Whether you are about to undertake a new role, have just been promoted or are looking to take further steps forward in your current position, understanding your colleagues and earning their respect is key. Here are seven effective ways to achieve this in a leadership role.
1. Organise regular group meetings
A great way to get everyone communicating, to hear your teammates’ thoughts and challenges and to express your own opinions is through the use of regular meetings. In this way you can share company news and collate your ideas for what needs doing during the week ahead. It opens up the floor for you and your colleagues and allows them to see you as someone they can talk to with ease.
2. Individual meetings
Group meetings are great for getting everyone talking to each other; however, you will also need to assign time to each individual staff member.
Arrange meetings to allow employees to talk about their individual roles. Make sure they understand that you will listen to them and that the purpose of this meeting is not to justify what they are doing in the company. In this way they can talk to you openly and honestly and you can help them to achieve their individual aspirations.
3. Don’t undermine or criticise
When you are in an advisory role, it is vital to remember that your employees will work best for you when they feel they are respected and appreciated. Try not to overly criticise or undermine them, and build up their respect towards you by gently encouraging them if you see anything that needs to be changed.
4. Respect their suggestions
To ensure your teammates continue to come to you with their observations and ideas, you will need to make sure you boost their confidence. This means holding back on criticism of their suggestions and keeping things to yourself that they are telling you in the utmost confidence. You should never talk about one employee to another.
5. Be honest about changes
When discussing your department with your manager, be honest about what changes need to be implemented. Being wishy-washy and skirting around any issues will not do you any favours. As a leader, you have to have a voice and you must be able to communicate your thoughts to your manager in the same way in which your subordinates communicate their thoughts to you.
6. Don’t abuse your position
If you have to start using your power to get people to do their jobs, you are not leading them effectively. You should have the strength in leadership that allows you to talk truthfully about any problems there may be and should be able to address these with the authority you have been given.
7. Be open and honest
Being a leader does not mean that you cannot ask your teammates questions or for help. Tell them honestly if there is something you need help with and be open when you have made any mistakes. This makes you appear more human, which your staff will appreciate.
Learn through your employees, just as they will learn through you, and you will have the basis for a formidable team.
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