Are You the Best Leader You Can Be? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself
Are you a new manager? Or an old pro? Or somewhere in between? It really doesn’t matter because there’s always room for sharpening your edge as a leader.
Here are ten things you should ask yourself to determine if your leadership needs to be honed.
10 Leadership Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Do I treat my employees like friends or employees?
When it comes to employees, you may have once been a part of their team, but as a manager, you are a part of the management team.
This means you should not treat your employees as friends in an informal way. You can have fun with them, but maintain your leadership role and keep things professional.
2. Do I use situational leadership?
There is no cookie-cutter answer for dealing with people.
Employees need to be handled individually. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses, and your leadership should involve a tailor-made interaction with each of them. You will need to coach some people in one area, and other people may be strong in that area, and vice versa.
3. How well do I know my employees?
Do you know how many children your employees have? Do you know what their career goals are? Do you know what they do for fun?
Getting to know them on a personal level will make all the difference. Make sure you do this for all employees, so that there’s no favoritism. Take time to truly know them as people because it will build loyalty and trust.
4. Am I an active listener?
When employees come to you with a problem, whether it’s work-related or personal, do you truly listen? Or do you try to give advice without hearing the whole story?
Practice actively listening to your employees. This could be the most important attribute of a great leader.
5. Do I focus on the big picture?
Sometimes it’s hard for a leader, or manager, to step back from the daily tasks at hand.
Rather than trying to do a job for your employees, focus on their improvements and overall accomplishments. Sometimes the details of how a job gets done are not as important as the fact that it gets done. Your employees may have a different way of accomplishing a task that is even better than the original way they were taught.
6. Do I deal with problems right away?
Even if the former boss was used to ignoring issues in hopes they would disappear, your job as an effective leader requires you to deal with issues as they come up.
If there are performance issues, you need to address them with that employee and work on steps to improve.
7. Do I ask employees for their opinions?
Sometimes the best way to help an employee is to encourage them to take ownership of a situation.
If they constantly come to you with issues, ask them, “What do you think?” This is a great tool for an effective leader. Get the employees to think for themselves and provide solutions. Then, empower them to make some changes if it’s appropriate.
8. Do I spend time with other leaders?
As a manager, you will benefit from spending time with other managers.
These relationships are just as important as managing your employees. Take time to meet with other managers, whether in your building or a business network situation. Build friendships, and ask for advice. Give advice as well, if it’s requested.
9. Am I available?
Do I hide in my office, or am I accessible?
Be visible to employees, so they know you are around to help should they need it. It also allows employees to feel like they are a part of something larger and are important, and it builds morale.
10. Do I schedule individual meetings as well as group meetings?
We all have a busy schedule filled with things that need to get done right away.
But don’t forget that meeting with individuals is just as important as holding group meetings. Employees need to know how to improve, and they need to know what you expect of them. Meet one-on-one with them on a monthly basis if possible, or at least on a regular schedule, so they have a deadline to use as a guide for improvement.
No matter if you manage like a well-oiled machine or you need to tweak a few things, remember that no one is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. Being a good leader takes practice and is hard work.
A Better Leader
And being a leader in the business world takes practice and teamwork too.
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