By Peter Yang, chief technology officer at ResumeGo
What makes a great leader? It’s a simple question, but one that requires a nuanced answer. The fact of the matter is, every business requires a different type of leadership. A great leader in one company might be a terrible one in another. That being said, there are some general guidelines that all effective leaders should follow if they want to inspire their employees and maximize their potential.
Here are four ways to improve your leadership skills:
1. Show appreciation and praise others
If you’re a manager, you probably understand how vitally important employees are to the success of a business. However, more often than not, we don’t openly show our appreciation toward them for their amazing work and effort. As a leader, you want to get into the habit of asking, “Who here has been awesome?” You want to create a work culture that openly appreciates the hard work of any employee at your company. That way, employees are actually incentivized to put forth their best efforts, knowing that their work will be applauded and recognized.
2. Communicate effectively
They say that the art of communication is the language of leadership. It’s important to inform your employees of what exactly they need to get done, how much time they have to do it and how their work relates to the bigger picture. Too much uncertainty prevents employees from putting forth their best effort. As a boss, make sure your employees are fully aware of what they should be working on from the moment they step into the office. Give your employees a time frame indicating when their work should be completed, and make it clear to them the quality of work that is expected. Many businesses have daily meetings to inform their employees of exactly what is in store for the day. By giving your employees a clear road map, they’ll be able to work more effectively and move in the right direction.
3. Be tolerant
The business world is cut-throat and unforgiving. While it’s tempting to mimic that sort of mentality as a boss, it won’t produce the results you are looking for. Employees who find themselves working in a draconian system will be unmotivated and uninspired. The company’s top talent will most likely be looking to find a new job or, at the very least, put minimal effort into their work. By being more tolerant, you create an environment that invites people to push themselves and take risks that they otherwise might be too scared to.
4. Actively get feedback and advice
A good leader is a great listener. Just like how you’re open to the advice contained in this article, you want to be open to criticism and feedback from your employees. You’ll be surprised to hear what they have to say! A lot of managers are too arrogant or set in their own beliefs to truly listen to their subordinates’ opinions. However, remember that your employees can provide brand new insights and perspectives due to their differing roles in the company, and only by listening to their ideas can you develop as a leader and help the company grow.
Perhaps some of these traits as a leader don’t come naturally to you. You might not be used to giving people a pat on the back every time they do a good job. Maybe you’re a poor communicator or don’t take criticism well. That’s okay as long as you realize this and work to improve. Remember, great leaders aren’t born, they’re shaped over time through commitment and practice.
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