A manager’s job is a hundred times easier when his or her team operates like a well-oiled machine, but that level of teamwork and engagement doesn’t happen by accident. Effective leadership centers around the ability to unleash the potential of each team member – to coordinate their skills and channel their enthusiasm in a way that maximizes the team’s productivity.
If you don’t innately understand how to do this, have no fear – you aren’t alone. Effective leadership skills are learned and developed over time.
To get you started, here are five ways you can help you employees be their best each day.
1. Explain, Discuss, Clarify
Employees want to do their jobs well, but far too often, they don’t fully understand what’s expected. Never underestimate the importance of making sure everyone is on the same page.
Instead of assuming employees know what to do or fearing that you’re insulting their intelligence, approach management conversations with an Explain, Discuss, Clarify technique. Explain what you need them to do. Invite discussion about their questions or concerns. Clarify the final instructions, so they know the steps they need to take.
2. Define Expectations
When it comes to the “big picture,” getting everyone on the same page means ensuring everyone understands the goals they’re working to achieve – both individually and as a team.
Set clear and measurable goals, and celebrate progress. Employees who feel as though their making progress in achieving a goal are more likely to be engaged with their work.
3. Monitor (not Micromanage) Your Self-Starters
Especially when you have entrepreneurial-minded employees on your team (aka those who are self-starters), it’s important to find the right balance of empowerment and oversight. Just because they’re able to get the job done without much input from management doesn’t mean that’s how it should go.
4. Welcome the Bad News
It’s incredibly challenging to create an environment where employees aren’t hesitant to share bad news, but it’s also incredibly important. Recognize that it can be stressful (even painful!) for team members to admit there’s a problem, mistake or delay because of concerns that they’ll be in trouble or seen as incompetent. That’s one of the reasons it’s so essential to develop stellar communication skills.
Be strategic in how you respond to bad news. First and foremost, never shoot the messenger. But also, communicate constructive messages (not punishing ones), express appreciation for the accurate details (no matter how troublesome they are) and problem-solve the specific issue at hand (not the employee who brought it to your attention).
5. Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions
Have you ever been emailing back-and-forth with a team member for days, only to realize the issue could have been solved with a simple two-minute conversation? In today’s high-tech world, many of us forget how powerful face-to-face interactions can be for efficiency and relationship building.
Encourage employees to nurture professional relationships with their team members. Whether they’re in-person, phone calls or video chats, make informal brainstorming and/or organizing meetings common-place.
Ready to Take the Next Step in Developing Your Effective Leadership Skills? Let’s Talk!
At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades. Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.
It all starts with a conversation. Call us at 866-761-1616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org