Tips for Leading by Example
Often times we heard our co-workers saying that famous sentence “If I were running things here, I would do them better”. Yet, being a boss and a leader has its own challenges. While people like to see their boss getting his own hands dirty and getting down to trenches with his people, such leadership may not lead to the best results. When a boss starts spending too much time with his employees shoulder to shoulder, who will run the business and supervise the execution of business plans?
If you lead a team of employees, there is a chance that you are a natural born leader. However, in the majority of cases, becoming an exemplary team leader is a process in which one needs to be well trained in the first place and later on, continuous improvement is needed. Here are some tips and tricks on how to lead your employees by example.
Establish yourself as a person with integrity.
Be open for your employees’ suggestions and opinions and demonstrate honesty at every step you do. It is easy to pick your favorites in your team, but being fair is of utter importance. When your employee does the things right, do not spare words to compliment him instead of nitpicking about every little detail you didn’t like. Sure, suggest some changes along the way that you would do differently, but if the overall result was good, then clearly state so. If your favorite employees messed something up, then be fair and provide some criticism instantly. Do not let them slide with the mistake and let others see that you have favorites.
Know what you are talking.
As a team leader you certainly cannot be an expert for every area of your product or service; nevertheless, try to learn as much as possible about your industry niche. By showing some knowledge in that area, you will gain respect of your employees. Again, you are not expected to know every little thing about your product, but without some general knowledge about procedures and technologies, how could you effectively supervise your team or department?
Listen to your employees and be there for them.
Even when you have a lot of work on your end, as a good leader, you always need to find time to see how your team is doing and if they are facing some problems that need your attention. Being a good listener is a must for a good team leader. Listening to what your employees have to say may prevent some conflicts in the future that could be simply avoided.
Face the issues and conflicting team members directly.
There is nothing worse for the team spirit if they notice that their leader is running away from some issues or problems. Therefore, try to face such issues immediately upon their occurrence. If you cannot resolve every issue, then think about hiring some help.
When it comes to conflicting members of your team that always seem to fall into some arguments with others, such behaviors need to be addressed straightaway. Although constructive criticism is always welcome, having a person that keeps opposing to every proposal and obstructing any plan is a terrible situation that might build up a lot of frustration and anxiety among your employees. Address such people and their problems effectively and on time.
Value your employees and nourish the relationship with them.
Even though you are a big boss, and you make strategic decisions that could affect your company’s future and everyone’s jobs, find some time to nurture the relationship with your employees and co-workers. If your type of work is very time-consuming, then try scheduling a company party or gathering of your employees at least once in a couple of months. Interpersonal bonds with your employees can only make your team stronger.