Getting to a position of effective leadership isn’t easy, it takes a lot of effort, skill development, and patience – and once you do reach that prestigious point, it isn’t the end of the path. Fine-tuning your leadership style is key.
To be an effective leader, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your work environment – know what is (and isn’t) acceptable in the workplace, how your team work together, what frictions or disagreements are happening (and how to stop them), and ensure that your team know that they can look to you, not just for conflict resolution, but to provide an example, and to be a leader they can trust, regardless of the situation.
Here are 5 signs to watch out for, and some suggested solutions to help you become a better leader:
1. Employees aren’t responding as you expect
Clear communication is essential in any business environment, and with an increase in hybrid or remote working (with an estimate of 70% of the work force expected to work remotely for at least 5 days per month by 2025), it has never been so important to be absolutely clear, and ensure that your team are all on the same page.
In order to improve communication, think carefully about what you are saying – is it straightforward, simple, and as free of jargon as possible? Are you using examples?
Look at your team as well – do you work with people that respond better to videos or images, or do they prefer written instructions? Tailor your leadership style to meet their needs, and you will have foster better communication.
2. Productivity and motivation are a problem
Even the best teams can’t run on 100% all the time, and if your expectations are too high, and rewards/break-times are too low, you’re going to reach a point where your employees either burn out or lose their motivation to achieve more (or both).
Deadlines should be realistic and achievable, and if you find that you’re having to go into ‘crisis mode’ too often, or are constantly having to pull last-minute rushes, then you need to step back and evaluate.
You might find that your time management needs improvement, that you aren’t making the best use of your resources, or that you need to increase the size of your team. Being a good leader means you don’t shy away from looking at the hard truths and do something about your leadership style.
3. Employees aren’t coming to you
Do you have a good rapport with your team? Can they come to you with questions, concerns, or just to touch base? If your team aren’t inspired by you, or see you as someone they can engage with, you’re going to struggle to bring them together when it matters.
Take time to speak with your team, both as a group and individuals, make sure you’re approachable and accessible – and this loyalty will build and grow.