As a team leader, you are the one who needs to set an example for other team members. People look up to you, and expect you to come up with solutions, and do things the right way. This requires a high amount of creativity. Building credibility as a leader can be quite challenging, so this article aims to give you some useful advice that should point you in the right direction.
Listen to your team members
There is no better way to build trust than listening and showing that you actually care. Your team members should always be welcomed to open up and speak up their mind without worrying that they might be ignored or even punished for that. Encourage your people to tell you their problems by showing that you are on their side, and ready to give a helping hand.
Besides, you should keep in mind that people are more likely to listen to those who listen to them in return. So if you want your team to see you as a credible leader that deserves to be listened, start listening yourself.
Be a good teacher
Nowadays, many companies prefer horizontal mentorship. In other words, employees who teach each other and share their skills with other team members. However, there are lots of things that leaders have the responsibility to teach their teammates. Beyond technical skills, leaders should do their best to inspire people and push them to become good professionals by sharing their vision, and encourage strong work ethics.
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The best team leaders are also great teachers, who see people as more than employees. They teach life lessons and practice compassionate leadership, helping their team members to overcome their fears and challenges. These are the leaders whom employees trust and respect.
Good leaders take accountability for the things they do. Taking accountability doesn’t only mean admitting with words that you are accountable. It is much more than something you say! You should actually be able to show it through action. Being accountable means you actually get involved in the process, make decisions, admit when you are wrong, and face the consequences.
Being accountable means keeping your promises, respecting deadlines, being on time, and performing at your best. Taking your duties seriously and showing accountability will definitely make others see you as a credible and respectable leader.
Fear of failure is something that we all experience over and over again, not only as professionals, but also on personal level. However, if you look back at your life, you might realize that the most important lessons come from failure. This is one of the strongest reasons why team leaders should embrace and accept failure as a fuel for progress.
Fear of failure is what holds most people back from daring to take risks and achieve greatness. As a leader, you should encourage employees to be creative and innovative, which is only possible if they accept the challenge of doing things differently. For any great innovation, there have been hundreds, or thousands of failures. Support your team’s creativity by making it clear that it is OK to fail now and then. Don’t hold it against them when that happens, but help them get back on their feet fast and try again.
Be honest and consistent
Nothing earns trust with other people as much as being honest and consistent. In order to build credibility, you first need to build meaningful work relationships based on trust. Being honest with your team means that you should stop sugar-coating the bad news, avoid hiding things from your employees, providing realistic feedback, and never promise something you know you cannot deliver.
Tell things as they are and trust that your people are smart and loyal, so they will know what to make of it. Providing honest feedback is your responsibility as a leader. You must help people understand that its sole purpose is to help them grow and become better.
Consistency is another key factor in building credibility. Being consistent means that you are taking commitments and holding on to them. Instead of changing with the wind, consistent leaders are able to provide predictability for their teams, which makes employees feel safe and less stressed. The consequences are improved efficiency and increased performance, but also a higher degree of credibility and trust towards their leader.
Collaboration is an essential part of teamwork. Any good leader knows that by encouraging people to work together, they can accomplish much more than working on their own. A culture based on collaboration and building meaningful relationships is more likely to keep employees happy and satisfied with their jobs.
But truly great leaders don’t only encourage their team members to collaborate, while they are watching from the bench. On the contrary! They get into the middle of the action, provide opportunities and are never afraid to pass the ball when others are more likely to score. Those are leaders who are most likely to gain the trust and respect of their people.
Show respect for everyone else
Mutual respect is the cornerstone of any relationship. A leader who doesn’t respect others will rarely have their respect. Needless to say that without respect there cannot be credibility. Contrary to some old beliefs, respect cannot be earned through power. What truly matters is the way you choose to use your power.
Avoid micromanaging your people and show respect for their work. Everyone likes to take pride in what they do, or how they do it, and putting people down by being overly-criticizing won’t do any good to anyone. On the contrary, people will resent you and lose their respect.
Start taking action!
Now it is your turn to take action and put it into practice. Start listening more, build relationships with your team members, show them the respect they deserve and always be honest and reliable.
And don’t forget that we are always curious to find out how our advice is influencing people for the better, so we are waiting for your comments in the section below.