Think leadership is all about you, the leader? Think again!
It truly takes two to tango when it comes to leadership. That’s why it’s really important to listen to your teammates, and understand what they need from you. After all, if you’re not speaking the same language, you’ll never understand each other.
A good leader somewhere said, “The success of my organization isn’t about me. It’s all about the great people who are working with me.”
So, how can you make leadership a two-way street?
Communication is key
The key to successful teams and effective leadership is communication. This means being open and honest with your team about everything: asking questions, seeking out their opinions, sharing ideas, and asking for feedback, all in real-time.
The best leaders follow an “open door policy” of encouraging openness and transparency in the team. And this is where team communication tools like Flock can help with building effective and collaborative teams. By using these platforms, you can easily open up communication channels between you and your team, that might not otherwise develop naturally.
And the key includes listening
There’s no point encouraging communication if you’re not listening to what your team has to say in the first place.
“Company leaders can’t be in tune with their employees if communication is all one-way. The best way to get to know them is to create a regular cadence of feedback that allows you to hear directly about their motivations, frustrations and questions”, says Todd Richardson, a respected HR professional and author, speaking with Forbes.
One size DOES NOT fit all
Don’t make leadership all about you. The way you approach and manage one team member doesn’t work for every single employee you manage. You need to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ approach.
By making sure you adapt your communication and management strategies to match your team’s individual differences, you’ll build their respective strengths. They’ll also identify you as someone who wants to work with them proactively and knows how to get the best out of them.
Team messaging tools are a great way to help you get to know your team, and start building management strategies that work for them.
Allow room for autonomy
You don’t need us to tell you that when your team has a good amount of autonomy in their role, they do their best work — which is exactly what you want as their leader.
“Research has shown that helping others feel more powerful can boost productivity, improve performance, and leave employees feeling more satisfied on the job. Feelings of power also translated to more authenticity and feelings of well-being, the researchers found”, reports Harrison Monarth, an executive coach and New York Times bestselling author.
Show people they can connect with you
There’s no point working on all of the above if your team thinks you’re unapproachable or disinterested in your team!
“Whether you are an executive, a team lead, or an individual contributor, understanding who you are and what drives you to be your best is a principle foundation for any basis of leadership”, advises Karen Kinsey-House, co-founder and CEO of The Coaches Training Institute.
Make sure you take the time to reflect on your own behavior in the office, and how this enables you to connect with your team, before you do anything else.
“The best leaders understand that long-term results are created by all of the great people doing the work — not just the one person who has the privilege of being at the top.”
— Marshall Goldsmith.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s up to you to get your dream team in place!
Have any leadership ideas that you’d like to share with us? Let us know.
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