09 Aug Improving your Leadership Habits
Most employers, managers, and leaders are always on the lookout to find opportunities to improve their team’s performance. Great leaders however, are also focused on improving their own skills. This article is directed towards those managers; helping you improve your leadership habits.
DETERMINE AND PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR METRICS
Whether you’re critiquing your own conduct and efficiency or evaluating an employee; you need performance indicators to measure against. Performance metrics are internal systems that allow us to rate our work. Some important measurements to pay attention to include:
- GOAL ALIGNMENT. Leaders create high value by continually monitoring the progress of projects and tasks. This is an important habit to develop. Aligning your team’s work and performance with your organization’s strategy is a critical metric.
- STRATEGIC CLARITY. Communication with team members, and understanding the operation are necessary for a successful outcome. It’s important to reinforce your strategy with the team and support your people to resolve problems and misunderstandings. Looking back on recent projects and how smoothly (or not) they ran can offer a fountain of insight into improving your leadership.
- As a manager or employer, it’s necessary to hold your staff accountable. It starts with you being accountable. This means swift action and conversations when something is off track, as well as positive reinforcement. Rewarding or acknowledging your staff after a win is also a part of accountability.
Accept it, you’re a role model. As a leader you’re expected and accountable to be the example for your team. A great way to do that is to step up when your team needs you. It’s important for people to see their boss stepping out of their comfort zone to provide support and learn new skills. The more you learn, the more you’ll inspire your staff to learn.
When you step out of your usual role to pick up the slack, your employees feel more like a team. It’s easier to accept and support you as a leader because you’ve established a track record of taking the initiative, improving your skills, and helping others out, especially dealing with tough issues.
Communication must be a priority for leaders. Whether your team is presenting a new idea, asking questions about their duties, or expressing concern about a personal problem, listening with intent is important. If an employee experiences not being cared for and understood, they will care less.
Listening effectively, allows you to provide better answers and feedback. Keep in mind though; communication is about more than what’s said. Body language accounts for 55% of the message; what people are saying and how they’re feeling.
Good leaders can solve a problem. Great leaders see a problem and solve it before it comes to fruition. Critical thinking helps us see the big picture, which increases our long-term success. Critical thinking doesn’t just help us avoid a bad situation; it helps you take advantage of the opportunities as well. In either case, being proactive is necessary.
BE A MOTIVATOR
It’s better to inspire your employees than to dictate. When your team loses their ambition or passion (which is a common occurrence), a powerful leader can re-energize them. Take time to listen to their concerns, and use your newly improvedcritical thinking skills to learn what motivates them. Listen for their values as they’re reflected in what is said and done.
Creating a positive work environment is also necessary for motivation. Establish goals and benchmarks for you and your team to achieve. Acknowledging progress and rewarding successes are great for motivating.
When your team is stuck on a problem, you’d probably help them, or find them the help they need. So, if you’re stuck growing or need help with your leadership habits and skills; seek help. Business coaches and workshops are a great source for improving your skills and can also help you track your progress.