Leadership Development

For the month of September I thought I would make it “Ten Tips Month.”   I will share with our readers ten tips to enhance team building ideas, customer service skills, leadership development and sales coaching skills.  Some of these tips may be new ideas to you and others may be reminders of the importance of the things you are already doing.  As I say in my workshops “We all know things, what is most important is what we do with what we know.”

Leadership Development

leadership development - change, communications, personal growth, inspirationThere many books, articles and programs on being an effective leader.  I think that this is an area where most of us have growth opportunities.  We are all leaders in our own lives and the following tips on effective leadership can apply in both personal and business situations.

1)      Be the Change  – it is very important to walk your talk and model the attitudes and behaviors you want to inspire and have demonstrated in others.  Be true to your vision/mission.

2)      Listen more – the greatest gift you can give to anyone is the gift of listening.  Giving someone the experience of being heard is a very powerful way to build rapport and respect.

3)      Clear Communication– the ability to clearly communicate your message is paramount to being a successful leader.  One needs to ensure their message is understood.  I often think about the number of mistakes that could be prevented if all of us were more careful with our communication and taking responsibility that the listener has understood us.

4)      Can-Do Attitude – having a positive attitude is much more than thinking positive thoughts.  (although that is extremely important) It also important to consistently communicate what you want versus what you don’t want.  Often people focus on what is missing or what they can’t do.  Focusing more on what you can do is very important and can yield surprising results.

5)      Know yourself – we all have our areas of strengths and areas for improvement.  Take the time to understand yourself and learn the most effective ways of doing things and look at effective ways to manage those areas that you are less proficient in.

6)      Inspire others – we all have leaders that inspire us.  Ask yourself.  “What is it about that person that touches me?”  Then look at ways to develop those attributes in yourself so you can also inspire others.  Most people are inspired by leaders that are authentic.

7)      Open to new ideas – sometimes we can get stuck in a rut in our thinking or our actions.  Often we can stretch ourselves more when we are open to new ideas that may take us out of our comfort zones.

8)      Give regular feedback – letting people know how they are doing is very critical to encouraging employees to continue more with what is working and change what is not.  I frequently hear that the supervisor/manager doesn’t provide any feedback to an employee.  This can be one of the causes of an employee becoming disengaged.

9)      Have  fun – personally I think work should be fun.  As a leader if employees see you smiling, laughing and enjoying your job it can send a strong message that although everyone works hard, it is OK to have fun at work.

10)   Celebrate – publically celebrate and acknowledge the day to day victories of your employees.  I was recently in the lobby of a large organization waiting for an appointment and noticed a large TV screen on the wall.  A video was playing and it was acknowledging employees various contributions during the last month.  Big happy smiling faces on the screen communicated to me that this company looked like an engaging place to work.

By Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC