So how do we as leaders go about facilitating that process and create that positive, empowering environment?
- Walk the talk
Demonstrate the behaviour that will have the most positive effect on your employees. In the eyes of your employees, YOU represent the company. Their loyalty to you is the same as their loyalty to the company. You must be sure that your employees feel your loyalty towards them as well.
- Vision and the ability to dream
Look at the big picture. Look at what’s really going on and put things in the right perspective.
- Systematic thinking
Look at the core issues and how you might solve the problem by creating or improving a system.
Set limits and rules – reasonable ones – and hold people to them. Your strength, even in the face of unpopular decisions, will provide your employees with a sense of security – especially through times of change.
Communication needs to be clear and concise. Be transparent. For all information you share with employees, you need to be honest and open.
When employees express an idea or an anxiety, they need to feel you are truly listening and that you are absorbing their words with a caring spirit, in a non-judgmental way, with the intention of helping them.
You serve as a kind of buffer between your employees and the outside world. Give them feedback they need in a constructive and supportive way.
Employees feel secure if your reactions are consistent and predictable, they know what to expect. If your reactions become unpredictable, this will create uncertainty and fear, which results in inaction, passivity and a sense of personal isolation. If the rules do change, communicate them upfront.
Express compassion in your relationships with your employees and you forge a bond with them that shows you care about who they are as individuals.
- Learning and improvement
Encourage innovation and improvement.
- Foster Loyalty
Be someone who focuses on how to make things better, be positive and be careful how you express your frustrations. Convert cynicism (yours and theirs) into more constructive attitudes.
Becoming a fantastic leader takes time. Make sure that you dedicate time towards your own development as a leader.
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