The process of learning how to lead a team is never as straightforward as it may seem at the very beginning. If you become too friendly, you run the risk of not getting enough respect. If you’re too strict, your employees might hate you. Even if they decide to follow your requests, they might only do it out of fear. You won’t establish any good relationships with them.
The key is to be a firm leader, without being strict. You can tell them to do their job and still maintain professionalism. These are some tips to help you be a firm leader.
Listen to your employees
You might think that being firm is doing whatever you want. The truth is that you have to listen to your employees first. Before you make a decision that everyone has to follow, you need to seek the opinion of the people you work with. In doing so, even if you decide to be firm, no one will go against it.
It also helps if you promote a two-way feedback environment. It means that if you want to express your frustration or provide suggestions to your employees, they can do the same. No one will feel offended in the process.
Be a mentor
You might also think that being firm means telling everyone what they need to do without compromises. The best alternative to that is a mentor. Instead of commanding people what they have to do, you can coach them. Let them know the details, and what you expect of them. If they feel confused, you should be there to assist. Remind your employees that if they feel that they can’t do the job, you’re always there to support.
There are plenty of times when you have to make tough decisions. Some of them are divisive, and you will anger a group of people regardless of which way you go. Despite that, you have to stay confident. Show to everyone that you know what you’re doing. Even in announcing changes or decisions, you need to be firm. Let everyone know that the company’s best interest is what you have in mind. Avoid making decisions based on differences with some of your employees.
Finally, a crucial aspect of being a firm leader is being able to take responsibility. When your decision doesn’t work out the way you wanted, you need to own up to it. You may have to apologise if necessary. Although this may be hard, it will help you to earn everyone’s respect with your sense of responsibility and accountability. You can also encourage the employees to do the same.
Start showing how firm you are by making financial decisions. For instance, if you want to buy items in bulk, and some people are against it, try to move forward. You already studied this decision, and you have to make the right choice. Consider buying quality office supplies with top quality. You will never feel embarrassed by this decision.
It’s not easy being a leader since it entails a lot of decision making. However, you accepted that responsibility, and you need to stand by it.