You don't have to be born a “natural leader.” With training, everyone can grow and learn new skills to become a great leader.
Here are some questions for self-reflection:
1. Do I Lead By Example?
Leadership starts with you. Leading by example is what successful leaders do. Not only will you inspire your team to strive for excellence, but you'll actively demonstrate that excellence for them to emulate.
2. Do I Encourage Open Communication?
An open-door policy encourages feedback, which is critical in determining what works well at your practice. It also helps reveal what's not working the way it should and promotes teamwork to uncover solutions.
3. Do I Give Recognition to My Team Members for Our Successes?
Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Take the time to "catch" a team member doing something "the right way" and make sure to offer compliments. Positive reinforcement is the easiest and most powerful way to motivate your team members and encourage them to do their best all the time.
4. Do My Employees Feel Safe Enough to Fail?
Mistakes offer the best growth opportunities. It's often tempting to use them to "whip" our team into shape. However, it's important to keep in mind that everyone wants to succeed. No one wakes up intending to ruin everybody's day. Creating an environment where "failing forward" is a path toward growth will empower your team to improve.
5. Do I Have a Clear Vision for My Team Members to Follow?
Clarity is key. Your team members will have a clear focus and direction when they understand where your practice is going and what your vision is. They'll benefit much more if they know how they fit into that vision.
6. Do I Have Well Defined Roles and Responsibilities?
Defining specific roles and responsibilities for each team member is the best way to create a synergetic environment. When each person at your practice understands what you are counting on them to produce or perform, they'll fit better into the team. Conversely, teamwork and productivity will increase significantly if each person knows what to count on from other team members.
7. Do I Encourage Self-Sufficiency, or Do I Micromanage?
Leaders who foster independence build their team's "ownership mentality." When you encourage your team members to take charge of their roles without micromanaging every small task, they'll have a sense of ownership and strive to ensure the success of the entire practice.
8. Do I Consider Myself an Engaged Listener?
Giving the person in front of you your undivided attention is an essential leadership skill, showing respect for the speaker. Along with keeping promises, being an engaged listener is one of the most effective ways to build trust with your team.
9. Am I a Decisive Leader?
Leadership can be challenging. It requires real-time decision-making, often when you're least ready. Your decisions won't always be the best, but in most instances, making a decision, acting on it, and making adjustments as necessary is a superior path to shying away from making decisions.
10. Does Saying "Thank You" to My Team Come Naturally?
It's easy to underestimate the power of an authentic "thank you." Everyone needs to feel appreciated. If you struggle to express your gratitude to your team, exploring the reasons why is a healthy personal exercise. Creating a culture of thankfulness may take a little effort on your part but will pay off down the road. If you're not in the habit, try saying a simple "thank you" to each of your team members at least once a day.
Be the Leader You Wish You Had
Leadership isn't a mystical quality that only certain people possess. You can develop the essential leadership skills you need to motivate and inspire your team. It may take some hard work, but it is well worth your time and effort!
Ready to go next level and grow?
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