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Posted by Maddie Brindley-Slater on 30 December 2021

9 tips for becoming a better leader

Great leadership: is it something you’re born with, or can anyone become an inspiring leader?

Although it is true that some people are innate leaders, leadership is a skill that can be developed. That means no matter your natural abilities, anyone can cultivate leadership skills through experience, training, and support.

If you’re looking to become a better leader, read our top tips below and you’ll be on track to improving this important skill.

1

Know your leadership style

Start off your journey toward becoming a better leader by first understanding your own leadership style. Leadership theorists state that there are three main leadership styles, sitting on a spectrum between controlling and relaxed:

  • Authoritarian leadership – is a management approach where the leader takes full control of their team and the decision-making process, leaving very little autonomy to their workforce.
  • Democratic leadership – is a management approach where the leader takes a flexible approach to decision making, allowing fair participation from their team.
  • Free-reign leadership – is a management approach where the leader takes a back seat and allows their team to have a say in decision making, with a heavy emphasis on trust.

Get to know your team

Great leaders are passionate about helping people thrive and will take the time to get to know their workforce.

Once you’ve understood your leadership style, you can go one step further and learn about the personality types of your team.

A great leader is flexible, adapting themselves in different situations in order to bring out the best in their teams. Learning about what makes your team tick will take you one step further up the ladder to becoming the best leader possible.

Be bold & take risks

Great leaders are not afraid of failure and accept that they need to take risks in order to grow. Taking risks generates new opportunities; doing the same thing over and over without improvement leads to stagnation.

The goal of a great leader is to accelerate business growth and team performance. Great leaders recognize this and make every effort to push themselves and their teams out of their comfort zone.

An effective leader knows how to carefully push their teams beyond familiarity, all the while actively supporting them in a way that allows them to develop.

Be clear in your direction

The best leaders know how to give directions quickly and effectively. If your workforce is struggling to meet deadlines on time and business output is dropping, consider reviewing the clarity of your direction.

Poor direction and chaotic instructions make completing a task near impossible - Smart Brief report that unclear directions are the root cause of all workplace issues.

Ensuring your team are on board with your directions will lead to a more motivated and focused workforce.

Communication is a two way street

Intrinsically linked to the above point is the need for strong communication; a good leader recognizes that communication is a two-way street.

If you’ve been struggling to connect with your team, ask yourself how often you give and receive feedback. Effective leaders prioritise communication because it gives all parties opportunities to improve.

A good leader also acts as a safety net for their teams, ensuring they have support during difficult times. Give/seek feedback and listen to your team and you will find team performance improves.

Believe in yourself and your team

The best leaders believe in their own abilities, as well as the abilities of their team. How can you effectively lead if you are crippled by self-doubt? Additionally, how can your team flourish if they are not trusted?

Lack of belief in yourself creates a ripple effect down to your staff, translating into micromanagement and lack of trust. Nothing is more demotivating for your teams than being overly monitored, with reports stating that micromanagement has impacted up to 71% of people in the workplace, with an astounding 85% stating it negatively impacted their performance.

If this is an issue you struggle with, work on your confidence and management skills through executive coaching & mentoring.

Adapt & develop

Highly effective leaders are dynamic in their approach to their own development. They know that being adaptable and seeking constant improvement helps them to become the best version of themselves.

When it comes to your own development, are you eager to improve? Embarking on a leadership development programme can help you develop many skills further. A business coach & mentor can highlight gaps in your expertise that will aid you on your journey to becoming a better leader.

In addition to improving your own skill set, leaders who adapt and develop through leadership programmes set the bar for their teams, creating a culture that encourages personal development.

Prioritise learning & development schemes

One of the biggest assets of any business is its people. How experienced and skilled your workforce is what ultimately impacts the bottom line. Work on your human capital and you’ll see better results.

Improve your workforce’s skills from within, by offering learning and development schemes, including 1-2-1 coaching and mentoring for your staff. By nurturing your talent, you will see improved performance, lower employee turnover and happier staff.

Interestingly, many of the world’s leading organisations offer their staff learning and development programmes. It is reported that over 70% of all Fortune 500 companies offer coaching & mentoring sessions for their teams in order to improve wellbeing and performance.

If it’s good enough for some of the top teams of the world, it’s something you should be exploring!

Create a coaching culture

Finally, once you’ve developed your own leadership skills through executive coaching & mentoring, your goal is to pass on your expertise to your workforce. This is exactly what a coaching culture is within the workplace. It involves great leaders sharing their knowledge and effective leadership skills with members of the workforce, who then do the same to their peers.

This creates a trickledown effect, where all members of your workforce lead one another with a coaching mindset.

Take your leadership to the next level with bespoke support from Wiseup. Learn all about our leadership programmes here.

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