As a manager, you are in a unique position to be a leader. Yet not all managers possess great leadership skills. And team members may be naturally gifted. However, you can teach yourself and your team and learn from them to be the example in management to encourage better leadership in those underneath you. Common sense and general knowledge apply. But there’s a deeper level of trust, morality, and respect in leadership over general management.
Exemplify Morality, Ethics, and Law
As a manager, you have a responsibility to adhere to the law when engaging at all levels. Yet you can also instill moralistic and ethical qualities into your team, so they can become better leaders when they are ready. Simple examples include following company procedures and legal requirements, such as the best practices for fleet compliance so far as company cars are concerned. Yet more preternatural complexities remain in the office environment, such as sexual harassment and bullying. Yet you can actively change company culture via leadership.
Encourage Respect for Each Other
Respect is when you display outward honor towards someone or something. As a leader, this is no more important than encouraging respect for each other in your team. Of course, it’s likely some team members won’t get along. But that’s only natural. Not everyone likes each other. Yet professional respect helps form attachments much more potent and deeper than personal opinions. Further, concern extends far beyond the confines of your office and team. It extends interoffice, and through all levels of seniority, from the mailroom to the boardroom.
Encourage Better Leadership by Embracing Differences
Embracing differences is a challenge for some. Yet it is critical if you want to develop an inclusive work environment among your team members and colleagues. One survey found that 96% of workers experience exclusion at work. So first, you can teach your team to understand the difference in experiences between each other by looking at things from a different perspective. Then, you can hold regular team meetings to strengthen these perspectives, which seek to destroy harmful stereotypes based on sexual orientation, race, and social status.
Understand and Capitalize on Individual Strengths
Individual strengths are highly valuable in the workplace. But knowing the power of each member of your team and making them work together is like a weapon. You can achieve amazing things when you can effectively recognize the core strengths of each person. Of course, recognizing strengths at work can be a challenge. You can try some methods to identify when a team member is the most productive and the work they clearly put passion into. But also how other team members consider their standing in the group, maybe as a future leader.
Educate Employees About Communication
One of the core principles of effective management is clear communication. Yet communication is also a strength when it comes to leadership qualities. Without communication skills, a team won’t follow you because they can’t engage with you properly. Here are some tips:
- Have a pre-prepared statement for important things.
- Always offer the opportunity to talk privately.
- Be considerate of feelings but always clearly state the facts.
- Stick to a specific message and never go off-topic.
- Try not to drag out a speech or important notice.
- Be as direct as possible in a language they understand.
- Always offer training for enhanced communication skills.
- Encourage your team to come to you with issues that you can resolve.
Open communication and transparency are at the heart of a modern company. Yet there is still a long way to go. As a manager, you can get a foothold now by teaching this core leadership tool to anyone in your team, so they can become the effective orators of tomorrow.
Recognize and Reward Healthy Contribution
Teamwork is vital for getting things done in most scenarios. Yet there are individual people inside a team. And they work hard, whether alone or together. A good leader recognizes a team’s skilled work and rewards the individuals for a job well done. Personal sales goals, pre-deadline completion, and working towards team goals are valid reasons for rewarding employees. Standard rewards include cash bonuses, red-letter days, and paid time off work. Additionally, rewards help cultivate healthy competition that increases productivity.
Establish Trust for Task Delegation
Bill Gates once stated something similar that he didn’t begin to rest well until he learned how to delegate. It can be frustrating trying to get everything done yourself. But the whole reason you have a team is to manage and lead them to accomplish goals without your constant presence. One of the overarching problems is the issue of trust. You need to trust your team to get things done, which is why identifying strengths is vital. By picking out those you think are influential leaders, you can leave some jobs to them when you aren’t there to oversee them.
Allow Team Members to Make Important Decisions
Further to delegation, trust is a significant point of contention for both management and leadership. And it goes both ways. First, of course, you need to be able to trust your team and delegate tasks. But it goes deeper than this, and they need to trust you too. Letting team members make important decisions about a business or even how the team proceeds towards goals are excellent for building trust. Additionally, team members will feel appreciation by knowing you value their opinion and skill enough to allow them to take on such responsibilities.
Teach Why there is no “I” in “Team”
You can’t expect results without effective communication, collaboration, and group effort in almost every workplace. These three reasons alone are why there is no “I” in “team.” Yet, as a good leader, you must also educate your team that no single person is better than the group. Every person under you has a role to play, and the entire project can’t be completed with any one of them missing. Additionally, no job is more or less critical. The fact that someone is willing to pay for the services of someone in their employ makes each job important by definition.
NEVER Adopt a Culture of Bullying
All too often, we hear reports of workplace harassment. And the scale varies from story to story. Sometimes there’s simple (but no less damaging) exclusion. There’s also shouting at employees or applying pressure on deadlines. And then there’s outright physical and sexual violence. None of these are acceptable as a manager, and they only show and encourage weak leadership. Excellent leaders and managers have an effective team without resorting to bullying or harassment because they are respected among their peers and their teams, not feared.
Personal Planning Helps Encourage Better Leadership
Personal development plans will help your team members grow at work and in their home life. For example, one survey found that 98% of Americans use the money for short-term rewards rather than long-term goals. In short, most people don’t plan for the future. It’s not your responsibility to help your employees in this way. But suppose there are team members with money problems. Then they will likely become less productive due to stress, loss of sleep, and worrying about paying bills. You will earn respect and trust by offering help beyond your duty.
Always Lead by Example
It is often said that you should always lead by example. But what exactly does this mean? This is an official model whereby you behave in a certain way around your employees, so they, in turn, learn to act in the same way at work. The theory is you can make better workers by demonstrating specific behavior rather than outright asking for it as policy. However, if you only do what is expected from you, your team members will know you act a certain way because it is expected. Therefore, you must fully commit and believe in your good example and teach it.
Learn from Your Team as they Learn from You
You can learn as much from your team as they can from you. Being around the same people every day, you will learn to identify what each person has to offer. And they will demonstrate skills you may not have thought of. For example, perhaps employee A builds PCs as a hobby and can fix any issue your office network might have. Or employee B has a disabled child and can offer insights into your product developments for a new audience. Of course, as a manager, you can spot these skills. But a good leader learns from them and puts them into practice.
Being a leader isn’t the same as being an effective manager. The two are disconnected. Management relies on using assets for a goal. Leadership inspires influences and motivates. You can be a better leader by demonstrating solid morals and ethics at work, around the law, and common workplace issues like bullying. Yet you must also trust your team to work well in your absence by delegating and establishing trust. And you must always lead by example.