By Muthoni Ndegwa
An effective leader is critical to the growth and success of an organization. A common factor with most successful companies is they have great leadership.
So, how do you become a great leader that employees look towards for direction?
This was Kevin’s main concern.
Kevin previously worked as a manager in an SME, where he managed three employees. He felt he needed to grow in his career, and started applying for managerial jobs. Recently, Kevin got a job where he’ll be managing a team of 20 employees. While he’s excited to start working in the new organization, but he’s also troubled he might not have effective leadership qualities and skills to motivate and manage the employees.
Kevin wanted to know how he can cultivate his leadership skills and become an effective manager.
Here are a few practical steps to help you cultivate leadership skills.
1. Make time for your employees
There are companies where managers and employees never meet. While there are factors that could hinder managers and employees from meeting –such as the size of a company and the schedule or roles of the employees, you should still try to meet with your team.
Creating time for your employees gives a feeling of care and makes them feel integral and valued by the organization.
Scheduling regular meetings with your team can greatly motivate them. Additionally, when you meet with them, you’re able to create a relationship with the employees. This will help when giving feedback to the employees. The bond created also helps in spreading the organization’s core values to the employees thus promoting a good organizational culture.
Employees don’t just want to follow a manager, they want to follow a person. Create time to professionally meet and connect with your employees.
2. Communicate effectively
Clear and effective communication is key to your success as a leader.
For your team to efficiently perform their tasks, they need to understand what these tasks are. When you communicate clearly, the team knows what role they are expected to play.
Communication skills go beyond how well you speak. They also include how confident you are while presenting, how effective you are while using presentation aids, what structure you use to communicate, and how clearly your message is understood by the audience.
Improve your effective communication skills by enrolling in the Speak with Confidence Training.
3. Set goals for your team
One common quality in great leaders is they are known for being visionary. Not only do these leaders have a vision for the organization, but they also break down the vision to what each department and employee is required to do in order to achieve the vision.
To become a great leader, set goals for your team. The goals you set should be geared towards both growing the company, and advancing the employees’ careers.
When the goals benefit the employees, they plug into the goal and are more likely to give extra effort to see the goals achieved.
4. Get feedback from your team
Getting feedback from employees is a tasking duty for most leaders. In most scenarios, it is leaders who give feedback to employees. However, to excel, set up effective feedback structures and encourage employees to give feedback. You can phrase the feedback in a different way. For example, instead of asking for feedback directly, you can phrase the questions on what the department can do better, what improvements the management can do, and so on.
You can then use this feedback to grow yourself and the team.
At the end of the day, being a great leader takes time and effort. The above steps will guide you on the journey to becoming a great leader both in the workplace and in life. Enroll in the upcoming Leadership Skills Training to hone your management and leadership skills.
Muthoni Ndegwa is the Chief Operations Officer at Corporate Staffing Services.