Do you display the traits of a good leader in your management role? Some people naturally shine as leaders, whether at work or in their private life. And when you examine what makes a good leader, it is not always due to being in a position of authority.
As a manager, an awareness of the traits of a good leader can be powerful. If you can integrate leadership characteristics into your style of managing, you are likely to build better teamwork, achieve greater results and win the respect of your team. Here are some straightforward, practical steps to develop your leadership traits.
when an employee comes to them with a problem, too many managers fall into the trap of saying "This is what you should do.." They like to show their expertise, and believe that the job will be done more quickly as a result. BUT if their suggestion does not work, the employee is likely to respond with "Well it was your idea.."
The alternative? Say "This is what I would do.." but only if asked. Then it is up to the employee to decide whether or not to follow your advice. He or she retains ownership of the problem, and will be more focused on finding the best solution.
Employee ownership = more empowered employees = respect for you as a leader
In my work, I talk to employees from a wide range of businesses. Too often, they say "My manager only calls me in when there is a problem". Catch your employees doing things right and praise them for it, ideally in front of others. Avoid general statements such as "You are doing a great job" which can be seen as patronising. Instead, be specific. For example: "I liked the way you handled that customer complaint" or "Your sales figures are up 10% this quarter, well done!" Praise on the spot for maximum benefit.
Praise = more confident employees = respect for you as leader
We all have bad days. And in recessionary times, we can easily get stressed. Do you dump your stress on your team? If you want to be a good leader, how you project yourself is very important. Employees want leaders who will point the way forward for them, a leader who is confident, in control and positive - despite setbacks.
If you are feelng stressed at work, take steps to manage it at a personal level. Visit our time management section for stress management tips.
Positive mindset = happier employees = respect for you as a leader.
These are just some of the traits of a good leader. You will find more advice in our Leadership section. Look to those leaders you admire, learn their secrets and start practising their techniques in the way you manage your team. Developing an awareness of good leadership traits can be a powerful step in your development as a manager.
Read our latest newsletter - 3 Pitfalls To Avoid When Making New Year Resolutions - And Why Cabbage Diets Don't Work or view our back issues for more concise tips on practical management skills.