How to Be a Leader, Not a Boss

As a leader, you want to inspire your employees, customers, and the world with your vision. Managing people and situations and making decisions effectively can be done without engaging in authoritarian or lenient behaviour. The balance between the two can be found in these four skills that you can strengthen to become a strong, affable leader that connects with and inspires your employees and motivates them to achieve your company’s vision.

Be the Team Player You Want to Hire

Developing strong teamwork skills is essential for organizing and inspiring your team. This is a combination of acquiring qualities and engaging in behaviours such as maintaining a positive attitude, being perceptive to other people’s needs, and providing constructive feedback. These are stepping stones for creating a comfortable work environment that encourages people to speak up and share their ideas. As a lively team player, you’re setting an example for your employees and simultaneously teaching them how to be successful in collaborative aspects of the business. Keep the vision of your ideal team-player hire and be that person.

Communicate to Connect, Not Command

Effective communication begins with a clear purpose and an intention to connect with others to convey your message rather than simply telling people what to do. Speak with a well-defined objective in mind and create a mental space of understanding within yourself to be open and receptive to other people’s feelings and backgrounds. Using positive language with alternatives such as “let’s do this instead,” as opposed to saying “this doesn’t work,” is an excellent way to continue effective, productive communication between you and your employees. This strategy is especially beneficial when problem-solving, evaluating an employee’s performance, or giving feedback on an idea. This approach allows you to connect with others effectively and immediately.

Confidence is Contagious

Regardless of whether you’re feeling your best, your attitude as a leader sets the tone in terms of productivity and motivation for your business. Others will pick up on your positive and confident aura when you speak and carry yourself with confidence. This is especially important in times of uncertainty or conflict, when you need your team to stick together and work through problems quickly and efficiently. Confidence is executed through things like body language, speech, and sense of style, aspects you can tweak and manage daily. Feeling good about yourself inspires others to trust your leadership and vision.

Be Flexible

Eliminating barriers between you and your employees is a crucial aspect of being approachable and easy to connect with. This means being adaptable to your environment; stepping out of your office and taking a break from your duties and checking in with employees, helping out with tasks, listening to suggestions, and walking in the shoes of your employees to understand their experience. This skill will create more opportunities for communication between yourself and your staff and eliminate misunderstandings. Flexibility is practiced through being open, receptive, and willing to adjust plans according to the current situation.

These skills are oriented towards strengthening your interpersonal skills and helping you convey your technical expertise and company vision. Lead by inspiration, not by command.

Rasha Rehman | Contributing Writer



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