We all strive to be great leaders and, for some of us, that might not come so naturally. Leadership, like most things, takes a lot of practice and patience.
Your employees won’t be inspired by the occasional team outing or a reward every once and awhile. They need that deeper fulfillment and happiness in their work and in their leader. How you treat your team on a daily basis is so important.
Your behavior and daily actions should reflect core values of collaboration, positive reinforcement, and trust. If you work these values into your daily habits, your team will feel supported, safe, and willing to work more efficiently.
An Entrepreneur contributor, Malachi Thompson, writes 4 great practices every lead can incorporate into their day.
- “Tell your people at the beginning of the day that you recognize and are there to support them.” Being there for your team in the midst of their crises is great, of course, but showing them active support before they need you is even better. Inspire them each morning to do a great job. If you know someone has a hard day ahead of them, it’s a important to let them know they have the skills to complete the tasks on their plate, but you’re available as a resource as well. Make sure to check in on them throughout the day too.
- “Be present and go into battle with them side by side.” You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work when needed. Be a leader who actively participates and your team will work harder for you. We mentioned values earlier, if you recall. You have to approach each situation you and your team face with those values in mind. If your employee is facing something, you need to be willing to stand behind them and show you have their back. What can you do each day to make someone feel supported? Every small action can have a huge impact. Maybe it’s going for a walk when someone needs you, even if you’re swamped. Or maybe it’s bring back a coffee when you know they don’t have time to go get one. Empathize with your team and they will follow suit when the time comes to step up.
- “Discuss what you believe in, not just the figures and numbers.” We believe in transparency. Don’t just talk about the bottom line, but give your team context so they better understand what’s going on. Of course, don’t overshare sensitive information, but be as transparent as possible. It’s an important step in building trust with your team. Remember to make time for quality conversations about strategy and insights. And don’t just give yours, listen to theirs. Make space for their voice.
- “Encourage and create opportunities for your people to grow, learn and self-improve.” Give your team the the space to learn and room to grow. If opportunities arise, give them the chance. Are there any workshops they can attend or webinars they could watch? If they require some time off to attend, make sure they know it’s okay and that their work will be covered. Of course, not everyone is so intrinsically motivated to learn. That’s okay too! You can’t force people to be a certain way. You can help expand their thinking process by asking them to write down three things they learned each day. It might not be goal oriented, but it will help them meditate on their own growth a bit each day. It’s a great exercise for anyone who struggles to come up with their own goals.
We’ll leave you with this great quote from an unknown leader out there: “Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”
Let’s all ruminate on this a bit as we go on with our week, shall we?