If you love what you do, you’re always looking for the next way to improve the productivity of you and your employees. Whether you’re the boss, a team lead or a regular associate, there are always ways to help things run more smoothly in the workplace and a great part of it begins with you and your leadership and example. While some are natural born leaders, others need a little more practice and self-knowledge to become the figure a company needs.
Improve on your strengths- Before you go about making any changes, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Find out which of your traits make you a valuable member of the company and emphasize on these.
Work on your weaknesses- Just as it’s important to work on perfecting your craft, it’s important to acknowledge where you could use a little improvement. Seek help when you need it and consider finding a mentor who can help you in those areas. Think of this as expanding your skillset rather than a sign of weakness. At the end of the day, your company will benefit just as much as you.
Empathize- A huge part of being an effective leader is knowing how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It can be easy to dish out the orders without thinking twice about the needs of your colleagues, but forgetting how to relate and listen can be damaging to you and the respect they have for you.
Take initiative- Every so often there comes a task so dreadful it might sit in an unopened file for week after week. Do it. You won’t always get recognition for it, but when others see your initiative, they’ll be more inclined to do the same. Not every part of work will be exciting, but your job as a leader is to move forward even when others won’t.
Listen- When the workload gets heavy, it’s easy to want to move in a direction you think is best without considering what others would suggest. Even though you may feel like you’ve got it figured out, never underestimate the ability of an outside mind.
Be confident- Not to be confused with cockiness, confidence means a lot more than sounding and like you know what you’re doing. From your posture to your tone of voice, make an effort to look and feel like a leader. You’ll be surprised how well this translates into your work.
Acknowledge others- If you’re in a position of power, remember to remind those who work for you that you truly value their hard work. Recognition and positive reinforcement can be some of the best motivators in the work place. Some great ways to say thanks are with certificates or plaques they can display proudly.