘the boss’. You want to be known as a leader who encourages their employees to work hard, grow, and be proud of their work. Knowing how to be a better leader in business is not something you can do at the snap of your fingers, it will take time and effort. Here’s some handy tips to get you started:
Use honest and open communication with your employees
One of the most important characteristics of being a leader is your ability to effectively communicate. When you are a great communicator, you are more easily able to connect with your employees. You are not afraid to ask questions and get feedback, and your employees feel as though they are your focus. It is important to be authentic and to listen to the ideas, concerns and suggestions around you.
Make distinctions between a good leader and a great leader
There’s a fine line between a good and a great leader but what exactly is the difference between the two? Learn how to stand out! Good leaders do a decent job and are happy, but great leaders know there is always room for improvement.
Foster personal and professional growth
You want your employees to grow both personally and professionally. When someone is growing professionally, the effects can also carry over into their personal life and vice versa. Give them a clear path that includes attainable goals. When the two work together, you’ll notice that it has a positive effect on the workplace.
Make connections with your employees
As a leader, connecting with your team means that no employee is left out. Start conversations with your employees to learn more about them. This is a great way to find who’s passionate about what so you can delegate tasks accordingly.
Give regular feedback
In business, employees want to know how good of a job they are doing. The quarterly or yearly performance reviews aren’t going to fly. It’s important to give your employees regular feedback to let them know what is working and what may need improving. It’s crucial for employees to know how they are doing so that they can double down on their success and strengthen their weaknesses.
Set Clear Goals and Attainable Expectations
Needless to say, if your goals or expectations are too high, employees will feel pressured and it’s hard to keep a straight mind when you are always stressed. When goals and expectations are set, make them as clear and attainable as possible with deadlines that take into account your employee’s busy schedules.
Encourage new ideas
The wheels in the machine can’t keep running if it’s powered by the same old tired ideas. Have your employees come up with new ideas and challenge them to think outside of the box. Brilliant ideas have a habit of turning up out of the blue.
Ask your employees for feedback
How well are you performing in your leadership role? Your best source of feedback is your employees. Ask them how you are doing, what they like about you and what could improve. Encourage them to be honest!
Teach your employees rather than order them
Ever heard of ‘show, don’t tell’? Show your employees step by step how to get something done. Teaching and encouraging them to apply what they have learnt will help them become more successful and confident.
Maintain a positive attitude
Believe it or not, your positive attitude will spread to your employees and drive them to try their best. When setbacks happen, treat the situation as a learning process rather than a no-through road.
Make your priorities clear
When it comes to your business priorities, you want to make them as clear and understandable as possible. Let your employees know what your goals are and how they can be achieved. What tasks need to be done over those that don’t? If you are working on a project and the deadline is drawing near, make it a priority.
Know how to manage difficult people
It’s hard to get along with everybody and there will be times when you will have to deal with difficult employees and customers. Always stay calm, be respectful and try to understand the person’s intentions. Most people are not difficult for the sake of being difficult so try to identify the person’s triggers and talk with them to defuse the situation. Let them know where you are coming from and build rapport at every opportunity.
Be a team player
Even when you are a leader, you should also be a team player. When you act as a team player, it proves that you have the back of your employees instead of just sitting around and watching. Offer to take on some of the load and your employees will appreciate you even more.
As humans, we want to feel appreciated. It therefore makes sense that employees want to come to a place of work knowing they are appreciated by their peers and superiors. Do your best to show it on your end. Tell them you appreciate the work that they are doing and encourage them to keep it up.
Handle pressure and stress accordingly
One of the true tests of a great leader is how they handle pressure and stress. The key is to stay calm and think through the critical decisions you’re about to make. The less stress you put yourself under, the more you will be able to focus and lead by example when the going gets rough.
Give trust, earn trust
Trust is a two-way street and you need to earn the trust of your employees. In return, your trust should be placed in employees who are willing to get the job done. When you trust one another, the ability to work together is a lot easier.
If you are looking for ways to be viewed as more than just a boss, learn to become a better leader. Displaying the true traits of a great leader will change your employee’s view of who you are. Start by thinking of the qualities that you would want in a leader and get the ball rolling.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell