Before continuing reading Part 2, check out Part 1!
Say “thank you” and “sorry”
When your team did a job really well, say “thank you.” This simple gesture could mean everything to them. An employee appreciation survey by Glassdoor showed that 4 out of every 5 employees or 81%, said they are motivated to work harder if their boss showed more appreciation. More than half said they will stay longer in a company where managers know how to show gratitude.
Feeling appreciated makes wonders to a person’s confidence. Establishing a work environment that knows how to show gratitude also makes people more positive and more humble in their efforts. As a manager or leader, you must be quick in giving positive feedback but slow in delivering criticism. Doing this will also make you feel good.
Aside from saying “thank you” or “job well done,” you must also see the value in saying “sorry” because you are not perfect, you don’t know everything, and you also make mistakes. Never claim that a misunderstanding or miscommunication happened when it is clearly you who got it wrong. And never blame your team for something you did or didn’t do.
Saying sorry doesn’t make you weak. If at all, apology makes you look stronger. A wrong sense of authority and pride may hinder you to accept that you don’t know everything. But one thing you can do today to make you a better leader is to be humble and accept your own shortcomings. When you are too proud, you will only keep jumping to conclusions and desperately try to train people even if you are ill-equipped. Study, ask for help, and admit to yourself and to your team that you are also a work in progress.
Embrace failures but glorify success
You will lose and you will win. A good leader must know how to deal with both. Relish when you scored a big project or exceeded quota. Celebrating is a good way of motivating. It shows that effort and hard work do not go unnoticed. At the same time, you have to have the right attitude toward failures. Use them as motivators, too. Do not make the mistake of staying too long at a job just because you don’t want to fail. Know when to pull the plug and welcome other opportunities.
Delegate and trust
A leader must know how to delegate the right task to the right person. A leader who thinks he is capable of doing everything better than any of his staff is no leader at all. The key to this very important leadership skill is knowing every team member’s strengths and building on them. This will improve productivity and add more fun since everyone is assigned to a task they are most effective at. In the long run, you also show your team that you trust and believe in them.
Build leaders, not followers
A good leader does not obsess about having more followers. A good leader is one that creates more leaders. If you leave a company and you can’t even recommend one member of your team to replace you, then you have failed. While you’re at it, share what you know. Don’t be selfish. That’s the first step to being a good leader. Build on your team’s strengths and work on their weaknesses. Make them more confident. Show them how to lead.
It’s tough trying to be a good leader. But it is very rewarding. Just make sure you have your intentions and motivations right. There is no perfect formula or a deadline, just be more consistent with being a good one until it comes naturally to you!
About the author
Anna Rodriguez is a manager and a passionate writer. She also has a varied background in real estate brokerage, investing, online marketing, and social media management. She owns Homey Guide Blog. Follow her at @annrodriguez021