Whether you own your own business or you’re a manager in a small or large company–or maybe you’re aspiring to either of these–you may wonder how to be a good leader. While admiration may be one of the things you feel when you think about leaders, cultivating the admiration of others should not be the primary or even one of the main goals of a great leader. Instead, a leader should be focused on helping others reach their potential. The tips below can help you improve your leadership skills.
This is one of the most important skills you should have as a leader, and communication has to flow both ways. In other words, this is not just about you being transparent and communicative with your staff. It’s about making sure that they feel comfortable communicating with you as well.
Is your office door always open? Does your staff feel free to criticize your ideas? Do you chat with your team about other aspects of their life outside of work? All of these are important. If you feel that you are not always understood and that your written or spoken communication skills need a boost, it is worthwhile to look into a seminar or class that can help you improve.
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You may have seen on TV or in movies or even worked for someone yourself whose style was to bark at their subordinates to fix a situation for them. This might make that person feel like the most powerful person in the room, but it does not demonstrate good leadership skills.
As a leader, your job is to protect your team and find solutions for them. You may be working with a fleet manager who is struggling with complicated compliance requirements. One potential solution is ELD compliance solutions, which can connect your operations and help prevent hours of service and other violations. This can also lower your overall costs.
Lift Up Your Employees
While you shouldn’t neglect your own career advancement, you should also be focused on developing your employees, encouraging their growth and giving them opportunities to succeed. Sometimes, this can mean learning to delegate more, stepping back and letting them work on a project in their own way.
Good employees appreciate independence and the chance to tackle something challenging and engaging. Of course, you should be available to step in to offer perspectives and assistance, but try to let your employees guide these interactions.
Have Clear Expectations
Your employees need to know what you need from them and when they are falling short. Concrete, clearly stated expectations and regular feedback can help them understand what they are working toward and identify achievements.
Your focus at these times should be on motivating and inspiring them, showing them how their work is important for the whole team and the entire organization. In return, you need to be open to feedback as well. Be receptive to ideas they have, and listen to what they tell you about what they need to do their job better.