In my recent article, I discussed enhancing leadership through self-awareness. As a follow up, another main part of leadership is an awareness of how the people on your team are performing. Without constant evaluation of individual team contributions as well as feedback from your team, it is difficult to effectively lead them.
There are numerous ways to increase awareness of your team and here are several I deem the most important:
This is where it all starts and is the most important quality of a great leader who knows their team. When you close your mouth and open your ears, it is amazing what insights you’ll learn about your team and your business. In order to inspire, you need to really understand what makes them tick and how to motivate them. The only way to reach that level of personal understanding with each member of your team is to listen well and assess how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. This type of leadership will result in loyalty and accountability and that will have positive outcomes for your business in the long run.
This goes hand in hand with listening and enables you to increase your awareness of each team member. Each person’s unique personality plays a huge part in how they interact with other team members, customers, and also how they’ll perform at certain duties. As you walk around the office, be aware of how people interact with one another, how they speak in meetings, and even their sense of humor. An understanding of a team members’ personality is fundamental to good decision making and will enhance your leadership style.
A superb way to increase the motivation and productivity of your team is to reverse the direction of the communication. So far, I’ve discussed taking everything in, but this is a two way street. To really showcase the level of your awareness, communicate it to your team. This can come in a variety of forms, such as mentioning a project they completed a few months ago, or noticing a personal interest or hobby. Casually interacting with your team is an excellent way to increase your awareness and the attention you show your team will serve to enhance their view of your personal leadership.
Apart from the stated and unstated communication there is something to be said for the level of humility you demonstrate as a leader. The ability for you to ask good questions, allow others to make decisions when needed, and accept responsibility can be a driver of transparency and will enable others to develop as leaders that will only enrich your awareness of your team members.
An increased awareness of the thoughts, concerns, goals, and personalities of your individual team members will guide you in leading them to reach new heights.
About: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by putting complex financial data into truly meaningful context. But deeper than dollars and data, our focus is on developing an understanding of you, your culture and your business goals. This approach enables our clients to achieve their greatest potential.