Six things all managers should know about leadership

This is what great leadership looks like

Management roles can be challenging, but with the right mix of skills, working in a managerial position can be highly rewarding and extremely lucrative.

It may seems obvious, but managers often forget that their role is to manage people, and being people-focused, is often the key to great leadership. After all, evidence shows that people will work harder for a boss they respect, rather then one they don’t.

We take you through six top tips to help you improve your managerial style and show you what great leadership really looks like.

 1. Be honest and back yourself

It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, but experts say that being able to apologise when you make a mistake makes you more relatable and respectable to your staff. Failure is unavoidable. So embrace it and learn from it. Do not hesitate to apologise and do not justify your mistake. Instead, admit your at fault – such a gesture goes a long way.

But that doesn’t mean you should doubt yourself or question your decisions. Before you make a decision, make sure you’ve taken everything into consideration and carefully analysed the situation and then be firm in your judgment.

In times of uncertainty, staff will turn to you for guidance so be confident that your knowledge, experience and vision means you’ve made the right decision.. Making an informed decision is the best way to show your competence, so minimise any doubts you have by researching or consulting before calling any shots.

2. Pick your team wisely

Your success relies largely on those around you and the competence of your team, so make sure you pick the right people for the job. Also consider the personalities you work best with. It is good to surround yourself with people who will gel with the company culture. On the flip side, hiring people who challenge who also has the advantage of ensuring you’re always looking for ways to innovate, and that you’re benefiting from a different perspective and take on things.

3. Be quick to praise and careful to criticise

If your team respects you, rewarding them quickly with gratitude is a great way to build their motivation. Take note of how your staff like to be praised. Some like to be acknowledged publically and others don’t, so ensure you praise each individual in the way that best resonates with them.

In the fast-moving and dynamic workplace, staff are often under immense pressure, so be careful when and how you criticise others. Consider the longer-term effects of criticsm, and what sort of result you want from such feedback. On the other hand, if someone is openly incompetent, don’t beat around the bush when it comes to eliminating them from your team, as they will often drag down the rest of your staff with them.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Although this term is over-used in the corporate world, it does not diminish its importance. Leadership is all about communication.

While the goals and objectives you are trying to achieve might seem straight forward and clear to you, you may not have effectively communicated this to your team. So make sure everyone is on the same page, and be open to people asking questions. By doing so you avoid miscommunications and minimise any possibilities of your team not being able to meet your expectations.

5. Be approachable and professional

Being approachable is important for your staff, but at the same time it can be a fine line to walk between being overly familiar or too distant. It is important that you learn what situations are appropriate for familiarity, and which require a professional front.

Again, you are managing people, and showing empathy and kindness will make you more approachable and make it easier for your staff to come to you if they have queries or issues with their tasks, rather than being too afraid too ask – at the risk of doing a task completely wrong.

Get to know your staff and don’t be afraid to ask some personal questions in the right settings. Set aside time for them and remember personal facts like what their spouse’s name is, any recent holidays they’ve been on and what their aspirations are. Share your own personal moments where appropriate– you are human after all!

6. Be the calm in the storm

Disasters come and go and staff will remember how you react in times of high-stress, so be conscious of your behaviour in high pressure situations.

As a team leader or manager, it’s your job to weather the storm when things go south. If you’re agitated and frustrated, there’s a high chance these feelings will trickle down to your team too, making it harder for everyone to cope in stressful patches.

It is important you don’t take it all too seriously and can manage moments of crisis with a calm, rational mind-set. Remaining calm will also help your decision-making skills, allowing you to make quick, rational decisions on the fly.

Want to improve your managerial qualifications? Check out our range of online business and management courses