Around 38% of Aussie employees think that leadership and management can help businesses grow and flourish or struggle and decline.
The future of work is augmented with technology. To help an organization maintain its competitive status quo both in leading the charge and setting into motion mentoring and team development, leaders need to play their role with the right set of skills.
Whether you’re moving up the ladder, pursuing opportunities in new organizations, or switching fields, the higher you get on the hierarchy, skills like leadership and management become more important at every step of the corporate ladder.
Even if you’ve recently jumped to a management or supervisory position, polishing your leadership skills is necessary to perform your new duties to the best of your ability.
Also, know that becoming a great manager and leader takes time, exposure, and experience. The good news is that there are ways to improve your skills and position yourself in your new role successfully. For example, you could enrol in courses such as certificate IV in Leadership & Management online.
You don’t even need to attend classes in person. Plenty of institutes across Australia offers this certificate remotely, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
While you explore these educational avenues, make sure you also indulge the following best practices to hone your skills as a leader:
Learn How to Delegate
As a leader, you must set an example for your teams to follow. And that’s just the start. Your job also involves focusing not on yourself only but on helping others get to the top. And that usually means delegating responsibilities where possible
Your “I’ll just do it myself” attitude may streamline your work. But it hurts your team in the long run as they learn nothing on the job working for you. So, it would be best if you fought this urge to tackle tasks alone.
Invest your time and energies in teaching others how to solve a particular problem. This will help prepare your employees for a more productive role and show them that you trust them with important tasks, solidifying their approval of you as a leader.
By delegating, you create an impression among your employees that you value and trust them and their input to get the job done —and that has a positive impact on their morale. Also, providing professional development opportunities to employees helps you learn new skills.
Don’t forget, if your team fails, so do you.
Focus on Building Trust
When employees feel trusted, especially by their direct/indirect managers, they put their heart and soul into the work and are happier in their respective roles. So new managers and leaders must prioritize building confidence among their employees.
Give everyone in your team the opportunity to meet with you one-on-one and ask about their personal and professional goals. Then figure out how you can help them take progressive steps in their career to achieve these objectives.
If they are interested in learning/mastering a particular skill, assign them to a project with designated skills or recommend training options?
Here, the rule is simple – if you invest in their future, they’ll likely feel devoted to your leadership and the organization at large.
Transparency also helps build trust; new managers can practice transparency while making decisions by openly speaking about the implications and results, whether positive or negative, with the team. Sharing information with honesty encourages others to do the same and fosters trust.
Learn to Address Difficult Situations
A good manager should know how to solve disputes effectively e resolution. According to Queensland Government research, on average, 30% of managers spend their time dealing with workplace conflicts.
As a new manager, when you face complicated disputes, your first instinct would be to ignore them in hopes that the problem will resolve itself. And, if you’re someone for whom confrontation is uncomforting, or you don’t like to hurt others’ feelings, then you would be in trouble.
Don’t forget, the more you avoid an issue, the worse it becomes, which is why new managers need to learn how to resolve workplace conflict effectively.
The best bet is to listen to the problem first and practice empathy. So, when employees approach you with a problem, acknowledge their feelings and understand their perspectives so that the root of the issue can be figured out and then work toward a proper solution collaboratively.
According to a survey, nearly 60% of employees like feedback daily or weekly. Whether employees need feedback or not, you make sure they get it on time, i.e., as soon as they mess up or do something very well; don’t wait for the annual review.
Subordinates often don’t apply advice if a project has passed, and then what happens? You end up facing additional roadblocks if you don’t address the issues then and there.
By encouraging effort, enhancing ability, and acknowledging results, offering timely feedback motivates employees to improve their job morale and overall reduce their mistakes, which, in turn, will build trust.
Just as you expect employees to learn from the feedback you’re giving to them continuously, it’s also essential for you to make an effort by assessing your strengths and weaknesses to help yourself and the company grow over time.
Don’t be afraid to get constructive feedback from your employees so that you can identify the areas in which you need to improve. This helps you set your goals and show your employees that you value their feedback and have the interests of the whole team.
Hone Your Leadership Intelligence
It’s likely that you’ve been promoted to your new role based on the skills you demonstrated in an earlier job. These skills can include delegation, problem-solving, organization, etc. Now that you’ve earned the title of “manager,” it’s also time to polish these leadership fundamentals and take them to the next step of excellence.
Leaders often demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, a high degree of emotional intelligence, and resilience, which help them recognize the needs and wants of their teammates and enable them to achieve a common goal.
So, there are a couple of ways to let the leader in you stand out. Attend mentoring sessions, seek guidance from an experienced manager, and of course, get a Certificate IV in leadership and management and create an encouraging and productive working environment for yourself and your employees.
Develop The Characteristics of a Great Leader and Manager
As any expert will tell you, leadership is an intrinsic quality as well as a skill that can be learned. But to excel as a leader, you must demonstrate some qualities that permeate all areas of your life and not just your stance as a manager at work.
Here’s a list of some personal qualities that you must learn and implement in all your dealings to become a great leader:
· Collaborative – Let everyone feel heard, respected, and valued
· Impactful – Create an environment every worker feels respected and important
· Growth-oriented – Focus on helping employees progress, both individually and collectively
· Communicator – Being transparent is essential to set clear expectations for employees
Management isn’t easy. Even if you have hundreds of available resources, stepping into a management role for the first time is like jumping out of a plane with a parachute strapped to your back.
You’re suddenly in a position to be responsible for the production, well-being, and success of a team, and if anything goes wrong, you are the one they’ll turn to.
But if you’re an excellent organizational leader, the chances are that you are not messing around with people and practices, even if things go otherwise, rather take the responsibility of devising measures to counter all the internal and external forces.
Last but not least, to become a remarkable leader, start with yourself. That’s the only way to inspire, motivate and manage others.