Too many people who aren’t skilled for leadership get to leadership positions and that is how we end up with bad managers. And while only 10% of people are natural leaders, you can still learn how to be a great leader.
There are a few traits every great leader has, and regardless of whether you were born with those traits or not, you can still learn how to effectively run your team. If you’re willing to put in the work and develop your leadership skills, here are a few tips that might help you.
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Show your employees you appreciate them
Appreciation in the workplace is one of the most important things you need to demonstrate. After all, employees who feel appreciated are more productive and satisfied in their workplace.
On the other hand, a staggering 79% of employees will quit after receiving inadequate appreciation from their managers. So not only are employee appreciation strategies vital for treating your workers properly and justly, but it can also help your business grow.
But how can you show that appreciation?
Here are a few ways you can show your employees how much you appreciate all of the hard work they’re putting in:
- Offer office perks. If you’re working with an in-office team, the perks can be in the form of free snacks, occasional group meals, or parking passes for the building. But if you have a remote team, you can send them perks to their home address such as snacks, drinks, or office supplies.
- Fund multiple ways to say “thank you”. Instead of saying a regular “thank you”, you can give thank you cards, incorporate more positive feedback when writing employee reviews, or give out awards.
- Think about employee wellbeing. Health is extremely important, and when employees are healthy, they’re also happy. You can introduce a fitness program, offer free therapy or coaching services, and make sure all employees know they’re welcome to talk to you about any struggles they’re facing.
Don’t be afraid to embrace change
Change can be a hard thing to deal with, especially when it’s unexpected. A big issue a lot of leaders face is how to deal with change and innovation. But if you want to be a good leader, you need to be the first person in your company who embraces the change; as a result, your employees will follow.
No matter if it’s adopting new policies, getting used to a new business model, or something more serious like transitioning to remote work due to Covid, change can happen any time. And while it’s a normal human reaction to resist change, it’s not a quality of good leaders.
Leaders need to have a professional and positive response to any change that comes their way and set the standard for how the employees should react to the change. Even if it’s a negative change that will bring hardship, the important thing is to always keep your head high and embrace what’s coming.
Communicate your expectations clearly
The number of employees who get frustrated at work because they don’t get clear and precise instructions for what they need to do is staggering. And most of the time, these employees get reprimanded because they couldn’t follow unclear instructions.
A great leader is always clear about the goals they are expecting to be met and they provide a roadmap to how the job can be done best. They will use the right words in the right way and say them when the time is ideal in a place where employees are bound to take those words to heart.
At its core, communication is nothing more than an exchange of ideas, thoughts, and information. So if you want to be truly effective, you need to be understood.
Accept failure as a part of life
No matter how hard you try and the amount of work you put in, you’re going to face failure at one point or another. A great leader isn’t a person who never fails but someone who knows how to accept their failures and find the best ways to deal with them.
There’s no need to get angry, or even worse, point fingers and shift blame. Instead, talk to your employees to see where things went wrong and explore what you might have done differently so the failure wouldn’t happen.
Most importantly of all, take responsibility for the mistakes you made and hold your employees accountable for the mistakes they made with as much grace as possible.
There’s a big difference between a boss and a leader. A boss mostly just tells their employees what to do and sits on the sidelines. On the other hand, a leader works hard to be a person their employees can trust and follow, not just someone whose orders they will listen to. Don’t be a boss, be a leader.