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5 Tips on Effective Leadership

March 21st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Are you in, or aspire to be, in a management position with your company?  Does a group of individuals report to you on a regular basis?  If you are in that position, are you a manager or a leader?

There is a difference between leadership and managing.  Many people in a management position don’t have a clue there is a difference.  Leadership is an action word.  It means to be out front of a group of people doing what you want them to do, first.  Management, on the other hand, is the act, manner, or practice of managing; handling, supervision, or control.

When accepting a new position in management, a person will have to make the decision, “Am I going to be a leader, actively in the trenches with my people, or am I going to be handling, supervising, and controlling my subordinates?”

Once the decision has been made, there are dangers to watch out for.  The most common one is that many managers choose to use fear and intimidation to control their subordinates.  Perhaps, this was they way they were managed in the past.

I believe most managers are good people who, not only care about the production they are responsible for, but their people.  Fear is never a long term effective management tool. It only destroys the trust and respect of those they are leading or managing.  They may get results using fear, but it will be only short term and temporary.

When a manager or leader uses their time to “dress down” their employee or team member they have stepped on a very large landmine.  That relationship can be destroyed.  They may never be trusted or respected again. But, doesn’t a naughty employee deserve to be disciplined and made to feel small so they won’t do it again?

Here are a few effective tools I have used when leading a team.

1.  Keep criticisms private and praise public. Never, ever, reprimand someone in front of others.  That is an ineffective control technique.  Those times should be done in a private, without anger or blame.  It is better to position it as a “coaching session”. When they do something well, praise them, in front of others, with sincere words and recognition.

2.  Treat them with respect. There should never be a reason to dehumanize your team member.  Don’t make snide or cutting remarks about them.  Keep it professional.

3.  Believe in them. Always see them in the best light.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Use constructive words to promote change in their behavior.

4.  Be perfectly clear. Let them know exactly what change needs to be made.  Ask for their input on what they can do to make the change.  Help them set steps, time frames, or goals to implement the changes.

5.  Always end the coaching session with positive affirmation of their abilities and what they can accomplish. Paint them a picture on how great it is going to be.   Help them understand how important they are to the team.

Everyone wants respect.  If coaching sessions are done correctly, you will have built a stronger relationship with your team member in which they can continue to grow and develop.

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  1. April 18th, 2010 at 08:00 | #1

    Love this! Look forward to reading more posts like this…

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