5 Ways to Be a Better Leader in the Workplace
Great leaders inspire those around them to do better and be better. A great leader doesn’t remain aloof and detached, letting others do all the work; instead he or she jumps in and does his or her part. You don’t even need to be in a position of authority in order to garner the respect a great leader commands and help your coworkers live up to their potential. A great leader can lead from any rung on the company ladder, even if it’s at the bottom or somewhere in the middle, instead of at the top.
Do you want to become a better leader in your workplace? Start by setting a good example for your coworkers. Remember to stay humble and open to the possibility of learning from people below you as well as those on your level or higher. Stay positive and passionate, and always be working on your people skills.
1. Set a Good Example
You can begin establishing your reputation as a leader right away if you make it a point to set a good example for your coworkers from your very first day with the company. You can pursue additional education, such as a Master of Science in Management, to help you prepare for the leadership position you eventually want. But even as an entry-level employee, setting a good example helps you inspire those around you and make an impression on those above you.
What are some ways to do that? Show up early every day — if you can’t manage that, at least show up on time. When you’re blogging or using social media, remember that you are a representative of your company, even when you’re on your personal profiles. Dress well, practice your listening skills , and never be afraid to give credit where it’s due.
2. Stay Humble
Humility will take you far — and it will take your employees far, too. According to a recent study of 1,500 employees from countries around the world, including Germany, Australia, Mexico, China, India, and the United States, employees respond better to managers they perceive as humble and altruistic. They feel a deeper sense of connection with their teams and, as a result, they’re most likely to pitch in when a colleague needs help or is absent. They’re also more innovative and more likely to make potentially game-changing suggestions.
3. Be Willing to Learn from Your Team
Nobody knows everything, and you’re no exception. You might be the manager, but that doesn’t mean your team members might not know a thing or two that you don’t. Always be as open to learning from those below you as you are to learning from your own supervisors. If you’ve hired the best possible talent, then it stands to reason there’s quite a lot those people can teach you — and you’ll be better off for the education.
4. Be Positive and Passionate
When you’re passionate about a project, that enthusiasm has a way of rubbing off. Your team members will work harder when they sense that you genuinely care about their progress, and not just because your own boss is breathing down your neck. Positivity is powerful, too — your optimism and upbeat attitude can help your team members stay on task, even when things begin to look a little dicey.
5. Always Work on Your People Skills
All great leaders have great people skills, because people skills are what you need to connect with team members, build trust, and inspire loyalty and top-notch performance. Your team members want a leader who is self-assured and confident — someone who can lead them in the right direction and help them get the job done right the first time.
But your team members also want a leader who is likeable and personable. Employees are always more motivated when they feel their manager cares about their best interests and wants to help them get their needs met, in both their personal and professional lives. You can establish yourself as a personable leader by fostering communication, showing concern for your team members and others at the company, and behaving in a professional and courteous manner at all times.
You can start becoming a better leader right now, even if you haven’t yet achieved the leadership position you aspire to. The more you cultivate your leadership skills now, the more you’ll inspire those around you — and the closer you’ll get to realizing your own professional goals, whatever they might be.