If you always talk about “I” or “Me” doing something or achieving something – you’re leaving out the people who matter. Your team deserve to be recognized for their efforts, sharing a vision means sharing the rewards too. Great leaders acknowledge the contribution of the people who got them there. Start using “We”.
Paint an Inspirational Picture Together
Take the time out to talk to those around you about your vision. Be both specific and detailed, give people a reason to want to share in that future. Most importantly offer them an opportunity to shape that future – don’t just talk, listen. Invite feedback and input and let your team take ownership of their destiny.
Succeed in Advance
One of the simplest ways to make things easier for your team – is to act like you’ve succeeded before you’ve begun. New tasks can be daunting and the unfamiliar can be scary. If you send the message of 100% trust and belief in your team – they’ll believe in themselves too.
What does that mean? It means “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk”. People respect leaders who actually embody their message. There’s no use driving your team to be punctual if you’re going to waltz into the office an hour late with a cup of coffee in your hand. If you want people to do as you say, you’ll have to start by doing it too.
In true Alice in Wonderland style; “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” That means clarity and honesty in your speech. This serves two purposes. The first is to enable your team to understand your instructions. The second is for them to have faith in those instructions.
Try not to Assume
It’s easy to get carried away with power. Leaders don’t forget that the people who work for and with them have schedules and workloads. By asking if something can be done, rather than assuming it can be – you give someone the opportunity to highlight any issues that might get in the way of delivering.
Two-way communication makes an order into a request. People like to help. They really don’t like to be told what to do.
Leadership requires communication that inspires and brings people with you willingly. Simple changes to the way you act and speak can bring enormous benefits to you. Many new leaders actively seek coaching (and mentoring) in order to develop these skills. Working through new challenges supported by someone who understands where you are in your career is a great way to rapidly develop your skills to lead.