Companies across the nation need leaders now more than ever—but did you know that only 35% of employees feel confident enough to take on a leadership role? And only 30% of new leaders feel confident making business decisions.
Here are some ways to tackle leadership challenges.
1. Learn to inspire others:
Inspiring others is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Yet, most leaders don’t know how to inspire others. Many feel that dictating what they do or constantly telling others what they do wrong is the best approach. That would be false thinking. As a leader, your team is looking for inspiration and motivation to complete their work. To inspire others, help your colleagues focus on the value their work creates. Share the vision for the team and make sure each of them can connect to how their piece of work makes a difference. The key is helping make a difference—meaning, making sure they know that what they are already contributing is valued and seen. Helping your team find purpose in their work is critical for employee engagement. In fact, 90% of employees said they would trade traditional reward mechanisms — such as extra pay — for greater meaning within their work and feeling valued for the skills they bring to the team.
2. Don’t miss opportunities to develop others:
It’s important to search out the potential in your team members and encourage their growth. You’ll need to understand their hopes for the future and find ways to help challenge and stretch them. Make sure you take the time to listen to your team. Create formal and informal opportunities to talk about how they want to progress in their career and support them to take those steps.
3. There will always be different viewpoints—handle them the right way:
Workplace conflict can be extremely detrimental when handled poorly, causing stress to 48% of employees. When employees feel devalued, unheard, or their voice is “tamped” down, the risks of losing a great employee increase. Conflict can feel uncomfortable, but you need to solve it before it upsets the team. If the conflict is between two employees, try and facilitate them in solving the issue themselves by encouraging listening and compromise. If one of your employees disagrees with you, make sure you consider their point of view and don’t be afraid to change your approach if theirs is better. Given the diversity of employees within the workplace, it’s not a surprise that friction arises from individuals’ differing experiences, ideas, and perspectives. The challenge for leaders is creating space for those ideas to be shared and ensuring that conflicting ideas are channeled into a productive discussion that allows for growth and shared understanding.
4. You earned your position, don’t become the imposter:
It’s common, especially for new leaders, to lack confidence or feel like they don’t deserve to be in a leadership position. You might question your skills or judgment, which could lead to indecisiveness. Or you might feel like you must tackle everything alone, which could prevent you from asking for the help you need. When a new leader gets stuck in this type of thinking, five different scenarios can play out, including becoming a solo act, having all the answers, being a perfectionist, acting like a superhero, or developing an ego (being the expert in all things). To nip this in the bud early, look for evidence of your capability in feedback from your line manager or peers. Recognize the above syndromes and do the opposite, finding balance and a level approach to your new leadership role. You were given the role for a reason! Continue to develop your own skills in the areas you find most difficult.
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