It does not matter whether you run a business, have a managerial role, or you are simply looking to have better authority in the workplace, becoming a good leader is something we should all strive for. However, it can be difficult to know how to go about this. A lot of people assume that being a leader is something that simply comes naturally. Nevertheless, you can work on it. With that being said, continue reading to discover some of the steps you should take to become a better leader…
Take a training course - There is only one place to begin, and this is by taking a training course in leadership. If you have taken many business courses you likely studied companies like GE and Toyota. Their methodologies have proven effective and their companies tout their successes as a result. Many of the most successful companies follow the principles of Six Sigma. By taking a training course in leadership like Six Sigma, you will find out about the different approaches you can follow to have more authority and control in the workplace. There are so many different training courses available today, including online courses, so you should have no trouble finding something that fits into your schedule.
Work on your emotional intelligence - The best leaders are emotionally aware. While a lot of people recommend keeping emotions out of business matters, business is ultimately about the relationships between different people. You need to be emotionally intelligent for these relationships to last. You need to be sensitive to different backgrounds and points of view. While you do need to use your head to determine what is best for business, do not forget to have a heart too. I like being intentional about taking people to lunch or coffee every few weeks. Get them out of the office and spend time talking about their life and their concerns. Inevitably business comes up but you really learn about the people you work with and their needs. When you show you care, people are willing to go the extra mile when needed.
Improve your meetings - Are your meetings as productive as they should be? If most people are honest reading this, they will say ‘no.’ We spend so much time in meetings, and this is often because we go off track or we invite people who are not even impacted by what is being discussed. You need to make sure you put together a meeting plan and time limit and stick to it. If I am inviting a lot of people to a meeting, I like to prepare a lot of questions ahead of time and send them to the group so they can be prepared to answer them. I also like to set meetings for 30 minutes or less. This forces efficiency and allows people to get back to work more quickly. It may not always be possible but keeping this schedule will help you learn to be more succinct and your co-workers will appreciate the efficiencies.
Lead by example - Last but not least, the employees you work with are not your children. You can’t say “do as I say, not as I do.” In fact, this approach is one of the quickest ways to ruin any harmony in your business and stent your career progress as a leader. Instead, you need to lead by example. Leaders do not merely tell, they show. If you want your employees to get to work on time every day, you should make sure that you are punctual. If you set the tone, your employees will follow it. When times are tough, pitch in with the rest of the group to get the project completed. You cannot just bark orders without putting in the same sweat equity you require of the rest of the group.
We would love to hear your tips on how to be a better leader in your workplace? Let us know in the comments!
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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