By: Lucy Desai, copywriter at Impact
When you manage a team, you have an extra level of responsibility. But there are a significant number of differences between simply being a manager and evolving into a leader. According to Harvard Business Review, 30 is the average age of a first-time manager, whereas 40 is when people enrol on leadership training. 10 years is a lot of lost time that could’ve been spent developing leadership skills. Such a long period of time can result in bad habits being ingrained into your managerial style that may prevent you from improving.
As a manager, you’re not automatically a leader. While managers will distribute work and projects to those working under them, leaders set out visions for workers to be motivated by. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly demonstrated the need for leaders – prepared and empathetic individuals who are agile to respond to threats.
In this article, we will discuss four key ways that managers can evolve their skills to become effective and trusted leaders.
Earn your respect
The most important consideration is respect. Managers expect respect – leaders earn it. Employees aren’t going to consider their manager a true leader if they don’t have respect for them. They will also be less cooperative and creative, less inclined to work as hard, and less likely to take lead in their own tasks.
There are several ways you can earn respect. These include:
- Leading by example. You should be prepared and eager to pick up tasks that are big and small. Don’t have someone else make your coffee or print copies – do them yourself. Staff should be assisted when we return to normal.
- Listening to your team. Be open to listening to what others have to say and how their opinions can be used to improve things. Steady team meetings open up a dialogue of feedback and ideas.
- Following through on deadlines. It’s important to remember that if you can’t meet your own deadlines, why should your team?
- Accepting responsibility if things don’t work out. Don’t try to shift blame or make excuses. Your employees will see straight through this and doubt your position as a manager.
Communication should never be put on the back burner. Poor communication skills can be alienating for workers and can make them feel less confident that things are being run well. Everything should be communicated to your workforce – no matter how minor it may feel. This can range from ideas and strategies to expectations and systems. Make everyone feel involved and engaged in all processes. This will also help people understand everything properly, which will increase the likelihood that they will be committed.
Support staff with positive company culture
As a leader, you should define and contribute to an active company culture. If there are issues of workers not fitting into the company culture, they may start looking elsewhere. Making the culture clear from the start will make it easier to recruit and retain skilled workers who fit into the talent pool and will excel in their performance, rather than feeling like an outsider. Employees who work in an engaging culture with their leader will have positive opinions about the company and will be strong advocates.
Harvard Business investigated which qualities are most important in leaders. 700 workers were involved in the study and answered questions around which qualities they value the most. According to the results, 70 per cent agreed that a culture of engagement is a very important attribute and results in more productivity and profitability.
Enrol on leadership training programs
To become a true leader, go above and beyond for your team and enrol on leadership training programs to enhance your team development. These courses are created to evolve your leadership skills and develop your ability to deploy forward-thinking strategies. In the modern workplace, organisations and businesses are constantly evolving. Effective leadership must keep up with this through reactive and agile skills.
As a leader, you have a big responsibility to inspire and encourage your workers. Learn how to do this properly to help the business run smoothly.