How to Improve Leadership in Organisations

“Our manager flits in and out, never staying around long enough to listen or help.”

If your people can say this about you, you need to change your ways. They’re saying that you’re failing to deliver what they need from you - that’s leadership.

Nowadays, leading people well trumps expertly managing tasks. A new leadership style and practices are needed for business success – distributed, inclusive and collaborative leadership that invites and supports the team to participate in decisions, planning and actions – leading to better individual, team and business results.

We’ve put together five practical tips to help you step up and step out better leadership practices.

1. Get to know your people, and help them to know you.

What goes on in the lives of your people comes to work with them, motivates them and shapes their productivity; the same goes for you. Take time to know and understand your people; be authentic and act with empathy; share some of yourself with them. Demonstrate integrity, even when things aren’t going well.

2. Ask the right questions.

Arm yourself with questions that enact inclusion; get to the heart of issues by being direct; invite on-the-money responses. “What can I do to help?” “What do you think about this?” “How would you feel about …?” “What do you need?”

3. Listen, listen, listen.

Build an active listening habit; be present and attentive to your people; summarise back to ensure you’ve heard correctly; make it clear to your people through your subsequent actions that you’ve taken on board what they’ve said.

4. Become self-aware.

Know yourself and understand that you’re a work-in-progress. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. To resolve doubt, ask for feedback – from your leader, your colleagues and your team. Take more account of their perceptions about you than of your self-rating. Embrace and act on their truth – warts and all.

5. Develop yourself.

Be the advocate and agent of your own practice change. Work to improve the dimensions that are almost there. Unless you have a fatal leadership flaw, there is little to gain from working on your weaknesses – work around them instead.

Article written by Kyran Newell, Director