We all at times have times where we have to take control and become a leader. It’s a natural instinct to want to lead and thus it’s important that we can do it efficiently. Most commonly, a leader arises in the workplace. This may be from either an assigned role or by naturally taking on the position when working with a group of people. But, whether you are a good team leader is a different story and so here are 6 vital tips to take on board.
The ability to clearly and effectively communicate is a trait of any good leader. You should be able to inform your people what is expected of them to complete a particular project. At the same time, since communication is a two-way street, you should be able to effectively listen to what your people have to say. The people who report to you should be able to come to you with their concerns and ideas and know that they will be seriously considered.
Do Not Micromanage
One of the hardest things for a leader to do, especially if he or she has done the job that is now being delegated, is to point their people in the right direction and let them do their jobs. If you have competent, experienced people working for you, you should not have to constantly stand over their shoulders, directing their every move.
Sometimes someone reporting to you runs into a problem that needs your intervention. Maybe someone from another department is not being as cooperative as they could be. Maybe a dispute has arisen between two or more of your people that needs arbitrating. You should also make sure that your people have everything they need to do their jobs in the form of equipment, software, personnel, and access to information.
A good leader knows when to be assertive, whether it is making sure that a meeting moves along and everyone stays focused, or when a higher-up makes demands that cannot be addressed in the time and with the resources that are available. Assertiveness is a middle ground between aggressiveness, which could cause conflict and pushback, and passivity, which means that you will get rolled over and your concerns ignored, if you’re worried about your level of assertiveness then it may be wise to take an online assertiveness test, where you can find out where you are on the passivity-assertiveness-aggressiveness scale.
It is a good rule of thumb that praise should be offered in public, where it can be heard by others, and criticism should be done in private, so that the employee is not embarrassed and so that the exchange can be done in confidence. Praise should be offered as an encouragement, not only for the person being so honored, but to set an example for others to aspire to. Criticism should not be given punitively, but as an opportunity to explore what issues the particular employee may be experiencing that is keeping him or her from performing at top effectiveness. The idea is to provide help to any of your people who might be having problems and to communicate to them what needs to happen to get them back on track.
Do Exude Confidence, Tempered with Humility
A good leader is always confident, even in the face of adversity. An air of confidence can be infectious, inspiring the people who report to you to go above and beyond. However, this quality should not morph into overweening pride. If you make a mistake, admit to it, find a solution, and move on. Remember, as a leader, the success or failure of your team is your responsibility.
If you want to become a better team leader, then it’s extremely important to adapt your body language and approach to tasks and communication and this way, you will be able to assert a more authoritative role and effectively manage your team. Try adapting some of these tips into your approach and hopefully you will soon see the benefits.