Leaders can come in all shapes in sizes. Typically, they can be the Type A personalities. The go-getters. The ones with thoughts, ideas and opinions and who aren’t afraid to express them. But, one thing that can stand out among leaders is that they can be overbearing on a group of people they are working with, which can become counter-productive and result in inefficiencies that can often be avoided.
Here are just a few tips on how to be an effective leader without being overbearing.
Play to Your Strengths. In a world that has told us to identify what are weaknesses are so that you can improve on them, it’s difficult to sometimes focus on your strengths. When leaders have no idea what their strengths are, there is no way for them to be as effective as they can be, because they have no way to maximize on those strengths to the everyone’s benefit. So, take the time to figure out what your strengths are and use them to your advantage!
Delegate Wisely. Along the same lines as identifying your strengths, if you do know your weak points, delegate these tasks to someone else that may share your weaknesses as their strengths. This doesn’t mean you delegate all of the nitty gritty tasks you (and nobody else) wants to do. This just means that once you’ve found what your strengths are weaknesses are, that you try and match up tasks that don’t fit within your strengths to those that can more effectively take on those tasks.
Engage People. Ask others questions and for their input . Just because people don’t speak up, doesn’t mean they don’t have ideas or things to add to the mix. There are all kinds of personality types out there and some personalities need to be engaged by others to get them involved. When people feel that they have a say-so in something or that they are being heard, they will feel more empowered within the team and the project as a whole and it then becomes everyone’s project, not just the leader’s project.
Listen. If you’re going to engage people in conversation and determine what others’ strengths are, you have to listen. Part of being a great leader is the ability to not just hear what people are saying, but actually take the time to listen. Two very different things. Acknowledge people. Make them feel like they are important and that they are being heard.
Be Flexible. Nobody likes a tyrant for a leader. It can’t be “My way or the highway.” Others will begin to resent you and will find it harder to feel motivated to get involved and help out. So, be willing to have some flexibility within your own plans and to adapt to changes when they may arise.
In 2011, the business world and how people interact overall has evolved over the years. While the top-down structure is necessary in some business models, many companies have switched to a more linear approach that has more of a team approach and allows every person an opportunity to step up to the plate.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Philadelphia and Allentown, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Philadelphia and Allentown. We would love to connect with you on Facebook as well.