A 2018 Gallup poll found that only 58% of those surveyed were completely satisfied with their boss or immediate supervisor. That means that too many of today’s managers can improve upon their leadership skills. So how can you rise to the challenge to become a better Leader in your organization? While there are endless ways to accomplish this goal, this article will focus on two qualities every successful leader needs.
Listen to your employees. A common job complaint is that employees don’t feel that their managers listen to them. Listening to your employees doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to implement all of your employees’ ideas, but employees do need to feel heard and understood. Not every leader is naturally a good listener. This requires focus and being fully present to be aware of not only words but also nonverbal communication, the mood, and the tone of a conversation or group meeting.
To improve your listening skills, try an active listening exercise when you speak to your employees. Listen to what they say and limit yourself to reflecting what they say to you or paraphrasing. Do not ask questions or give them advice. Then rate yourself on how well you were able to listen. Schedule time each week to visit some of your employees in an informal setting and check in with them and their work, practicing this until you feel that you are more effective at listening to them.
Be engaged and committed. Your employees will notice if you are only there for your paycheck. Even if you enjoy your job, ask yourself if it’s apparent to your employees that you are engaged and committed to your work and your organization. Do you reflect the culture and qualities that your organization claims? Do you try to create a rewarding environment for your employees to feel challenged and to grow? Do you actively fight against employee disengagement? If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s the beginnings of a list of items for you to start working on as a leader.
After an honest self-analysis, you may find that you need to work on your own levels of engagement. To be a more enthusiastic leader, try switching up your routine. See if you can be more efficient by researching how other organizations handle the tasks and departments you are in charge of. Consider taking an online course on LinkedIn Learning to learn new processes and techniques. This will keep you engaged and your employees will reflect your enthusiasm, creating a more united work environment.
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