What are the essential qualities of a leader?
It’s a question older than business itself. From modern lists of the buzziest buzzwords to Ancient Greek philosophy, there’s never been a shortage of opinions on what it takes to be a great leader. And while there may be no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership and management, there are a few essential qualities that will help good leaders become great ones: communication, engagement, and evaluation.
Being an effective communicator is about more than talking. You have to know how to be heard. Authentic, transparent dialogue lets your employees and team members understand what you want to achieve, what your own measures for success are, and puts you and them in a position to win. Communication is more than just what you say — it’s what you do. Model the behavior you want to see in those you lead. They are always watching you, and always taking in the information you put out, whether consciously or unconsciously. Be mindful of the messages you send.
How do you listen to your employees and team members? Do they feel like they are seen, heard, and respected? You can engage your employees by giving them opportunities to lead. Even (especially!! when they have different leadership or communication styles than you do. Don’t call them out or judge them harshly in front of their peers. That doesn’t mean don’t evaluate — see below — but employees will feel more comfortable taking risks if they know you trust them. Ask them what they think about a problem and, when you can, take their advice.
Employees do want your feedback. They want to know that they are performing up to (or beyond) your expectations, and they want to know how to improve. A one-on-one conversation is the best place to engage in in-depth performance reviews, coaching conversations, or disciplinary conversations. Schedule them regularly and prepare for them — make sure your employees understand that you’re taking the, and the process, seriously. An in-person, one-to-one meeting includes communication and engagement, verbal and non-verbal cues, emotions, body language, and more.
Leadership comes down to relationships, and relationships come down to people. How you speak with them, how you listen, and how you help them grow.
Paycor’s HR solution provides the tools employers need to effectively evaluate, engage and communicate with employees. From communicating important company information with your employees to conducting and storing their performance reviews in one secure location, learn how Paycor can make HR management more efficient. Contact us to set up a meeting to see how our solutions can support your organization.
Sources: Business News Daily, Business Insider, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Inc.
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