As a small business owner you have to provide leadership to your team to drive success. It is not enough to just be a good manager. Guest writer Salma El-Shurafa, executive coach from The Pathway Project shares her tips on how you can become a better leader this year.
Whether 2016 has been a bad or good one for you, one thing is for certain: There is always room for improvement.
When you accept a leadership role in your organization, you are also accepting the fact that more of you will be required. And in the greater scheme of things, that does not only mean doing your best, but perhaps, more importantly, embracing the best that you can possibly become.
This year, challenge yourself, your beliefs, and your ideals by elevating your leadership in 2017.
Here are some of the steps that you will need to undertake in order to reach that goal.
Aim to be trustworthy
The curious thing about building trust between you and your people is that you have to be trustworthy to start with.
Being trustworthy can be as simple as keeping small promises or being genuine in handing out praise.
Master your words
Words have power and you have to be mindful of the words you use. Be aware of those that make you look (and sound) weak; banish these and substitute other words that make you feel powerful.
Stop dwelling on negative thoughts. These thoughts can only undermine your goals and prevent you from becoming a better leader.
Hone your communication skills
Becoming a better communicator does not necessarily mean being a good public speaker. Communication is a two-way process. Instead of focusing on how you speak and how you are perceived, shift your attention toward your listening skills. This will allow you to cultivate trust and minimize mistakes in the workplace.
Empower your staff
One of the key mistakes new leaders make is to assume that they need to be good to have all the answers. The truth is, good leaders are not afraid to tell people that they do not know all the answers. But more importantly, they know which questions to ask to bridge that gap.
The ability to turn to your subordinates for answers can be empowering because it means that you trust their abilities and resourcefulness to find solutions to the problems at hand.
Keep your staff in the loop
Make it a habit to inform your subordinates of recent updates about your organization. This will help eliminate the cloud of uncertainty which can instantly diminish productivity in the workplace.
Learn to see a diamond in the rough
Great leaders often see things that are hidden in plain sight. When you are working with people, you will need to develop the uncanny ability to see the potential of your subordinates. Sometimes, that means looking beyond an employee’s designation.
Own up your mistakes
By admitting to your subordinates that you have made a mistake, you are setting a good example and underscoring the value of personal responsibility. In turn, your subordinates will better understand the concept of accountability.
Take control of distractions
Uncertainties, squabbles and assumptions create negativity in the workplace. A good leader knows how to redirect these energies into something positive by making a clear stand as to what needs to be done.
Foster an environment for learning
In the workplace, do not strive for perfection. That will only build an environment where employees stick to the tried and tested instead of blazing new paths.
Invest in yourself
According to a survey conducted by Brandon Hall Group, 36 percent of organizations say that their leadership development practices are poor or below average.
For your part, you can take the initiative to upgrade your leadership skills . It can be as simple as setting aside time to read relevant articles or investing in professional coaching.
Set goals for others
Challenge your staff to improve themselves by setting goals for them. As your staff accomplishes these goals, they become empowered and feel that they are valued members of the group.
Some of these steps may seem small. But if you are willing to embrace the challenge of upgrading your leadership, you will see a marked improvement not only in your professional life, but in the other facets of your life as well.
Are you ready to make 2017 a remarkable year for you?
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project . She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.
Salma is the first Arab female faculty member of CTI in the region, a certified Agile profile coach and trainer as well as a Cultural Intelligence Certified Advanced Facilitator. She works with a wide variety of individuals, ranging from directors and managers at Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs across various industries, and other professionals.