A leader’s role is to be a main contributor of driving success and profits for the company, which begins with having the right people in the right positions. Overseeing and developing employees is crucial, but we all know that everyone is unique in terms of experience, education, learning, and communication style. Those areas of uniqueness also call for differences in how a leader manages each team member. Learning employee strengths and weaknesses and adjusting your style is crucial.
Encourage Your Employees by Sharing Your Path
Leaders should never be afraid to take a personable approach when encouraging employee growth. Employees respect and relate to leaders who share their experiences, successes, and failures. The most revered leaders are those who lead by example. Opening a dialogue around your journey is a great place to start. Often, sharing mistakes and shortcomings can be even more valuable than sharing past successes. While mistakes are never encouraged, the learning experiences they can provide are invaluable. It is important for all members of a team to identify their own shortcomings and share them with the team. However, it’s also imperative to support the sharing with a positive outlook by seeing today’s shortcomings as “growth areas.” As you share your experiences, encourage team members to create a plan to work towards utilizing their strengths and enhancing their growth areas. Illustrating how you worked to enhance your own growth areas can encourage employees to do the same.
Relieve Your Stress in a New Way
As cliché as it may sound, a clear and positive mindset is supremely important to managing stress. Often, we deal with stress at work by buckling down and powering through the piles of work that many of us always seem to have in front of us. While buckling down and getting as much done as fast as possible may seem like the best solution, it actually can lead to more anxiety throughout the day and can also be harmful to one’s physical and mental health. Framing a stressful situation as a learning opportunity can be challenging, but is a powerful technique. Learning something new adds to our personal growth and competencies, which can alleviate feelings of stress, increase confidence, and build feelings of accomplishment. Open dialogue to identify stressors is a great place to start. The process of raising awareness makes the tasks at hand seem more manageable. Additionally, the dialogue also reinforces the support of the team.
Encourage Differing Points of View
Many people naturally gravitate toward those who share their ideals, views, and opinions. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, it can create a myopic view of the world and make us too set in our ways. Thus, discouraging learning and growth. When discussing a project or idea with your team, set time on the agenda to discuss areas in which you differ. Raising different points of view (in a calm and professional manner, of course) also helps to identify gaps in strategy or overlooked ripples (areas or individuals impacted by a decision). You may be surprised what you learn by doing this. The best practice for growth is to bring a diverse group together with as many thoughts and viewpoints as possible. This allows the development of new ideas and perspectives that group think may have never discovered.
Stellar leaders tend to stay connected, and step in to guide their team as needed. Great leaders are proactive, personable, and always there to offer advice and guidance. There will always be roadblocks, hurdles, and obstacles to overcome. Remember, you hired your team members based on their existing capabilities and potential, but discovering their individual path to success may not be an overnight phenomenon. A true leader can provide the extra encouragement to guide already capable employees onto the path of personal and professional success.