If you have ever worked with someone inspirational and positive, chances are you will remember them for years to come. This is especially true if that particular person was your boss, and he or she took good care of their team.
So why is it that you remember someone like this, but not a person who was the complete opposite?
The answer is simple. It is human nature to remember those who made you feel hopeful and good!
“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
How to Know if You are as Good a Leader as You Think!
When it comes to leadership, it’s not just about using your head to make the right decisions. You also have to use your heart and make sure that you don’t treat your team as robots or work machines without any emotions. It’s about fostering relationships to achieve good results.
As a business owner, know that the journey towards becoming a great leader is a not a short one. In fact, the journey is never ending! However, like all journeys, it does have a starting point, and that is exactly what you will be learning about here.
Are You Leading by Example?
Whether you like it or not, your employees notice each and every move you make as a leader. If, for whatever reason, you do something that is unethical, unreasonable, and most importantly, unprofessional, you are not leading by example.
Marcel Schwantes, Founder and Chief Human Officer of Leadership from the Core, states that respect is one of the most important aspects of leadership. You need to lead with integrity to make sure that your team follows you without hesitation. Here are some ways you can lead by example:
- Be credible and stand by what you have said
- Hold yourself accountable to a higher level
- Be reliable and be honest/truthful
- Be yourself and don’t try to be someone you are not
- Stand by your decisions and judgments to earn the respect deserving of a leader
- Stay firm by your beliefs and values
- Fulfill your commitments and promises
- When given a choice, do the right thing
Always be Approachable
When taking on the responsibility of leadership, you need to make sure that you are fit for the role. If you have a personality that makes you unpleasant and unwelcoming, chances are you will not be an effective leader. This is because:
- Your employees will not feel connected to you, resulting in distrust and misinformation
- Your team will be hesitant in coming forth with important information out of fear of your disfavor
- They will be reluctant to take ownership of important responsibilities
By always being approachable, you will encourage an environment of loyalty and trust among the staff. You can do this by:
- Acting normal and showing you have a sense of humor
- Creating non-work-related conversations
- Offering to help with personal and professional challenges
- Always having an open-door policy
- Taking part in any professional development activities with your staff
- Always keeping your team in the loop regarding anything new
How Do You Make Your Employees/Team Feel Psychologically Safe?
Another way to know if you are a good leader is to encourage a culture of safety among your teammates. This means you and your staff are able to:
- Openly speak to each other regarding any issues
- Provide feedback without any fear of reprisal
- Ask for help without hesitation
- Free to innovate and experiment
By catering to such a workplace environment, you will notice a substantial increase in performance in all aspects of your work. Remember, if you lead by fear, it will keep your employees from performing at their full potential. This is bad for any business!
Here are some ways you can create a psychologically safe environment:
- Create examples of positive reinforcement
- Praise your team, and any individual, for their good work
- Have bonding moments with your team
- Always keep your staff informed regarding new deadlines, projects, or changes that are about to take place, whether good or bad
- Create a sense of security among the staff by letting them know they have a solid future as employees
- Always give hope to strengthen their resolve
- Be compassionate
As a leader it is your duty to not only meet the needs of your people, but to value them as human beings as well. If you follow what you have read above, chances are you are on your way to becoming an aspiring leader and (even more) successful business owner.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Managed, and Implementation Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. She specializes in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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