I’ll be the first to admit, I have a long way to go as a leader. My years in management have been brief so far. However, the unique circumstances I find myself in at Candeo Creative have challenged me to grow exponentially in a short amount of time. Needless to say, I have made mistakes. Thankfully, I’ve learned from them.
- Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
Pobody’s nerfect. As a leader, when you admit you’ve made a mistake, it demonstrates to your team that sometimes mistakes are okay. Afterall, we learn from them. Knowing to admit when you’re wrong will help you earn the respect and trust of your colleagues.
- Ask for help.
Because pobody’s nerfect, asking for help is perfectly acceptable. When you’re struggling under the weight of a neverending to-do list, asking for help, learning to delegate and negotiating priorities does not make you weak or incapable. If anything, you’re showing your team that you trust them to help. Also, you are acting as a communication role model. If you’re drowning, don’t just let yourself sink. Shout out for someone to throw you a lifesaver!
- Know your strengths and weaknesses.
How well do you know yourself? A popular personality test is the Myers Briggs test, which examines four dichotomies of who you are. Once you understand who you inherently are, you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses. As an INTJ personality type, my strengths include being strategic, independent and hard working. However, true power comes from understanding my weaknesses, such as being arrogant, judgemental and overly analytical. Every day I make an effort to check my ego and give other people’s opinions a fair chance before making a decision.
- Make time to check in.
You can’t lead if you’re blind to a situation. To be a better leader, make a point to ask how your team members are doing, whether this is in passing or in a formal one-on-one meeting. Let your colleagues know they are heard and their concerns and ideas matter. However, it’s not enough to just listen. Be sure to set actionable goals as well, both for yourself and your team.
- Give your full attention.
Along with making time for each person on your team, give him/her your full attention. If a team member swings by your desk to ask a question, look away from your computer screen and stop typing. If you’re in a meeting, put down your phone and make eye contact. Adapting these simple communication habits will help show your team you’re a dedicated leader.
In retrospect, these tips will not only help you be a better leader, but a better coworker, friend and partner. What are your tips for becoming a better leader?