Start Getting the Best From Yourself & Your Team!!!
Whether you run a sales department, service & parts or a drug cartel, you will eventually have to tackle the same question: Is it better to be loved or feared? Model your managerial style after, say, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and you will certainly achieve fear obedience but your team will hate you and will launch a coup as soon as the opportunity presents itself. There will never be loyalists on your team either. Then again, if you attempt to be friends with everyone and appease their whims, your team will languish without direction like the rudderless ship lost in the Azores. Assertiveness is the factor that can make or break a leader despite strengths such as intelligence, charisma and self-discipline. According to various studies, truly effective leaders tend to balance a middle ground between the two aforementioned styles, pushing hard enough to get things done, but not hard enough to destroy relationships.
A few tips on finding the middle:
Cooperative problem solving. Not to be confused with compromising which means you lose ground. Cooperative means you take in the good ideas from your team, find out which works best and hybrid your ideas with theirs while leaning towards your idea direction. This gives your team a sense of belonging to the bigger picture and as a consequence develops ownership involvement within them. It also engenders them to start thinking on a larger scope and scale to help the store grow much faster than if you contained their thinking. Some of the best ideas I ever came up with came from team synergy meetings. Build them in and they in return will build you up.
Watch your words! They do have a significant impact on everyone around you. Like kids hearing their parents arguing in front of them the kids formulate opinions which are difficult to remove. Do you berate your team for lack luster sales, call them lazy or blame them for stalling your career? Negative never begets positive. You may feel an outpouring of this negative approach makes you feel better but the damage it creates will tear down any institution. Just ask Omar Kaddafi. Maybe you blame them for not following your directives. Well then, this means you are not being assertive enough to gel the team into a single visionary mission. Your fault not theirs. A fish rots at the head! Always praise in public and reprimand in private.
Your body language. Nonverbal communications makes up 55% of communications. Strong leaders use this information to their advantage by placing their team at ease. Solid leaders get the best from their team by posturing a relaxed, open posture moving their body slightly closer which shows interest. Before bringing home your point, use a decisive hand gesture (not what you think) to imply credibility and honesty. Project assertiveness with an erect, comfortable posture and maintain good eye contact.
Carefully assess the situation. Ready, shoot, aim does not work! Good leaders are always adjusting their behavior as required for various situations. When your people will not take no for an answer ratchet up your assertiveness. When an irritate team member or customer wants to speak their mind, let them and you tone down a bit. Always be critiquing how your behavior is fitting in with the other parties or situation. If you find yourself pushing too hard for the given situation then real it back in some. Haven’t you ever found yourself overreacting to a situation you mis-diagnosed and felt a little embarrassed because it did not require as much force as you expelled? Sure, we all have. The deal here is to assess, listen and properly formulate a response which is in accordance with the situation. Patience is a fine quality.
Always be asking yourself; would I be happy working for and respecting a person like me???
If you could use a couple more tips, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will dash them out to you.