Leadership can be tough, and definitely requires practice and skill. It is clear, however, that some people possess leadership skills more naturally than others. What might be surprising to learn, however, is that people who are “natural leaders” don’t generally use fancy tactics. Their approach is generally a simple one. They give what they want to get.
To give what you want to get simply points back to the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. (or another version treat people the way they want to be treated). Here are four specific areas where great leaders practice this rule with the people with whom they interact.
1. Listening – If you want people to listen to you; listen to them. Your employees will know you’ve listened to them when you can stop what you’re doing, give them your focused attention, and provide them feedback. Be sure to act on their requests whenever they make sense to implement. When you can’t, give them specific reasons why.
2. Respect – The people who are most respected by others are those who give respect. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your higher position should guarantee you respect from others. Everyone has to earn respect. The best way to do so is to show it. Treat everyone the way you would treat a CEO.
3. Work Ethic – Employers appreciate hard workers. Most employers wish they had more people who worked hard. If your employees see that you work hard, they are more likely to do so without complaint. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Pitch in and help at all levels of the organization when you have the opportunity. In addition to improving the work ethic in your team, you will also get a better understanding of what employees at all levels go through on a daily basis. This knowledge will be very valuable when it comes to making decisions about your organization.
4. Fairness – Don’t impose something on your employees that you wouldn’t want to put up with from your employer. Have clear and fair rules on paper with regard to behavior expectations. Then, abide by those rules yourself, and enforce these consistently within the workforce.
When you walk the same walk you expect from your employees, it is easy for them to respect you. Think first and foremost about how you would feel in their shoes, and then behave accordingly. You’ll be amazed at how you’ll begin to get the respect and appreciation you desire as an employer