Learn the qualities of leadership that will help you excel in management
Stepping into a managerial position is more than just a job promotion; it’s assuming the responsibility of a leadership role and the expectations that come along with it. Managers have the power to make or break their companies through any number of decisions, but the way they treat their employees has the greatest impact on their failure or success in a leadership role. Manage your team effectively by understanding the qualities good leaders possess and by embodying those professional traits.
How to lead the way
Although the qualities of successful leadership fall along a broad spectrum of behaviors, working toward the following is a good start.
To lead others powerfully, you need to be aware of – and honest about – your own strengths and weaknesses. You can’t identify personal areas in need of improvement without an in-depth assessment of your skills and shortcomings. For instance, if you’re great at communication but have difficulty being detail oriented, delegate those responsibilities or identify tools, processes, or software that can help manage the items that are at risk of falling through the cracks. Mitigate weaknesses by recognizing that you have them and coming up with a plan to improve or prevent potential issues.
Do your behavior and appearance fit the role of a leader? Effective managers hold themselves to a high professional standard while still being accessible and relatable to their teams. Choose your words and actions carefully in a professional environment, and dress professionally even if others assume a more casual appearance. Be conscious of your posture, speaking voice, handshakes, and introductions along with the many other little details that add up to make an impression.
While it’s essential to be able to clearly convey your ideas, willingly tackle difficult subjects, and speak with intention, there’s another important communication skill that is often overlooked – the ability to listen. Make individuals on your team feel heard by giving them your undivided attention when they speak to you, and don’t mentally prepare your response while they’re still talking. Consider not only what they’re saying but also why they’re saying it and what their body language is communicating, and then reply. Generous listening is a skill that makes employees feel valued and can encourage them to contribute more openly.
Good leaders have integrity. Trust is a key element in any relationship – particularly so in one with an imbalanced power dynamic. Be truthful with your employees, share information openly, and take accountability for any mistakes or miscommunications on your end. Transparency makes people feel safe, even in uncertain situations. Don’t leave your team guessing, and don’t manipulate the truth to change an undesirable narrative.
One of the greatest challenges of being a manager is the need to make tough choices, often on the spot. A certain level of confidence is necessary to make empowered decisions. Trust your ability and instincts, stay informed about topics that are relevant to your workplace and industry, seek out advice when necessary, and act swiftly and with certainty when a decision has to be made.
Being an empowered leader requires commitment, dedication, optimism, and the emotional intelligence necessary to foster a sense of trust, loyalty, and enthusiasm in employees.
Recognize the hard work and innate leadership abilities that have allowed you to ascend to a managerial position, and continue on the path of personal improvement in a way that will lead to the success of your team and place of business.
If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.