What differentiates your business from the rest?  Is it the amazing drink specials? Variety of food offerings? Or, perhaps your greatest strength lies with the diverse leadership team you’ve built. After all, quality of leadership is indicative of a successful and profitable business.

Is your team expanding? Read “Tips for Welcoming New Employees.”

5 Tips for Being a Strong Leader

  1. Promote an open line of communication.

    Those in leadership roles should realize that not all employees communicate in the same way and that it’s crucial to have multiple modes of communication. Find out what your employees prefer. Would they rather have daily, morning check-ins to discuss new projects or do they prefer monthly updates?

    Be approachable with your employees. Encourage an open-door policy where employees are welcome to come to you for questions and support. Meeting with your employees will help build trust.

    Be honest with your employees. Employees respect honesty and transparency, even if they don’t particularly agree with the message or news. Also, be honest with yourself in everything that you do because your employees are watching. Do not try to sugar-coat negative news. Be up front and forward so that the message cannot be interpreted differently.
  2. Get to know your employees.

    True leaders take the time to get to know their team members and create a positive work environment. Demonstrate that you’re willing to understand the team as unique individuals, not as just your employee. What’s their learning style? What work do they enjoy doing?

    Show you care by familiarizing yourself with their personal lives. If someone is going through a rough time, extend your concern and sympathies. If something exciting is going on in their lives, match their excitement and be happy for them.
  3. Be self-aware.

    While a leader develops their employees, don’t forget to develop yourself too. Every employee, a leader or not, has room to improve in some area. Understand yourself first; emotional intelligence is a key factor in self-awareness. Are you able to recognize and understand your own behavior?

    Ask yourself:

    Are you aware of how you respond to certain situations?
    Do you ask others for feedback to find personal blind-spots?
    Have you recently assessed your priorities?
  4. Keep calm under pressure.

    Leaders and top performers should manage their emotions at all times; they need to stay calm and in control. When challenges and conflicts arise, employees are watching to see how their leader will react. A leader’s behavior can create a domino effect with their employees. If a leader panics, the employees likely will panic too.

    Keep a positive attitude during a crisis. Instead of telling yourself and others that you are overwhelmed by the situation, send positive messaging to yourself and the group. Instead of saying, “This is too much. I’ll never get through this,” say “A lot is going on around me right now, but I can get through this. I always have.”

    Analyze the overall situation and think about the future. Try to find the worst that could come out of the situation. More often than not, you’ll realize what is a big deal now will not be a big deal in the near future.

    Also, be aware of your nonverbal communications. Even if you choose to stay silent about the situation, your employees may see the emotion on your face.
  5. Encourage and model work-life balance.

    Strong leaders encourage work-life balance and help their employees understand that there’s a fine line between office time and personal time. Employees will lead by example. Leaders set the tone for their employees. If a leader works 20 hours over their assigned hours, the employee will feel that they need to put in extra work too. If a manager is sending numerous emails to employees over the weekend, employees will feel that they should be accessing their email during the weekend too.

    Offer workplace flexibility – many employees will thrive when they have work flexibility. Team members will feel less burdened knowing that they can leave early to go to a doctor’s appointment and make up those hours elsewhere.

Being a Strong Leader Means Leading by Example

As a manager, you’re only as strong as your team. Remember to offer continued learning opportunities and resources to improve your employee’s soft skills. Fine tuning your skills not only helps you become a better leader, but a strong role model for other employees to mirror.

Interested in learning more leadership tips? Check out our HR blog series for additional blog posts on relevant topics for your business and employees. At Society, our people make the biggest difference; learn more about our career opportunities.