How do you judge yourself as a leader? How do you figure out you are doing your leadership job well?
No, I’m not talking about the number of tasks you are getting accomplished or the number of successful projects that you are getting delivered. I’m talking about your true role as a leader, which is - to inspire your team to dream more, learn more, do more and most importantly become more.
Can you see smiling faces around you when you enter the office? Do you see people coming up with innovative ideas to make the existing work process better? Do you see everyone collaborating with minimum conflicts? Do you sense that feeling of togetherness and connectedness within the team?
If yes, kudos - you are doing your job well.
On the other hand, if you feel a negative vibe when you enter the office, or see people struggling to come up with innovative ideas and grow as professionals, there’s something wrong. You need to bring some changes in the way you are leading as a team.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Analyze & See What's Wrong
The first thing you need to do is to observe what’s wrong. Is it something with the work processes or the overall work culture that’s causing the. Is the team scared to talk to you? Observe these things, and then work on them accordingly.
For instance, if you see that team members are not comfortable in sharing their problems with you, take actions to narrow this gap. As a leader, getting to know your team and making them feel comfortable in communicating their heart out with you should be on top of your priority list.
That’s the first thing you need to cultivate a culture of openness and growth.
2. Set the Right Expectations
Another thing you need to do is to make sure that everyone knows what they are expected to achieve. However, before that, you need to understand and set your expectations right.
Expecting your team to meet deadlines and deliver projects on time is understandable. But to see them grow and evolve into a better and more productive unit must be the ultimate goal. And, that’s what you need to communicate to them.
Not only will this boost the morale of the team, when they will see you as a leader promoting their personal growth endeavors, it will also help your business evolve into a smarter workforce.
3. Let Them Take Charge
Third simple thing you need to do is to give them a little freedom and flexibility. Yes, you should guide them on following the business process, but when it comes to getting the job done - you must let them take charge.
Be there for guidance whenever they need, but don’t be a micromanager. It is the only way to create a sense of accountability and leadership quality in your team members. As it has been said by Robin Sharma - the job of a leader is to create more leaders.
Once you will start doing that you will start to see yourself growing as a leader too, the one who is respected by everyone in the team.
Grow, Together !
In the end, it’s not about how you connect with the team it’s about how you empathize with them. As Barack Obama once said , “Empathy is the quality of character that can change the world.”
Remember, a leader is not just someone who focuses on just getting the job done, he is the one person who makes sure that the team is growing continuously while getting the job done. Once you start to empathize, and start looking at things from the perspective of your team members, you will automatically be able to bring these changes in your leadership style.
About the Author
Vartika Kashyap is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub — leading project management software. From contributing to websites such as The Huffington Post, Business.com, Elearning, Dzone, and The Next Web to becoming LinkedIn Top Voices in 2017 and 2018, she has recognised amazing new ways to reach the audience. She weaves stories about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, and common workplace events. She also loves to read and travel to new places.