(This blog was originally written for and published by Live Assets.)
Over the last couple years, many of us hit ‘pause’, but now it’s time to hit ‘power’.
Power up and learn to be an effective leader by mastering these six power skills: communication, accountability, structures, interactive feedback, emotional intelligence, and cohesion.
First off, let’s start by establishing what effective leadership is, and what it looks like.
Effective leadership is based on how the leader perceives their behaviors compared to how their team members perceive their behaviors. The ability of a leader to influence and effectively lead their team(s) is directly related to whether the team members perceive the leader’s behaviors to be helpful or not.
Now that we established what effective leadership looks like, we can hit full speed ahead on the six power skills you need to be an effective leader.
1. Communication – Effective communication is the lifeblood of a team. Teams that communicate effectively reduce misunderstandings and costly errors, minimize work delays, and enhance overall productivity.
If your team has difficulty communicating about everyday tasks, imagine the extent to which that is amplified when navigating complex projects.
Investing in training and tools to foster open and clear, effective communication is essential. Implementing communication models and techniques ensure everyone within the organization has the opportunity to participate and influence—positively supporting projects and company growth.
What does ineffective communication look like? Common instances Of Ineffective Communication include:
- Individuals interrupting or talking over others in meetings
- Individuals remaining silent when decision-making is required
- Team meetings that are not balanced forums for discussion
2. Accountability – Holding one another accountable drives innovation, trust, and productivity.
Set your team up for success by encouraging a culture of accountability tailored to your organization’s specific structure and goals. Make a collective commitment to be accountable. This will support company goals, ultimately creating a sustainable system in which team members help and support one another.
3. Structures – Unifying and streamlining work processes and related behavioral norms builds the foundation for efficient and successful teams.
This may include developing expectations and processes for meetings, email norms, and decision-making best practices. Efficient techniques that address common problems within the structures of a team set everyone up for success.
4. Interactive Feedback – A feedback-oriented workplace culture provides essential information for decision making and performance improvement by reflecting on the past and anticipating future results. It helps to ensure everyone is aligned and promotes team alignment while simultaneously decreasing personal and company blind spots. A win-win!
Effectively giving and receiving two-way feedback, feedforward, and following up later creates a supportive and psychologically safe work environment that’s less focused on individual tasks and more focused on overall team contributions and well-being.
5. Emotional Intelligence – Awareness and management of one’s emotions while navigating the emotions of others reduces assumptions and increases psychological safety and connection.
Management of workplace behaviors is a critical skill, yet rarely discussed. Effectively conveying ideas and demonstrating empathy for the behaviors of others while remaining respectful, productive, and engaged is key.
6. Cohesion – Team cohesion is directly tied to project outcomes, client satisfaction, team engagement, and collaboration. Dedicating time and energy to this dependent relationship will result in increased productivity and success.
The key elements of a cohesive team are: (1) trust, (2) the level of support one gets from their team, and (3) openness to different opinions. Effectively and efficiently inspiring, guiding, and maintaining momentum allows team members to collectively reach their full potential.
Being an effective leader is just as much about you as it is about your team.