Leadership skills are essential for inspiring and empowering employees. Moreover, strong leaders are the foundation for any successful business in the modern world. As such, it’s important to identify the qualities of today’s workplace leaders to know what areas to work on.
Luckily, we have no shortage of examples to try and emulate and transform into better leaders. But, for that, you will need to work on improving several qualities and skills.
That’s why we’re here to tell you all about the six tips to help you become a better leader.
Let’s find out what the tips are.
Be A Good Listener
The first tip ties to the idea that modern leaders value the input of their teammates. After all, employees want to be heard and appreciated when bringing forth new and innovative ideas or having unresolved issues. You can’t do that if you aren’t a good listener or are unwilling to listen.
So to be a good listener, you must be open to the idea of listening to employee feedback. Employee feedback is essential for progress, as your employees have first-hand experience with active tasks or potential workplace issues.
If an employee has an idea they like to bring to your attention, never fully dismiss it. Instead, listen to it and praise them if the idea is worth pursuing. Giving praise is so important that it directly improves your relationships with your employees. When you praise your employees, they get that “good feeling.” Praise improves employee loyalty and morale. In addition, praising is a great way to improve productivity at the office.
Considering these benefits’ effects, it makes sense to listen to your employees whenever they come up with new ideas or potential workplace issues.
Be A Friend
Empathy is often regarded as the most important leadership quality in the modern day. But unfortunately, too many “leaders” lack empathy and have no interest in treating employees as equals. This is an obvious mistake, as anything but a friendly approach develops an order-giving workplace culture. Your employees will develop low morale and low productivity in one such culture. And that’s something that can completely break your organization.
To be a friend to your employees, you must show empathy and understanding. But that doesn’t mean you should forgive your employees for every mistake they make. You are meant to be a friend, but not their best friend. You must not allow your employees to take your empathy for granted.
Do not forget that you are still the boss and must command respect in the workplace. But with an emphatic approach, employees are far more likely to respect you and put in the extra effort.
Be Open to Change
No one likes to work in a stale and outdated environment. As a matter of fact, your employees are more open to the idea of change now than ever before. So naturally, this makes your job as a workplace leader more difficult. But how do you manage change in the modern workplace?
Being open to change is one of the most powerful leadership skills to have. The idea behind this skill is to be open to implementing new policies and procedures and adapting to new business models that seek to address some of the traditional barriers in your industry.
By being able to implement something new and different, you show your employees you are prepared to tackle the traditional obstacles and spearhead your organization into the future.
Lead By Example
There are few leadership qualities more impactful than this one. As a modern workplace leader, you must be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. How would your employees respect you if you cannot lead by example?
The reason why this tip will make you a better leader stems from the fact that employees look to emulate leadership behaviors. The more your employees see you as their “leader,” they will admire and be inspired by you. And you can’t have that if you’re not ready to take the mantle.
Encourage Involvement and Creativity
Modern leaders don’t shy away from outside help. So this tip ties nicely to a previous one we mentioned; being a good listener.
We can see the connection between all three qualities as they relate to the same thing; getting your employees involved in various decision-making processes. While their input isn’t needed in running your company, you most certainly need it regarding day-to-day operations.
One of the qualities that define modern leaders is intellectual stimulation. Intellectual stimulation is a quality that defines leaders who encourage creativity and innovation from their employees. In addition, encouragement of any kind is, by definition, involvement. So both qualities tell us that you need to encourage your employees to provide their two cents and actively look to use their creativity for problem-solving.
The benefits of being a leader who encourages employee input stretch from decision-making to workplace productivity. By having the support to achieve your goals, you are making it easier to achieve new heights.
And lastly, to be a better leader in the workplace, you must hold a positive attitude. Today’s leaders are characterized as upbeat, optimistic, and a source of inspiration for employees. With these qualities, your employees find it easier to talk to you and bring forth new ideas.
If you’re the sort of person that doesn’t maintain a positive attitude when facing difficult times, your employees will be the ones feeling the heat. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should maintain a positive attitude even in dire situations, but maintaining a sense of optimism comes a long way.
When you’re positive in facing challenges, your employees feel encouraged and are more likely to give 110% to overcome said challenges.
Very few people are natural-born leaders. However, you can always improve yourself and hope to become a better leader in the modern workplace. These six tips outline the areas where you need to improve and achieve the goal of becoming a better leader.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.