Winter’s over and Spring has sprung! This is one of my favorite times not only for the sunshine and warmer weather, but also for leadership growth opportunities. I like to think that the seeds planted earlier in the year are now starting to take root. In the first quarter, goals were finalized, communicated and launched. Everyone seems ready to embrace this time of renewal and make things happen in the business. And as a leader, enabling your employees to be successful is an every-day practice that goes a long way in developing relationships in order to meet the goals of the business. Relationships with your employees, peers and boss. Whatever expectations you set at the beginning of the year should be taking root now, therefore it’s up to you to ensure that’s happening with your employees and others you work with.
Being an Every-Day Leader
In practicing Every-Day Leadership, remember that the people on your team are humans that are vulnerable and far from perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. We see this in our personal lives as well as professionally. Recognize that we are all different and have unique ways of approaching our contributions and our mistakes. When you remember that these people you lead, work beside or report to come from different life experiences, you’ll be more apt to make allowances for errors.
I’ll share some of my own life lessons as an example of being human. My dad was tough on me and my brother when we were growing up. As a result, I learned to work hard in order to please him. It wasn’t easy, and the harsh judgment made me grow a thick skin. My employers had to love having a workaholic like me! It’s likely your employees don’t share this kind of personal information with you and they don’t need to. Just know they have their own reasons for being the way they are. As a leader, your job is to make your employees’ work life better so they can be successful.
Understanding Your Team
So, what can you do to better understand your employees as an Every-Day Leader? I have found it’s important to meet people where they are and ask them what they need to be successful. You don’t need to be their friend, you’re their leader. If you want to know what they need to succeed, you must ask them. Misunderstandings and tough conversations happen when we take shortcuts in learning about others. I’ve found the way to know what’s important to your team members, ask them!
How to be Effective Every-Day Leader with Your Team
These leader competencies will enable you to be an effective Every-Day Leader:
- Acceptance of differences– this requires empathy and grace for employees that behave and have different values than you.
- Authentic connections– we talked about this important activity last month. I believe it’s so important, we’ll be continuing the conversation.
- Ability to identify good performance and behavior and praise it. People thrive on praise so don’t be stingy!
- Ability to identify unacceptable performance and deal with it immediately.
- Ability to grow and develop your employees. Training and conversations about their aspirations will help you with this important step.
- Practice disciplined habits to interact with your team frequently, in the right way. This takes Every-Day practice to develop habits that work for you and for them.
- Ability to assess your effectiveness as an Every-Day Leader. What are you doing to measure how your people perceive you? Checking in and getting feedback will help you assess your effectiveness.
How do you rate yourself as an Every-Day Leader? Effective leaders get great results from their team members because of regular communication, not a frequency of monthly or quarterly. They’ve worked hard to practice consistent habits that create a culture of predictability, reliability and trust. When your employees know what’s expected of them, they behave in a way that gets the results you’re seeking. It’s a process that takes time and attention. If you’re ready to take the steps I’ve outlined contact me.