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3 Ways to be a More Inspiring Leader

The Word Inspire on a Bracelet

A few simple techniques can be the difference between being a decent manager and an inspiring leader. Gathering feedback, understanding your team, and building trust are keys to unlocking great performance.

Today’s post is by Rae Steinbach.

There’s a vast improvement in results when you’re an inspirational leader. A few simple tweaks to your management style and a slight change in perspective can take you from humdrum manager to inspiring leader in no time.

Whether you’re leading a team of 10, 100, or more, being able to inspire and motivate them rather than simply administer and control will have a huge impact on your bottom line, retention figures, and achieving your company’s mission and vision.

Focusing on soliciting employee feedback and creating a healthy company culture will assist you in developing a team of empowered individuals who are willing, and able, to go the extra mile for the company mission and drive your business to the top of its game. Here are the three top tips for improving your management style and becoming the inspiring leader your team will follow anywhere.

Ask for Feedback

Sure, part of your job as a leader is telling your team what needs to be done. The flip side to that, though, is asking them for feedback on all aspects of their work – including how you are perceived.

Although this can be a little intimidating (for you and them), the responses provided will help you improve in terms of leadership style and skills. Ask the right feedback questions in an open and transparent way that will encourage honest answers from your team. Be clear about what you want and let your team know there are no ‘wrong’ answers or repercussions for sharing something you may not have expected.

Don’t just ask questions about your leadership style. To really become the leader of your dreams, you need to get to know your team well, have real face to face conversations with them, and find out what makes each member of your team tick. This will lessen the pressure of performance reviews and help you spot quality, meaningful information that you can in turn use to change the way you and they work for the better.

So, on top of finding out what they do (and don’t) like about your management style, ask for a little more information:

  • How do they want to be rewarded and recognized for great work?
  • How do they work best?
  • What can you do to make their jobs better?
  • How you can support them in reaching their personal goals?

Asking for feedback earns trust, builds respect, and helps relationships develop not only between you and your team, but also between team members. It also shows them that you care about their success and development.

Help Them Get What They Want

Not all employees are driven by the same goals and aspirations. What motivates one may annoy another, and the kinds of recognition that they crave will differ from one to another.

Understanding these differences is important in leadership roles. You can develop meaningful relationships that help you support your employees achieve their own and the company’s goals.

Great leaders achieve astounding outcomes by influencing people to work to achieve a common goal. You can help this process by helping your team to create a plan to achieve their goals, track progress, and communicate when unexpected challenges arise.

Don’t stop at just finding out what your team wants – be responsible for your actions in helping them achieve their objectives. Broken promises damage relationships through the breach of trust.

Be a Reason to Stay

Employee turnover can amount to quite a substantial cost. Although it is accepted that people will move jobs throughout their careers for a number of reasons, a study found that 31% leave due to lack of empowerment and a further 31% because they didn’t like their boss.

Both these reasons for employee retention being low can be remedied by better leadership. A great employee-leader relationship is based on clear expectations, transparency, trust, and a clear path for advancement.

Recognizing your team for a job well done, supporting them to achieve their goals and develop professionally, and listening to their feedback are all important factors for ensuring none of your team members leave for reasons you could easily prevent.

Lead by example and you will build trust with the top performers and the newest members of your team. Doing so puts you right on track to becoming an inspiring and supportive leader.

– Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

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