Although a tiger can't change his stripes, with practice a poor leader can become a great leader.
Employees that have a less than average boss will often resign themselves to the idea that their boss will never change, and consequently they become disengaged and bored with their work. It is critical in your workplace that you ensure that employees remain engaged and committed to their work, as if they don’t, it will affect the future growth of the organisation.
You may think that the task of turning a poor boss into a good boss is one that requires building them a whole new set of skills – however it is really just about developing and using the skills they already have.
Skills to change ‘stripes’ and become a good leader.
Although considered to be one of the most critically important skills of a leader, communication skills are the ones that are most easily changed. Research tells us that a leader who communicates with their team openly and regularly is seen as being more approachable and respected. By simply communicating more and working on presentation skills, a poor leader will become a good leader.
2. Encourage others
A continuous trait of a poor leader is one that minimises the challenges their employees face. Although they may see this as making things easier for employees, it actually communicates that they don’t expect much of their team. A leader who regularly challenges teams through complex tasks is one who demonstrates to their employees that they believe in them and that they can do better.
A leader who shares their knowledge and expertise in a way that encourages employees to learn often stimulates the behaviour of their employees.
4. Have a broad perspective
Poor leaders are often the ones who are so involved in work politics and their work that they often lose sight of the outside world and the ‘bigger picture’. A good leader is able to identify future problems by stopping and looking at the ‘bigger picture’ and taking action to develop strategies that will prevent potential problems from happening. This develops an organisations ability to be innovative.
5. Set a good example
A bad leader will often set tasks and not take part in their completion. To become a good leader, they must show employees that they can ‘walk their talk’ by also completing and taking part in tasks that they set for the team.
6. Support employees ideas
When poor leaders who regularly discouraged or advised against their employees innovative ideas suddenly began to support and encourage new proposals and ideas, they were surprised to find that positive changes in the organisation occurred. It is important that a leader supports their team as it is this support that develops growth.
7. Identify need for change
A leader who embraces and supports change is a leader who achieves success. To be a good leader they must be able to recognise when there is need for change within an organisation and actively encourage others to embrace change too. This will enable the team to identify trends, opportunities and potential threats more easily.
8. Inspire and motivate
A leader who aims to inspire and motivate employees through their actions in the workplace is one who keeps team members focused on their organisational goals and objectives. A leader who inspires and motivates is also one who shows that they care by staying informed on the happenings around the office and of their employees.
9. Encourage cooperation rather than competition
A poor leader would be one who encourages workplace competition, but a good leader is one who encourages workplace cooperation. Leaders who promote cooperation amongst team members achieve success through the creation of common goals.
The above points detail some common improvements that could be made by poor leaders that would enable them to become better leaders. They should not be used by just poor leaders but rather practiced by all leaders to better their skills and their relationships with their employees – and see to the results that will be achieved!