Advancing to a leadership role comes with more than a title change, it comes with the responsibility to guide your team towards success. In order to stay on track towards growth and success, you must possess good leadership skills. This means more than just assigning and reviewing tasks, but building relationships with your employees, and helping them grow and succeed as individuals. Keeping the idea in your head that you are more than just a manager of tasks, you are a leader of people, may help you start to think differently about your role and ways you can start to better lead your team.
As we mentioned, building those close bonds with your employees is essential. Having a strong connection with them is not only great for your work culture but results in better productivity for your company. Also, having that openness with your team will make them feel more comfortable coming to you for help or if they have a question, concern, etc. If you need some guidance on becoming a successful leader and building relationships with your team, try using these three tips:
1.) Ask Questions
If we are interested in people and have the curiosity to know them better and how they are thinking and/or feeling, we need to ask them questions. Try asking your employees open-ended questions frequently. Their responses may give you a better understanding of how they might be feeling about a certain situation regarding work, or their answers may give you a better understanding of who they are as a person. Either way, asking questions often will put you on track to establishing those close relationships.
2.) Listen More
When you are asking your employees questions, let them do most of the talking. It's important for you to listen more, and talk less when you are trying to build those important relationships. Instead of talking while they have the floor, respond with facial expressions and head nods so you acknowledge that you are listening and understanding them. Letting them take charge of the conversation demonstrates to them that you are a leader who cares and values them.
3.) Tell Less
A lot of people often want to tell things rather than just acknowledge the other person talking or staying silent. Throughout the conversations you have with your employees, try to tell them less about you and your thoughts/opinions, and continue to ask questions that will help you better understand them. Try to focus on just your employees and not yourself during these conversations.
Keeping these three tips in mind, ask questions, listen more and tell less, will help you in your leadership role to earn the respect from your team. Taking the time to get to know your employees will keep you on track to growth and success personally and in your company. Be sure to keep in mind these leadership tips, but also the 10 Keys, specifically Keys 1, 2, and 10.
1. Supporting Growth—Providing support for employees’ personal and professional development.
2. Uniting Your Team—Building a culture of care and concern among and between employees.
10. Realigning Your Efforts—Evaluating your own efforts to determine if they match your desired outcomes.