A key part of any successful business is the leaders who drive it. Effective leaders can dramatically improve workforce morale and can improve efficiency throughout an organization, and a high-performing leader will need to call on a range of skills to effectively steer a company towards its corporate goals. Whether you are a new leader or one who has years of experience in such a role, you will need to keep refreshing your knowledge and skills to allow you to lead effectively. In this article, three top tips to boost your leadership skills will be explored in detail.
Lead by example
Leadership is both an art and a science, and one trait of all successful leaders is that they demonstrate their leadership skills in their actions rather than just through their words. By way of an example, a leader cannot hope to foster punctuality within his or her team if they are not punctual themselves.
Leaders should be highly visible to many layers of the workforce and should demonstrate their ability to actively listen to the workforce and take on board any feedback or ideas that can drive service improvement. In times of increasing workloads, an excellent leader is one who is prepared to use their spare capacity to actively help with tasks (or at least provide meaningful direction on how to complete this work more efficiently).
Another way in which this is demonstrated by leaders in the working world can be seen in the food and catering industry. A head chef will be one of the key leaders in this working environment and is an integral part of the smooth functioning of any kitchen. However, in exceptionally busy periods an effective head chef will often be seen assisting other lower-ranked staff and undertaking tasks that may not be in their job description to ensure that the service functions effectively.
Actively listen to your team
Active listening has become a business buzzword in recent years, and this is due to the importance of this activity. Active listening goes beyond simply focusing on the words being said; it involves paying attention to body language and fully taking on board what has been said, often using this information as a base to drive improvements.
In the world of business, active listening can be undertaken by leaders during conversations and meetings with colleagues, but there is also a range of IT solutions that can demonstrate active listening to the workforce. Many leaders of today extensively use employee survey software platforms such as those provided by inpulse.com. This software takes employee feedback, thoughts and ideas and distils them into actionable information that can be integral in driving improvements. Put simply, by using employee feedback and transforming it into action plans, leaders demonstrate that they are actively listening to their teams.
Ensure meetings are productive
Many employees perceive meetings as productivity killers, and most staff will have had experience of attending meetings that served little purpose or dragged on without clear direction. An effective leader is one who keeps team meetings to the point and can demonstrate that they produce actionable results.
A leader will drive and facilitate the meeting, whilst at the same time ensuring that it sticks to the topic and does not simply become a “talking shop.” By doing so, meetings are viewed in a positive light by staff and are seen to produce meaningful outcomes.