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7 key lessons you can learn from business leaders
Whether you’re a junior member of the team or at management level, you will continue to learn about your role every day as it changes and evolves. A lot of this learning can be done on your own, however, if you want to progress quicker and be fast-tracked up the career ladder, it’s important to look to your leaders and learn from their actions. Not only will this encourage you to carry yourself like a leader but it should highlight differences between what good and bad management skills are.
Here are the top seven lessons we recommend you learn from business leaders:
1. How to motivate people
It can be hard to encourage a team member to adopt a ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude if they’ve already begun to feel demotivated at work. Watching your leaders, or considering past experiences with your manager or director that have made you feel motivated, can give you some insights into the right things to say to colleagues or direct reports.
Remember everybody is different and motivational factors can change week to week. Further, while one person may benefit from a ‘tough love’ approach, another might feel discouraged by this method and will require a ‘gently, gently’ discussion. Good leaders have taken the time to get to know their team members’ personalities and motivators, and how they each react to different occurrences at work. Adopting this when you become a manager can help you to develop a better managerial style. After all, a manger role is the responsibility of controlling or administering people.
2. Improve organisation skills
Organisational skills are key for most roles, and it’s important to learn what works for you from the outset so you can be as productive as possible in your day-to-day role. Business leaders, being the busiest or having the fullest plate amongst most staff, will have many tricks up their sleeves about how to remain organised. Not all of these will work for you but having a conversation with them about how they stay organised will surely teach you a thing or two about how to create and stick to your own schedule in the workplace.
3. Approach difficult conversations tactfully
Not many people enjoy having difficult conversations at work. However, it’s crucial you approach these conversations tactfully. Business leaders often adopt a diplomatic approach to difficult conversations and allow the individual to have their say. Talking through problems rather than dictating a change is more productive, and will allow you to build better rapport with your team members.
4. Say ‘no’ constructively
Business leaders often have to have discussions with external clients or third-party providers – it comes with the territory. However, sometimes a colleague or an external professional will request a task that isn’t possible to complete within the desired timeframe. Try responding tactfully, in a way that doesn’t cause upset. For instance, don’t simply respond with, “We can’t do this for you”. Instead say, “We will review our current workloads and priorities and come back to you next week with a proposal to move this task forward”. It’s a professional and respectful reply, compared to a blunt ‘no’. Leaders provide solutions to problems, if your team is unable to complete a task, recommend a second port of call.
5. Embrace change
Change can be unnerving at times particularly when it’s significant. But the responsibility falls on the leader to guide their team through any changes, whilst boosting productivity and ensuring everyone feels comfortable within their role. A great leader will welcome times of change as an opportunity for their team members to shine, as well display their creativity and resolve in the workplace.
6. Take and learn from criticism
Criticism can be difficult to hear, even when it is constructive. However, business leaders are often hear the most criticism at work because they’re ultimately held responsible for their performance and also the performance of their team. Learning from your mistakes and picking yourself up quickly will help you to develop through your career.
7. Treat people as individuals
It’s important to recognise every worker’s individuality; it’s these differences in people which drive businesses forward to develop innovative and forward-thinking ideas. It’s not only important to treat your team as individuals throughout their personal development but it’s crucial to make sure you are considering the different personalities and working styles of your employees. Do this and you’ll be able to get the best out of them throughout their career. Don’t do this, and you will find individuals don’t enjoy working for you.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity why not get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.