HIf you want to get more out of your team, and ensure they are as committed, productive, loyal, motivated and innovative as possible, there are many different steps you can take.
This list includes thanking workers for their efforts and results, rewarding them, giving out awards, helping staff members to develop via training and opportunities and so on.
However, don’t forget that your ability to take your team to greatness depends not just on them but also on yourself. That is, you must be the best leader possible if you want your employees to be their best selves and achieve the best results, too. Read on for some of the most important leadership traits you should focus on honing in yourself today.
Interest in Learning
One of the most important characteristics leaders need to demonstrate is an interest in learning. Those who excel in top leadership positions don’t stay stagnant and think they know everything; instead they are continually looking to grow themselves and develop new skills and knowledge.
Leaders have to be willing to keep up on trends and developments in their industry, be willing to learn from those around them, try new experiences and get out of their comfort zones to make connections, see opportunities and risks, motivate their teams and more.
To keep pushing yourself as a leader, consider enrolling in a relevant degree. You might wonder how hard it is to get an MBA or other business degree, and is the time worth it? However, everything you learn will help you learn how to manage employees and be the best leader possible.
There are also many other types of university programs which can help you to develop key skills in this area, so investigate options to find the right fit for you.
Other ways to grow include via mentoring, attending talks and seminars, going to trade shows and conferences, joining business clubs and associations and reading books, magazines, blogs, forums, white papers, reports, etc.
Communication skills are also vital to leaders. After all, when you’re trying to inspire, instruct, motivate and engage workers, you have to be able to get across your instructions and thoughts clearly and positively, in both writing and verbally. You must be able to communicate well in groups and one-on-one and ensure people understand your vision.
Effective leaders are those who also know how to not just talk, but also listen. To get the most out of your team you must make them feel heard and valued, and listening attentively is a big part of that. Other related communication skills key for leaders include using and reading body language, negotiating and conflict resolution and mediation.
For your team to trust you and feel safe in how you are guiding the business forward, you need to display confidence. This is not to be confused with arrogance, as this trait will only cause you to lose employees. Instead, confidence is about showing people you back yourself and your abilities and feel sure about the decisions you make and the direction you’re moving things in.
You don’t need to feel 100 per cent confident all the time — no one really ever does (unless they’re rather delusional!). But it is important to have enough self-esteem and self-efficacy to lead effectively.
Also, make sure you show your employees that you have confidence in them. Don’t micromanage people or second-guess their decisions constantly; instead, leave people to their tasks and be available if they need you. By demonstrating confidence in your team, you will help people to feel more empowered and settled in their jobs, and they will be more productive in turn.
Resilience is another trait to hone in yourself if you want to be the best leader possible. When you’re managing other people, particularly if you’re responsible for a whole company, you will continually be under pressure and face challenge after challenge as the months go by. This is just a part of doing business and happens to everyone, no matter how experienced they are.
Since this the life of a leader, then, you must have enough resilience to bounce back from tough times, take “no” gracefully and not be put off or become too scared to keep trying new things and putting yourself out there. Resilient leaders learn from their knockbacks or mistakes and keep moving forward. In doing this, they encourage their teams to be similarly persistent.
Think about developing the above traits in yourself as soon as possible, and you’ll soon be on your way to being the best leader you can be. It won’t happen overnight, but if you commit to the process and make continual gains, you’ll be celebrated for your leadership prowess before you know it.