01 Dec How can you become a better leader?
Whether you are leading a finance or any other sector team, this advice is for you! We recently wrote a guide on settling into a new job, but how can leaders make it easier? We have summarised five essential skills that can help you, as a leader, create a positive workplace atmosphere. Sounds interesting? Keep reading!
In an era that is more and more careful about mental health at work, emotional intelligence is one of your best tools to make your employees feel like you understand them. Emotional intelligence is about managing your emotions and understanding others’. This will help you lead your employees in the best way possible and react appropriately to what they are experiencing – helping them, providing advice, or even adapting their workloads.
Being self-aware is linked to having emotional intelligence as it comes down to being aware of how people perceive us. For example, reflecting on your behaviour at work, the problems you have to face, the stress it causes, your reactions towards them, and how you speak to people can massively improve your self-awareness. Asking others for feedback is also an excellent way to stay aware and connected to them as a leader.
Knowing how to communicate is an umbrella term for various skills like listening, empathy, patience, honesty or open-mindness. All of those can help your employees, and yourself be happy to go to work because of the atmosphere you have created. Being vulnerable also has a significant impact on how your employees perceive you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and have people notice them; everyone is learning every day, even their leader. Communicating this, for example, can relieve the pressure on your employees to be perfect.
Critical thinking goes hand in hand with problem-solving and helps you make the best decisions by assessing all the possibilities. By questioning how things are done, you will likely improve them, saving yourself and your employees time and energy. You can improve critical thinking by asking yourself: ‘is there a more efficient way to do this that we haven’t thought about?’ for example.
Finally, inclusiveness is slowly becoming one of the essential skills to have as a leader. Being inclusive means accepting everyone without bias, listening to everyone’s opinions and not only the ones who speak louder, and being empathic. It is also essential to discourage a work culture where several groups compete and try as much as possible to focus an equal amount of attention on each employee you are supervising.
How can you improve these skills?
- You can find a lot of conferences and podcasts on how to think more critically.
- You could, for instance, schedule 1-1 with your employees to check in on them.
- Organise events where all the employees come together and get to know each other.
- Reading books or watching documentaries on the topic can develop your emotional intelligence.