If You Want to Be A Great Leader You Need to Know These Two Things
There are countless leaders and people managers out there who have zero idea how to deal with people.
Often, businesses see someone doing their job fantastically well, and decide to promote them.
There are a whole long list of reasons why that doesn’t always work out so well, not least the fact that that person might not want to be a manager or in charge of anyone.
Maybe the reason they’re doing their job really well is because they like their job – they don’t want another one.
Another problem is that sometimes people like the idea of having a promotion or a particular role (and the pay rise to go with it) more than they like the reality of actually doing that job.
Usually this whole situation is made worse by the fact that managing people isn’t always easy.
It takes a lot of work, and businesses either don’t provide the right training, or don’t have the right support in place after that training is over to make those leaders great at what they do.
So here are a couple of things that, if you want to be a great leader, you really, really need to know.
#1. How To Disagree Without Conflict
As a leader or manager, you will sometimes have to pass on messages or implement strategies or processes that not all of your team are on board with.
Unfortunately, that’s part of the deal.
Management by consensus doesn’t get you anywhere, because people don’t agree on everything all the time.
So, it’s up to you to be the one who gets everyone on board.
And this means that not everyone will require the same reasoning.
People will want to know why something is happening, why something else isn’t happening, why this particular thing is happening in this way.
Do you know how to manage and field all of those questions and keep everyone happy without it taking up too much time and without it creating conflict?
Because that’s how a successful leader keeps their team on board and their authority intact.
It’s about knowing the right thing to say, when to say it, and how to change your communication between speaking to senior management and your team.
It’s your responsibility to understand everything well enough to portray it as many ways as your team need you to in order to help them understand it too.
You also need to be prepared that you may get to a point with an employee, or in a situation between two employees, where there’s just no agreement whatsoever.
Can you handle that and still acknowledge that there are differences of opinion without it becoming a full-out conflict?
Can you disagree and still be respectful AND still be respected?
As a leader, you don’t just have to be a master communicator, but also a master negotiator, firefighter, devil’s advocate, and motivator… which leads me to the second thing you need to know.
#2. How To Successfully Motivate Your People
An important myth to dispel: yelling at your staff until they reluctantly do something is not motivation. It’s yelling.
It’s not motivation because you’re not making them feel anything except maybe resentment towards you, which is not the sign of a good manager or leader.
What you want to do is truly motivate your staff, each and every one of them, in such a way that the strong desire to do good work and keep doing work has come from INSIDE them, ideally by way of something you’ve said to them or done for them.
The motivation exists within them, but it’s your job as a manager and leader to know how to create it and keep creating it.
It’s pretty common to think that if you offer everyone more pay or a bit of time off work for doing something really well, they’ll all jump at the chance.
Not the case.
Everyone is motivated by different things – and they’re not all motivated by moving towards something, either.
What does that mean?
It means that some people are more motivated by what they fear than what they desire.
So, some people are going to have a fire lit under them much quicker if they think they might lose their job than they would if they think they might get a raise.
There will be two sets of people: one who read that statement and think ‘well, of course’ and another who read it and think ‘that’s insane’.
Here’s the key to being a great manager and leader: knowing who in your team falls into which category.
It’s about knowing which person is motivated by what, and understanding how to coach them with that in mind, because a one-size-fits-all approach is a fast track to bad management.
(Side note: doing this successfully doesn’t mean threatening their job every week!)
There is a whole lot more to being a great leader, but you’d be surprised how often bad managers can’t do these two things well.
Great leaders go above and beyond; they understand people, they coach successfully, they encourage and motivate in the right way and they truly lead instead of just delegating.
But if you want to start understanding how to get the best out of your team, and how to know you’re doing a great job, these are two really important things to start working on.
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