Strong leadership skills aren’t reserved for CEOs and business owners. Anyone who manages projects or works in a team can benefit from embracing and improving their leadership abilities.
Research shows that positive, inspiring and empowering leaders are more valued by team members and have higher performing teams. Read this blog to learn how to become a better leader and implement leadership strategies in your daily life.
6 Tips to Become a Better Leader
If you’re interested in building better relationships with your team and fostering a more productive work environment, here are six tips to become a better leader.
1. Understand Your Leadership Style
Being a strong leader involves understanding your unique leadership style. There are many leadership styles and combinations of qualities that make for an effective leader. For example, some leaders want to be known as visionaries or coaches, while others take a bureaucratic approach.
Consider your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. There are many leadership quizzes and assessments that will test your strengths and give you an idea of the different types of leaders that exist.
Once you determine what kind of leader you want to be and the areas you want to improve, you can move on toward becoming a better leader.
2. Practice Listening and Communicating Clearly
Good leaders communicate clearly with their teams in both individual settings and large groups. In a one-on-one environment, leaders have the opportunity to build relationships with their team members and keep the lines of communication open. Express care for each group member, and make sure they all know you’re willing to listen to their needs.
But being a good listener and communicator is not just about paying attention to your team. It also means learning to admit when you’re wrong or when you don’t know the answer. Your colleagues will respect you more when you admit you don’t have all the answers – and you can set a positive example by letting your team know you’ll do the research to find a solution.
3. Act as a Mentor
Don’t just act as a manager — be a mentor and role model, too. Great leaders exemplify the behaviors they want their employees to adopt.
Show off the characteristics that will make your team better, such as positivity, accountability and honesty. As a result, your team will admire you and try to emulate your behaviors.
But mentorship isn’t just about getting your team to mirror your behavior. Mentors meet directly with their team members to give them feedback, discuss what they could improve on and help them take the next step in their careers.
4. Encourage and Reward Creativity
The best leaders encourage team members to express creativity when solving problems. When employees have the opportunity — and the incentive —to work around difficult tasks with creativity, they’ll flourish.
Create group exercises where teams work together to solve an issue you present and allow employees to tackle challenges outside of a controlled environment. Make an effort to reward employees for their out-of-the-box thinking with recognition and other incentives.
5. Enable Your Team to Go Above and Beyond
Your group should feel empowered to take charge on projects, speak up during meetings and generally participate. You’re not only their leader or manager — you’re the inspiration they need to feel like a member of the team.
It’s not always easy to be an “inspiration,” though. Keep a positive attitude, listen to your employees’ ideas in a one-on-one setting when they may be nervous and show off how passionate you are about projects and goals. When you do these three things, you’ll see your group standing out in no time.
6. Embrace Failure
The reality is that there will be times when your group fails. Too many novice managers feel that failure is not an option — but it is. If you don’t embrace such failure, you might stick with a project for too long or spend too much money trying to fix and cover up mistakes.
When you’re willing to admit mistakes and embrace failed ideas, you might find a new solution or come up with a way to prevent such problems in the future.
Become a Better Leader With New Horizons Leadership Training
Your journey toward becoming a great leader is easier said than done. These tips can help steer you in the right direction, but you will always have more to learn.
If you’re ready for a deep dive into building your soft skills to become a better leader, then check out New Horizons’ Center for Leadership and Development. Our courses are designed to help you take the next step in your career and learn how to elevate others in your company.
Take a look at the available courses here.