When you’re promoted to a management position, it will be up to you to determine how you’ll approach that position. You certainly don’t have to step outside the role of manager, but, if you want your subordinates to excel, it’s going to take some extra effort on your part. If you envision becoming more of a leader and cultivating a strong team, these suggestions may help.
Emphasize Strengths, Not Weaknesses
One major difference between a manager and a leader is in how they respond to each individual’s job performance. Managers tend to focus on weaknesses and draw more attention to what each employee is doing wrong, while leaders take the opposite approach. By focusing on strengths and encouraging the development of each individual’s strongest skills, a leader can build up each subordinate’s confidence. This is apt to improve overall performance and strengthen the team as a whole.
Accepting Responsibility Sets a Good Example
Show your team that everyone in the organization is accountable for their actions. You can best do this by taking the heat for errors instead of looking for ways to pass the blame onto the team. When they see you admit fault, they will be more likely to do the same. Over time, that will create an atmosphere of openness and honesty, which will encourage the team to look for ways to eliminate future mistakes. This will improve how they function together.
Listen to Your Team
Another way to improve your leadership skills and simultaneously improve the performance of your team is by listening to each individual’s feedback. By encouraging your team members to share their thoughts and ideas, they will feel more involved in the organization and in your department. This sense of belonging won’t just improve job performance. It will also bring new ideas to light that may end up improving efficiency.
Make Firm Decisions
While it’s good to create an atmosphere of openness, you also need to establish yourself as the leader. After the team has offered their input, it will be up to you to make the decision. Although your decision should be firm, you should remain open enough to adjust the plan as events unfold. By showing that you can make firm decisions and yet remain flexible enough to react to changing events, you’ll set an example that your team can respect and seek to emulate.
In the end, it will be up to you to decide whether you want to be a manager or a leader. You may even decide to take the qualities of both styles to create your own approach. Whatever you decide, it’s important to recognize your team will mirror your style.