If your employees are not settled in their work and are constantly seeking other employers, your organization will suffer from a constant turnover which is costly in the long run. Job satisfaction also determines how committed the employees will be to performing the tasks assigned to them.
Of all the factors that determine the job satisfaction of employees, leadership is the one that can most easily be controlled by the managers. As the leaders of their teams, managers are expected by the other team members to provide direction and the guidance required to achieve the organisational goals.
Since the manner in which leaders manage their team members determines how effectively they perform their tasks, you need to have the right people skills to inspire confidence in those that look up to you.
Below are 12 skills that you will need to gain and constantly improve on if you want to be an effective manager of your team.
Although leadership involves a lot of things, the most important task should be ensuring the team is working towards a shared vision. When leaders are caught up in other roles and end up failing to keep the team focused on the vision, confusion and lack of direction will arise. This causes frustration as despite working hard, the team members will not feel the impact of their efforts.
A leader who is not confident will not be able to inspire confidence among the team members. Confidence is a trait that leaders can practice by knowing their strengths and weaknesses. By leveraging their strengths for success and ensuring the employees do not play on their weaknesses, they will be able to inspire the employees to trust their decisions. If you are not sure where to begin, here are some tricks on how to be a confident leader that will get you started.
3. Effective communication
In a team, the leader is required to communicate the long-term goals, the strategies and plan of action, the priorities of the team, and their gratitude towards the efforts of the team members. In order to be an effective leader, you should ensure that the thinks you say are an expression of or close to what you think or feel. This is also important when dealing with the media. Your message always needs to be on point, so consider online media coaching if you think there’s room for improvement (hint – there always is).
Organization is a trait that while easy to some, is usually impossible to others. It includes being able to set deadlines and ensure they are met and coordinating different tasks to attain a common vision. If a leader is not organised, the sense of direction will be lost on the members and their productivity may reduce as a result.
Good leaders should be able to handle change even when unexpected. Since some situation cannot be predicted, adaptability will ensure that you react in a manner that will keep the team working towards its goals. In the face of potentially negative changes, optimism in the leader inspires the same in the team members.
Respect in leaders is measured in the manner in which you handle team members that disagree with you. Since it is inevitable that other team members will disagree with you sometimes, you should ensure that your response is with respect and understanding. If the behaviour of the team members requires addressing, you should apply the relevant employee discipline to settle the issue. Degrading one team member in front of the other reduces the value of the team and could hinder productivity.
Although it is natural for people to like some people more than others, making this clear to your team members leads to frustration. Since the team is required to collaborate for a common goal, it would be poisonous to show favouritism as it could cause resentment among the members. The best way to ensure liking other members more than others does not interfere with the performance of the team is to create boundaries to check your professionalism.
8. Strategic thinking
Strategic thinking ensures that every task the leader gives pushes the team closer to attain their goals. When the team members feel the projects taken are not as a result of the leader being deliberate, they begin to worry. The leader should be able to make it clear how they intend to accomplish the organisational goals.
9. Team player
Since they are leading a team and not ruling it, the managers are required to understand the team and be a part of it for them to lead it. At times, this may involve taking flack for the mistakes of a team member. To gain proper team understanding, the leader should be around the team when the tasks are being performed and help out where possible.
10. Functional skills
A leader is trusted by the rest of the team members to have the skills and ability required to get things done. A leader who is unable to do this will be like a head chef who does not know how to cook. While the other members may have the skills to handle their task, direction and coordination are still expected of the leader or else the projects will not be effectively completed.
11. Able to navigate difficult conversations
There are situations where the leader will find themselves having to undergo difficult conversations. It could be when laying off an employee, talking about office issues, or even critiquing bad performance. These instances are stressful for both the leaders and the employees involved and should be handled delicately to avoid ruining the team morale.
12. Able to inspire integrity
A leader should be an example of integrity among the team members. Dishonesty leads to mistrust which will only inhibit the team spirit. Integrity allows the leader to treat the team members how they would wish to be treated and this inspires trust among the team members.
By polishing on the twelve skills discussed, you will be able to offer effective leadership to your team and meet the goals. Since these skills are not gained overnight, practising them on a daily basis will make you a better leader with time. When you combine the skills discussed above with the right HR management software, you will find that you spend very little time following up on your employees and have more time to focus on other aspects of your business requiring more attention.