13 Effective Leadership Tips You Can Implement Today

Source: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/13-effective-leadership-tips-you-can-implement-today/?linknav=us-of-hp-todaysbest

Understanding the hallmarks of effective leadership can help you better support your employees as they help you meet your business goals.

CEO, Small Business Trends LLC
Being a great leader can be a constantly evolving process. While you can never expect to be perfect, there are some simple things you can do—starting right now—to work toward effective leadership for your team.

1. Humble yourself.

Being a leader doesn’t mean you need to be right all the time. Accepting that you’re human and that you don’t know everything can give you opportunities to learn and grow.

Showing that humility to your team can also humanize you and make you a more endearing leader. To display effective leadership, think about asking questions and being open to learning new things rather than just assuming you know it all already.

2. Practice active listening.

Additionally, when you listen to others share their ideas or feedback, practicing active listening—a hallmark of effective leadership—can be rewarding.

If you show them that you’re really taking in their message by nodding and otherwise engaging with them during the conversation, it can help build rapport. And if you’re really able to make your team members feel heard, they may be more likely to come to you with great ideas or feedback again in the future.

3. Stop micromanaging—it gets in the way of effective leadership.

As a business owner, you might really want to manage every tiny little aspect of your business. But if you did a good job of building your team, then you probably don’t need to micromanage.

In fact, if you try to take over or get involved with tasks that you’ve entrusted to members of your team, it could have a negative impact on employee initiative. Team members might feel like you don’t trust them enough to do the work properly—or they might just do the bare minimum because they assume you’ll take over the rest of the work anyway.

4. Establish clear boundaries.

Constantly rolling over or changing directions based on what your team members want can get in the way of effective leadership. You can give them guidance and allow them to manage their own tasks, but you also need to set clear boundaries for them to adhere to.

Being a leader doesn’t mean you need to be right all the time. Accepting that you’re human and that you don’t know everything can give you opportunities to learn and grow.

If you change policies or processes every time a member of your team shares an opinion, that could indicate to your team that you’re not a strong leader. But if you set clear boundaries, then your team may be more likely to respect you as an authority figure.

5. Find a mentor.

You don’t have to just collect input and feedback from only the members of your team. You can actually learn quite a bit from other leaders outside of your business. Look into finding a mentor through a business mentorship network or your local contacts; you can consult with them when you’re experiencing leadership conflicts in your business.

6. Keep it positive.

Not every aspect of running a business is going to be positive. But dwelling on the negative issues probably won’t have a great effect on your team. Instead, try to stay positive when dealing with issues around the office. Focusing on potential solutions—rather than dwelling on things you have no control over—is a sign of effective leadership.

7. Show a little compassion.

Compassion is another key part of great leadership. Of course you have a business to run and goals to achieve. But the team that you’re leading is made up of real people. If you show them some compassion as a leader, you may be more likely to get great work out of them in the long run.

8. Show trust.

Showing your team members that you actually trust them to do great work is an important aspect of effective leadership. Instead of walking them through every single step of a task or activity, consider leaving it up to them to determine the best route to take—and trust that they’ll come to you if they have questions or issues.

9. Be approachable.

When your team members do have questions or concerns, it’s great when they actually feel comfortable bringing those issues to your attention. So consider letting your employees know when and how they can approach you to discuss various topics. Otherwise, you might end up with issues that go unresolved for far too long.

10. Accept that you don’t have to know everything.

If you keep an open mind while running your business, you might be pleasantly surprised by the ideas or creative solutions that the members of your team come up with when you give them a bit of freedom.

Consider avoiding rigid processes that don’t leave any room for your employees to show their creativity or share their ideas. Accepting that others may be able to contribute great things to your business as well can help your business grow in ways you may not have expected.

11. Avoid withholding praise.

If your employees are constantly fearful of being scolded for their mistakes, but never hopeful about receiving praise for a job well done, then they may be less likely to take much initiative or show any creative problem-solving skills.

But if you praise them when they do a good job, then they may be more likely to feel confident. This may help them feel like they can take more initiative in their work. They may even be more open to receiving more work and responsibility.

12. Be transparent.

You also have to be open and honest with your team in the same way you expect them to be open and honest with you. If show your team that you trust them enough to share with them, then they may be more likely to trust you in return.

13. Help your employees take one thing at a time.

And finally, while trusting your employees enough to do their work properly is definitely a quality of effective leadership, that doesn’t mean you should throw everything at them all at once.

Consider managing your employee’s assignments so that they only get as much work as they can handle at one time. By focusing on one thing at a time, your employees may be less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to actually get things done successfully.

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