There might be such a thing as a natural leader, but that doesn’t mean good leadership comes without a lot of hard work. Reading books on leadership, putting your values to practice, and trying your hardest to lead people isn’t always a recipe for better leadership every time. So today, we’re giving you three specific ways to be a better leader in your workplace that you can start trying out ASAP.
Know Your People
This first one might seem simple, but in a busy work culture, it’s a step that often gets overlooked. To lead other people well, you must truly know them first. And we’re not just talking about name and job title, either. Getting to know people’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and family background all help to build trust. You can also use the things you learn about other people to inform your decisions and how you handle projects in the future. Knowing your people will take time, but without it, you will be an ineffective leader and have no one to lead.
Step Into Others’ Shoes
It’s not enough just to talk to other people. Even if you know them very well, it’s your actions and attitudes that really make a difference. When you’re making decisions or talking to those around you, take stock of their situation. It might be difficult to truly feel what they’re feeling, but you can at least understand where it is they’re coming from. When you see someone going through something wonderful or difficult, respond to them in the way you think they would like to be treated. Celebrate their wins and gracefully help them recover from their losses, and you will find that this positivity is infectious in your workplace.
Doing this is helpful even when you’re in disagreement with another person. The ability to have empathy even when it’s hard is one of the top qualities of a successful leader.
Encourage Respectful But Straightforward Communication
Whether you’re giving feedback or brainstorming initial ideas, the way you talk to other people is a potential area to become a better leader. Your words have incredible power, and as you seek to be more of a leader in your workplace, the more weight your words will carry. That’s why, for yourself and for your team, you need to speak and encourage speaking in a way that’s respectful but to the point. Don’t let others guess your expectations or be taken aback by your abrasive words. Instead, clearly and kindly communicate everything, and you’ll be on your way to better leadership.
Taking these three basic steps, you will notice a drastic change in the efficiency of your leadership. Remember, regardless of how high or low your status is in the company, you can be a leader that affects change and makes your environment a better place to work.