There are many different types of leaders today with very unique leadership styles. Despite their leadership styles, there should be certain tactics being used by all leaders in order to establish a level of effective leadership. These are two huge mistakes that leaders fall into the trap of doing.
Failing to make the connection
A lot of leaders miss this step. They fail to realize that everyone-including their employees-are very different in a number of ways. I’ve seen this issue inside business associations I’m apart affiliated with, and even companies today. They are so quick to start “leading” their team, that they forget to actually get to “know” who they’re working with. The important differences between them can cause problems in their relationships. More than likely, not knowing these differences and building that connection can tremendously affect whether or not they choose to follow you because everyone has different beliefs that you need to take into account. You wouldn’t know those beliefs if you didn’t take the time to become closer with your team.
Why is this so important? As I stated before, everyone is different in various ways. You can not expect someone to follow you if you haven’t even took the time to get to know them on a more personal level. Everyone is different, so how can you alter your leadership style to reach out to everyone if you have no knowledge of their background? When a group of people follow you, that means they have put their trust in you and they believe in your vision. Making that connection will give them many reasons to put their trust in you and follow your lead. You will also know what everyone expects from you as a leader. Your level of influence will then reach everyone you expect to lead.
The simple truth is that people tend to work more diligently and harder under your leadership if they like you on a personal level and believe in your vision. If rapport is built between you and your team, then they would have no issues following your lead and doing it with passion. Besides, whats a leader if he/she can not get anyone to follow them and believe in their vision? That isn’t a highly effective leader.
Being a critic instead of a supporter
Another huge mistake I see very often. A lot of leaders become so focused on making sure their team does the best they can, that they look for anything their team is doing wrong in order to point it out. They become critics.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs constructive criticism. Without it, you are not helping them grow and learn from their mistakes. I get that. However, no one wants to constantly hear about what they are doing wrong when they are doing plenty of other tasks right. Give them compliments, even over the smallest achievements or tasks. This shows them that every effort they put forward is being noticed and most importantly, appreciated. When people feel appreciated, they tend to do a lot more with more effort than before. The exact opposite can happen as well. If someone doesn’t feel appreciated or feel as if they are constantly being attacked, they can easily shut down and your level of influence decreases tremendously.
Going back to how important making that connection is, this also builds good energy between you and your team. That energy will transfer to everything you do collectively. In return, it will make your team more productive.
These are two things that I see lots of leaders lack, which stops them from reaching a high level of influence. Getting to know the people you are trying to lead and being very supportive of them has nothing but benefits. While not getting to know them, and being very critical of them has many costs that most leaders overlook. If there’s 2 ways to make you a better a leader, its; being a supporter and not a critic, and making that connection.
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