New ways to become a more inspirational leader
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Every manager's goal is to spur his or her team members to do their very best work — and a truly great leader does this through example.
The best way to do it? Understand which attributes make a leader truly inspirational, and cultivate these positive traits within yourself.
To make this task easier, use the following fresh, research-based tips for strengthening your leadership abilities easily and effectively.
Show your goodness.
Researchers from the University of Sussex in the U.K. found that managers who demonstrate strong personal morals, clearly and fairly communicate their vision for work to each of their team members the same way, and demonstrate a genuine commitment to company stakeholders are greatly admired by their employees.
As a result, employees are more likely to be happier and more productive themselves, and willing to go the extra mile for the manager they so respected. A positive, non-cynical outlook is rare in the business world these days, but can be highly influential.
Research from the University of Vaasa in Finland found that a manager who operates in an exploratory way when it comes to problem-solving can have a powerfully positive effect on their whole team.
In doing your own work, allow your employees to see that you're utilizing creative intellectual techniques. For example, question your own actions to see if you can find a better solution.
Also, don't overly criticize your employees' mistakes, but use them as a jumping-off point to brainstorm new, out-of-the-box solutions. Allow yourself to be spontaneous and intuitive when it comes to tackling a project, as well as extroverted as you communicate ideas.
Lower the pitch of your voice.
According to data analyzed by Florida Atlantic University researchers, candidates were most likely to win in an election if their vocal tone was deeper, as this sound is perceived as the hallmark of integrity and strong leadership.
Of course, true leadership qualities go a lot deeper than how your voice sounds. This is also not to say you should adopt an unnatural voice if it doesn't suit you, which would be disingenuous.
Still, every leader can benefit from perfecting a calm, clear, authentically professional speaking style — and a lower tone can make you sound more in control of your emotions.
Tape yourself reading a paragraph from the newspaper, then play back the tape and analyze how you sound. Do you speak too quickly? Does your voice get high-pitched if you feel a little nervous?
Practice speaking in a deliberate, slightly lower pitch, and carefully enunciate your words; record yourself and listen until you hear a sense of calm authority in your tone that feels comfortable to you. That's the professional speaking style that's right for you.
Share your power.
Fully involve your team makers in decision-making, and let them know you completely trust their competency when they're working independently from you.
Chinese researchers say that demonstrating your desire to include your team in facilitating important aspects of your organization's forward trajectory helps motivate them to do their best job for you and the company consistently.
A study from Norway found that a leader who is openly and constructively critical of his/her own performance when necessary, plus who shares credit for a job well-done with his/her team, will earn that team's loyalty and help the team be more proactive in the face of future challenges.
It all comes to down to self-insight: know yourself, and let your team see how you successfully deal with both victories and setbacks. A combination of competency and humanity will inspire those around you every single workday.
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