A leader is not necessarily an elected representative or boss. He can lead by example, offer advice and guidance in everyday life, at school and at work. A position, unlike actions and personal qualities, does not make a person a leader at all. If you really want to become a leader, then strive to develop personal skills, look for the golden mean between power and compassion, and demonstrate that you are trustworthy of other team members.
Develop leadership skills
Be confident, even if you don’t know all the answers
Watch your posture, maintain eye contact, and gesticulate during a speech to highlight key points. Express confidence and believe in your ability to get the team from point A to point B. Also, don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something, but don’t lose faith in yourself.
Imagine you say, “I don’t know,” looking at the floor and nervously breaking your hands. Now imagine you’re saying, “I don’t know the answer, but I’ll look into it in detail,” but you’re standing straight and looking into the eyes of the person you’re talking to.
The lack of an answer to some questions does not make you a bad leader. On the other hand, all ineffective leaders feel uncertainty and are afraid to admit they’re wrong.
Consider that from self-confidence to presumptuousness is one step. Admit that you cannot know everything in the world, and also do not behave arrogantly. A man cannot know everything. For example, if you do not know how to write an essay just find a way out and advise a colleague’s service for writing an essay.
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Keep studying your field of activity
Take every opportunity to add to your knowledge in every position from sales manager to school club president. When it comes to knowledge, you’ll always have confidence in yourself and earn the trust of your colleagues. It’s impossible to know everything, but your abilities will be compromised if you answer “I don’t know” to every question.
Worse yet, if you don’t answer, you’ll start to twist and come up with something to justify yourself. So you’re wrong and you risk losing your trust.
So, if you want to hold an event at school and raise money for charity, first check the guidelines on the fundraising organization’s website.
If you are leading a project team, then study every aspect of the products that your team has created, attend refresher courses, and keep an eye on technology development.
Find a more experienced mentor
There’s no limit to perfection, even if you hold a higher position. Address a person with strong leadership skills that you admire. Suggest a cup of coffee or ask to become your regular mentor.
Look for role models that have coped with similar challenges and have achieved similar goals. For example, if you are a high school or college student, attend events that are led by women with leadership experience.
The prospect of asking someone to be your mentor is daunting, but try to relax. Start talking to the right candidate, take an interest in their accomplishments, and seek their advice from time to time.
Find the opportunity to learn from the best minds, but remember to pass on your experience to younger colleagues.
Learn to resolve conflicts
If there are sharp disagreements between your team members, tell them to get a grip. Invite your colleagues to cool down a bit, if necessary. Determine the cause of the conflict and strive to find a workable solution that will suit everyone.
Try to understand each side’s point of view and maintain objectivity. If there is no mutually beneficial solution, try to find a compromise.
Let’s say you run a factory and a misprint in the drawings led to a cancellation of the order. The salesperson is angry because he lost his commission. He yells at the developer who made the mistake. Tell both of them to calm down and stress that there’s no room for such emotions at work. Convince your employees that the dual control system will help avoid such problems.
In a work environment, you may need the help of a Human Resources employee to resolve such a conflict.
Become an effective leader
Be decisive, but kind. As a leader, you will need to establish clear rules and limits. The team can turn away from you if you do not learn how to combine compassion and power.
If you need to enter a rule, then explain the importance of such a rule. Instead of shouting, “Don’t translate the paper,” say, “Please print only the information you need. The cost of consumables has increased and has a strong impact on the bottom line.
Act decisively instead of always having doubts
It is important to defend your decisions, but not to become a despot. Gather information, listen to different opinions, and take time to discuss them. If time is up, it is time to make a firm decision.
Let’s say you and your friends are arguing about what to do tonight. Everyone offers something different and rejects other people’s ideas. Then one of you gets up and says, “Guys, we’re gonna do the next one tonight.” He saw that the situation required intervention and took responsibility.
Sometimes you have to make your own decisions, and sometimes you have to listen to other people’s opinions. Ask yourself: “Is a single decision against morality? Does the decision need to be made right now, or is there time to discuss the issue?
Be flexible and learn to change your mind when new information becomes available.
Delegate authority and assign roles clearly
A leader does not try to control any little thing or do everything himself. When tasks need to be handed out, be clear about what is required, and make the necessary preparations. A task is much easier to entrust to other colleagues if they aim to succeed.
An example of clear requirements: “By the end of the week, specifications must be drawn up for at least five installation projects”. Unclear requirements: “Several specifications must be drawn up”.
If you need to train a person, carry out the task yourself, and explain each step as an example. Then observe the contractor and gently correct in case of an error.
Earn the trust of your team
Treat the team with respect
Show sincere compassion, as people always distinguish true care from playing in public. Learn to listen to opinions, praise employees for their hard work, and never sink to rough comments. You are the one who sets the tone within the team, so be a role model.
Respect has nothing to do with trying to indulge all the whims of colleagues. You lead and know what’s best for the team.
If a person disagrees with you, listen to counter-arguments and review the decision. If their suggestions are inappropriate, say you respect the opinion, but do otherwise.
Keep your promises
No one respects people who break promises. Even the most charismatic and knowledgeable leader will get a “black mark” if he does not keep his word.
Never make unfulfilled promises. Try to think soberly and make sure you can keep your word.
For example, don’t promise a raise if you’re not sure it’s possible. Do not promise new equipment to the school team if you have not even discussed it with the principal or administrator yet.
People may feel fear of the leader and not share constructive criticisms with you. Don’t wait for someone to talk. Ask clear questions about how you can improve your effectiveness.
The question should not imply a single-complex answer. Ask specific questions like: “What do you think I need to do to become a more effective leader?” – and, “How do we better build communication to avoid misunderstandings?”
Answer for your actions
Defend your decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. If you caused the problem, don’t shift the blame on others and try to hide your mistakes.
Picture yourself as a ship’s captain. His fate is in your hands, so turn the helm in the right direction.
A good leader does not lower his hand if the situation does not go according to plan. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Draw lessons from failures.
Your appearance may inspire confidence, but you have to distinguish between the desire to impress and the right outfit. If you dress too lavishly, the clothes can be a stumbling block between you and your subordinates.
For example, if you are the manager of an ordinary cafe, you do not need to wear a suit with a tie, otherwise, you risk losing visitors and turn the staff against you.
If you’re a high school president, it’s better to come to meetings in an ironed shirt with buttons fastened, rather than wearing worn jeans and a wrinkled T-shirt.