Great leaders aren’t born, they’re created. As a manager, you develop basic leadership skills, and through experience and personal development, you can become a great leader.
With today’s changing work environments, the need to retain good employees, and cross-generational cooperation, it’s never been more important to cultivate and nurture your leadership skills.
Effective managers have learned how to get things done, and done quickly. There are times when it seems easier just to complete tasks yourself. However, it is nearly impossible to accomplish everything alone. Therefore, developing the ability to delegate and rely on your team is essential to successful leadership.
By taking on tasks that your team is capable of handling you may overwhelm yourself, causing your performance to suffer. Delegating routine tasks to your team, however, will alleviate pressure and create more time for you focus on your job as a manager. With this extra time, you are free to accomplish the more challenging objectives. Empowering your team to use their various skills and demonstrate responsibility enhances your credibility as a leader.
When you delegate, you provide your team members with the opportunity to learn new skills and develop versatility. As they achieve their goals, their self-esteem and confidence will grow. As a result, they will begin to take initiative to present new ideas and cultivate problem-solving strategies.
Bi-directional communication is directly correlated with successful leadership. The ability listen, as well as talk, has a direct impact on your ability to obtain information, to understand, and to learn. However, listening is a skill most of us need to improve. Research shows that we retain less than half of what we’re told in a conversation.
To improve our listening skills we can practice a technique called “active listening.” When we talk, we are often focused on giving our response while the other person is still talking. Active listening is the conscious effort to carefully listen to the speaker, and to understand the message being communicated. It is helpful to repeat the speaker’s message back to them to confirm you have understood what it is they wish to communicate.
By developing your ability to listen, you will improve the quality of your relationship with your team members. You will find misunderstandings are minimized, and your team members feel valued and appreciated. In addition, productivity may be improved as you learn where your members need additional training, and discover what they need to perform optimally.
In today's world of business, more and more interactions are occurring digitally. To ensure good communication, you want to choose software solutions that let you collaborate within the software itself. A good example is Phocas' collaboration feature, where team members can comment on and discuss a variety of features.
Building common team goals
Team members need a clear sense of direction and common goals. A common goal provides members with a shared purpose, and encourages meaningful interactions through collaboration. Encourage a sense of unity through regular team meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Next, create goals with clear outcomes. For instance, use your business intelligence solution to set a new KPI for increased sales, and provide a team sales training to help them achieve their new goal. Ensure each member has access to the most current data relevant to their position, so they can monitor their success. A quality solution like Phocas will enable them to explore the underlying data for actionable insight into their performance. Provide small rewards for team improvement and individual performance.
Adopt a solution-focused mindset
“Effective leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% of their time on the solution.” – Tony Robbins.
Every team faces various challenges. The best way to meet and overcome a problem is to focus on the solution. When you adopt a solution-oriented mindset, you encourage your team members to do the same. Approaching problems from this mindset stimulates creative thinking and innovation. Rather than a nuisance, problems become a fun puzzle to be solved. Use your team meetings to call on members solve the problem together. As you develop your own leadership skills, you can lead your team to develop to their full potential, as well. This is what makes a great leader.
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