Want To Become An Effective Leader? Here’s What You Need to Know

We often hear career coaches say that you should pick the boss and not the job. This is because the person you report to plays an integral role in shaping your professional career while impacting your growth and success at the job.

Being an effective manager can be a challenge and research shows that a majority of business owners cited being a boss as one of the toughest parts of starting a company. However, with the right set of qualities, you can motivate your employees to perform their best. Here are 20 ways to be an effective and likable boss.

Praise Your Employees

Pinterest/ Forbes
Pinterest/ Forbes

Many bosses often overlook this one but the most effective way to be a great boss is to praise your employees for a job well done. This recognition doesn’t always need to be a grand gesture, even a simple “good job James” can go a long way.

Studies show that one of the primary reasons that people are unhappy at their jobs is due to a lack of recognition in the workplace. When employees are praised for their work, they feel more valuable and are motivated to work for the greater good of the company.

Be More Transparent

Pinterest/ The Balance
Pinterest/ The Balance

This may be hard to believe but a majority of the employees in the U.S don’t have faith in their employers. The main reason for this culture of distrust in the organization is the lack of transparency between the boss and the employees.

Transparency is one of the most important qualities in a leader as it helps foster a strong bond between the manager and their employees. It involves communicating the vision and the goals of the company to the employees and keep them in the loop of what’s to come. Having this information will increase the employees’ trust in their employer.

Be Open To Feedback

Pinterest/ Decor Posts
Pinterest/ Decor Posts

While giving orders can be easy, it is also equally important to receive feedback from your employees. Many leaders find that they have just as much to learn from their employees as they have to teach them.

As a leader, you need to cultivate the skill of listening to your employees and take their feedback into consideration when implementing future decisions. When employees have their voices heard, they feel more valued by the organization.

Keep Meetings To A Minimum

Pinterest/ The Balance
Pinterest/ The Balance

Very often we hear employees say that the entire meeting could have just been an email. There is some truth to this as studies show that employees spend 37 percent of their time in meetings. While meetings are necessary to communicate your goals and priorities, too many meetings can result in wasted time.

Hence, effective leaders make sure that meetings are kept to a minimum and only the set agenda is discussed. If employees have any other concerns they need to voice, they can set up additional one-on-one meetings to discuss this. This gives employees more time to focus on their duties.

Be More Accessible

Pinterest/ Faculty Focus
Pinterest/ Faculty Focus

An effective leader delegates tasks to their subordinates but needs to be accessible at the same time. There are some bosses who build a fence around themselves and employees can only communicate with them through their assistants. This will demotivate employees as they cannot approach their boss with any problems directly.

A good manager should have an open-door policy so that employees can reach out to them on any issues. This makes the employee feel more important and are likely to perform much better when they are liked and respected by their bosses.

Delegate Effectively

Pinterest/Business News Daily
Pinterest/Business News Daily

One of the most important qualities of a good boss is to give your employees ownership over their own duties. In other words, managers need to let go and delegate tasks to their subordinates.

There are many benefits to delegating work, for one, it gives the manager more time to perform their duties and focus on the most important tasks. Secondly, when employees are given more responsibility, it gives them a sense of empowerment and the opportunity to gain new skills. They also understand how their job contributes to the organization as a whole.

Always Be Optimistic

Pinterest/ Clean Cut Page
Pinterest/ Clean Cut Page

It is natural for human beings to feed off the emotions of the people that surround you. Hence, as a boss, if you constantly exude angry vibes, it tends to create a negative environment in the organization. This is why it is important for managers to remain positive and optimistic at all times.

When you are upbeat about your work, you spread this positivity to your employees as well. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, you should work with your team to come up with creative solutions to overcome these obstacles. Happy employees are always more productive!

Show Compassion

Pinterest/ Entrepreneur
Pinterest/ Entrepreneur

Many bosses create a culture of fear among their employees but this always does more harm than good. Hence, an important characteristic of a good boss is to show you’re more compassionate and go the extra mile to make sure your employees are happy and satisfied with their work.

Instead of showing anger when something goes wrong, a compassionate boss will have a discussion with the employee on how they can improve on the issue at hand. They can even set deadlines to rectify the problem. This creates less animosity between the employer and the employee which results in a happy and motivated worker.

Stay Flexible

Pinterest/ Prime Tweets
Pinterest/ Prime Tweets

As a boss, it is important to value employees’ time and understand that they have a life outside of work. There can be instances when your employees may need to be elsewhere for personal reasons so you need to remain flexible and work with their schedules. Research shows that employees with flexible bosses are much happier at their jobs.

When you give your employees the liberty of remaining flexible, they tend to feel more valued which in turn makes them more committed to their jobs. When employees’ personal needs are not taken into consideration, it can result in a disgruntled employee.

Inspire Your Employees

Pinterest/ Forbes
Pinterest/ Forbes

For many employees, their job goes beyond just a paycheck. It is a way to find your purpose through your work as you gain new skills along the way. Hence a good leader reminds employees of why they do the work they do and keep them inspired and motivated at all times.

A great way for managers to inspire is to have one-on-one discussions with their employees every quarter and encourage them to reach for their goals and find their purpose. This sense of empowerment helps an employee remain passionate about the work they do.

Set Clear Expectations

Pinterest/ Parade
Pinterest/ Parade

One of the root causes of stress is a lack of understanding of what needs to be accomplished. As a leader, it is essential that you establish goals in the organization and let employees know what is expected of them. This helps them set goals that they can work towards.

In addition to this, if any employees have concerns or questions about their expectations, you can always schedule one-on-one meetings with them to clarify their goals. As the organization continues to grow, so do the expectations and leaders need to communicate these changes to the employees.

Provide Employees With Feedback

Pinterest/Monster
Pinterest/Monster

One of the major motivators for employees is to grow and learn new skills in their position. The best way to help your employees become more efficient in their work is to constantly provide feedback. In fact, many employees worry when they don’t receive feedback from their boss.

You don’t necessarily need to wait three months to provide feedback, rather communicate it when you find the need to. This way employees know how they are performing and if any changes need to be made on their part, it can be rectified immediately.

Always Be Interviewing

Pinterest/Monster
Pinterest/Monster

While this may not be the first thing every boss thinks of, it is essential to interview a constant string of candidates. If you are a manager of a growing company, chances are, you may need to hire for new positions in the future. If you have a set of qualified people, you don’t need to interview from scratch when hiring for a position.

Alternatively, if you are an established firm, it is always good to connect with other professionals in your field on LinkedIn or at networking events. This makes it easier to find qualified candidates when the need arises or even get candidate recommendations from your network.

Listen Before You Act

Pinterest/ Entrepreneur
Pinterest/ Entrepreneur

An effective quality that all leaders should possess is the ability to listen carefully before you make a decision. In any organization, there are likely to be conflicting issues among employees. As a leader, It is important to hear the perspective of multiple employees before you offer a solution to the problem.

This fosters a collaborative culture in the organization as employees have the courage to voice their opinions freely, knowing that their opinions will be taken into consideration. The leader is more engaged with the employees which makes them feel more a part of the team.

Learn How To Run A Meeting

Pinterest/ Inc Magazine
Pinterest/ Inc Magazine

As a leader of the organization, there’s no doubt that you are likely to be a part of numerous meetings each day. Hence, it is important that you learn how to run an effective meeting. An inefficient meeting can only waste time, which affects productivity.

One way to combat this is to set a strict agenda for every meeting and abide by it. If you find the discussion can be done via e-mail, you can cancel the meeting. Additionally, make sure that all the minutes of the meeting are recorded to avoid any future conflicts. Finally, make sure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinions and concerns during the meeting.

Don’t Micromanage Your Employees

Pinterest/ The Balance
Pinterest/ The Balance

One of the most ineffective ways to lead your employee is to micromanage them. As a new boss, it can be hard to delegate tasks but this can help your employees grow and learn. Once the job has been delegated it’s important to give the employee some space and assurance that they can come to you with any questions or concerns.

When employees are given the liberty to do their work at their own pace, it motivates them to perform better. On the other hand, a micromanaged employee will feel unimportant and demotivated.

Focus On Your Management Responsibilities

Pinterest/ Entrepreneur
Pinterest/ Entrepreneur

Many managers make the mistake of thinking of their management responsibilities and their work as the same thing. However, this is far from the truth as the management of employees is totally different from your day-to-day activities. Management is a skill that needs to be cultivated over time.

Hence, when working towards becoming an effective leader, it is important to focus on your management responsibilities and take time to find new and innovative ways to lead your employees. This can help you become versatile in your role as a manager.

Make The Company’s Mission Your Focus

Pinterest/ Inc Magazine
Pinterest/ Inc Magazine

Every company has a mission and a vision. This is an overarching goal that defines the company’s purpose and gives them something to work towards. The company’s vision is weaved into every aspect of the business and adds more meaning to day-to-day responsibilities.

As a leader, it is important to remind employees of the vision and mission of the company. Additionally, when delegating tasks to subordinates, you can find ways to connect the organization’s mission to their duties. This helps increase the employee’s dedication to their job.

Be Honest About Your Quirks

Pinterest/ The Muse
Pinterest/ The Muse

Seasoned managers know their leadership style and make it a point to communicate this to their employees before they begin working together. Employees can often hold misconceptions about a new boss and the best way to overcome this is to be honest and upfront about your quirks.

Every employee does well under a certain leadership style and as an effective leader, it is your duty to communicate your requirements to avoid any conflicts or miscommunication in the future. Your employees will value your honesty and will be more encouraged to work with you.

Let Go Of The Bad Apples

Pinterest/ Forbes
Pinterest/ Forbes

While a good manager encourages and motivates their employees, it also means knowing when a certain person is not a good fit for the position. Not every employee can perform their best in every position so it is important to identify where a candidate’s passions and interest lay during the hiring process.

In other cases when you find that an employee is not meeting their expectations, it is important to take action immediately. Sometimes an employee is just not a good fit for the position. If you run into this situation, you can assign them to a different team where they are able to put their skills to better use.