While you may think of great leaders as distant figures that you admire and look up to, to be a great leader in your workplace, you need to be accessible to people.
Managing people is all about doing what you can to support the people who work for you, and you can become a better leader and manager with the steps below.
People frequently misunderstand what it takes to be a good manager. This starts when individuals are promoted into managerial positions because they are good at their job. This does not necessarily mean that they will be good managers, yet although management is a skill like any other, it is one that employers often do not take the time to cultivate.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may need to teach yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources, including books, that can help you better understand your role and how to improve. You may also be able to take training courses on leadership and management.
Know the Rules
Of course, having the soft skills you need to be a good leader doesn’t mean that you don’t need to understand the positions you are supervising. If you are managing a fleet, you need to ensure that your drivers follow the DOT hours of service rules. You can review a guide on this and other regulations to ensure that you remain in compliance.
While you cannot change compliance regulations, inhouse rules may be more flexible, and fully understanding them and their impact on your employees also means that you can push for changes in them if necessary.
Be an Advocate
Too often, people understand a managerial role as an adversarial one, but you should be thinking in terms of collaboration instead. A big part of your role should be putting away your ego and acting as an advocate for the people who work for you. Sometimes, this can mean protecting your team from higher-ups or other departments.
Other times, it can mean advocating for your team to get the resources they need to do their work. In addition, you should focus on professional development opportunities for individuals within your team. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to build on the former and improve on the latter.
When you think of a leader, you may think of someone with excellent charisma. These people are usually great communicators. Having good verbal and written communication skills is vital to your success in this role, but it’s also essential that the communication flows in both directions. Your team should feel free to speak up and criticize your ideas if they have issues with them.
Of course, ultimately, you will be the final judge of how to proceed in any situation, and you will not always be able to give your employees what they want, but it is vital to make them feel listened to. In addition, your staff can provide you with a valuable perspective that can allow you to make better overall decisions.