Let’s face it, being a leader is challenging. Most of us never anticipate when we take on a leadership role the amount of time we’ll spend just trying to keep the team going in the right direction.
In any team, there are going to be different types of people. Some will want to focus on their own work, others may not have a strong interest in what the group is doing. A good leader knows how to deal with these situations and still get everyone on the same page. The best leaders aren’t afraid to challenge the way other team members operate and they get to know their teams so they can inspire motivation and help everyone reach their full potential.
Great leaders possess many characteristics that set them apart from others—and can make all the difference in the success of a team. Here are just a few of those characteristics you might want to focus on to improve your leadership effectiveness:
Communicate Often and Clearly
Effective leaders know how to communicate with their team members. They are willing to listen to concerns and offer praise just as often as they are willing to give criticism, or as I like to call it Performance Improvement Feedback. These individuals also know how to create a strategic plan for the team, so that everyone is working towards a common goal. Another important characteristic of an effective leader is being able to listen actively and respond appropriately when someone has something important to say. If you’re lacking in this area, try thinking back on a time when you had a conversation with someone where you felt like they really got your point. Apply that same listening style in your conversations with your team members.
Set a Vision for the Team
The best leaders start with a vision for what they want the team to look like in the future. This is where you lay out your goals, state how you want each member of the group to contribute, and give them ideas about how you want things to go. You also need to make sure everyone on the team can see their own role in achieving this vision.
Provide Clear Goals and Deadlines
Deadlines provide a sense of urgency for tasks that need to be completed. They also help ensure accountability, which is critical in any team. If a leader sets clear deadlines and goals, members are more likely to see the tasks being completed on time.
A great leader provides clear goals and deadlines, while maintaining an open line of communication with their team members so they can stay up to date on what’s happening. A great leader encourages teamwork, while still working hard on their own task as well.
Challenge Team Members and Encourage Improvement
A great leader will know how to challenge team members and encourage them to improve. This is easier said than done, but a good leader knows how to push their team members without coming across as too demanding. One of the best ways to do this is to ask specific questions that allow people on the team to think critically about what they’re doing. For example, if your team goes through a period in which everyone isn’t doing their part, ask them what can be changed so that the work gets done more efficiently in the future. Even better, have open discussions during meetings about ideas others have for improving productivity or efficiency.
Stay Positive and Look for the Good in Everyone
A good leader never sees their team as adversaries or enemies. When a team is focused on achieving a goal, it’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and see everyone as the enemy. A good leader always looks for the good in others, despite any differences they may have with them. This attitude will help you stay positive and look for solutions instead of dwelling on problems. Good leaders know that focusing on the negative will only bring more negativity into the picture, which can cause an emotional drain on everyone involved.
Becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and practice. No matter how hard things may seem, don’t give up on your team. They are the ones you need to get the job done and make your company successful.
Now that you know what characteristics make up a good leader, it’s time to start working on developing these skills. If you don’t want to go it alone, I’m here to help! Reach out to me for a no-cost consultation to see how I can help you develop your leaders and build an amazing team.