7 Tips to Improve Your Leadership Skills in the Workplace

mickyates Best Practice, Leader, leadership Leave a Comment

We all look up to someone for inspiration and motivation. It could be anyone; CEO of your company, an immediate supervisor, a national leader, our parents or relatives. When we look up to someone, we learn so much by observing them, and they inspire us in so many ways that we would want to follow in their footsteps. Initially, when we joined an organization, we have had dreams of growing up the ladder, to be a leader someday, didn’t we?  We observed our leaders, learned from their successes and failures, and we trained ourselves or, we got trained by our immediate bosses.

I agree that not everyone is born with the qualities of a leader. Some of us may have acquired skills through education while others through experience. A leader should never become complacent and take their role for granted. Your subordinates admire you and hold great respect for you. You are an inspiration for them, and they learn from you to be the next leaders. If you’re not setting a good example, you are creating bad leaders for the future. Keep working on yourself, motivate yourself and be the best to your employees.

Lead your team by setting an example

Leaders must lead their team by setting an example to them. You should inspire them through your behavior and actions. It’s important how you conduct yourself; because your team members are invariably looking up to you. Take responsibility for your teams’ failures as much as you would take credit for your teams’ success.

Motivate and inspire

Paying a salary to the employees is not enough to motivate an employee. Motivate your employees through rewards and recognition. A good leader must inspire their employees and build their self-esteem. To motivate and inspire an employee, a leader must find ways to reward them whenever they achieve their target. Give honest compliments and praises to your employees. Don’t compliment when you don’t mean them. An employee would know when you genuinely praise them. It creates a lot of impact in their work and attitude towards you.

Always recruit positive people in your team. Inspire them to take things positively. Drive away negative thoughts and reject ideas that bring in negativity. There may be times when your team is falling apart or failing to meet targets. Stand strong for your team and push them to bounce back and perform. Motivate them at regular intervals to bring out the best in them.

Be one step ahead of the game

You have to keep up with the game and always be one step ahead. This means hard work and long hours. As a leader, you will need to have knowledge about a wide range of issues. One of the best ways to improve your knowledge and save time is speed reading. There are many excellent speed reading courses in the market today. Once you build up the habit to read fast, your knowledge base keeps multiplying and as you share the knowledge, you become the go-to person when any problem arises.

Delegate work

A leader should be able to understand the skills of his/her team members and delegate work accordingly. A leader should mentor and coach them regularly to hone their skills. The underperforming employees should be coached at regular intervals to improve their scores and stats. Likewise, give additional responsibilities to your star performers to train them for their next role.

Be Passionate

A leader should always be passionate about his/her work. A leader should always have positive energy that drives and inspires their employees to bring out the best in them.You should love your job and your team otherwise; it will be a mundane task to be at work every day. Passion and enthusiasm will inspire his/her team members to work towards their goals. A leader without passion will not be able to push their team members to perform better. There will be no positivity and energy in the team. A passionate team leader will have a team of energetic members with positivity and unity among them.

Communication

Most leaders are good communicators. However, there are times a leader may forget to compliment their employees for their hard work and results.When an employee is appreciated, it makes a difference to the employee, and they would work harder and produce more positive results.Appreciation and constructive criticism, both are important for an employee’s growth.A leader should provide constructive feedback without being negative or hurting the employees’ ego. Communication should always be precise, concise and specific, whether it’s a feedback, compliment, team meeting or conference with senior management. Clarity in communication can avoid a great deal of confusion.

Communication is a two-way process. As important it is to talk to your team, it is equally important to listen. If they know you would listen, they will feel comfortable to approach you with their grievances, feedbacks, and suggestions.

Be open and honest

A leader should be able to communicate honestly. For your team to trust you, you should always be honest with them. At times, there will be difficult conversations that you may have to have with your team, be courageous and convey it with honesty. Don’t try to sugar-coat or beat around the bush. Be direct, but polite and compassionate.

A leader is aware of the skills and qualities required to be a good leader. But, there are days when things may not go as you want them to.It’s always good to revisit and brush up your skills at regular intervals. Exposure and experience in a leader’s role will continue to train you to be a better leader. It’s important that your team is happy with your working style.

When you are just promoted as a leader, you may have to face problems and criticism from your seniors and team members. Not everybody would like your working style. Be open to feedback and work on them. Don’t be too arrogant or proud to accept feedback. You will never learn or be a good leader if you don’t accept criticism positively. Always conduct team meetings at regular intervals, to know your employee’s needs and difficulties as well as to understand how they perceive you as a leader. Work with your team than against them to make a successful and happy team. If you train and inspire your employees to grow in the organization, they will remember you with gratitude in the heart.Their success will give you satisfaction and motivation. When your employees grow, you too will grow with them.