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Having Trouble Leading Your Team These Tips Can Help

8 January, 2011



Being a strong business leader involves more than just sitting in the big office telling other people what to do. You must learn the best way to handle your employees, communicate with others and achieve your goals. Find out how to be a strong leader by using the tips in this article.

Leadership

Use a mentor. Find someone whose leadership skills you trust, and model your behavior after theirs. Watch them for a while, and get an idea of how they lead and what makes them a good leader. You don’t want to mimic them completely, but find what works about their style and incorporate it into a style that works for you.

Do not assume that your team are mind-readers. You must be able to communicate to them how you want things done and what expectations you have. That way, if someone misunderstands, they feel comfortable asking you for clarification.

Effective leaders are inspiring. You need to develop the ability to inspire those who work under you, motivating them to work toward a common goal. You can use public speaking to achieve this, but there are also videos, blogs, articles and other methods to convey your uplifting message to your audience.

Learn your employee’s names. A great leader takes the time to learn the names of his or her most immediate staff, and even the names of the top performers under them. It shows them that you care enough about them to know them not just as a worker, but as a real person.

Watch out for project creep. This can happen when your project’s scope isn’t clearly defined. If you have control over the project, resist the temptation to add more project objectives as time goes on. If you are receiving external pressure to expand your project, resist it with all your might. Your subordinates will thank you.

Don’t micromanage. Leaders don’t do all the work. They inspire and train others to make decisions with confidence. If you are always nitpicking on things and doing it yourself, then you’re sending a signal to your employees that you really don’t want their help. That’s not leadership at all. Take a step back and figure out how you can inspire your employees to make the right decisions.

Keep your cool even in the craziest of situations. If your employees see you panicking, they’ll think it’s time to panic. If they see you exuding strength, then they’ll feel confident in your ability to make the right decisions for both the company and them. Remember, perception is everything. Even if you feel the opposite, show strength and confidence.

Do what you can to make sure your workers are comfortable with approaching you. Intimidation is a tactic too many leaders use today. This will only cause you to be disrespected and loathed. Be sure to let coworkers understand that you’re always there to talk to.

It is important that you set goals for your team. Everyone loves to have goals, and leaders are able to set goals for people. Don’t let your workers forget about these goals as the year progresses. Always focus on these goals during meetings and demand accountability for their success from yourself and your team.

Dress the part. There’s a perception to leadership. If you look the role, people will respond to your leadership much more positively and openly. If you dress poorly, it’ll be a tougher road to climb instilling leadership. It’s possible still, but make it easier on yourself and be the best dressed person in the office.

Be open with your communication with your team. Good communication is essential for effective teamwork. Make sure your team feels that any questions are welcome by having a helpful attitude. Your team cannot work for you if they are not sure of what you want. Keep an open-door policy for this reason.

Learn to delegate properly. A good leader know that they cannot handle everything alone. They need others to do certain tasks. That doesn’t mean delegating all of your responsibilities to others, but if you know someone on your team wants to help or can do a certain task better than you, pass it on to them. This will keep things moving forward by letting you work on other tasks that need completed.

As a leader, you are responsible for forming the goals and aspirations of your team. Come up with a best-case scenario for your team, and your vision for the future. Share these goals with them, and ask them for their feedback and suggestions. A true leader has a team under him that is focused on the same goals, and how to achieve them.

Maintain a positive attitude. As the leader, you set the tone for your business. You need to make sure that the tone you set is one of possibilities, positivity and patience. Always encourage those under you to think in terms of the solution and not the problem, so that they too can keep an air of positivity as they go about their work.

Being in a leadership position means that you hold a position of responsibility. As such it is necessary that you take responsibility for your actions and decisions. You can’t expect your employees to take responsibility for their own work if they see you attempting to evade facing the consequences of your own behavior.

A famous quote from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt has inspired leadership for generations. Repeated in classrooms, boardrooms and inspirational seminars across the globe, her immortal words state that the greatest leaders of all time are the ones who inspire others to have confidence in themselves rather than just in other leaders.

Two qualities that employees should be able to expect from their leaders are trust, and confidentiality. A good leader will make it clear that any employee can confide in him, and not risk information being shared with others. It is unacceptable for anyone in a leadership role to break the confidence of anyone.

Leadership

In order to be a great leader, you must be able to communicate your vision to your team. Explain clearly what the common goal is, and instill a vision of success in the group. Getting everyone working together on something they all believe in cements your leadership role in the group.

Always be decisive. Leaders are responsible for many decisions. If there are quite a few different ideas floating around, discuss the one that will work for the majority.

Make sure that people know that you want the team’s success. If you’re in a position of power, some may suspect that you only want glory for yourself. That’s why it is important to do things that let others know you are on their side, and that your leadership will produce good results for everyone.

Empower your employees. Leadership isn’t just about decision making. It’s also about knowing when to give up the power to your trusted colleagues. When you let them make decisions, you are helping to build their loyalty to the company. They’ll feel respected, and most importantly, wanted. That’s a big thing for the health of your business.

A great idea for anyone in a leadership role to try is to periodically write an “open letter” to the team members, or workforce. In this letter, you can acknowledge good work, overall performance and show your appreciation for all they do. There is nothing like a little praise to boost morale.

Leadership does mean creating mindless followers. It instead means fostering an environment where people can cultivate their own strengths, then use them for the greater good. As a leader, you do not want your team members to be dependent on you for their strength or their inspiration. You want them to bring those things to the table and allow them to be guided by your leadership skills.

Build relationships with your team by applying the principles of servant leadership. While working toward the group’s long-term goal, make it clear that you are personally invested in the short-term goals of each group member. As a servant leader, you focus on empowering others to perform their duties for the task at hand, but also for future projects.

When you find yourself in need of inspiration, remember that good leaders are all around you. Many people immediately think of CEOs and politicians when asked for examples of leaders. Look to the groups you most admire, such as your favorite sports team, teacher, or charity. Who is in charge, and what are they doing that makes their respective organizations so appealing? Use these insights as you develop your own leadership style.

It is important that you know what your leadership style is. What strengths do you have? Where could you improve your skills? There are some quizzes online which can help you determine what sort of leader you are and where you excel. They can also show you what might need improvement.

Stay humble or you will cause your team to loathe you. You must be thankful for all of the things you have, including those who follow your leadership. Also be thankful for the position you have and all of the hard work you put in to get there, but don’t become full of yourself.

How you treat your employees will determine whether you are loved, hated or respected. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend but you do need to know each employee’s strengths weaknesses to be an effective leader. Apply the tips in the article to your management style and find the respect you’re looking for.



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