Often in small business leaders are promoted because they are good at their current position. But, being a leader is difficult and requires completely different skills than other types of jobs. There are constant obstacles and challenges to overcome and responsibility for those problems rests on your shoulders. You are responsible not only for yourself, but also for ensuring your employees’ success. A lot of employee issues can start under flawed leadership. While you will never be a perfect leader, you can improve in certain areas to be the best leader you can be. Here are some skills that can help you in advance in a leadership role:
You can’t lead employees very well if you can’t communicate with them. Many projects require a steady stream of communication to make sure everyone is on the same page and that work is completed to standard. However, consistent communication isn’t the same as constant communication. You can communicate well without having to micromanage. Practice different methods of communication and check in with your employees to see if they feel you are communicating in a way that supports them. This may take some learning to get right but being able to communicate effectively with your employees will improve your productivity.
Because you are a leader, your employees look to you for answers and guidance. Listen to the concerns of others and consider the impact that your decisions have on the company and additional stakeholders. Be as transparent as possible. To achieve this, you can explain the reasoning behind your decisions. The better you explain your decision making, the more likely your employees will be to trust your judgement.
Nobody’s perfect and everybody has areas they can improve in. Taking feedback from your employees will help you know where you can improve. Learning to take feedback can be harder than you anticipate. If your employees aren’t used to giving feedback, you may have to start by asking them for feedback. Once you start getting feedback you may find yourself making excuses for your behavior. Though it can be uncomfortable to accept constructive criticism, it’s important to honestly evaluate your behavior and any changes that may need to be made each time you receive feedback. Thank employees who are brave enough to share their thoughts with you.
Though there are many skills that can help you as a leader, improving in these few areas can help you be the best leader you can be. Share these ideas with other leaders in your organization.