Leadership Advice: Stop Being a Boss, Start Being a Teacher

Leadership Advice- Quit Being a Boss, Start Being a Teacher

Think back on the best teacher you ever had. You may remember them instantly or it make take just a few minutes, but chances are that person left a lasting impression on you as a person and as a professional.

A good manager is like a good teacher. Now, you’re that person. If you lead by example and keep a few simple principles in the forefront of your mind, you’ll continue to see growth in your leadership skills, effectiveness and overall success.

Make sure your employees know what is expected of them: excellence.

That great teacher in your past? They probably weren’t the “nicest” or the “toughest” but they demanded the best from you and, in turn, they delivered the best possible performances themselves.

  • Set and define concrete goals. This empowers employees and keeps them focused. Explicitly outline what you expect, what deadlines are, and what you intend to do with the results.

Provide timely feedback and constructive criticism.

Once you’ve set specific, measurable goals with employees, regularly monitor progress and provide related feedback. Meet one-on-one or in small groups to go over comments and developments in detail.

  • Set up a regular schedule for employees to provide feedback, as well. This way, everyone will know to make time and space for it in their workflows.

Assign stretch tasks.

As workers learn and take on more responsibility, give them tasks that will further expand their skills and advance their careers. Not only will you find out how much each individual can handle, but you’ll also make them more valuable to your organization.

Be a communicator.

Strong managers – and strong teachers – are strong communicators.

  • Keep your door open. Remind employees that they can come to you with questions, ideas and concerns. Be ready, willing and able to listen. Always make sure you answer their questions completely.
  • Consistently share information. Make every effort to get employees the information they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Take an interest in each person.

Treat every one of your employees as the individual they are and accommodate their personal lives and issues. In turn, they’ll feel good about rewarding you with enhanced performance and loyalty.

  • Make time for people. When they need to talk, make it happen. Put your own work aside, turn off your phone, focus on them, and actively listen.
  • Treat everyone equally. No teacher’s pets allowed. There’s a natural tendency to give more positive recognition to people who remind you of yourself, rather than those who make the biggest contribution. Monitor yourself constantly to ensure that you’re fair and equitable.

Deal with conflict directly and fairly.

There will always be emotionally charged issues that lead to workplace conflict. Address them quickly and fairly. Employees – like students – are keen observers and respect leaders who effectively confront difficult situations. Likewise, they quickly lose respect for those who chronically avoid them.

The specialized team at Contemporary Personnel Staffing and Professionals Incorporated can work with you to formulate a customized management development and training plan for your organization. Contact us at (315) 457-2500 or sales@cpsprofessionals.com to learn more about our process or schedule a meeting.

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