A leader is more than just the person who brought the rest of the team together. They’re the person that holds it together, when the going gets tough. The traits of a good leader seem somewhat fluid depending on what your team is working on, but there’s some qualities that you’ll always need. If you feel you could work on improving your skills, here’s the qualities of a good leader that you need to develop to really lead effectively.
Be honest with yourself and others
This is quite an obvious tip, but it’s one of the most important attributes of a leader. The example you set is one that your team will follow. They’re looking to you to set the tone for your entire working relationship, so you need to think carefully about how you interact with them and your company as a whole.
Holding yourself to your own standards is vital. It helps your team respect you as a person and a leader. If you make mistakes, own up to them, and encourage your team to do the same. It’s worth drawing up a list of ethical values you want the team to embody, and then post it somewhere prominent. Hold both you and your team to these values.
Show that you can commit
Remember, if you want your team to commit to you and the project at hand, you need to do the same. You lead by example, so make sure you’re putting in as much work as you expect your team to. It will bode well on you if they can see you in the workplace, pitching in and helping out with whatever needs doing at the time.
This also relates to non work commitments, too. If you promise a Friday afternoon pizza as a reward for the hard work the team have done, make sure you follow through. If you can’t be trusted on your word, why should your team follow you?
Look at how you write at work
Writing skills don’t sound obvious when talking about leadership, but they’re more important than you think. That’s because you spend a lot of time at work writing. Whether that’s in group chats, emails, or creating reports, you’re going to be communicating via the written word.
A good leader knows that whenever they write messages, they need to be clear, concise, and to the point. Your team needs to know what to expect from you. Linda Davies, a writer at Ox Essays, agrees, ‘In order to really get your point across, you need to pay attention not only to what you’re writing, but how you’re writing it.’
Your grammar needs to be perfect, as well as your spelling. When you choose to send messages is important too. Sending a message rather than calling a whole meeting shows that you value everyone’s time.’ If you want some help in improving your written communication, there are sites like UK Writings and Australian Help that will check and edit your writing for you. And Cite It In will help you make good quarterly and annual reports.
Anticipate any challenges that lie ahead
What is a good leader? A good leader isn’t just waiting in the moment for crises to appear. They actively think about and research what challenges could happen, and prepare for them. Doing this means if your team runs into trouble, you can ensure they won’t lose time or productivity in trying to resolve it.
There’s several things you can do to improve your ability to anticipate challenges. Learn something new, for example, with Academized as every leader needs to be open to new things. Talk to your customers, staff, and suppliers to understand their challenges. Examine competitors to see how they’re working and what they’re doing well. Outline your own potential futures, so you have a plan of action no matter what happens.
Traits of a leader include being able to quickly make decision, while keeping in mind all of the options they have. They need to make decisions that not only benefit them, but their team and their business as a whole. A person who gets bogged down in details and can’t make a choice isn’t a good leader.
So, if you want to become more decisive, you’ll need to do the following things:
– Consider all of your options. What’s available to you? What would be the most beneficial to your work right now?
– If faced with a big decision, break it down into smaller components. When you do this, it’s easier to see the whole picture. You’ll then be able to make a decision that’s right for you.
– Take input from your team. They may have insight that you don’t into the process, and you’ll make them feel included by asking for their opinions.
– If you can, run pilots so you can see what the outcomes of your decisions would be.
Recognise what motivates your team
Your leadership attributes will rise and fall on how well your team does as a whole. Your job is to understand how they work together, and what they need to do their job well.
Look at the people in the tram individually. Do they work well with another member of the group? Pair them together. Do they have certain likes and dislikes when it comes to their job list? As much as you can, try and assign them tasks that they enjoy doing.
Also, motivation can be as simple as making sure there’s coffee available during work hours, or the ability to relax around their teammates without being chided for it. If you’re able to create a balance between work and play, they’ll be much better at their jobs.
Finally, be flexible
Not everyone is the same. Everyone has different needs, beliefs, and an understanding of what their job entails. Your job is to understand that, and try to relate to every team member on their level. If they feel that you really want to listen to them and understand them, they’re going to look up to you more, and work hard for your cause.
As you can see, being a leader isn’t easy but it is rewarding. If you can get the balance right, then you can really get the most out of your team.
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