New to a leadership position? Been a leader for some time but you and your team seem to be plateauing? It's probably time to "Level UP" your leadership.
I'm a firm believer in always looking to do better, regardless of what your job title is - whether you manage 1 person or you're the CEO, there is always room for improvement when it comes to leadership. Fortunately, there is something you can do without calling in a professional (though I do recommend that).
Here are 3 simple steps to "leveling up" your leadership abilities:
Spend time in your employees' area, their offices, cubicles, in the lobby, in the lunch room, pretty much anywhere employees spend their time. Soak in the nonverbal communication that resides within your organization. It's funny, within five or so minutes of being in a workplace, I can get a pretty good feel for what the overall culture is just by observing: the way people interact, the volume of their voices, the tone of their voices, how they greet one another, smiles, how managers interact with staff, etc.. Your organization's culture is made up of these elements, and if you spend a little time looking, you might be surprised by what you find.
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." - Bryant H. McGill
Probably the most talked about and yet least used skills to becoming an effective leader - listening. I'm not sure if it's our arrogance or lack of trust in the skills and opinions of our employees, but pay attention the next time you're in a meeting - you'll be astounded by observing how much the "leader" usually talks as compared to the rest of the team.
"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." - Stephen R. Covey
The funny thing is, if you've done your job as a manager & hired the right people, do everyone a favor and be a good leader and shut up! A leader who does not listen will never learn what they don't know. Failing to cede control of a conversation or not actively listening shows your team that their thoughts, ideas & opinions are of lessor value then your own.
Result = Less Collaboration, Engagement & Trust
Every individual who works for you is just that, an individual. Effective leadership includes being aware of what talents/strengths that individual possesses and taking the time to learn what motivates them. What are their hopes, dreams, aspirations, BHAGs, etc.?
Some people are simply motivated by $$$ - they see their hours at work as a means to enjoying their time away from work (I don't necessarily agree with this approach to life, but there's nothing wrong with it). Others, are motivated by their title or inclusion in large company-wide initiatives. While others, those with high self-awareness, look for meaningful work that leaves them fulfilled & happy.
Whatever the motivation, as a leader it is your job to know the motivation and tailor your management style to maximize the strengths of your employees (and NOT the other way around!).
husband + father + pilot + director of talent development + leadership coach + startup fan + reader of personal #development, company #culture & leadership books