5 Steps to Becoming a Better Leader

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Leader

As we grow in our careers, at some point, many of us are moved into leadership positions. We may know our trade inside and out. But leadership just isn’t about having expert knowledge in your field.

Leadership is a skill. It’s one that can be learned. School doesn’t always teach us how to become a better leader though. Sometimes we have to take classes specifically to learn leadership.

When some people are moved into leadership positions, managing people is job experience that many don’t yet have.

Knowing how to manage people well is vital to getting things done.

At one time or another, many of us have had to work for “the boss from hell.” This type of boss usually has terrible people skills. Another type of boss may be the opposite end of the spectrum. They go so far out of their way to make people happy, they are appeasing people rather than leading them.

Let’s look at 5 Steps To Help You Become A Better Leader

1. Learn To Become A Better Communicator

Communication is a skill you can learn. Communicating to your team, try to do the following:

  • Communication isn’t only about getting your message across, it’s a two-way street. Good communication requires listening as well.
  • Be specific rather than vague
  • Always be encouraging
  • Communicate often
  • Ask questions

2. Know And Understand Your Team

Every member of your team of your team brings a unique personality and set of skills. Take some time to get to know your team.

Ask them questions to understand the following:

  • Key strengths
  • Full skill set
  • Most effective working style
  • Most effective learning style
  • Interests
  • Goals

Understanding the above will help you get the most productivity out of your team members, as well as, keeping them happier.

3. Give Praise And Feedback Often

Sure, people go to work to get the paycheck. But to show up day after day and care, it helps if people feel like their efforts are making a difference.

Let people know how they’re doing. Let them know how their work is benefiting the organization. Let them know that the organization values what they do.

If the work someone is doing may lead to advancement – let them know this early on. There’s nothing more motivating than an attainable and valuable goal.

4. Don’t Micro-Manage People

Besides not driving your team members insane by always being over their shoulder – not micromanaging has some benefits for how well you do your job as well.

Not micromanaging leaves you time to focus on high-level tasks that only you can do

And another thing… You brought smart people on board because they are smart. When you micromanage them, you don’t allow them to use their smarts.

5. Correct Mistakes With Encouragement

Mistakes happen. Everyone will make them. To err is human. How you handle mistakes is the difference between team members gladly following you or hating you.

In fact, when too much emphasis is made towards never making a mistake, it can create an “atmosphere of fear” resulting in some negative consequences such as:

  • People trying to cover up and hide mistakes.
  • People passing the blame.
  • Fear of taking responsibility.
  • People always playing things too safe.

Inform people of their mistakes without putting them or their mistake in the spotlight. The best way is to take someone aside whenever possible.

If possible, before telling someone what they have done wrong, acknowledge what they have done right. Then open the conversation about the mistake and how to correct it.

Never make your team members feel incompetent or stupid.