The age old cliche’ of “leaders are born not made” seems to be thrown around a lot in life, whether it’s describing a business manager or talking about the captain of our favorite hockey team. As far as the workforce goes, we can probably all recall a time when a “bad” manager negatively affected the environment around us. On the flip side, a good leader is someone we’ve looked up to, sought advice from or felt a sense of pride working for.
That is why practicing good leadership skills is so important.
Here are five prime examples of leadership traits that managers can put into practice:
A leader should be able to effectively communicate and listen to their employees, whether it’s individually, in a group setting or as a whole organization. A good leader is able to explain everything from overall goals to specific tasks. Leaders should make themselves readily available to discuss issues and concerns and to help employees formulate a solution. Have a revolving door and always keep the lines of communication open.
An effective leader is optimistic. Deal with negative employees on an individual basis instead of umbrellaing the whole team under their pessimism. Try to convey the benefits of being more positive and help them share in that vision. Don’t berate an employee for making a mistake.
Instead, help them to learn from their mistakes. Give feedback, recognize and praise good work, and give out constructive criticism when needed.
Part of being a strong leader is realizing you can’t do everything on your own. Hire and build a team of employees who you can entrust to do their jobs. By delegating jobs and tasks, it takes some of the weight off of you as the manager and also prevents micromanaging.
Another sign of a quality leader is someone who can make the big decisions without flinching. Be sure to research and gather all information before moving forward, and take risks when necessary, but do not be reckless. Your staff needs to be able to rely on you for decisive answers. Be the person who they go to for advice and professional growth.
Problems and last-minute changes will always occur. Leaders need to be flexible and accept whatever comes their way. Employees will appreciate your ability to accept changes in stride without becoming overly stressed. Similarly, leaders need to be open to feedback. If a staff member has concerns with an aspect to the office environment, listen to them and be open to making changes.