As you climb the ladder in your career, you may eventually find yourself in a leadership position. It’s simply the natural growth progression in many fields. However, no matter how well you know your trade, that doesn’t mean you’ve got the leadership skills to match.
Leadership skills are something you learn over time, not something you often really learn in school. At least, not by default.
Being promoted to a management position means you’ll need to develop the necessary new skill of managing people. This is absolutely crucial if you want to be an effective leader and get things done.
So, here are five tips that can help with that.
1. Be a good communicator.
Good communication is key in just about any situation – from personal relationships to the workplace. Poor communication, on the other hand, can be devastating.
Understand that it’s a two-way street. Communicating doesn’t mean simply getting your point across, it also means listening.
Always be clear, concise, and specific when you convey a message, and try to be encouraging as well. Listen to your team and ask questions to ensure everyone is also on the same page.
2. Give frequent feedback.
Yes, most people go to work to earn money, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about anything else. Ensure your team knows when their efforts truly make a difference by offering frequent praise and feedback.
Let them know when they’re doing a great job and how or why it benefits the company. When employees feel valued, they’re more likely to enjoy their work and do a better job.
Feedback can also help people become more attuned to their goals, which can be highly motivating.
3. Handle mistakes with decorum.
Mistakes can, will, and do happen. How you approach them can make a major difference in how your team functions. If you want your team to like and respect you, mistakes should be responded to with encouragement.
If there’s too much of an emphasis on avoiding mistakes, this can lead to fearful employees. That, in turn, can lead to people not wanting to reveal their mistakes. Negative consequences of this sort of environment include team members fearing responsibility, passing of blame, and more.
Try not to shine a spotlight on anyone’s personal mistakes. Instead, take them aside and discuss what can be done to correct the error. Be sure to highlight what they have done correctly as well, not just what they’ve done wrong.
The last thing you want is to make a team member feel stupid.
4. Avoid micro-managing.
There are several major drawbacks to micro-managing, not the least of which is driving your team members crazy. No one likes to be hovered over when they’re working, and it can really hamper one’s enthusiasm for their work.
It also means taking time away from the more high-level tasks that only you are suited to do.
You’ve simply got to have faith in your team that they’re utilizing their knowledge and skills in an effective manner.
5. Know your team.
Everyone who works with you has their own skills and unique personality traits. Spend a bit of time getting to know and understand everyone.
Find out their key strengths, how they work the most effectively and efficiently, and how they learn. It’s also good to know some of their personal interests and goals as well.
Knowing what motivates people can help ensure increased productivity and make everyone happier.