Being a leader is not just about being more knowledgeable and calling the shots, impactful leadership is about inspiring your team members to do better, empowering them to make decisions, and leading with your head and heart.
You should aim to be a leader who leaves a lasting impression on his/her team, someone who leads from the front and develops people in the process.
Everybody wants to become a leader at some point in their lives but how many actually live up to the role of an inspiring and effective leader?
Here are 5 common mistakes most leaders often tend to make.
Being the leader does not give you the authority to do all the talking. The key to being a good leader is to be an attentive listener and no, merely ‘hearing’ your team out does not count.
Listening stems from genuine interest and empathy. It shows that you care, and it helps build trust. Be an active listener who listens to understand rather than one who listens to speak because only then can you engage with your team better.
So, the next time your subordinate has something to say – put that phone away, don’t get distracted, avoid interrupting and give them your full attention.
So, what do you do when you need an essay to be written? Instead of delegating it correctly and setting clear expectations, you get into the nitty-grities and prevent your team mate from doing things their way. That is exactly what micromanagers are made of.
Not only does this way of working demotivate your employees, it also shows mistrust on your part. Let’s face it – you micromanage because you don’t trust them to do a good job.
For starters, you need to understand that everyone has a different style of working and it is important to give them the space rather than curbing their freedom. You need to let them learn from their mistakes and empower them to take decisions because that is what helps in building a committed and confident team.
Don’t be that manager who doesn’t leave a chance to criticize but shies away from appreciating his/her team mates. A little acknowledgement doesn’t hurt anybody. If anything, it is motivating and encourages people to do better.
While criticism is vital for growth, it is important to be tactful at it. Criticism should always be given in private and in a constructive way – no one likes being chided in public. It is humiliating and shatters one’s self-esteem and confidence like no other.
Get the best out of your team, appreciate them more often and recognize their good efforts. You are sure to see a different level of enthusiasm in them.
Not Bonding with the Team
Yes, you are the leader of the team but that does not make bonding with your subordinates on a personal level any less important. As a leader, you need to create a friendly, positive and conducive environment for your team because only then will they communicate more freely.
So, make an effort to know them on a personal level – ask them about their families, ambitions, hobbies, etc. You can also conduct fun team building activities on a monthly basis and take time out together as a team. This enhances productivity, team work and trust and says volumes about you as a leader.
Taking All Credit
You aren’t doing ‘leadership’ right if you always rush to take credit for all the good work and start the blame game when things go downhill.
A responsible and secure leader is one who stands up for his/her team in times of adversity and applauds his team during wins. They look at excelling as a team rather than putting their personal interests in the forefront.
Remember that your team is your responsibility and the last thing you should do is abandon them when they need you most. However tough it is, always have your team’s back – in good times and bad.
Photo is pixabay creative commons
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