Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

When it comes to discussing today’s job force and environment, people tend to focus on Millennials and the different ways in which they work. There is much conversation regarding work ethic, entitlement, and general opinions. But the truth is that the job force has undergone plenty of changes, one of which surrounds the idea of “The Boss.”

No longer is the man in charge an illusive figure-head in the corner office. In fact, the boss isn’t always a man. More so, the idea of giving orders and simply being the one who delegates has been replaced by a more collaborative approach – the idea of a Leader, rather than a Boss.

Video Summary

A true leader opens up communication with their members.

The idea of being able to collaborate with a leader and feel they truly have an “open door policy” is not just a hip thought, it’s a helpful one. Studies show that when employees voice their concerns freely, organizations see increased retention and stronger performance.[1]

Advertising

Unfortunately though, if people are working beneath a leader who induces fear of speaking out or working together, employees become afraid to speak up and instead find ways to justify their silence. This only makes things worse. Sure, HR exists to help employees speak up when they feel like they can’t, but if you’re encouraged to make suggestions anonymously, doesn’t that just enforce the idea that it isn’t safe to speak up openly?

If you happen to be the leader, you may be thinking you don’t fall into this category of scary bosses because your employees come to you; you are already serving as a cooperative leader and not a dictator. But the truth is that despite the issues your employees may come to you with, there may still be a handful they don’t feel comfortable bringing to you.

Instead of becoming the leader you want to be, be what your team needs.

Thankfully, there are ways to change your habits when it comes to being the leader your team needs you to be. And if you aren’t a manager or a boss, you can still try to find ways to incorporate these things into your daily actions to inspire your boss to follow suite.

Advertising

“Very few managers are leaders [2]. The difference between the two? A manager is someone who has people reporting to him. A leader is someone who people will follow, even if they don’t report to him. What separates the two is the trust and respect of his people.” – Ekaterina Walter

The following sections will highlight the behaviors needed to display to your team that you are truly a leader who wants to stand beside your team, not just give the commands.

Show your team you’re human.

It’s 100% okay to make mistakes. You’re only human. It’s 110% okay to admit to those mistakes when you realize them. When you admit you were wrong or that you are not satisfied with something you did, it doesn’t make you look weak, or like you aren’t worthy of your position in the company. In fact, it shows your team how strong you are and how much you trust them.

Advertising

“Build a team around you that complements you – and each other – in knowledge, skill sets, and capabilities. Don’t try to do everything. Let your team members drive certain projects and outcomes. That will make them feel valued and will make you look good. But always have their back when something doesn’t go according to plan.” – Ekaterina Walter [3]

Utilize each team member’s talent.

You hired everyone on your team because you knew they were the right fit for the job. This meant you accepted that they were capable and willing. If you want your team to trust you, then you need to trust them. When you’re trying to be one with your team, it can become difficult to delegate, because you don’t want them to think you’re being too bossy…but you are the boss.

Being a leader just means you have leadership traits and you’re respected and followed. It doesn’t mean you have to be the “cool boss” [4] who does all the work and lets the employees slack off.

Advertising

Be fair to everyone no matter what.

Every company has policy and procedures, and there’s a reason they are rules, not suggestions. Working as a team and respecting each other also means the employees respect the rules. Again, if you are leading by example, this will most likely not be an issue. But if you do notice someone foregoing the dress code or not arriving to work on time, don’t allow it to become a habit.

Separate friendship and professionalism.

When you are a leader rather than a boss, you may find yourself having casual conversations with your team. While this is excellent and helps to build trust, it’s important to know when to separate friendship and professionalism. If an employee does something wrong or something which negatively impacts the businesses, don’t assume you can approach them in front of the team simply because you all get along. Know when to have conversations behind closed doors.

Remember, your team needs you and you need your team too.

Even if you feel you already do everything you can to be respected and appreciated, sit back and truly reflect on whether that’s true. There is always room for improvement. After all, if you were perfect, you wouldn’t need that team of yours.

Reference

More by this author

Heather Poole

Technical writer

How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting Why Our Personal Values Matter More Than Ever Today

Trending in Leadership

1 How Teamwork in the Workplace Boosts Morale and Delivers Results 2 How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears 3 14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have 4 Become a Better Manager: 20 Leadership Examples to Inspire Your Team 5 What Top Leaders Get About the Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives.

Learn from these highly successful people’s personal development skills, turn these skills into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

2. Keep certain days clear

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

Advertising

This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

Advertising

7. Don’t try to do too much

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew.

Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else.

This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then.

Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Advertising

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

If you find yourself easily distracted and can’t focus, this method will help you overcome distractions.

Advertising

14. Never stop

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it.

Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next