Want to lead yourself and your team to great success? Uncover the five facets of effective leadership and start improving your skills today.
Being an effective leader requires a bit of research. You need to know your team, understand the competition, and be able to relate to your existing and future customers. Often times, leaders do not take a break to evaluate the full scope of their working environment. This could mean taking an inventory of the organization's current workforce needs or reflecting on their ability to successfully lead the company or department.
What Makes an Effective Leader
Even the most experienced managers and senior leaders can improve their effectiveness as a leader. With this in mind, consider introducing these five types of audits to improve your leadership abilities.
To accomplish this, ask yourself this series of questions below and document your answers. By doing so, you'll be able to easily identify areas of weakness that otherwise might have gone unnoticed. Additional training and development should be administered in these identified areas.
- What type of skills, experience and knowledge do you bring to your role?
- What are the leadership qualities you possess today and those you need to acquire to be a effective manager?
- How do you work with your direct reports and peers?
- What have you learned from the different managers you have worked with in the past – both good and bad?
- How well do you handle challenge(s)?
Audit Your Staff
You will need to identify the goals, experiences, strengths, and limitations of your direct staff. You can accomplish this by conducting the following three steps:
- Conduct one-on-one staff meetings to identify these qualities by assessing the team's soft skills; i.e. agreeableness, ability to influence and/or resolve conflict, likability, etc.
- Observe and evaluate your employee's different activities and habits during the workday
- Talk to previous managers about your employee's work performance
It's important to observe how your team works together, not only for future hiring purposes, but to make recommendations to improve productivity and/or to inspire collaboration. With this in mind, ask yourself the following:
- Does the team collaborate?
- Do they treat everyone fairly and with respect?
- Does each team member exhibit professionalism?
- How else can I encourage teamwork and enable productivity?
In order to have an effective and productive relationship with a manger, it is imperative that open communication exists between the manager and their employee(s). Ask yourself the following questions to measure whether you practice what you wish to preach.
- What expectations do your direct hires have of you?
- Have you created a mutually agreed upon list of objectives and possible improvements/results?
- Do your employees understand how they fit into the overall organization? Now? In the future?
- From these answers, determine the best way to meet expectations and manage your responsibilities
Talk to your customers, internally and externally, and discuss their impressions. The amount of trust they hold in you, could serve as a good measure for your leadership abilities.
- How do they feel about the services/products you and your team provide?
- How do they like the client-provider relationship?
- Are their challenges?
- Areas of improvement?
- Future needs?
Managers need to be viewed as leaders. They must be able to build relationships, attack and solve problems, anticipate challenges, and be able to identify talent. Conducting audits will aid in obtaining essential information about your workplace, the people in your organization, your customers, and your roles and expectations.
About the Author: This blog was written by Leslie Tell. Leslie is the Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Yoh, A Day & Zimmermann Company. She provides strategic national workforce solutions for MSP, VMS, RPO and direct hires. Previously she was Yoh’s National Accounts Director. Leslie has been with Yoh for the past 6 years.