For many, leadership doesn't come naturally and is something we have to develop. Take a look at ways to become a more effective leader and further enhance your leadership qualities.
Many people will look to you in order to make important decisions and often in a timely manner. Some decisions made, could mean your organisation takes a hit, others might be the best decision you ever made.
Try not to analyse, doubt yourself or agonise. What’s done is done. If you can’t make certain decisions quickly, your organisation may suffer. In most cases, no decision is worse than a wrong decision because inaction leaves employees unsure, which ultimately destroys morale and prevents progression.
Many people are fearful of change. We get comfortable, we learn certain processes and we become great at them. But what if there is a quicker way to reduce costs and time?
We often can’t predict what’s around the corner, but what if you were prepared for those ‘just in-case’ moments? A big part of being a leader means that when change is on the horizon, you are proactive and change aspects before problems arise.
People will look to you for reassurance. Motivating staff and encouraging morale within the team is an essential part of being a leader. Projecting both hope and positivity, while also keeping the organisation focused by dispelling negativity and weakness. Trust your talent, be confident and assertive.
Handling difficult people and situations is something nobody likes to do. Yet, in certain situations your role as a leader may embark on this. Having empathy and being impartial is crucial. Good people management and communication skills are very important, and they are a useful skill which can be applied to any role.
Control your emotions.
Ensure you remain calm. Don’t react in the heat of the moment. It’s very easy to become stressed, yet leave it until the next day, whereby you will be much calmer and able to respond to a situation or email in an appropriate manner. Your mood hugely impacts on your judgement, and as a leader it is your responsibility to manage your emotional intelligence.
It’s always best to get a second opinion. In some cases, they might not always be readily available, however it is worth waiting for. Having a reliable source of knowledge is incredibly valuable. This could be perhaps a mentor, trusted friend or partner, either way gaining an insightful point of view will increase your chances of looking at situations from a different perspective.
Be an authentic leader.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming an artificial leader, however try to let your personality shine through. People will warm to you much more if they see you are human. Never waste time trying to be someone that you’re not, because it’s a recipe for failure. Stay humble, and never lose touch with the most important individuals: the people who follow you and want you to succeed.
Put what you say into action.
Translate strategy into action. Employees are much more concerned about what you do, rather than what you say. Leaders who talk the talk but don’t follow through are destined to fail and loose the support of employees. Remember, leadership is about gaining results.
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Training your employees is essential to the achievements of any business. As the commercial world is constantly evolving, businesses are required to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in order to maximise productivity and retain customers.
Training isn’t just about showing employees how to complete tasks, it goes much further than this. It also involves increasing the knowledge of individuals and showing people how to apply this effectively and consistently within the workplace.
Below are just some of the reasons to take on development initiatives:
• Training and personal development increases staff retention, helping you to keep hold of your existing employees
• Having highly skilled, knowledgeable employees can help your organisation deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction, ultimately boosting your reputation and helping to secure greater customer retention
• Whether it is training, methods of working or legislation – things continuously change in the work place, so ensure you keep up-to-date
• Training gives employees the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work to the best of their ability, increasing productivity and quality of work
• Internal training creates a focused environment which enables discussions centred on specific examples and best practice within your organisation. It also strengthens internal relationships
• Training increases the well-being of employees and reduces absence, mistakes and stress
• Demonstrate a commitment to staff and invest in them. After all, your staff are ultimately what makes your organisation. Remember that it’s also far more economical to train your existing staff than it is to let them go.
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Coaching for high performance is about helping people reach their full potential. This means working with people to improve their overall performance at work and achieve their goals and aspirations.
Coaching is incredibly important and involves working with people at every layer of the business in order to help reach their full potential. High performance coaching gives people the time to reflect and acknowledge their motivation and overcome the interference that may be holding them back. It is also invaluable for managers to evaluate an employee’s aspirations and ultimately improve productivity.
Coaching particularly helps and highlights the following;
• Navigating a career change. An example of a career change could be the transition from being a manager to being seen as a leader – someone who offers clear guidance, motivation and inspiration. Coaching can help assist people in reaching their aspirations
• Changes to performance or behaviour. Breaking bad habits and relearning skills is something coaching and mentoring can consistently monitor and improve
• High performance coaching can often help people recover from major business or personal setbacks such as work-life imbalances and stress
• Evidence shows that people who have clear plans and goals for the future are more likely to be successful long term, therefore creating these with guidance is a huge benefit.
Benefits are not only seen by the individual being coached but ultimately apply to the business. Improvement in an individual’s performance will only enhance productivity and by highlighting personal learning and development, this will increase an individual’s awareness. Coaching also gives a person time to reflect and discuss their aspirations allowing for solutions to be identified regarding specific work-related issues.
The GROW model.
GROW, an acronym for Goals, Reality, Options and Will which highlights the four key steps of this model used often for coaching. By applying these four stages, this model is able to raise an individual’s awareness and understanding of the following;
• Individual aspirations
• Current situation
• The possibilities and resources available to them
• The goals they want to achieve.
By setting achievable goals, that are both challenging and measurable, this model aims to instil confidence, leading to increased self-motivation and assurance, creating personal satisfaction.
Rapport is a definite requirement in the coaching relationship. The more rapport the better. Without this, it can end up being a very flat meeting with no genuine intent or purpose. The more time spent developing a coaching relationship, the more honest the speaker will be, leading to a more natural conversation like session.
Exercise active listening.
Give the speaker your attention and acknowledge what they are saying. This can be done simply by maintaining eye contact and not getting distracted. Ensure you also use positive body language and gestures such as nodding, smiling and note your posture, ensuring that this is always open and inviting.
Understand and clarify.
Reflect on what has been said. It’s sometimes easy for our assumptions and judgments to come into play, however steer clear as your role in this instance is to ultimately understand what is being said. Ask questions to clarify certain points and summarise what has been said in order to gain a clearer understanding. This will also allow the speaker to reiterate their point.
Remember not to interrupt when the speaker is speaking. Before asking questions, allow the speaker to finish each point before asking the next question. By interrupting, you may risk missing important information or the speaker may feel rushed or uncomfortable and you may also limit your full understanding.
Manage your response.
Your response ultimately determines how the speaker feels within the coaching relationship. Active listening is very much required to gain respect and a full understanding on the perspective being given. Be open and honest in your response and give your opinions respectfully. Remember to treat the speaker in a way that you would want to be treated. It often takes a lot for a person to open up so ensure you treat a coaching session with respect.
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