In every great team or company, there is always a group or individual that paves the way and leads by example. These groups or individuals highlight the correct way to do things and never stop expending effort, even in the face of adversity. Some people are natural born leaders and can easily highlight the unique traits and skill sets of their fellow team members. However, some need help learning how to reach their team on a personal and professional level to get them to achieve their full potential. Being a leader that is trusted, loyal, honest, hardworking and supportive will boost team morale and confidence. Here are a few methods to follow for individuals or groups looking to accentuate the qualities of a leader in the workplace
1) Embrace challenges and new tasks
Step one in becoming a leader in your workplace is to take initiative with work-related projects and endeavours. Leaders go above and beyond their job description; they are always trying to learn and become a better version of themselves. To be a leader means you must be involved in the working process and harness an understanding of each and every team member’s role and how it impacts production. When you work harmoniously with members on your team, you establish a level of trust and credibility as someone who is willing to go the extra mile to grasp the functions of every person’s job. This experience helps you become a responsible member of your team that can assist in working matters that far surpass your role. A leader embraces challenges and new tasks to complete and goes out of their way to look for work. Critiquing yourself is essential in staying honest and true to not only yourself but to your team as well. Take a look at yourself and the work you’ve done and see where you have room to improve and grow within the company; your fellow employees may take notice of your self-assessments noticing an improvement in your quality of work and dedication to the job at hand.
* Hot tip: improving your time management skills is a practical way to improve your leadership
2) Take responsibility for good and bad
The phrase “take responsibility” often carries a negative connotation about someone needing to take accountability for a mistake or oversight. Deflection is common in the workplace because individuals are doing all they can to save their reputation, perception, and position. A leader understands that any problem in the workplace tests the fabric of their fellow employees and that maintaining a positive work environment is paramount to overall success. A leader takes responsibility for situations that they may not even be directly linked to, but take it upon themselves to find the resolution. When mistakes are made by leaders, they acknowledge the mishap and accept any blame or repercussions that follow. A leader will not allow this to change their thought process or let it ruin their day; they can separate work and life, and they understand that mistakes will be made and are going to continue to be made. What makes a leader special is their willingness to learn from their mistakes and make the necessary adjustments to prevent the same mistake from happening twice. When a leader makes a mistake and owns up to it, it relays the message to fellow employees that the faster everyone accepts responsibility for their workplace mistakes, the faster reparations can be made and success can be reached. Responsibility is a shared concept; everyone is responsible for their own part in the process, and accepting it, not deflecting it, is what builds character and establishes leadership.
3) Provide honest feedback
Leadership means adjusting your message to the person you’re addressing. Every person receives information and acts upon it differently. Some individuals take constructive criticism as a personal attack on their intelligence and character and allow it to impact their mood negatively. Other people constantly need to know how they are performing. Being a leader doesn’t mean choosing to be mean or nice, it means being honest and providing your fellow employees with feedback that they can use to improve. Being honest is about understanding the type of person you are talking to and knowing how to reach them on a serious level. Ensure that you listen to what your fellow employees have to say; communication is what drives a successful team and treating every employee’s comments with understanding and compassion will help establish you as a network of trust. For struggling employees, listen to the obstacles they have to overcome and how it can be affecting not only their work life but their social and personal life. Even for thriving employees, listen to their comments and concerns as an opportunity to improve functions. Your team is only as strong as its weakest link, and if one person needs help, be honest with them, tell them the truth and set realistic expectations for them.
4) Avoid micromanaging
A successful business needs to have a responsible leader at the helm; someone that tells others what their roles will be and what they should have completed and when it is due. A responsible leader should also be there to field questions and concerns about the task at hand and devote all time and energy to ensuring they provide the necessary resources to their employees so they can exceed expectations. Issues arise when micromanagement becomes prominent throughout the working process. People love feeling trusted, and when you feel that your team has proved themselves as trustworthy, allow them to perform their duties without overseeing every single aspect of their job. The inability to leave your employees alone will have them feeling as if they can do nothing right and does little to make them feel important and necessary. It is imperative to communicate what you expect from your employees, and how you want the job done, but as soon as you’ve done that, take a step back. Allow those who are working for you, those who may be putting in extra or overtime hours, and have studied and earned degrees and certifications, to perform the job they have set out to do. As a leader, set guidelines for your employees about what you expect from them, and when the time comes to inspect their progress, voice your displeasure or approval. When you send them back to correct or modify their work, leave them alone until they request your help, Place your trust in them and they will work hard to meet your wishes.
The qualities that help define a leader are:
- Good Listener
Even if you are leading remote teams, embracing and improving these qualities will help you become a successful leader.
If you are interested in keep your teams productive why not take a look at our Tempo Planner solution for your resource planning? Check out our webinar covering how remote work changes productivity and how Tempo Planner can help.