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Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader

Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader
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Since starting my journey at age 17 I’ve been lucky to gain a variety of valuable skills and knowledge. My time earning an engineering degree as well as my time leading StarInfranet has allowed me to grow as an entrepreneur as well as a person. My goal with these articles on LifeHack is to give people a solid base of knowledge on which to grow from. I’m very thankful for my accomplishments and share this information because I believe everyone can achieve the same.

Successful leaders are always looking for ways to improve. It’s important to open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences in the fast paced world we live in. As a leader your attitudes, your focus and values will be under close watch. The people you are leading will take action based on the qualities you show most often.

This article will cover some leadership qualities that will help you become a more effective leader. These qualities will improve how you communicate with your team as well as help you develop a clear focus that sets the tone for your team. Whether you are a business professional, entrepreneur or even a parent, you’ll find these leadership qualities useful to your growth as a leader.

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1. Be receptive to feedback

Feedback is a powerful communication tool. A lot of unsuccessful leaders despise feedback and despite cries for improvement, they just don’t want to hear about it. They just want to do things their way and have everyone follow them. Of course this approach doesn’t work if you want long-term success and a healthy work environment.

As a leader you should encourage feedback but only if you are truly going to use it. There’s no point in encouraging feedback just to appear to be a good leader and then doing nothing about it. Feedback needs to be absorbed, analyzed and transferred into tangible changes. When your employees can see that you make use of feedback then they’ll see that you truly listen to them and will be more willing to follow you.

2. Results focused

One of the less celebrated qualities of good leadership is being focused on results. Leaders that are laser focused on getting tangible things accomplished are more wiling to stretch themselves to achieve the desire results. Some poor managers do the opposite and sandbag a goal by adding tasks, switching deadlines and other delaying tactics so that they don’t run the risk of failure.

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When you’re focused on results as a leader, your focus spreads to the rest of your team. Having a collective of individuals on the same path should be one of your goals a leader. You can achieve this by showing your team your intense focus when it comes to getting concrete things done.

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    3. Know your team

    Structuring your team and allocating your resources properly is especially important in growing companies. Simple tasks such as meetings can get out of hand quickly without proper structure and organization. It’s important that everyone knows their role and how to prepare so that everything can run well.

    As a leader it’s important to know your team and put them in positions where they can make use of their natural strengths. You don’t want a highly analytical, introverted employee working in customer service for example. If your company is growing then you need to remember that nothing will stay the same for long, you will always need to be evolving in order to stay current. Get your team to embrace change by setting the tone that things will always be changing if there’s a chance for improvement.

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    4. Reward your team

    Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their work. A reward doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, sometimes a simple thank you will boost an employee’s confidence. When you reward your team they’re willing to work harder for you. Rewarding them shows your employees that you take their work seriously and that you appreciate quality results.

    Part of rewarding your team is listening to them and showing that you value their opinions. When people feel that their voices are being heard they are more receptive to feedback and more willing to work harder because they feel appreciated.

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      5. Flexibility

      Flexibility is a great leadership trait to have. It’s important not to be perceived as the type of leader where everything is set in stone. When you look at the reality of most situations, everything is not final and most things depend on context. Having a reputation as a flexible manager makes your employees more willing to share their thoughts with you, make suggestions and find new ways to do old tasks.

      6. Be decisive

      This may seem contradictory to being flexible but being decisive is an important quality for a leader. If you take in feedback and suggestions from your employees and then make a definitive decision, they’ll have strong confidence in your decision.

      boss-versus-leader

        Being decisive helps to set the tone and give direction to your team. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind but when you do it all the time, your employees have a decreased sense of urgency when they hear about new decisions that you’ve made. Being decisive keeps everyone on point and they know your decision isn’t something that you came to easily.

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        Communication is key while improving yourself as a leader. Sometimes the best step you can take is to just listen to your team and look for areas to improve on. A successful leader is confident, decisive, focused and still able to make people feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Remember, as a leader you want to bring the best out of people, so they can put forth their best in the job. Try and include the qualities discussed in this article in your leadership decision-making processes.

        Featured photo credit: Creative Teamwork via flickr.com

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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