Do you want to weld influence and command respect without really demanding for it? If YES, here’s 20 tips on how to be a leader in the workplace, not a boss.
Almost every workplace in the world has a leader who is always at the helm of affairs, and makes the toughest and most difficult decisions. However, this person could either be a leader or a boss.
Leaders are people who teach others to succeed and inspire enthusiasm in them. Leaders think about the whole organization as a team, and take responsibility for actions. Leaders are listeners and they are always loved and respected by their followers. Because of this, their followers and subordinates always support them and make it easier for them to succeed.
Bosses on the other hand are not very much liked because they drive others to succeed by instilling fear in them. They blame their subordinates when things take a downward turn, and take credit when success is recorded. Because of their slave master tendencies, bosses are never able to get the best out of their employees and subordinates.
If you have been a boss at work, it is never too late to change and become a leader so that you can achieve more results and enjoy working with your subordinates. Here are 20 tips to help you:
20 Tips On How to Be a Leader in the Workplace, Not a Boss
1. Build Trust With Your Employees
To be a good leader, you have to build trust with your subordinates. They have to be sure that you will always have their best interests at heart as this would make them willing to put in more efforts into the project. You can build trust by being honest with them, taking a closer look at the motives behind their actions before judging them, and proving to them that they can always rely on you.
2. Dole Out Praises Often: Bosses think praising their subordinates may get into their heads but a true leader knows that recognizing the efforts of employees and praising them is a strong motivational tool that encourages them to put in more efforts next time.
3. Be an Inspiration: Don’t just teach them what to do, show them how it is done. If you want your subordinates to be early, be the first one at work. If you want them to dress well, be a power dresser too. Basically, you have to be the standard that they can always look up to.
4. Allow Them to Be Themselves: Don’t always be on their necks, teaching them what to do at all times; train them, motivate them, and give them room to use their own discretion and knowledge to execute tasks and of course, allow them to make mistakes and learn from it.
5. Give Valuable Feedback: A boss is always quick to criticize but a leader knows how to offer valuable feedback. A leader understands that there are no perfect employees so he helps them see why and how they should do better rather than focus on their mistakes and errors.
6. Get to Know Your Employees: A leader is someone who takes time to know their employees beyond the workplace. Try to learn and address them by their names and learn a thing or two about their family’s welfare every now and then. It makes your subordinates feel valuable, loved and appreciated, and also gets them to warm up to you.
7. Don’t Micromanage: Micromanaging is almost like telling your employees that you don’t trust them. It is important to avoid micromanaging by allowing your employees to handle the tasks that you assign to them on their own.
8. Don’t Play Favorites: As humans, it is difficult not to have favorites but the most important thing is- don’t make it obvious. By showing other subordinates that you have favorites, you may be killing their motivation and drive.
9. Make Communication Easy: Make it possible for your subordinates to walk up to you and talk to you whenever they have any challenges or ideas to share. Eliminate all physical and psychological hindrances or formalities that shut your subordinates out because you can never know when you will receive valuable information and life changing ideas or advice from your subordinates.
10. Reward: You don’t have to spend too much, look for little ways to reward your subordinates- a $10 gift card can mean a lot more than you think.
11. Introduce Some Fun: It’s a place of work alright but it shouldn’t be about work all day, every day. There should be some days where you and your subordinates get to relax, enjoy fun activities, and drop the leader-subordinate relationship to get to know each other as friends.
12. Be Humble: A leadership position is an exceptional one; here you are leading dozens of people who are at your beck and call but pride is a trait that you have to do away with to be a true leader.
You must stay humble and think of yourself as just another employee because by doing so; you will be able to earn the trust of your subordinates.
13. Be a Good Listener: Don’t just churn out orders and communicate one-way. Make sure you always listen to what your subordinates have to say so that you can avoid missing out on vital information, and so that they can trust you.
14. Ask them for Feedback: You are the one who is always giving feedback to your employees and critiquing them, but have you ever thought of asking them for feedback on your own performances? Of course, it takes true humility and leadership skills to be able to ask for feedback from your subordinates, but feedback is very helpful as it can help you see ways of improving on your performances that you might have never thought of on your own.
15. Be a Strategic Thinker: Don’t be a shallow thinker; learn how to think very fast especially in challenging situations, and learn how to think outside the box.
16. Improve Your Knowledge: Make sure you are always one step ahead of your subordinates when it comes to knowing some basic things especially about your products, services or industry. Learn how to read far and wide, and always invest in personal skill and knowledge advancement.
17. Speak in the Plural: Stop using the word “I”, learn how to substitute” I” with “we” because by so doing, you are making them understand that you all are a team and you all take responsibility for the consequences of each other’s actions.
18. Overlook Errors Sometimes: Don’t be a nagging boss who is always looking for something to complain about. A true leader knows how to overlook some slight errors and inadequacies sometimes.
19. Be Spontaneous: Avoid being predictable. Being unpredictable, in a positive way of course, helps to keep your subordinates on their toes because they never know what to expect.
20. Laugh: Try to be friendly and avoid putting up a defensive attitude all the time; it is never that serious that you cannot afford to smile or even laugh at the workplace.