Communicating, listening, knowing how to interpret to make the best decisions… Leadership is something you have to work on. Here are five tips from professionals to help you increase your daily impact.
1. Set a course and communicate it
Above all, the leader must define a vision and sustainable principles that will guide his or her day-to-day actions. For example, a sales manager who leads a team will have to ask himself what his vision of the business is: should he focus more on listening to his customers or should he base himself solely on his offer and put it forward? It is crucial to have a clear vision to communicate it. Like Steve Jobs and his “think different” policy, this will give meaning to employees and inspire them.
2. Beware of perceptions to avoid misinterpretation
One of the exercises that I regularly practice with participants in training consists of taking an object like a painting, to bring out the difference between what we see, think and feel when we look at it. When we express what we think we see, it’s really what we interpret. In reality, we mix everything up. Conducted regularly, this exercise will allow you to think differently about your daily professional relationships and thus, use your sense of observation to be more vigilant in the face of interpretations.
3. Ask yourself the why and not the how: dare to be confident.
Trust is one of the most important characteristics of leadership. Confidence in oneself, but also in others. A leader who is too authoritarian will not delegate enough and will minimize the trust that his collaborators will have,” says Jon Smith, CEO of HireYourTalent. If a manager wonders how to do things, a leader wonders why it has to be done in order to release energy. He is there to break down obstacles, to shake up habits. Trusting and delegating will allow you to think more effectively about other issues.
4. Understand the importance of listening and put it into practice.
Be accessible, open to dialogue… For a leader, listening is more important than talking. To develop your listening skills, Jon Smith suggests a practical exercise that comprises closing your eyes for three minutes and concentrating on all the surrounding noises and then noting down the ones that remain in your memory. Objective: to be able to dissociate pleasant sounds from those that are not. When we listen, the brain intervenes and makes us interpret what we hear. This exercise in auditory perception helps to overcome this by increasing the brain’s ability to discern the hearing from actual perception.
5. Be proactive!
According to Jon Smith: “There are two ways to be recognized as a leader: either draw legitimacy from expertise in a field or in human management.” In other words, knowing how to motivate and manage like athletic coaches who have never been great professionals. In order to increase one’s status as a leader, only action takes precedence. Be proactive by initiating changes. This is an opportunity to set a good example and create a ripple effect around you.