Leadership isn’t something you grasp after reading a textbook. It takes years of experience and feedback, and even then, you can still improve. Effective leaders never stop improving themselves or their leadership styles. If you are looking for your next step of improvement as a leader, here are 10 things you should stop doing.
Offering only negative feedback
Constructive criticism is an important part of growth for your employees, but don’t forget to acknowledge their accomplishments and what they do correctly. It helps them know what to do just as much as the criticism helps them know what not to do. Positive feedback increases motivation, commitment, and work quality.
Waiting to give feedback
Employees should receive feedback often. Not only does it make them better employees, but it also increases their quality of work for you. Don’t wait until the performance review to give all of your feedback. Offer it throughout the year so that your employees can improve throughout the year continuously.
The best and most effective leaders take responsibility for their team’s failures. Know how to accept the failure and search for solutions and next steps, rather than any one individual at fault. Accepting responsibility holds you accountable for your leadership strategies and allows you to overcome the situation more quickly.
Treating employees like subordinates
As the leader, you hold more power than your employees, but learn to work with your employees, rather than above them. After all, you are all after the same goal– at least, you should be. This creates unity among the team, which ultimately produces better results.
Failing to hear your employees
Your employees can offer new perspectives. Listen to their questions, comments, and concerns. Because you work with them, they deserve to have your attention and consideration, just as they give you theirs. When you do, you build loyalty among your team.
Making it all about yourself
You are working on a team with other individuals, so don’t forget to have the team’s best interest in mind, not yours. During decisions and meetings, put the team first, focusing on which moves will move your team closer to the shared goal.
Poorly running meetings
Meeting time is invaluable, so don’t waste it. Make an agenda with set times for each topic. Start and end on time. Hold respectful discussions. Focus on the task at hand. Meetings provide the unique opportunity of talking to your whole team at once, so effective meetings are undoubtedly vital to the success of the team.
You owe it to your team and employees to share vital business information with them. Withholding information to have an advantage over the people you work with creates distrust in the office. Your employees know when you are not being transparent. Even if the information is negative, when you tell your employees and team, you can come together to find solutions, and your employees will appreciate your honesty.
Leaders bear much of the work load in organizations, companies, and teams, but that doesn’t mean you need to work 24/7. Taking breaks, taking the weekends off, and getting a full night of sleep are all important both to your individual effectiveness and the success of the entire team.
Negativity is contagious. If you are angry or frustrated with an employee or situation, take a step back to gather yourself before reacting. Remaining positive in the face of a challenge displays perseverance and optimism, both important characteristics of effective leaders.