Today’s workforce is incredibly different than the workforce of five years ago. The world’s largest and most influential companies are realizing that compensation isn’t the only factor that keeps their employees happy. The leaders of companies like Google, Air BNB, and Facebook have taken what some would consider a radical approach to leading, and their moves have created a generation of workers who value collaboration and communication over compensation. Inspiring this type of work starts with inspirational leaders, not overbearing bosses.
Here are the main differences between being an effective leader who drives positive change within their company and living life as the boss no one likes to be around.
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback
If you’re hiring the right people, they will intrinsically want to become better people and a desire to seek continual improvement in their job role will fit into their own goals. Encouraging open dialogue about projects and processes will allow for growth across the team. Giving positive reinforcement to good behaviors inspires those making good decisions to keep doing what they’re doing and deters behaviors that could derail the team. In order to create an environment where all communication is good communication, you must set some ground rules and follow up after having difficult conversations to make sure the teams knows that you’re working with them instead of them solely working for you.
Listening is one of those skills our parents pushed and pushed for us to excel at—and for good reason. Listening is rarely done well, and those who master this skill tend to move up quickly. Thirty-five percent of the surveyed workers in a study conducted by DDI said their boss never, or only sometimes, listens to their work-related concerns. When you take a few minutes out of your day and truly listen to those working around you, the knowledge you’ll gain will be invaluable. Much of the time the answer to struggles within a team can be solved by consistently listening to the complaints and solutions your team has probably already spent a great deal of time thinking about. It may seem odd at first to keep quiet when all you want to do is justify the actions of yourself and your company, but if you can make it through that awkwardness, your team will be much more cooperative and willing to listen when you have something really important to say.
Motivate Action, not Intimidation
Fear is what most bosses think will keep their employees pumping out great results. This idea can work in the most extreme situations, but if your team lives in a constant state of fear, they’ll most certainly begin to resent you and undermine you. Being in a comfortable environment is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to choosing a job today. Instead of threatening their position, learn to positively impact your employees’ everyday experience, and they will be more willing to go the extra mile for you and the company.
Encourage Your Team to Solve Problems not Just Take Orders
One of the most important aspects of leading is encouraging others to find the answers on their own before offering a solution. In a series of experiments, UCLA researchers showed that if students make an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve information before receiving an answer, they often remember the information better. If you give someone the answer every time, there is no room for that person to make mistakes and grow. Giving your team the tools and resources needed to effectively problem solve isn’t tough love, it’s giving someone a fishing rod. Do this, and you’ll quickly see your team’s processes become more efficient than ever before.
Once you’ve mastered these few simple steps, you’ll see a change throughout your entire team and in every area of your business. You’ll also maintain a higher level of respect that ever great leader strives for. GetAssist is all about improving communication within teams and between businesses. See what GetAssist can do for your workgroup, by signing up today!