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What Makes Effective Workplace Leadership?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 18 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Workplace Leadership Manage Effective

The workplace is one environment where effective leadership is incredibly important. It can mean the difference between success or failure for the company, growth or loss for the business and satisfaction or general discontent among the employees.

Effective leadership in the workplace is about much more than just management: assigning tasks, setting work directions and establishing financial goals.

It is a comprehensive responsibility which involves inspiring and motivating, giving confidence and encouragement, while also providing authority and constructive feedback. managing relationships – and of course, ensuring that all employees understand and share the organisation’s long-term mission and goals.

Know Thyself…

One of the key steps to becoming an effective leader in the workplace is reviewing your own leadership style and becoming more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • What leadership style do I have?
  • Does my leadership style impact negatively on employees within the company?
  • Do the decisions I make benefit the whole team or only a few?
  • Does what I say as a leader match up with what I ask my team members to do?

Leading by example is one of the most important factors in becoming an effective workplace leader. How you conduct yourself as a leader will send out constant messages to your followers – for example, if you come to work only to sit in an executive office, shut away from your team by a closed door and a closed mind, then your followers will be getting the message that you can’t be bothered about them or their concerns.

Conversely, if you are familiar with your employees daily responsibilities and concerns and show that you recognise that each of them play an important part in the overall functioning of the organisation, then this sends out the message that everyone on the team is valued.

In particular, leaders in workplace environments should take time to explore the reasons behind any production or employee problems and be honest about whether any issues cropping up could be due problems at the top.

Attributes of an Effective Workplace Leader

Most effective leaders in the workplace share several attributes in common which ensure that they are successful in their leadership roles. Naturally, these different attributes may be more important in different work situations and with different groups of people but a core group of traits and characteristics is seen again and again in effective leaders across different workplace scenarios:

  • Team-building skills – recognition and acknowledgement are two of the most powerful motivators in human behaviour; a leader who gives credit where it is due, shares it around the team and rewards followers for their contribution will build a more cohesive and successful team.
  • Flexible leadership style – an effective leader is one who can adapt their leadership style to suit different scenarios and different groups of people.
  • Courage and determination – effective workplace leaders have the confidence to stand behind what they believe in and the drive to inspire their team to overcome challenges.
  • Open Mind – effective leaders take risks; they are not afraid of innovative ideas which challenge the status quo and welcome these from their team.
  • Integrity – leadership cannot succeed without trust and respect and these two can only be given when a leader shows great integrity and ethics.
  • Good communication skills – probably the most important trait of all, as without the ability to communicate well, all the other traits might well be useless. An effective leader will not only express himself/herself clearly and persuasively but will also be a good listener.

Effective leadership in the workplace is more important than many people realise. For many employees, good leadership within their company can be more important than financial benefits – in fact, people are willing to leave a company and good benefits, for the lack of good leadership.

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How do you deal with supervisors who micro-manage the workplace? How do you communicate the proper division of labor and workplace etiquette to a supervisor more experienced than you without dire consequences
azula - 18-Dec-12 @ 9:36 AM
Leading from the front is always effective, and being highly involved can help motivate others. That doesn’t mean doing their jobs for them, but helping and encouraging them, and always praising when they do well. If you have criticisms or need to discipline, do it in private, and gently, and certainly never in public. People will respectyou for all these actions.
Chris - 10-Oct-12 @ 11:47 AM
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