Moving from being a Manager to being a leader requires a shift in perspective. Leaders see themselves as empowering others rather than directing or controlling people and tasks. To empower requires the leader to demonstrate their credibility, their interest in developing their people and their trust. Why? People will not follow if these elements are not in place and if they do follow, productivity improves with dramatic performance results. See also my article published in HR Director on the changing relationship between employer and employees. Showing support and highlighting success and learning on a daily basis creates stronger relationships that motivate everyone in the team. So, try the following daily questions:-
- What’s gone/going well today? (then congratulate them)
- What are you learning? (then reflect your thoughts)
- Is there anything I can help you with? or What do you need from me?
Focusing on the positive rather than the obstacles and challenges motivates your employees far more than checking what isn’t working and focusing on fixing. This doesn’t advocate ignoring what requires attention, more, keeping it in balance. After all, we all perform better at those things we believe we do well.
Further tips on managing a team can be found here
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I went to a spinning class this morning. All part of my training programme to cycle in Kenya for Women V. Cancer. It reminded me of the time I joined a spinning class in The Hague. I wondered why I was the only women in a group of 8 very tall Dutch men. After 5 minutes of punishing “hills” and sprints , my legs were telling me exactly why. The Dutch are not renowned for their emotional exuberance. Yet, during one session when I was mentally “pushing through the pain”, I was startled to hear a crescendo of deep male voices singing two or three words to the Dutch song belting out in the Gym. They all stood up on their bikes, in unison, every 5 seconds or so to bellow something akin to “hoi, hoi, hoi”. Not a song I recognised and that, rather than struggling to gain breath, remains my excuse for not joining in.