Do you fear what your coworkers think about you? Maybe you strive to be the cool guy who earns the approval of others but end up shirking responsibility in the process? Or perhaps you are very cut and dry about the plan of action that needs to take place and forget to consider your teammates along the way?
Becoming a likeable yet professional leader is not something that happens overnight. We all have to take a few steps back and evaluate our own personality and the different personalities of our team in order to paint a clear picture of the greater dynamic in which we are working. A leader must take initiative and get the ball rolling on whatever project is at hand, but there has to be a certain finesse about the way that he or she leads. The team needs to know that the leader is in charge, but no one wants to have that sense of authority rubbed in their face. Rather, the leader must find a way to create an atmosphere that draws the team in and makes them want to follow.
These tips to becoming a solid and admired leader will help you to gain the respect of your fellow coworkers and achieve greater results due to the rapport that follows.
Set clear boundaries… Just as in any group, whether personal or business, there needs to be an established set of boundaries. That doesn’t necessarily mean that rules and policies have to be plastered obnoxiously on the walls. Rather, it means establishing a proper and professional process of interaction and leading by example in how fellow team members are treated. As the meeting is called to order around the conference table, and all of the wildly different ideas are thrown out regarding the next big project, a likeable leader must navigate the situation. Everyone must feel heard and validated in their opinion, yet the leader must firmly steer the project in the appropriate direction and go with the ideas that are the best fit while respectfully shutting down any negative feedback.
Be consistent… A strong leader cannot be a gabbing gossip one minute and a hard-nosed dictator the next. He or she cannot be laid back about deadlines one week and then hammer down with zero tolerance the next. There needs to be a consistency in the leadership pattern so that team members know what to expect and can order themselves accordingly. Even on the days when you’ve got way too much going on and are tempted to fold, you will see the most efficiency if you maintain the same expectations and set a consistent pace.
Remain humble… A good leader doesn’t take the credit for all of the hard work that is generated from the whole department. A good leader doesn’t downplay the hours of persistent effort and talent that his or her team members have poured out in order to receive the praise and reward. A likeable leader stands proud of the accomplishments that he or she has spearheaded yet remains humbly aware that there were many hands and minds involved in this victory.