Management can be a tough role to fulfill effectively: entire sitcoms and countless movies have been dedicated to terrible management strategies. Voodoo dolls aside, bad management tactics leave employees feeling frustrated—at best. Thankfully, you can avoid being “that” manager by taking three unconventional leadership tips into account as you guide your people toward success.
The first leadership tip in the lineup is particularly important. Remember the old phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do?” Well, forget that. It doesn’t apply to business, and certainly not to effective management. As a manager, your job is not to dictate but to encourage the employees under your jurisdiction. Being a leader is all about inspiring people. With that in mind, one of the best ways to embody team spirit and eliminate hypocrisy is to join in as many activities as you can. Never delegate any task you wouldn't be willing to tackle yourself—especially if it's your turn to unblock the toilet.
Second on the list of leadership tips is genuine encouragement. Many managers already know that positive reinforcement yields better results than negative reinforcement—you can take that a step further, however. Encourage your team to be better than you, get further than you, and excel in all areas. As a leader, your role is twofold: naturally you need to drive your staff toward victory, but you also need to empower your team members. When you actively encourage personal growth and celebrate strength, you contribute to the economy and help make dreams come true.
Thirdly, support your team and treat them as people, rather than a robotic workforce. Be the opposite of the cliché corporate manager: don't rely entirely on sales figures or an algorithm to monitor your team’s success. Instead, take the time to examine each of the individuals in your care on a one-to-one basis. Timesaving tactics are best applied to inanimate objects rather than to people. Your employees are the most valuable assets your company possesses: treat them as such at all times, and you’ll generate a much stronger personnel infrastructure.
Other valuable leadership tips include the following:
- Give credit where credit is due. If you’re put in charge of a big project and involve your team in its successful completion, praise them publically as well as privately. Give them the thanks they deserve and you'll strengthen your team spirit and engender respect.
- Endeavor to communicate properly at all times. If you have trouble in this arena and have the gumption to admit it—to yourself, at least—you can improve your communication skills. Positive communication is a powerful trust-building tool on every level.
- See different viewpoints as aids, rather than challenges. If team members disagree about an issue, see the experience as an opportunity for growth. Your customer base is made up of individuals, all of whom see things in a unique manner: internal disagreement is just one more way to hone your product or service effectively.
- Lastly, always remain aware of your role and your responsibility. You’re a very important part of your company’s human structure—not because of your personal status but because you mentor, encourage, and empower a team of human beings.
Being a leader isn't always easy. If you feel slightly out of your depth as a manager, don’t worry: make these leadership tips part of your modus operandi. The best leaders often feel uncomfortable at the center of attention and unsure of their prowess—particularly at the beginning of their management careers. If you use the leadership tips mentioned in this article to guide you in your management role, you’ll not only gain the respect of the employees in your team but also the admiration of your peers.
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