Leadership and management is a practice of good communication. You become a leader by creating and managing a team that backs you up and gives you the support you need in order to become successful. However, if you cannot effectively communicate, you will not be able to keep your team engrossed enough in projects to see it through until you achieve what you set your eyes on.
Be a person with integrity. Earning trust is difficult; but a leader will have the right values that will steer him or her to a life lived with integrity. People have an easier time listening and following a person they can put their trust in. Be careful and smart in making decisions, acting, and thinking.
Do not be afraid of getting personal. Let your people get to know you better and you should also get to know what they are all about. It might take time but I tell you, it is worth it. People tend to react in a more positive manner if they feel that they know the person they are talking to. When you talk to a small group of people, always find the time to let your eyes rest on each of their faces and eyes. If you can, call them by their first names. Make them feel that they are individuals who are integral parts of your success and not just a bunch of people you need to order and boss around.
Plan what ideas you want them to remember. At the start of a discussion, set your objectives clearly and have a plan of action prepared. A strong and well-thought out idea leaves an impression on people. This may be the catalyst to have them spring into action with passion and inspiration that can never be matched by a group that only do something because it is what is expected of them. Additionally, keep your mind open to bright ideas that they might have and cultivate them too.
Be aware. Lots of managers experience problems in the office because of defective communication; they succeed in talking, but then fail miserably in listening and observing. Part of being an effective communicator is knowing when to stop talking and start listening. Part of it is also being observant of their audience – their movements, their moods, and even the way they reply in the discussion.
Finally, learn how to “work a room.” Think of yourself as a performer who needs to keep your audience engaged and entertained. You need to learn how to speak to a lot of people but at the same time, speak as if you are talking to only one person. This level of familiarity, if achieved, will greatly increase the impact of the ideas you are sharing.
As a self-professed “manager from hell,” Steve Caldwell learned through the hard knocks of making mistakes while building a career. Today he serves as a leadership coach, mentor and role model guiding high achieving managers to become the strong leaders their companies, employees and the world needs. He is also author of the book Manager Mojo – Be the Leader that Others Want to Follow (available on Amazon).
“In all arenas, we suffer from a lack of leadership talent,” Steve observes. “Every day employees are promoted into management with no training or support to guide their development into leadership positions. You don’t have to be born to lead. You can learn to lead.” He can be reached by email at Steve@ManagerMojo.com or by phone at (415) 670*9543.